YARMOUTH — At first it seemed as if Hannah Dwyer must be offside, running alone behind the Freeport defense, chasing after a soccer ball she clearly would not reach before Falcons keeper Leah Rusiecki.

But Dwyer heard no whistle, and even though Rusiecki was curling up to the ball, Dwyer continued to sprint.

“You never know what the goalie is going to do with the ball when she sees someone running toward them,” said Dwyer, a Yarmouth junior.

Indeed, on a blustery 45-degree afternoon, Dwyer saw Rusiecki momentarily lose her grasp on the ball. Dwyer reached in with her toe, extracted the ball, and peeled away toward the unguarded net for the tie-breaking goal as the defending state champion Clippers beat No. 5 Freeport 3-2 Wednesday in a Class B South girls’ soccer quarterfinal.

The No. 4 Clippers (10-5) advance to the regional semifinals Saturday at No. 1 Cape Elizabeth.

Dwyer scored twice Wednesday after Freeport (8-5-2) had taken an early 1-0 lead. Gabby Thibodeau made it 3-1 with a corner-kick conversion midway through the second half but the Falcons responded with a furious final 12 minutes. They made it 3-2 with just under seven minutes remaining when Catriona Gould scored on a penalty kick after being knocked down in the box.

“In the old days, Yarmouth goes up by two and they bury you,” Freeport Coach Dave Intraversato said. “But we stayed right in it. The girls played hard, with a lot of heart. We started to kick some offense in and just couldn’t find the back of the net at the end.”

Olivia Feeley and Ella Caruso anchored Yarmouth’s back line in front of goalie Hope Olson, who made four saves. Freeport had taken a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute when Rachel Wall somehow broke free from among three defenders and had a clear shot from eight yards away, directly in front of the goal.

“Not one of our finer moments on the back line,” Feeley said, “but it happens and we moved on well. I’m really proud of how everyone responded to that goal.”

Yarmouth got the equalizer in the 24th minute after an Abi Hincks shot turned out to be a perfect setup for Dwyer from close range.

Eight minutes later, Feeley sent a long ball over a Freeport defense attempting an offsides trap, with only Dwyer in pursuit. Rusiecki got there first, but Dwyer wound up with the goal and the Clippers took a 2-1 lead into intermission.

Rusiecki finished with six saves, including two diving stops to keep Freeport in contention.

“I thought we controlled the game extremely well,” Yarmouth Coach Chris Coleman said. “We were always going to create chances. It came down to whether or not we were going to take them, and (Wednesday) we did.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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