HAMPDEN — The continuous assault by the Yarmouth High girls’ soccer team had produced no goals for more than 60 minutes.
“It was stressful,” Yarmouth senior forward Katie Clemmer said, “but coming together was really helpful.”
Yarmouth did play together and eventually the goals came – including two by Clemmer – as the Clippers scored three times in a 10-minute span to beat Waterville 3-1 for the Class B state championship Saturday morning at Hampden Academy.
Clemmer tied the game with 17:39 remaining. Sara D’Appolonia scored the winner with 8:01 left and Clemmer added an insurance goal.
Mackenzie St. Pierre scored in the first half for Waterville.
Yarmouth (16-1-1) won its first state title since 2003. Waterville, which was seeking its second championship in three years, finished at 17-1.
Yarmouth trailed at halftime even though it outshot the Panthers, 7-2. Yarmouth Coach Josh Thornton wanted better from his team.
“The first half was a lot of people dribbling and trying to take people on,” Thornton said. “I said if we’re going to try to be heroes, we’re going to lose. If we play as a team, we’ll win.”
In the second half, Yarmouth outshot Waterville, 18-1.
Yarmouth created chances. Midfielders Cory Langenbach and Olivia Feeley fed balls to the Clippers’ dangerous forwards. But Waterville’s defense – which had allowed three goals all year – was solid.
“We had several chances. It was a matter of staying composed and playing our game,” D’Appolonia said. “We couldn’t get down on ourselves.”
Although the Panthers’ defense was holding on, Waterville Coach Mark Serdjenian was concerned.
“There’s this inevitable tendency to sit back a little bit,” he said. “No matter how much you forewarn a team, it just happens.
“Plus they were really good, and they were moving the ball really well.”
Yarmouth finally broke through. Gretchen Barbera crossed the ball to D’Appolonia, who tapped it to Clemmer about 10 yards out. Clemmer roofed her shot to the near side.
“After that goal, there was so much energy and excitement,” Clemmer said.
The Clippers kept pushing forward. A Waterville defender tried to clear the ball but kicked it into a teammate. The ball was loose in the box and D’Appolonia was there.
“It was fumbling around in there and I just got a foot on it,” she said. Her goal put Yarmouth up 2-1.
With 7:37 remaining, Clemmer sent in a cross that was accidentally kicked in by a Waterville defender. The own goal, which was credited to Clemmer, made it 3-0.
“I thought we’d get a goal but I didn’t know we’d get three in 10 minutes,” Thornton said. “The second half was fantastic. We didn’t give them the ball. We just ran them down.”
Yarmouth’s defensive line of Hannah Corey, Abby Condon, Ella Antolini and Sophia Harpool provided a stone wall. Corey saved a goal in the first half, clearing a ball that got by the keeper.
With 51 seconds left in the first half, Waterville’s Sophia Webb lofted a ball into the box, where McKenzie headed it into the far left corner for a 1-0 lead.
But that was the Panthers’ last good chance. Yarmouth would get plenty more.