A wall of Sumner players attempts to block a free kick late in the team’s 1-0 victory over the visiting Machias Bulldogs on Sept. 9. The free kick was one of the Bulldogs’ best chances during a furious comeback attempt that the Tigers were able to withstand. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY ZACH LANNING

Sumner boys’ secures 1-0 win

GOULDSBORO — The Sumner boys’ soccer team has now won two games in a row after defeating the Machias Bulldogs 1-0 at home on Sept. 9.

The Tigers, who opened the season with a 3-1 loss to Calais in late August, have now improved to 2-1 on the season under new head coach Austin Mason. Sumner also beat Narraguagus 3-1 in its second game of the season before winning its home opener against Machias.

“This is my first year coaching, so I couldn’t ask for a better start,” said Mason. “But we’re not going to get complacent, there are plenty of things to work on. Overall I’m very pleased.”

The first half of this match was a stalemate with neither team able to generate anything on offense in the sweltering heat. Sumner had the advantage in terms of possession and scoring opportunities but wasn’t able to capitalize. With the score still knotted at zero and starting goalkeeper Angel Valencia lost for the rest of the match due to a foot injury, the Tigers entered halftime in a precarious position.

The defense had done well to hold the Bulldogs scoreless, but it felt like just a matter of time before the dam would break. Just two days earlier, this Machias side scored six goals in a victory against the very same Calais team that handed the Tigers their only loss of the season so far.

But as the second half got underway, it was Sumner that began to find the space to operate and began to threaten with increasingly dangerous chances. The Tigers were able to use give-and-go’s on both wings to great effect, continually putting their strikers into space behind the Machias defense.

Finally, around the 60th minute, the Tigers were able to break through when Ian Gatcomb buried a shot in the back of the net.

“That was my second goal of the year,” said Gatcomb. “I kind of just shot it and hoped it went in.”

Despite having a few other incredibly close chances, the Tigers were unable to add to their lead. In the last 10 minutes of the game, Machias mounted a furious comeback effort with a few enticing chances of its own, including a free kick directly outside of the box, but Sumner held strong and closed out the win.

“The game got pretty physical at the end,” said Mason. “But I thought our guys did pretty well … We just played how we know how to play.”

Next up for the Tigers will be a back-to-back home and away series against Washington Academy.

Zachary Lanning

Zachary Lanning

News reporter Zach Lanning covers news and features in the Ellsworth area. He comes to Ellsworth by way of New Jersey, which he hopes you don't hold against him. Email him at [email protected].

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