Sunday, December 8, 2013
By GREG REID Special to the Press Herald
YARMOUTH - After averaging about a goal per game through 14 games, you'd have to say the story of the Yarmouth girls' soccer regular season was finishing scoring chances.
One game in, the playoffs are a far different story.
Tess Merrill had two goals and an assist, and Lilly Watson added two goals as the seventh-seeded Clippers sailed past 10th-ranked Oak Hill 4-0 in a Western Class B prelim Friday.
Yarmouth (5-6-4) moves on to a quarterfinal Tuesday at second-seeded Falmouth (10-2-2).
"Our last win against York (2-0) was a big ego booster," said Yarmouth defender Ali Merrill. "Now that we're in the playoffs, we know we have to keep the offensive pressure on and hope for the best."
The Clippers, who hadn't scored more than two goals in a game all season, outshot the Raiders 30-0 and sent 24 in on keeper Kelsey Collins (20 saves) of Oak Hill (7-7-1).
"This is our highest-scoring game of the year," said Yarmouth midfielder Megan Decker. "This is the time of year we need to peak and I think that's happening."
Watson gave Yarmouth a 1-0 lead at 26:38, finishing a cross from Eavan O'Neill deep in the right corner.
Five minutes later Tess Merrill collected the ball and beat a defender at midfield. She raced in and beat Collins for a 2-0 lead.
Yarmouth's speed was tough to handle, said Oak Hill Coach Nicole Camire.
"I thought we started out a little flat," she said, "and you can't do that with a team that can finish well and is as fast as they are. That first half, we missed our marks in the middle, and they got free and finished."
Watson scored again for the Clippers with 13:41 to play. Tess Merrill broke in along the right flank and sent a cross on the ground into the box. The ball slipped through traffic. Watson got on the end of it from about 15 yards and slotted it inside the back post for a 3-0 lead.
Merrill scored her second goal early in the second half, finishing off Julia Kameisha's long, arcing ball sent in again from the right flank. Collins batted it down but Merrill played the bounce and put it in.
"All year we've been getting people in the box but we've had trouble finishing," Tess Merrill said. "Tonight we had great speed down the outside and were getting the ball in and connecting."
Yarmouth dominated at midfield. The few times the ball passed the Clippers' end of the center circle, defenders Ali Merrill and Emma Torres were there to send it forward.
"We didn't play with the ball in our end," Ali Merrill said. "We knew to just get it and get it right out."
Oak Hill's best chance came in the second half, on a free kick off a handball from 35 yards. The ball never made it near the net.
"The girls knew they had to play hard to win and we started putting the ball away," said Yarmouth Coach Rich Smith. "We've played the better teams close. We tied Falmouth and lost to them (3-1). We're getting better every game; that's all we can do."