Members of the Kennebunk girls’ soccer team prepare for a direct kick from a Falmouth player midway through the second half of a game. The Rams’ played to a 1-1 double overtime draw in Falmouth. (SAM BONSEY/JOURNAL TRIBUNE)

FALMOUTH – Coming in losing two of its first three games and facing an undefeated Falmouth High on its home turf, the Kennebunk girls’ soccer team didn’t appear to be phased in the least.

In fact, knowing they weren’t expected to pull off an upset seemed to loosen up the Rams.

“I think coming in here kind of not having that pressure and knowing we’re the underdogs, we didn’t have much to lose,” said Kennebunk head coach Shannon Cavanaugh. “It was exciting for sure.”

Tiernan Connor’s goal late in the first half put the Rams ahead, but Yachtsmen forward Lexi Bugbee scored the equalizer with 27:23 left in the second as the teams battled to a 1-1 double overtime draw.

Falmouth (3-0-1) controlled the field of play for most of the first half and were able to put a few shots on goal, but Kennebunk (1-2-1) stood pat on the defensive end. The Rams’ took advantage of the few offensive opportunities they had when Connor scored from just outside the box to make it 1-0 with 12:19 left in the first.

Rams forward Emily Archibald’s shot on goal with 32 minutes left went just wide right of the net. Two minutes later, Falmouth drew a corner kick, but couldn’t convert. After a Kennebunk foul, Lexi Bugbee lofted a beautiful direct kick that found the top left corner of the net to tie the game with 27 minutes to go. 

Both teams squandered scoring opportunities late in regulation. With Falmouth probing near the Kennebunk net, a shot bounced near the goal and almost trickled in but Rams midfielder Isabella Real stopped the ball from going in to preserve the tie.

“That (save) was huge for us,” Cavanaugh said. “For us as a team, when those plays happen, it gives us such a boost of momentum.” 

Then, with six minutes remaining, Miranda Durcan found an opening in the Yachtsmen defense and fired a shot that narrowly missed the goal. Neither team was able to garner many more chances and had to settle for a tie.

Even though Falmouth showed resilience by coming back to tie the game, head coach Andrew Pelletier said he saw room for improvement from his team.

“It wasn’t our best performance … We left our style of play,” Pelletier said. “We played differently due to a bit of pressure. Kennebunk played really well tonight, and kudos to them.”

For a Kennebunk squad that had a rocky opening to its season, Cavanaugh was thrilled with how her team executed, and earning a draw against one of the top teams in Class A South is a credit to the Rams’ philosophy. 

“I think for us a lot of that energy comes from our character building,” Cavanaugh said. “We’ve really worked on being resilient and responding to adversity and those challenges … Our record hasn’t been great the first few games, but we’ve shown a lot of resiliency and have kept pushing forward.”

 

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