YARMOUTH—For Falmouth’s girls’ soccer team, this one was definitely worth the wait.

Worth the wait of starting a season nearly four weeks later than scheduled.

Worth the wait of sweating out a decision of whether or not there would be a season at all.

And worth the wait to square off with a one-time fierce rival in a countable game after a four-year absence.

Wednesday evening, the Yachtsmen traveled to Yarmouth to meet a Clippers’ team that already had one game under their belt in this unorthodox season, but it was Falmouth that came out sizzling.

The Yachtsmen carried play for much of the first half and were rewarded in the game’s eighth minute, when senior Lexi Bugbee’s free kick found the foot of classmate Devin Quinn for a goal and a 1-0 lead.

Falmouth wasn’t able to strike again, but its ability to control play in the midfield and play solid defense when needed proved to be the difference and the Yachtsmen went on to put a damper on Yarmouth’s Senior Night by a 1-0 score.

Falmouth won its season opener for the second year in a row and beat the Clippers for the first time since Oct. 20, 2015.

“I’m super-happy for everybody to get back and play,” said Yachtsmen coach Andrew Pelletier. “Although it’s not the same, it’s fun to come back (to Yarmouth) again. I think it’s something the state and conferences need to look at (playing countable games like these). You can feel the rivalry even though we haven’t played in years.”

Welcome back

Falmouth and Yamouth used to square off annually, often twice and on many occasions, three times a year, as they met in the playoffs seven times in an 11-year span between 2002-12 (the Yachtsmen won six of those games).

Since the start of the 2001 campaign, Falmouth had won 15 encounters to Yarmouth’s six, while eight other contests ended in draws (see below, for previous results).

In the last countable meeting, Sept. 24, 2016, Katie Clemmer scored twice and the eventual Class B champion Clippers beat the Yachtsmen, 4-0, to complete their lone season sweep this century. Falmouth then joined the Southwestern Maine Activities Association and the countable encounters stopped, until this fall, when due to COVID-19, teams are playing schools that are close geographically, rather than just those in their respective conferences.

Last year, Falmouth went 9-4-3, losing, 1-0, to eventual regional champion Scarborough in the Class A South quarterfinals.

Yarmouth got to the Class B South Final before losing to eventual repeat champion Cape Elizabeth, 3-0, to finish 13-3-1.

The Clippers began the 2020 season last Saturday with a 3-1 victory at Mt. Ararat, while the Yachtsmen had yet to play this fall.

Wednesday, on a 64-degree evening, Yarmouth honored its seniors (and their families), then dug an early hole from which it couldn’t extricate itself.

The only goal of the contest came on the first chance.

After a foul on the Clippers, Bugbee, a free kick wizard, lined one up from about 40-yards out and lofted the ball beautifully into the box, where Quinn, who timed her run perfectly, ran on to it and volleyed it past Yarmouth senior goalkeeper Kate Siegel and into the net for a 1-0 lead.

“Devin’s usually my target, so I usually try to put it somewhere where she can get on to it,” said Bugbee. “She’s great at putting it in the back of the net.”

“I just hoped to put a foot on it,” said Quinn. “Any touch on the ball in that spot is good.”

“Lexi and Devin have an awesome connection,” Pelletier added. “(Lexi’s) leadership and work rate are second to none. Both (Lexi and Devin) are phenomenal.”

Yarmouth’s only shot of the first half came from senior Emma Moll in the 15th minute, but Falmouth junior goalkeeper Jordan Wolf made the save.

Later in the half, Bugbee got the ball to Quinn again, but Quinn missed just wide and the contest went to the break with the Yachtsmen up by one.

Inspired by an impassioned speech from coach Andy Higgins at halftime, the Clippers came out on the attack in the second half, but senior Parker Harnett’s bid from the side was snared by Wolf.

After Siegel three times denied Bugbee, Yarmouth got bids from senior Gabby Thibodeau (which went just wide), junior Katelyn D’Appolonia (a low shot that Wolf saved) and sophomore Ava Feeley (a left-footed chip which forced Wolf to leap and come up with the ball), but couldn’t respond.

After a late Feeley shot went wide, Falmouth was able to run out the clock and celebrate its 1-0 victory.

“Yarmouth’s an amazing attacking team,” Quinn said. “They made it difficult for us when they went forward, but our defense did a great job.”

