YARMOUTH — Yarmouth High’s boys’ soccer team showed again Saturday night it will be tough to beat this season, improving to 5-0 with a dominating 3-0 home win against York.

No opponent has scored against the defending Class B state champions.

Center backs Connor O’Donnell and Matt Beatty continued to excel when called upon, but O’Donnell said the great defense is a function of even better offense.

“The reason why we get all these shutouts is because our midfielders, our attacking forwards, they’re just so dominant,” O’Donnell said. “We’re not even getting the ball. I mean, we go stretches for two or three minutes where we don’t even see the ball.”

York (2-2-1) put just one shot on Yarmouth keeper Cal Owen.

Yarmouth blasted away all night. York keepers Brett Smith (three saves in the first half) and Ian Hovde (seven in the second half) were tested often and watched nearly 20 Yarmouth shots go over or wide of the goal.

The first goal came quickly, as the Groothoff brothers worked in concert. Luke, a sophomore, skipped a pass near the right post, and his older brother, Jonathan, controlled it well enough to strike a waist-high bounce into the left panel of the goal at 3:19.

From there, York made Yarmouth work for its goals.

“We knew we were up against a really, really good team,” York Coach Mike Masi said. “We knew what we were up against.

“One of our goals was that if they got a goal, to not let it turn quickly into three. It got to three in the end, but they had to work in 20 minutes stretches for those goals after the first one.”

Luke Groothoff headed in a long, curving ball from Andrew Beatty at 6:20 of the second half.

Patrick Grant scored with 11:20 remaining, getting a left-footed shot past Hovde after a cross from Christopher Pidden.

Earlier in the half, Hovde stopped Grant on a penalty kick.

“So I hadn’t scored yet this year; that was my first goal,” said Grant, who scored the only goal in the 2014 state championship game against Ellsworth. “I’ve had a bit of a scoring plague, but that was great for me to get back, and it kind of brought the boys up, too.”

From start to finish, Yarmouth was first to throw-ins and goal kicks.

O’Donnell was a rock along the backline, whether it was winning head balls or negating the occasional foray by York’s clever sophomore forward, Alex Nickerson. Midfielders Henry Coolidge and Matthew Dostie showed they – like the Groothoffs – can work quickly and precisely in tight spaces. Grant, a nonstop worker, and outside back Nicholas Karma made plays end line to end line.

“There’s no selfishness. There’s no one-on-one, and I think that’s part of what makes a really good team,” said Yarmouth assistant coach Dale Wing. “They’re all talented with their feet, they’re all smart kids.”

Yarmouth head coach Mike Hagerty missed the game, as he was in New York City, where his brother was being ordained as a minister.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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