It looks like Falmouth is picking up in Class A where it left off in Class B, where it won the last three state titles.
Although the Yachtsmen appeared to be rebuilding heading into the season, they won their first seven games.
“We only returned four starters from last season’s championship team, so we’ve got seven girls who never started a varsity game before this year,” said first-year coach Andrew Pelletier.
The four starters who did return have provided excellent leadership to the more inexperienced players.
“Having the senior leadership we’ve had has made a real easy transition for me as well as for our freshmen class and our sophomore class,” Pelletier said.
That group includes senior strikers Megan Miller and Mary Catherine Kowalsky, senior center back Laura Bauer and sophomore striker Tyler Spence.
In past seasons the Yachtsmen wore down defenses by using an unrelenting attack. This season they’re using a mixed approach.
“They really liked to go direct last year,” Pelletier said. “We’ve really, really worked on passing the ball around and keeping possession. At the same time we have a lot of speed and we like to use it up front. We like to go one-on-one with the backs.”
But the Yachtsmen can still use the direct approach, so it can be difficult for opponents to prepare.
“Sometimes we do fall into a little bit of the direct game,” Pelletier said, “but we find the mixture of when we need to possess and when we need to go direct.”
Pelletier, who is on the coaching staff of the Seacoast United soccer club, last year was the girls’ coach at Poland High. Previously he coached the Freeport junior varsity.
While enrollment forced the Yachtsmen to move into Class A for soccer, the schedule is still made up primarily of Class B teams in the Western Maine Conference.
“Our schedule is brutal,” Pelletier said. “We play the toughest Class B teams in the state.”
It means Falmouth, ranked at the top of the Western Class A Heal point standings, must do exceedingly well to keep pace with the region’s other Class A teams in the race for playoff positioning.
As the same time, Pelletier must think about the future.
“We’re going to graduate 10 out of 24 players,” he said. “I want to make sure a lot of girls get their touches on the field.”
BIG MATCHUP: Windham will visit Biddeford at 4 p.m. Saturday in a game between two of the SMAA’s top teams.
The visiting Eagles, 7-0 going into a game against Bonny Eagle on Wednesday night, were expected to be near the top of the Western Class A Heal point standings this season, but the Tigers, 5-1-1 going into a game against South Portland on Wednesday night, are the surprise team of the conference.
This game will show whether Windham is as good as its record indicates and whether Biddeford is for real.
Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: