Friday, May 24, 2013
By Greg Reid / Special to the Press Herald
FALMOUTH – The slap of a soccer ball meeting flesh rang out repeatedly in the cold air Tuesday night. Time and again, the girls in white ignored the sting that surely followed and kept after the ball.
Falmouth’s Cassie Darrow, right, gets in front of Yarmouth’s Ariel Potter to control the ball during the Yachtsmen’s 2-0 Class B quarterfinal win at Falmouth on Tuesday.
Photos by John Patriquin/Staff Photographer
Yarmouth’s Alexa Sullivan, left, battles for position against Falmouth’s Laura Baer in Falmouth’s 2-0 win Tuesday. Yarmouth ends its season with a 5-7-4 record.
One player left the game after absorbing a clearing pass to the head. Another had to be helped off because of muscle cramps.
But the Falmouth girls' soccer team, defending Class B state champion, will take battered over beaten and thus the second-seeded Yachtsmen turned in another relentless performance Tuesday night, driving past No. 7 Yarmouth for a 2-0 victory in a Western Class B quarterfinal.
Falmouth (11-2-2) will host No. 6 Gray-New Gloucester in a regional semifinal on Saturday. Yarmouth ends its season 5-7-4.
"I was nervous that (the Clippers) were possessing the ball on us," Falmouth Coach Wally LeBlanc said, "so I asked our girls to take them out of their rhythm. That's why we were pressing so much. We have some great mental toughness and I really do appreciate that about these girls."
Falmouth's forward line was tough to handle, as Cassie Darrow, Caitlin Buxbaum and Mary Catherine Kowalsky drove hard to the net despite close marking.
Falmouth held a 6-3 edge in corner kicks and a 32-13 advantage in shots.
"Yarmouth played very hard and I'd like to give them all the credit that they deserve," said Falmouth Coach Wally LeBlanc. "In the end, we were able to get that first goal and that changed the momentum of the game."
The Yachtsmen broke through with about 16 minutes in, when left back Angie Mallis headed in Caitlin Bucksbaum's corner kick.
"That was beautiful," Bucksbaum said. "We've been working hard on corners. We understand what we want to do, and we connect well. Sometimes it works out."
Kowalsky made it 2-0 when she broke across midfield, going one-on-one with a defender before driving in a shot from the top right corner of the 18-yard box. The ball curved and ducked into the top right corner of the goal, beyond the reach of Yarmouth keeper Shannon Fallon (13 saves).
"I just saw my chance and took it. I didn't really think about it," Kowalsky said. "We came out working really hard. We went to goal, had a lot of opportunities and we finished a few."
Yarmouth handled the pressure well in the first half, and managed to mount exciting counter attacks, led by Eavan O'Neill, Tess Merrill and Lilly Watson.
Merrill and Watson combined well in the Falmouth box but Caroline Lucas (12 saves) held firm. Falmouth players defended their goal fearlessly, often absorbing hard shots with a thigh or abdomen to prevent them from reaching goal.
"It's definitely physical back there, you take a lot of hits," said central defender Laura Bauer, who wears a padded cast on a wrist broken earlier in the season. "You just do what you have to do to get the ball out."
"I thought the girls really came to play tonight and really gave Falmouth all they could handle, especially in the first half." Yarmouth Coach Rich Smith said. "They go hard for the ball. Falmouth's a very talented team. Their defense is tough, it's tough to get through, and (Lucas) is very good. We played with a lot of heart out there."
click image to enlarge
Yarmouth goalie Shannon Fallon, who had 13 saves in the game, comes out to make one of them in Tuesday’s game at Falmouth. The No. 2 Yachtsmen advanced with a win, and will now host sixth-ranked Gray-New Gloucester in a semifinal on Saturday.