FREEPORT — Corner kicks were kind to the Yarmouth boys’ soccer team Thursday evening at Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field.

The Clippers not only successfully defended nine corners attempted by host Freeport, but on one of them, they counterattacked and produced the only goal of the game.

In the latest installment of what has become a hotly contested rivalry between the neighboring schools, the 2019 Class B champions got a goal from Gabe Collins in the 23rd minute and made it stand up for a 1-0 victory.

“Corner kicks and dead balls are something we work on a lot in practice a lot, so we deal with them pretty easily because we know what to expect and we trust our players to win those chances,” said Clippers senior captain and defensive standout Evan Van Lonkhuysen.

The Falcons couldn’t capitalize on a couple early chances, but were primed to take the lead with they earned a corner with 17 minutes to go before halftime. They couldn’t produce a shot, however, and Yarmouth countered (4-1) in dizzying fashion, as Reed Bouton made a nice run up the left sideline, then crossed the ball to Collins, who got just enough space away from a defender to launch a shot that goalkeeper Colin Cronin couldn’t reach. “I saw an opening and kept running,” Collins said. “I knew (Reed) would cross it, so I cut in front of the defender, then tapped it in. I just wanted to get a foot on it and I made nice contact.”

“That was a great breakout,” said Yarmouth Coach Mike Hagerty, who has never lost to the Falcons in his 24 seasons with the Clippers. “Those were two kids who just went in the game. Reed had a great ball. Good for Gabe for getting it. I’m really proud of them. We need our bench this year and for them to contribute was huge. They made the most of their minutes.”

Freeport took six corner kicks in the second half, and as time wound down put serious pressure on Yarmouth. In the waning seconds, off the Falcons’ last corner kick, Yarmouth goalkeeper Zhi Cowles (six saves) twice punched the ball out of harm’s way.

“(Defense) is a team effort,” said Van Lonkhuysen. “We defend with every player on the field and that’s something we take a lot of pride in.”

Freeport (1-2), which has a young squad this fall, got five saves from Cronin and produced a much closer game than expected, but couldn’t quite find a way to finish.

“I was really proud of our effort,” said Falcons Coach Bob Strong. “I thought our defense was really solid from front to back. It was frustrating not to score, but we earned the corners. The goals will come. We had our chances. We played well enough to win tonight.

“We’re a really young team. Just one senior out there. It shows a lot of promise for our guys.”

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