YARMOUTH – Some might call Chandler Smith’s goal a matter of luck. Others might call it the result of being where he was supposed to be.
Either way, Smith’s goal with 3:32 left in the first half Monday night was the difference in Yarmouth’s 1-0 victory over Falmouth in a Western Maine Conference boys’ soccer match at Yarmouth High.
Yarmouth (6-0-2) controlled play through much of the game, using its size and experience advantage over Falmouth (3-2-2), which graduated 17 seniors from its Class B championship squad of a year ago.
“I thought we played a really good first half,” Yarmouth Coach Mike Hagerty said. “I felt we had 3-4 chances to put it away. I was beginning to feel like in the end that might come back to bite us. In the end, it almost did.”
The winning play was set up by David Murphy’s throw-in from the right touchline, deep in the Yachtsmen’s end. Murphy made the throw and Adam LaBrie flicked the ball on goal with a header.
Falmouth senior keeper Will D’Agostino (nine saves) made the stop, but the rebound fell to Smith, who knocked the ball in.
“I made the run to the front post, and I just got lucky,” Smith said. “(D’Agostino) made a really nice collapse-dive save and I just got lucky.”
“People want to call it luck,” Hagerty said, “but if you’re where you’re supposed to be and you get that flick, all you need to do is finish it.”
Yarmouth (6-0-2) held the advantage in shots (18-11) and corner kicks (7-4). Goal keeper Alex Lyon made four saves for the Clippers’ sixth shutout in eight games.
The Clippers were aided by strong play from a four-man back line, with Smith and Travis Hamre at center back, and Wes Crawford and Walter Conrad playing wide.
Hamre drew the assignment of marking Falmouth’s dangerous forward Luke Velas, who managed just one shot on goal.
“It was a battle out there all night,” Hamre said.
“I stayed with him so he wouldn’t be able to turn and use that dangerous diagonal ball through the three backs. I thought when I took some chances and missed, Chandler, Wes and Walter did a great job getting the ball away.”
“All credit goes to Travis,” Smith said. “He played his best game against one of the best players in the state. (Velas) is really tough to shut down.”
Still, the Yachtsmen refused to go away.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking, being up 1-0 against Falmouth,” senior midfielder David Murphy said. “Because you know they’re going to be right there knocking on the door.”
Falmouth’s best two chances to tie it came in the second half. With 26 minutes left, Lyon came off his line to smother Ben Lydick’s bid as he enjoyed a rare chance to get in behind Yarmouth’s back line. Then, with 2:13 to play, Jonas Spiegal fired a hard shot toward the lower right corner, but Lyon dived to make the save.
“We just wanted to try to keep it close and give ourselves a chance to win it in the end,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan. “We were there defensively. We’re so young. We’ll build off this.”