FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine — The Fort Fairfield Tigers edged out a victory against Wisdom Pioneers in a close match that began earlier in the afternoon due to rainy weather.
No. 3 Fort Fairfield (10-4-1) walked away with 1-0 win over No. 6 Wisdom/Van Buren (11-5) on Wednesday, Oct. 26 in a Class D North quarterfinal contest.
Tiger Josh Schupbach netted the game’s only goal with an assist from Cayden Ala with 27:03 to play in the second half.
With the win, the Tigers advance to the semifinals and will be on the road Friday, Oct. 28, to face No. 2 Madawaska. The Owls advanced with a 7-0 win over No. 10 Katahdin.
“I am pleased with the result, it was a game that could’ve gone either way,” Fort Fairfield Coach John Ala said. “It was not an easy match by any means. [Wisdom] is a quality club and I want to tip my cap to them for their season.”
In Wednesday’s game, both teams engaged in a tough, physical game of fielding and maintaining control of the ball.
The first half for the Tigers and Pioneers remained scoreless, and the second half had both teams try to play off scoring opportunities. The Tigers had solid defensive plays with a few steals from Wisdom, while Wisdom played aggressively to get a scoring opportunity.
Wisdom goalie Kayden Daigle was given a red card and ejected from the game late in the second half, but the Pioneers backup, Dawsyn Searles, did an excellent job keeping it a one-score game. Searles blocked a penalty kick with time winding down in the contest.
Wisdom peppered Tiger goalie Brent Senal with 21 shots, but the Pioneers were unable to slip any past him. The Tigers had 18 shots at the Wisdom goal.
“Our group of guys kind of gritted it out a bit, it was a little bit of a messy game at times. We didn’t always control possession that we would like to, because more of our style is trying to possess and today we didn’t quite as much,” Ala said.
Fort Fairfield’s leading scorer Micah Daigle was injured in the Tigers’ final soccer game and is unable to play this postseason.