Yarmouth sophomore Katelyn D’Appolonia boots the ball up the field as Cape Elizabeth senior Olivia Cochran (4) and sophomore Maggie Cochran defend. Hoffer photo.

YARMOUTH—Two days after a frustrating tie, Yarmouth’s girls’ soccer team went out and made a powerful statement Monday afternoon when the Clippers hosted defending Class B state champion Cape Elizabeth.

Yarmouth proved opportunistic in the first half, then held on for dear life in the second as it ended the Capers’ 19-game win streak and made a powerful early statement in the first of a likely three meetings between the rivals this autumn.

The game wasn’t even five minutes old when the Clippers took a 1-0 lead on a corner kick off the foot of senior Adrianna Whitlock which went off the head of a Cape Elizabeth defender and into the net for an own goal.

The Capers answered right back like the champions they are, however, as sophomore standout Maggie Cochran scored with 18 minutes to go before halftime.

In the 31st minute, Yarmouth went back on top as sophomore Katelyn D’Appolonia, who spent most of the game defending Cochran to the best of her ability, buried a gorgeous 30-yard free kick for the lead.

In the second half, Cape Elizabeth pushed hard for the equalizer, but the Clippers’ defense and senior goalkeeper Hope Olson held the Capers at bay and Yarmouth went on to a 2-1 victory.

The Clippers improved to 2-0-1 on the young season, handed Cape Elizabeth its first loss since 2017 and dropped the Capers to 1-1 in the process.

“It feels really good to win this one,” said D’Appolonia. “This boosts our energy for the rest of the season.”

The favorites

Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth are viewed by most pundits as the two favorites in Class B South, especially since they combined for the past three state titles.

The Capers opened with a 5-2 win over visiting Greely, their 19th successive victory dating back to last year.

The Clippers, who welcomed a new coach, Andy Higgins, this fall, started with a 4-1 home victory over York, then settled for Saturday’s 1-1 home tie versus Lake Region. Yarmouth had 22 shots on frame, but just one found the mark (a late strike from D’Appolonia).

“That game was very frustrating, but we played well,” said Higgins.

Last year, Cape Elizabeth won both regular season meetings, 1-0 at home in double overtime and 3-0 in Yarmouth, but in the Class B South semifinals, the Clippers gave the Capers fits before host Cape Elizabeth advanced, 2-1.

Tuesday, on a 64-degree, overcast afternoon, the Capers sought their fourth consecutive win over the Clippers and their 20th in a row overall, but Yarmouth handed the Capers their first loss since knocking them off in the 2017 Class B South Final (1-0).

The Clippers always stress starting fast and they did so in this one, as in the second minute, junior Parker Harnett got free for a shot which Cape Elizabeth sophomore goalkeeper Elise Branch had to dive to save.

In the fifth minute, Yarmouth earned a corner kick and it resulted in an unorthodox goal.

Whitlock served the ball in and as you see so often on set pieces, it bounced off a head and into the net, but Whitlock hadn’t found a teammate. Instead, the ball hit a Capers’ defender and got past Branch and the own goal (which was credited to Whitlock) made it 1-0 Clippers.

“Today the ball bounced our way,” Higgins said.

Cape Elizabeth then pushed for the equalizer.

In the 11th minute, Cochran got past D’Appolonia and fired a shot from the side which Olson had to leap to tip out, setting up a corner kick, which didn’t result in anything.

After Olson saved a shot by junior Abbey Agrodnia, Cochran set up junior Laura Ryer, but she just couldn’t direct the ball on target.

Cochran managed to tie the score with 18 minutes to go before the break, as sophomore Emily Supple sent the ball up the field, a Yarmouth defender couldn’t stop it and Cochran beat Olson one-on-one to tie the score, 1-1.

Cochran nearly gave the Capers then lead a minute later, but missed just wide.

