ELLSWORTH, Maine — Brady White scored the first goal of his high school career Wednesday night and it was a memorable one.
The Ellsworth High School junior right back found the net with a curling free kick from midfield with 18:53 remaining in the first half and it proved to be the game-winner as the Eagles beat Caribou 5-1 at Del Luce Stadium.
The Eagles (5-0-1) have allowed just two goals this season and had posted shutouts in their previous four games.
Caribou (3-3-1) had its four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1) snapped.
“I was shocked,” said White. “I was just trying to hit it to the far post to someone who was making a back-post run.”
“He was supposed to put it between the 6-[yard box] and the 12, not in the goal,” quipped Ellsworth coach Brian Higgins.
Caribou goalie Matt Manter extended his arms to try to parry it away but it glanced in off the crossbar and post.
“It dipped down at the end. It went between me and the post. I think it hit the crossbar. I was getting ready to hit it over but it snuck in between,” said Manter.
Caribou’s Matthew Milliard nearly equalized seven minutes later but Eagles central midfielder Logan Dyer cleared his shot off the line with goalkeeper Steve Mahon stranded.
Moments later, Milliard was fouled just outside the penalty area but his free kick hit the Ellsworth wall.
Left back Jeff Weeks scored the all-important third goal just 7:06 into the second half.
On Dyer’s long free kick into the goal area, Vikings sophomore goalie Ethan Plourde, who had replaced Manter, tried to slap the ball away but didn’t get much on it and it landed on the foot of Weeks — 12 yards from goal.
“I just toe-poked it,” said Weeks, who beat Plourde to the near-side corner.
“We got a little deflated after that goal,” said Caribou coach Scott Hunter.
Six minutes later, Weeks’ twin brother, Jack, extended the lead by finishing off a neat passing sequence involving his brother and Anthony Gardner.
Jeff Weeks passed it to his brother on the counterattack and Jack Weeks slid it to Gardner, who gave him a perfectly timed return pass as he broke free. Jack Weeks burst down the left side and angled his right-footed shot in off the far post.
Conor Maguire capped the scoring by slamming home the rebound of a Jack Weeks shot that deflected ff the post.
Ellsworth took a 1-0 lead 5:05 into the game when midfielder Ben Haslam made a back-post run and directed home Jack Weeks’ skimmed header off a Sid St. Peter throw-in.
The Vikings drew level 11 minutes later when Milliard impressively volleyed a Taylor Thibodeau pass off the near post and past Mahon.
Caribou outshot Ellsworth 9-8 in an evenly played first half before the Eagles used those early second-half goals to distance themselves.
“We got better as the game went along. Their physical play woke us up a little bit,” said Higgins. ”It was absolutely not a 5-1 game.”
“We had some good chances in the first half but we weren’t able to capitalize on them,” said Hunter. “I was proud of the way the guys bounced back after giving up the first goal. At halftime, they were confident they could win the game. But that [third goal] was a backbreaker.
Junior sweeper Griffin Nightingale supported Mahon, who made 10 saves on 18 shots, including one off Breen Blackstone’s penalty kick with 4:21 left.
Hunter said he felt he received quality efforts from Milliard, midfielder Michael Hunter and backs Blackstone and Thibodeau. Blackstone served a number of dangerous free kicks into the penalty area but Mahon came off his line to snare a lot of them.
Manter and Plourde combined for nine saves on 23 shots.
JV: Caribou 3-0