May 21, 2018
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Orono, Old Town battle to stalemate

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

ORONO — Two years ago, brothers Alex Caballero and Miguel Caballero played soccer for Old Town High School.

But they transferred to Orono High a year ago and combined to rescue a tie against their former team on Monday.

Goalkeeper Alex made eight saves on 22 shots, including tie-preserving stops late in regulation and in the second overtime, and forward Miguel scored on two shots from 30 yards out in the final 10:17 of regulation to erase a 2-0 deficit.

Class C Orono is now 7-0-1 while Class B Old Town is 2-2-4 and unbeaten in its last six.

Old Town had the better of the play and generated more quality chances in the entertaining thriller as the tenacious Coyotes controlled the midfield and won the majority of the 50-50 balls.

But Alex Caballero was brilliant and he also caught a few breaks in the two overtimes. Lucas Baillargeon rattled a vicious volley off the near-side post, Jake Leithiser narrowly missed wide on a few occasions and Chris Gilman sailed a free kick high from just outside the area.

The Coyotes had a 22-20 edge over the entire 90 minutes, including a 5-0 edge in OT. Jameson Ploch finished with four saves for Old Town.

Leithiser staked Old Town to a 1-0 lead just 1:35 into the game when he converted a precise through-ball from Baillargeon. Old Town went up 2-0 5:34 into the second half when Baillargeon made a smart pass to Matt Melanson, whose shot was saved by Caballero only to bounce in front and glance in off a Riot back.

Miguel Caballero cut the lead to 2-1 with 10:17 remaining when his one-hop shot glanced off the body and hands of Ploch and into the net.

He tied it with 2:14 remaining when he received a long pass from Kody Stockley, took a touch and lofted the ball over Ploch’s head and under the crossbar.

“I could have passed to our outside wing but I saw (Ploch) off his line so I had to take the opportunity,” said Miguel Caballero, whose goals were his ninth and 10th of the season.

With five minutes left in regulation, an unmarked Garvey Melmed received a diagonal pass from Leithiser only to have Alex Caballero rob him with a left-foot save.

“He was kind of fumbling it so I was able to get my foot on it,” said Caballero.

In the first OT, David Wilcox directed the ball to the far side to the onrushing Baillargeon, whose volley rattled off the near post after Caballero got a finger on it.

In the second OT, Wilcox’s glancing header off a corner appeared headed toward the back of the net only to have Caballero direct it over the bar.

“That was pretty tough. I had to tip it over with my left hand,” said Caballero.

“His hand came out of nowhere,” said Wilcox.

“I was pleased with our overall performance,” said Old Town coach Mark Graffam. “We just missed on a couple of finishes and we had a couple of moments when we kind of lost it and gave a little bit of space to a very good goal scorer, Miguel Caballero. But, once again, we didn’t lose and over our last six games we’re 2-0-4.”

Orono coach Waldo Caballero, father of the Alex and Miguel, said Old Town outplayed his Riots.

“They wanted it more than we did and were a lot more positive when it comes to moving forward,” said Caballero. “We were passing and dribbling [too much].

“But we were down 2-0 with around 10 minutes left and came back so we can’t complain,” he added.

Leithiser nearly extended the lead to 2-0 two minutes after his goal when he was set up alone in front of goal by Melanson only to sail his eight-yard shot over the crossbar.

Both teams generated some great scoring chances in the frenetic first half but both goalies came up with terrific stops.

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