“I knew we’d be a little shaky, but I thought we came out and really controlled play for the majority of the first half and found the goal and in the second half, we had to defend and we defend well,” Pelletier said. “We limited their shots. We didn’t graduate much defensively, so I hoped to come into the season and limit the amount of goals we give up. Yarmouth’s as good as anyone in Class A, so I’m happy.”

Each team took four shots, Wolf made four saves and the Yachtsmen took the only corner kick.

The Clippers got three saves from Siegel, but couldn’t dig out of their early hole.

“Credit to Falmouth,” Higgins said. “They’re a good side. Andrew always does a good job with them, having them prepared. We have to start games better. If we started the game like we did the second half, it might have been different. Once we adjusted, we were in a better situation, but they made it tough for us.

“We’re just glad to be out here. To have a chance to play a team like Falmouth and renew an old rivalry, we’re very fortunate. I’m proud of the kids. They battled to the end. That’s the heart they have and what I expect. It was great to thank the seniors and their families (before the game) for all they’ve done for four years.”

Growth

Yarmouth hopes to return to the win column next Wednesday when Cape Elizabeth pays a visit.

“We have to regroup quick because we have a tough game coming up with Cape next week,” Higgins said. “It doesn’t get any easier. We want to be competitive as possible and have a good time as well. With this crazy thing going on, we know we might not have a game next week. We want to make the best of it.”

Falmouth plays again next Tuesday when it welcomes Greely, another team it hasn’t met in a countable game in four seasons.

The Yachtsmen look to keep winning games and making the most of their opportunity to take the pitch.

“All the seniors are so excited to play,” Bugbee said. “I didn’t see it happening, so I’m trying to make the most of every moment. That’s my motto. I love rivalries. It’s fun to play new teams and new players. It’s a challenge. Any game could be our last game, so we’re just pushing hard and giving 100 percent.”

“We’re just grateful to have a season,” Quinn said. “It’s fun because we haven’t played teams like Yarmouth and Cape before during our high school career. We just want to have fun and win some games.”

“This is my eighth year and when I started, this group was the little ball girls who were always at the games, so I really cherish this group,” Pelletier added. “We’re not thinking about next year. I want to give them the best senior year they could have. We’re going to compete every game.”

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

Recent Falmouth-Yarmouth results

2016
Yarmouth 4 @ Falmouth 1
@ Yarmouth 4 Falmouth 0

2015
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 1 (tie)
@ Falmouth 1 Yarmouth 0

2014
@ Falmouth 1 Yarmouth 1 (tie)
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 0

2013
Falmouth 3 @ Yarmouth 1
@ Falmouth 0 Yarmouth 0 (tie)

2012
@ Yarmouth 0 Falmouth 0 (tie)
@ Falmouth 3 Yarmouth 1
@ Falmouth 2 Yarmouth 0 (Western B quarterfinals)

2011
Falmouth 1 @ Yarmouth 0 (OT)
Yarmouth 1 @ Falmouth 0
@ Falmouth 4 Yarmouth 0 (Western Class B quarterfinals)

2010
@ Yarmouth 3 Falmouth 2
@ Falmouth 0 Yarmouth 0 (tie)
Falmouth 1 @ Yarmouth 0 (Western Class B semifinals)

2009
Falmouth 2 @ Yarmouth 1 (OT)
@ Falmouth 1 Yarmouth 1 (tie)

2008
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 0
@ Falmouth 2 Yarmouth 0

2007
@ Falmouth 1 Yarmouth 0
Falmouth 3 @ Yarmouth 0

2006
@ Falmouth 2 Yarmouth 2 (tie)
Falmouth 2 @ Yarmouth 0
@ Falmouth 2 Yarmouth 1 (Western Class B Final)

2005
@ Yarmouth 0 Falmouth 0 (tie)
@ Falmouth 1 Yarmouth 0 (2 OT)
@ Falmouth 1 Yarmouth 0 (OT) (Western Class B Final)

2004
@ Falmouth 2 Yarmouth 1
@ Yarmouth 3 Falmouth 0

2003
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 0
@ Yarmouth 2 Falmouth 1 (Western Class B semifinals)

2002
Falmouth 1 @ Yarmouth 0
@ Falmouth 3 Yarmouth 3
@ Falmouth 3 Yarmouth 1 (Western Class B semifinals)

2001
@ Falmouth 2 Yarmouth 0
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 0 (2 OT)

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