Thursday, April 17, 2014
By Tom Chard email@example.com
FALMOUTH — The Falmouth High soccer teams are in Class A this season, so every playoff opponent is new.
That didn’t stop the girls’ team, which won the last three Class B state championships. The second-seeded Yachtsmen had seventh-ranked Biddeford well-scouted and earned a 1-0 victory Tuesday in a Western Class A quarterfinal.
Megan Miller scored from Brianna Russell with 25 minutes left in the first half and Falmouth made it stand with tight defense.
Falmouth (12-2-1) will be home in the semifinals Saturday against No. 3 Thornton Academy or No. 6 Deering, who meet Wednesday in Saco.
Falmouth moved up to Class A this fall but still played a Western Maine Conference schedule. Its playoff opponents are members of the SMAA.
The score wasn’t indicative of Falmouth’s dominance.
Miller lifted her shot from about 12 yards over the reach of goalie Olivia Curtis.
“I knew I hit it well,” said Miller, whose 10 goals lead the team. “I placed it well. I got a nice ball off a deflection.”
Falmouth graduated 10 seniors from last year’s championship team, and Miller said this year’s players have something to prove in Class A.
“We’ve heard that some people don’t think we’ll do well because of the players we lost and we’re in Class A. We want to prove people wrong,” she said.
“I felt we came out a little flat, but once we started stringing our passes together things really started to click. We really pulled together. We really wanted this.”
Maybe a little too much at the start.
Biddeford (11-4-1) had some early chances, but nothing of consequence. The Tigers had a shot on goal in the final minutes – an attempt that Falmouth keeper Maggie Seitz handled easily.
“We had seen Biddeford play a couple of times because we figured they would be our opponent,” said Falmouth Coach Andrew Pelletier, who is in his first season at the school. “We knew they were good.
“Quarterfinal games are never easy. The score doesn’t portray the way we played. We executed very well but just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Anchoring Falmouth’s defense in front of Seitz, as they have all season, were Marcy Kittredge and Laura Bauer. They stopped several balls from reaching the keeper.
“Marcy and Laura are the foundation of everything we do,” said Pelletier. “We limited Biddeford’s chances. We played with a lot of heart and were very gritty.”
Taylor Spence, a sophomore striker, was strong in the middle and on the wing. She controlled a lot of free balls and moved them to her teammates with crisp passing.
“I told Taylor before the game how she could be the glue this postseason,” said Pelletier.
In the second half, Russell and Biddeford’s Camryn McKeown collided, with Russell getting the worst of it. She was down for a while, being attended to by Falmouth trainer Rob Sullivan before leaving the field on her own power. She recovered and went back into the game a few minutes later.
“Brianna is a rock,” said Miller.
Shaina Speight was strong on defense for the Tigers, who earned their first-ever playoff victory in the preliminary round.Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: TomChardPPH