At the bottom of this pile lies Falmouth junior Amelia Waite after scoring the go-ahead goal with 40.6 seconds left to lift the Yachtsmen girls’ soccer team to a 2-1 win at Cape Elizabeth Saturday night.

Chris Lambert photos.

More photos below.

CAPE ELIZABETH—In a season adversely affected by injuries, a brutal opening half of the schedule and a literal sandbagging of a victory, Falmouth’s girls’ soccer team was due some good fortune.

The Yachtsmen got it Saturday evening at Hannaford Field.

Host Cape Elizabeth had the better of the play over 80 minutes and had far more scoring chances, but Falmouth proved that it’s not the quantity of shots that matter, but the quality.

And junior Amelia Waite knows all about quality shots.

After Yachtsmen senior goalkeeper Adelaide Cooke made a terrific early save, Waite put Falmouth ahead in the 11th minute, when she finished a feed from sophomore Madison Wolf.

The Capers almost tied the game later in the half, but junior Sarah Knupp’s blast hit the crossbar and the Yachtsmen had a 1-0 advantage at halftime.

When Cooke denied Cape Elizabeth senior Mariah Deschino on a penalty kick with 36:45 to play, it looked like Falmouth was going to go on to victory, but with 20:15 remaining, off a corner kick, freshman Karli Chapin directed the ball in to the net to tie it up.

Down the stretch, the Capers had some great chances to go ahead, but couldn’t do so and with overtime appearing imminent as the clock went under a minute, Waite decided to end matters, as she finished another pass from Wolf to score with 40.6 seconds to go.

The Yachtsmen’s defense broke up one final Cape Elizabeth threat and Falmouth went on to the 2-1 victory.

The Yachtsmen swept two regular season games against the Capers for the first time since 2008, won their fourth game in a row, improved to 7-4 and dropped Cape Elizabeth to 5-5-1 in the process.

“We got lucky,” Falmouth coach Andrew Pelletier said. “It’s a good win emotionally, but we have to play better to reach our goals.”

Saturday night special

Both teams have had their moments this season, but each squad has also suffered some painful losses.

Falmouth’s season began with a 3-2 overtime home loss to defending Class B champion Greely in a game in which a sure Yachtsmen goal was waved off because an official thought the ball hit the post when it had instead hit a sandbag holding down the cage. After a 3-1 home victory over Cape Elizabeth, the Yachtsmen lost at home to York, 2-0, and to powerhouse Yarmouth, 4-1. Falmouth then produced a pair of key road victories over St. Dom’s, 4-0, and Greely, 1-0. After the Yachtsmen lost at Yarmouth, 4-0, they blanked visiting Wells (7-0), host Freeport (4-0) and visiting Fryeburg Academy (2-0).

Cape Elizabeth started the season slowly, losing at home to Yarmouth (5-1) and at Falmouth (2-1), but the Capers turned things around with victories at Lake Region (2-0) and at home over Poland (8-1) and Greely (2-1). After losing at Yarmouth (3-0) and Greely (2-1), Cape Elizabeth downed visiting Kennebunk (2-1) and Gray-New Gloucester (3-2) before settling for a 1-1 draw at York Tuesday.

Entering play Saturday, since the start of the 2001 season (see sidebar, below), Falmouth held a 14-8 edge (with eight other games ending in ties).

This time around, on Coaches versus Cancer Night, Cape Elizabeth looked to defend its home field, but Falmouth had the last laugh.

Under pleasant 60 degree skies, the Capers came out strong and just 2:08 in, Deschino fought her way past a defender and went one-on-one with Cooke, but Cooke was able to tip the shot over the crossbar for a corner kick, which didn’t result in a shot.

In the sixth minute, Knupp had a shot saved and in the seventh minute, sophomore Prezli Piscopo just missed.

The Yachtsmen’s first chance resulted in the game’s first goal.

With 29:17 remaining in the first half, Wolf played a long ball ahead to Waite, who managed to get past a defender. Cape Elizabeth sophomore goalkeeper Alison Ingalls came out, but Waite fired a shot over her and into the net for a 1-0 lead.

