September 28, 2013

Girls' soccer: Falmouth withstands Greely's challenge

The unbeaten Yachtsmen survive their biggest test to date, earning a 2-1 win.

By GREG REID Special to the Press Herald

CUMBERLAND - Some games, it's better to be lucky than good. Just ask the Falmouth girls' soccer team.

The Yachtsmen survived a dismal first half and made the most of their chances to collect a 2-1 victory over Greely in a Western Maine Conference match Friday night at Glenn A. Hutchins Field.

Make no mistake, Falmouth (6-0) is quite good. The Yachtsmen have outscored opponents 18-2, and they've posted four shutouts.

But Friday night, the Yachtsmen had trouble stringing together passes. Greely put on another strong showing, closing down passing lanes and working the ball forward.

"So we made the best of what we had," said Falmouth striker Tyler Spence, "which was kicking over the top, getting on the ball and creating the runs we practiced."

That approach -- and more than a dash of good fortune -- paid off for the Yachtsmen.

Greely dominated play through the opening minutes, stepping up in the midfield and playing a possession game that kept Falmouth chasing. Then Falmouth striker Megan Miller won the ball and sent a long diagonal pass to Mary Catherine Kowalsky on the far wing. Kowalsky carried the ball into the right corner and crossed to Spence, who knocked the ball past Greely keeper Elyse Dinan (10 saves) for a 1-0 lead six minutes into the game.

The Rangers (5-2) continued with their crisp passing game through the middle third. Falmouth's back line did just enough, limiting the Rangers to shots from long range.

But that paid off for Greely, as Jocelyn Mitiguy tied it at 1 with a 40-yard strike from the right flank that slipped under the cross bar in the 28th minute.

Greely held the edge in corner kicks (3-2) and shots (23-14). Falmouth's Maggie Seitz made 13 saves.

"This game was ours," Greely Coach Josh Muscadin said. "We dominated for almost the entire game, but we just couldn't score. There are times luck doesn't come with you."

Falmouth came out hard in the second half, matching Greely's energy and mounting more pressure.

Miller, who gave defenders fits with her speed and strength, put the Yachtsmen ahead 2-1 about 16 minutes into the second half, driving in a curling corner kick from the left of the goal. The ball deflected off a Greely defender and into the net.

"That was lucky," said Miller, who leads the Yachtsmen with six goals. "But it was placed pretty nicely."

The goal shifted momentum Falmouth's way. But Greely didn't give in, as pressure from Mitiguy, Izzy Hutnak and Ellie Schad among others gave the Rangers a 16-4 edge in shots over the final 40 minutes. Falmouth hunkered down in the final 15 minutes, content to play defensively.

"We played much better in the second half," Falmouth Coach Andrew Pelletier said. "Good teams find a way to win when they don't play well. We hit a hiccup today and were able to come out with a win."

 

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