YORK — In an all-out game typical of these two girls’ soccer powers, fourth-ranked Falmouth topped second-seeded York 1-0 to win the Western Class B championship Wednesday.

Falmouth (11-5-1) will play Caribou (14-2-1) in Saturday’s state final.

York (12-2-3), the defending Class B state champion, lost at home for the first time since the 2008 regional final, also 1-0 to Falmouth.

This time, Annie Criscione beat the York goalie to the ball, and kicked and scored after 2:05 of the second half.

York then poured it on but the Yachtsmen, anchored by goalie Elizabeth Estabrook, held.

“It was a battle today, an absolute battle,” Falmouth Coach Jon Meek said. “They’ve had a great regular season. They’re the defending state champions. It’s never going to be easy.”

York beat Falmouth twice this season, 1-0 and 2-1, but Coach Wally Caldwell always had one concern — finishing chances.

“I knew that coming into the season. We didn’t have a finisher,” Caldwell said. “But we had several scoring opportunities. Their goalie is obviously very good. She was the difference in one or two situations.”

York began the game dominating. Any time Falmouth got the ball, the Wildcats’ back line of Nicole Taylor, Caitlin Kelly, Stephanie Gallagher and Addison LaBonte fed it back to the offense.

But Falmouth’s defense, led by backs Rachel Bauer, Caitlin Costello, Cassidy Gaudette and Abbey Cavalero, thwarted York’s chances.

“Our defense did a really good job of not letting a whole lot of shots off,” Estabrook said. “We had a few nerves in the first minutes. We got over them and started to push forward.”

Falmouth began to work the ball up. Midfielder Allie Lycan helped as the Yachtsmen tried to send balls up with forwards Criscione, Jessica DiPhilippo, Alex Bernier and Mary Catherine Kowalski creating chances.

Criscione proved persistent, fighting for loose balls.

“We threw Annie up there to do a job and she did a brilliant job,” Meek said. “We saw something we could exploit with Annie’s abilities.”

Early in the second half, DiPhilippo slid a perfect pass in the box to Criscione on the run. She beat her defender, leaving a race to the ball with goalkeeper Carolyn Lee. Criscione got there first, and kicked the ball in just before both players collided.

Caldwell saw a flag go up and thought offside. But Caldwell said the officials conferred and said Criscione was not offside.

“A tough, tough break,” said Caldwell, who saw his team come alive after the goal.

“They knew they had to crank it up. They decided they weren’t going to be timid.”

York pushed, forcing seven corner kicks. The chances came, with efforts by forwards Emily Mitchell, Mackinnon Hill and Hannah Daigneault, and midfielder Kayla Swasey.

But shots went wide or over the bar. Then Estabrook stopped a series of three shots over 1:30, the final one a one-time, point-blank blast by Hill.

“I was in the right position and it just came at me,” Estabrook said.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:

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