“That was similar to the goal I scored last time we played (Cape),” said Waite. “It was Madison and I, dynamic duo. All I had to do was finish.”

“Amelia and Madison have combined for our last four or five goals,” Pelletier said. “Amelia has been unbelievable.”

The rest of the half belonged to the Capers, but they couldn’t earn the equalizer.

In the 14th minute, Cooke denied freshman Olivia Cochran. 

With 15:21 left in the half, Knupp launched a beautiful bid that sailed over Cooke’s outstretched hands, but it slammed against the crossbar and Cape Elizabeth coulnd’t bury the rebound.

Down the stretch, Cooke saved shots from Piscopo, sophomore Riley Dall and Deschino, then broke up a pass from Chapin to Piscopo to preserve the lead heading into halftime.

In the first half, the Capers had a 8-1 advantage in shots, but Cooke made six saves and the crossbar made another.

Cape Elizabeth’s frustration continued early in the second half as Cooke denied Deschino 18 seconds in.

With 36:45 to play, Deschino got free behind the defense, but was tackled in the box. Play was stopped and Deschino, the program’s last link to the 2013 Class B state championship team, was awarded a penalty kick.

“Mariah has done so much for this team,” Capers coach Craig Fannan said. “She’s such a positive influence. We graduated so many players and everything she does is about the team. She’s been superb. She’s playing balls through and giving a solid performance.”

Deschino couldn’t tie the game, however, as Cooke robbed her, going to her left and to her knees to knock the ball away.

After Chapin missed just wide, a one-timer from freshman Darcy Cochran trickled just wide and Cooke leapt to deny Dall on a free kick.

Finally, with 20:15 remaining, the Capers managed to find the goal.

Dall served a corner kick and Chapin managed to get part of her body on the ball and direct it past Cooke to make the score, 1-1.

Cape Elizabeth then looked to go ahead, but Cooke stopped a bid from junior Eleanor Roberts, denied Darcy Cochran and caught a long shot from Deschino.

With 2:19 left, sophomore Grace Gillian fired a shot which deflected off a defender and trickled toward the far post, but good fortune wasn’t in the Capers’ corner and the ball rolled just wide of the post.

On the ensuing corner kick, Dall’s serve landed in the box by the far post, but there was no one there to knock it home.

At that point, overtime seemed to be a certainty, but Falmouth went on the counterattack and after a fortuitous bounce off Wolf, Waite again got the ball with space and she sent a shot past Ingalls and just like that, with 40.6 seconds showing, the Yachtsmen had a stunning 2-1 lead.

“The ball was in the air and Madison touched it to me,” Waite said. “I got past my defender and one-timed it in. I hadn’t looked at the clock. When I got up and saw there were 40 seconds left, I felt relief.”

“It happened so quickly,” said Fannan. “It looked like a deflection that spun into her path. I’ve coached (Amelia) since U12 and I’ve always told her to be tough and she’s figured out that if the ball’s in front of her, no one is stopping her. We had three girls around her and she was able to finish. We lost the ball in a bad area, but how do you defend against someone that fast and that ruthless?”

The Capers made one last run to extend the game, but Chapin had the ball knocked away by Falmouth sophomore back Delaney Goodell with 29 seconds to go.

“Delaney has been, in my opinion, the best defensive player in the conference this year,” Pelletier said.

The Yachtsmen were able to run out the clock from there and got out of town with a 2-1 victory.

“Craig had them playing unbelievably well and that’s the worst we’ve played all year,” Pelletier said. “We played with no purpose and that’s all credit to Cape.  I was afraid they would finish one, but we got one.”

Cape Elizabeth outshot Falmouth, 15-4, got two saves from Ingalls and took four corner kicks to none for the Yachtsmen, but due to two quick Falmouth offensive strikes and 13 saves from Cooke, had nothing to show for its strong effort.

“It’s tough to explain,” Fannan said. “I told the girls that that’s just football and we have to get over it. It’s our best performance and we have to focus on the positives. It’s just not falling for us right now. We’re a young team. To see how far we’ve come and what we put on the field against a program like Falmouth gives me great pride.”