The Clippers then regained control in the 31st minute, as after a Cape Elizabeth foul, D’Appolonia set up from about 30 yards out, to Branch’s right, and lofted a perfect shot toward the goal. Branch leaped in vain and the ball wound up in the net, giving Yarmouth a 2-1 lead with 9:28 left before halftime.

“I was aiming for back post and it felt good off my foot,” said D’Appolonia. “It was a blessing it went in.”

“(Katelyn) drew the assignment of one of the best players around,” said Higgins. “That was her task today and getting a goal out of her was a big bonus. She’s just a competitor. She’ll do whatever the team needs. She rose to the challenge.”

Late in the half, Branch denied Clippers senior Audrey Goessling and Cochran’s bid to tie the score trickled just wide.

Yarmouth had a 5-3 edge in shots on frame in the first half.

Play then tilted Cape Elizabeth’s way in the second half.

With 33:55 to go in regulation, off a corner kick, the ball deflected in front to Capers junior Sami Olsen, who had a great look, but shot high.

After Olson denied sophomore Penny Haydar, the Clippers earned a corner kick, but junior Anna Wallace missed just high.

With 22:45 left, Ryer’s left-footed shot was denied by Olson.

A minute later, the visitors earned a corner kick, but Olson punched the ball out of harm’s way.

After Ryer missed wide, Olsen got the ball to Supple on a free kick, but Supple’s shot was blocked.

With 11:12 remaining, state game hero, senior Karli Chapin, had a great look after a failed clear, but she missed the net.

Down the stretch, Olson denied Haydar and Olsen and the Clippers held on for the 2-1 victory.

Yarmouth senior goalkeeper Hope Olson is congratulated by seniors Ashlyn Feeley, left, Ehryn Groothoff and Adrianna Whitlock at the final horn. Hoffer photo.

“(Cape) had a lot of chances at the end,” said D’Appolonia. “We had to keep our composure and communicate and play how we play.”

“This was a big test,” Higgins said. “It’s nice to rebound from Saturday. We played really hard out of the gate. Give Cape credit. They’re a phenomenal team and they had us on our heels. We stayed organized and took care of our assignments. It could have gone either way. It was a fun game. A character game. We had to fight. We bent, but didn’t break. Good teams play for each other and that’s one of our big goals.”

Olson made nine saves and got a lot of help from D’Appolonia and the rest of the defense.

“Maggie’s so good, but I didn’t do it alone,” said D’Appolonia. “The whole team contributed. I was a little nervous at the beginning, but I calmed down and just play the way I play.”

“We did a good job making sure (Katelyn) got help when Maggie got the ball,” said Higgins. “Maggie’s three handfuls, but we did a good job holding her at bay.”

Cape Elizabeth had a 10-7 edge in shots on frame, took four corner kicks to Yarmouth’s two and got five saves from Branch.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” said Capers’ second-year coach Graham Forsyth, who lost a game for the first time in his tenure. “Honestly, after this, the girls don’t fear (Yarmouth). We gave them too much respect in the first half. We let them dictate the game and spread the ball around. They barely left their half in the second half. The only way they scored was on set pieces. It wasn’t perfect today. We made mistakes we don’t normally make.”

Up next

The rivals square off again Oct. 5 in Cape Elizabeth.

Each team will be tested on multiple occasions in the interim.

Cape Elizabeth is idle until next Tuesday when it hosts Wells.

“We didn’t win or lose anything tonight,” Forsyth said. “We need to look ahead. We have 12 more games and we’ll learn from this. Now that it’s over, I expect we’ll bounce back. We need some time to get healthy.”

Yarmouth has two more home games upcoming, versus Greely Saturday and Freeport Tuesday of next week, making it five in a row to start the year.

“”We’re adapting really well,” D’Appolonia said. “We have to keep communicating and playing as a team. I think we can go far.”

“We have to regroup,” Higgins said. “We have to fix some things before we have a big one with Greely Saturday. For some strange reason, the schedule split this way. We have to take care of our home field, then focus on road games when they come. This is our house and our goal is to take care of our house.”

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

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