READFIELD —There was much to be learned about Class B South on Saturday evening at Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams.

No. 1 Maranacook has more character than even its coach believed. A seven-loss York side might be as talented as any team in the division. And there’s not a lot of separation between the top four teams in the boys soccer bracket.

One thing, however, that most observers already knew is that Hayden Elwell is as good as any soccer player in the state.

Elwell scored two goals, including one just three minutes into extra time, to lift the Black Bears to a 2-1 decision over York and advance to the regional finals Wednesday — where they will face Yarmouth in a heavily-anticipated rematch.

The teams met in the regional semifinals last season, with the Clippers winning in double overtime. It marked the first loss for the Black Bears in about three years.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.


Elwell said he maintained his composure on the winning goal.

“It came right out to me in the middle of the field,” Elwell said. “I just put it in the net like it was any other shot .”

Nathan Delmar set up the winning goal along the left side of the 18-yard box, trying to cross onto the feet of Sam Wilkinson. That cross hit traffic in front of goal, and the ball skipped free to Elwell, who ran unmarked onto the ball and finished it along the ground for the decisive score.

The goal capped off a brief overtime session that belonged entirely to the Black Bears (15-0-1).

“This is big. It’s huge,” Delmar said. “We had to be intense. We had to go for it, and that’s what we did.”

The match needed extra time after York’s James Peter converted a free kick deep into stoppage time. Maranacook would have had every reason to be deflated heading into overtime. Instead, like Elwell’s run to set up his first goal of the night, the Black Bears found an extra gear.


“That’s the kind of character we want to have,” Maranacook head coach Don Beckwith said. “York was better than I thought they were. That’s a good team.”

A defensively-played second half surprisingly produced the only two goals of regulation.

A brilliant bit of misdirection set up Maranacook’s opening score. Elwell carried the ball from midfield to just outside the penalty area before being taken down. While it appeared both teams were getting themselves organized for a set piece, Elwell was calculating.

He opted for a quick restart — freezing everybody on the pitch — and drilled a low shot along the ground that found the goal in the 76th minute.

“He’s a stud. He’s that good,” Beckwith said. “We worked on that play. We said if it’s there early, put it in early.”

Maranacook tried to defend but could not see it through in regulation. Peter knotted the score at 1-1 two minutes into stoppage time with a well-taken free kick from 25 yards out.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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