FREEPORT HIGH SCHOOL soccer player Taylor Dostie closes in on Falmouth’s Grace Connolly (15) as she sends a ball up the field during Thursday’s Western Maine Conference game in Freeport. The Falcons fell 5-0 after Falmouth scored a goal just 14 seconds into the match.

FREEPORT HIGH SCHOOL soccer player Taylor Dostie closes in on Falmouth’s Grace Connolly (15) as she sends a ball up the field during Thursday’s Western Maine Conference game in Freeport. The Falcons fell 5-0 after Falmouth scored a goal just 14 seconds into the match.

FREEPORT

A lot can happen in 14 seconds.

In Thursday’s girls high school soccer match between Freeport and Falmouth, 14 seconds was all it took for Mia Cooney to give the visiting Yachtsmen a one-score lead.

TAYLOR RINALDI (2) of Freeport looks to strike the ball past Falmouth’s Cali Wiberg near the touch-line.

TAYLOR RINALDI (2) of Freeport looks to strike the ball past Falmouth’s Cali Wiberg near the touch-line.

The goal left the Falcons stunned and had the first batch of substitutes a few minutes later asking, “What is happening?”

Eventually, it led to a 5-0 Western Maine Conference win for Falmouth and a long 80 minutes for Freeport coach Elayna Girardin.

“We just weren’t awake,” Girardin said of the opening goal. “As a team, you’ve got to know that those first few minutes are a prime goalscoring time because you can catch a team snoozing — and that’s what happened. It definitely threw us of our game a bit.”

A late game on Tuesday night (2-0 win over Lake Region) and the flu bug going around the team certainly didn’t help.

“We really were struggling to get into the game at first,” senior forward Olivia Alterio said. “Coming into it, we knew it was a big one — I think that kind of freaked us out a little bit. So that’s how they just cut us right open.”

Freeport (5-3) rebounded a bit in the ensuing minutes, but Falmouth (5-4) kept on the offensive. Hoards of crosses into the box left Freeport keeper Margaret Perotta and her back line off balance. The Yachtsman fired nine shots in the opening frame and senior Jordan Randall replaced Perotta in net midway through the half.

Then in the 30th minute, Madison Wolf slid a ball across Randall’s goal and notched her second assist of the game when Kelly Yoon punched it in at the far post.

The Falcons held on and managed to get into the halftime talk with just the two-goal deficit.

“During our team talk, we just nailed down what we had to get done,” Alterio said. “Talking, passing to feet, all the stuff that we need to work on. In that short period, we are able to get it together and say ‘this is game time.’”

In-game adjustments

Alterio had one of Freeport’s only true chances of the game early in the second half — a period controlled by the Falcons.

It took over 15 minutes for the Falmouth attack to muster a shot on the defense, and on the other side of the pitch, Alterio and company posed a threat.

Their only corner of the match came soon after halftime and in the 46th minute, a cross from the left rolled dangerously across Falmouth’s net, only to be cleared away when it reached the far post.

“What I said to the team at half is that it wasn’t about what Falmouth’s doing at this point, it’s just about the intensity that we choose to play with. We picked it up for that intensity. I wanted the players pressuring more — I felt like we played off of them too much — and so in the beginning of the second half, we started pressuring more.”

But, 10 minutes later, Falmouth struck its first shot of the half and a diving save from Randall gave the Yachtsman a corner. Two minutes later, Cali Wiberg bent a tall, arching free kick over Randall’s head into the net and the momentum switched right back.

Wolf added a goal of her own at the 16:10 mark when Amelia Waite drove yet another cross across Randall’s goal. Wiberg then fed another free kick into the box under two minutes later and Waite tapped in a rebound to make the score 5-0. All five of Falmouth’s shots in the second half were on frame and Randall blocked two of them.

On the Freeport sideline, all Girardin and assistant coach David Intraversato could do was watch and feed their players instructions.

In some matches, like Tuesday’s win over Lake Region, Girardin can sit back and let her players make the adjustments on their own. In others, like Thursday’s, the coaching is everything.

“It’s really important,” Girardin said of the mid-game adjustments. “Some of our players play year-round and some of our players don’t. A lot of the different situations are just that — they’re situational. You need to have the experience in order to know what to do in that. Those who haven’t gotten those experiences or don’t see it as often, being able to coach those adjustments is huge.”

Freeport, which now sits ninth in the Class B South standings, won’t have much time to kick the flu and freshen up before it travels to Waynflete on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Falmouth 5, Freeport 0

At Freeport High School

Falmouth — 2 3 5
Freeport 0 0 0

Goals — (Fal) Mia Cooney, Kelly Yoon, Cali Wiberg, Madison Wolf, Amelia Waite. Assists — (Fal) Madison Wolf 2, Amelia Waite, Cali Wiberg. Shots — Falmouth 11, Freeport 4. Corner kicks — Falmouth 1, Freeport 1. Saves — (Fal) Adelaide Cooke 3; (Free) Margaret Perotta 1, Jordan Randall 4. Records — Falmouth 5-4; Freeport 5-4. Up next for the Falcons — Saturday at Waynflete, 3:30 p.m.


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