Playoffs loom

Cape Elizabeth (fifth in the Class B South Heal Points standings at press time) is back in action Tuesday at Freeport, then welcomes York in its home finale Thursday before closing at Gray-New Gloucester Oct. 18.

“We had one senior on the field in the second half, so we’ve got 10 players who will be well experienced, but we still have a chance for a good run in the playoffs this year,” Fannan said. “Everyone we’ve played, we’ve competed against except Yarmouth and if we get there, we’ll work on an answer for them. We’ll play our game and hopefully these unlucky bounces we’ve had, the coin will flip, and we’ll be able to finish.”

Falmouth (ninth in Class A South) is home versus Gray-New Gloucester on Senior Night Thursday, then finishes at Kennebunk Saturday and at York Oct. 18.

“This picks up our confidence because we’ve had tough losses,” Waite said. “Everybody’s getting healthy. I’m hoping we can make some noise in the playoffs. I really think we will.”

“We have three more winnable games that could potentially put us in a good spot in Class A,” Pelletier said. “We haven’t talked about playoffs once. We don’t care who we play. We’ve played the best team in the state in Yarmouth and some of the other best teams in the state in Cape Elizabeth, Greely and York. We’ll be ready.

“This is a different team than I’ve had at Falmouth and I think we’re destined to have a good run. The girls don’t care who scores, who gets the assists, who makes the hustle play. They want the collective group to succeed.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Cape Elizabeth freshman Darcy Cochran shoots on Falmouth senior goalkeeper Adelaide Cooke.

Cape Elizabeth junior captain Bridget Brett chases after the ball with Falmouth junior Amelia Waite in hot pursuit.

Cape Elizabeth senior Sarah Knupp and Falmouth senior captain Lucy Mahoney fight for the ball.

Falmouth senior goalkeeper Adelaide Cooke skies for one of her 13 saves.

Midway through the second half, Cape Elizabeth sophomore Riley Dall serves up a corner kick…

Which Cape Elizabeth freshman Karli Chapin knocks past Falmouth senior goalkeeper Adelaide Cooke to tie the game, 1-1.

As Falmouth senior captain Lucy Mahoney looks on, Cape Elizabeth sophomore goalkeeper Alison Ingalls dives in vain for Amelia Waite’s game-winning goal with 40.6 seconds left on the clock.

Recent Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth meetings

@ Falmouth 2 Cape Elizabeth 1 

@ Falmouth 1 Cape Elizabeth 0
@ Cape Elizabeth 1 Falmouth 0 

Cape Elizabeth 3 @ Falmouth 0
@ Cape Elizabeth 2 Falmouth 1 

Falmouth 2 @ Cape Elizabeth 0
Cape Elizabeth 2 @ Falmouth 1 

Falmouth 2 @ Cape Elizabeth 1
Cape Elizabeth 3 @ Falmouth 1

@ Falmouth 1 Cape Elizabeth 1 (tie)
Falmouth 1 @ Cape Elizabeth (OT)

Falmouth 2 @ Cape Elizabeth 0
Cape Elizabeth 1 @ Falmouth 0 (2 OT)

@ Cape Elizabeth 2 Falmouth 2 (tie)
@ Falmouth 5 Cape Elizabeth 1

@ Falmouth 1 Cape Elizabeth 0
Falmouth 2 @ Cape Elizabeth 1

Falmouth 1 @ Cape Elizabeth 0
@ Falmouth 5 Cape Elizabeth 1

@ Cape Elizabeth 0 Falmouth 0 (tie)
@ Falmouth 1 Cape Elizabeth 1 (tie)

@ Falmouth 4 Cape Elizabeth 0
@ Cape Elizabeth 1 Falmouth 1 (tie)

@ Falmouth 2 Cape Elizabeth 2 (tie)
Falmouth 4 @ Cape Elizabeth 0

@ Falmouth 1 Cape Elizabeth 1 (tie)
@ Cape Elizabeth 0 Falmouth 0 (tie)

Cape Elizabeth 3 @ Falmouth 0
@ Cape Elizabeth 2 Falmouth 0

@ Falmouth 1 Cape Elizabeth 0

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