CAPE ELIZABETH – After lopsided victories in its first two games, the Falmouth boys’ soccer team was looking for a test.

Cape Elizabeth provided a stern one.

In a defensive struggle between two perennially strong programs, Falmouth rallied to a 2-1 victory Wednesday night at Hannaford Field in a game that remained in doubt until a header by Cape Elizabeth sophomore Omar Khalidi on a rushed corner kick bounced away harmlessly as the final horn sounded.

“They have a couple of dynamite players who are difficult to defend,” Falmouth Coach David Halligan said. “And they play (hard) right up to the end, right up until the final second.”

Class B Falmouth (3-0) breezed through its first two matches with a 19-1 scoring advantage while Class A Cape Elizabeth edged defending Class B state champion Yarmouth by a goal and tied York.

The Capers took a 1-0 lead Wednesday when Tim Lavallee raced after a pass from Adam Haversat and while sprinting in the direction of the corner flag, hooked a hard, low shot inside the far post a little more than 12 minutes before halftime.

A few minutes earlier, Falmouth had a long goal from Andrew Murry disallowed because teammate Brandon Tuttle was both offsides on the free kick and guilty of a push.

“It happens, it’s soccer,” Murry said. “We just had to rebound, keep our heads up and keep playing. We got one in right away to tie it up.”

It actually took about seven minutes. Murry again set things in motion with a long free kick. J.P. White flicked it with his head and the ball caromed off a defender before rolling into the net for a 1-1 tie.

“Just a lucky bounce I guess,” White said. “I know we can battle back when we’re down.”

The only goal of the second half came when Falmouth freshman Luke Velas won a race with two defenders and onrushing goalkeeper Brett Parker and chipped the ball just over Parker’s head and into the net seven minutes into the second half. Tuttle got an assist.

Trailing 2-1, Cape Elizabeth failed to convert several good scoring chances. Blake Barritt’s straight-on drive from 29 yards sailed high. A long free kick from Barritt glanced off the head of Brian Brett and over the end line. The closely marked Lavallee sent a hard drive just wide of the goal from a tough angle and later redirected a free kick from Barritt wide right.

Falmouth goalie Will D’Agostino finished with four saves and Parker made two as both defenses gave ground grudgingly.

“We played really well in the midfield on both ends,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond said. “We didn’t execute in the box. That’s a weakness on our team right now.

“Defensively, in our own box, we aren’t marking well. Offensively, in the other team’s box, we’re not getting the balls well either. That’s where the game was won and lost (Wednesday), in our 18 and in their 18.”

Cape Elizabeth (1-1-1) held a 4-3 edge in corner kicks. Both teams had issues with cramping in the moist night air as fog started to roll in from the adjacent marsh.

“Coming into this game, we were a little hyped up,” said Falmouth’s Murry. “The first 10 minutes was a little shaky for us, getting our nerves down. Other than that, we started to knock it around and played pretty well.”

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

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