YARMOUTH—If you’re playing Falmouth’s boys’ soccer team, you better get back on defense.

And even if you do, there’s no guarantee you can keep the prolific Yachtsmen off the board.

Yarmouth found that out the hard way Tuesday evening on its home turf, as the Clippers did a lot of things right and only surrendered three shots on goal in the first half.

But all three found the mark, as Falmouth’s unrivaled transition game led to yet another victory.

In a battle of ancient rivals and defending state champions, the reigning Class A champs staggered last year’s Class B winner with two goals in 35-seconds to seize control.

In the game’s 10th minute, junior Charlie Adams finished and before that goal could even be announced, Adams set up senior captain Gus Ford for a quick 2-0 advantage.

After Yarmouth pushed hard to answer and even hit the post, Adams scored again just before halftime for a three-goal lead.

It’s hard enough to score one goal on the Yachtsmen, not to mention three, and the Clippers couldn’t respond as Falmouth went on to a 3-0 victory.

The Yachtsmen swept two games from Yarmouth this fall, perhaps the final countable contests between the programs for quite some time, and improved to 5-0-1 on the year, dropping the Clippers to 4-2 in the process.

“This shows even though we lost a good amount of people last year, we can still compete,” Adams said. “We’ve wanted to play Yarmouth and beating them feels as good as beating anyone in Class A.”

Final act?

After a three-year hiatus of playing countable games, due to Falmouth leaving the Western Maine Conference for the Southwestern Maine Activities Association, the rivals renewed acquaintances on Oct. 3 and junior Mason Farr’s early goal held up for a 1-0 Yachtsmen victory.

That was just part of a strong start for the defending Class A champions, who opened by doubling up host Portland (4-2), then, after downing the Clippers, settled for a 2-2 draw at Greely and defeated visiting Cape Elizabeth (2-1) before giving longtime coach Dave Halligan his 400th victory with the program last Thursday, 3-0, at Brunswick.

Yarmouth opened with a 7-0 win over Mt. Ararat, then, following a 1-0 setback at Falmouth, downed host Cape Elizabeth and visiting Greely by 4-0 margins. Last Thursday, the Clippers held on to beat host Freeport, 1-0.

Falmouth’s win earlier this month gave it a 19-13 edge over Yarmouth, with six ties, dating to the start of the 2001 season (see below, for previous results).

Tuesday, on a 55-degree, rain-free evening, the Yachtsmen made yet another impressive statement.

The Clippers got the first chance, but a free kick from senior Evan Van Lonkhuysen was cleared.

Falmouth then transitioned to offense, but Van Lonkhuysen broke up Ford’s rush.

After the Yachtsmen had consecutive corner kicks that didn’t result in a shot, Yarmouth tried to go back on the attack, but turned the ball over and in the blink of an eye, the visitors had the game’s first goal.

Senior captain Sam Gearan set it up by bringing the ball up the middle of the field. He then passed to Adams to his right and Adams raced in, forced Yarmouth junior goalkeeper Zhi Cowles to commit, then shot just inside the far post for a 1-0 lead with 30:57 to go in the first half.

“We have such a good offense and I trust everyone to move the ball,” Adams said. “When we have it, good things happen. I just saw the goalie was hugging the front post, so I tried to chip it and luckily it went in. It was a big momentum boost and gave us confidence to get the next one.”

The next one came a mere 35 seconds later, as again Falmouth got the ball going in transition and this time, Adams passed to Ford, who sped past a defender, then dribbled along the end line before shooting past Cowles to make it 2-0.

Just like that.

“Charlie luckily poked the ball out for me and I saw end line, got end line, started looking for my teammates, then I saw (the goalie) come off his line a little bit, so I just snuck it in near post,” said Ford. “We made our runs and made space for our teammates which was good. Yarmouth’s well organized in the middle, so our philosophy was to go outside and we did a good job of that.”

“(Charlie and Gus) have speed and skill and that’s a dangerous combination,” said Halligan.

The Clippers then tilted the field and had some good opportunities to get back in the game.

After junior Asher Lockwood shot high, junior Aiden Kamm had a rush broken up in the box and senior Baden McLaughlin missed wide.

With 15:54 left in the half, Van Lonkhuysen played a free kick into the box which Falmouth senior goalkeeper Tanner Daniels couldn’t reach and McLaughlin had a great chance to cut the deficit in half, but his shot hit the post and McLaughlin was just wide with the rebound.

Later in the half, Daniels saved a header from freshman Will Caruso to preserve the 2-0 lead.

Which quickly turned to 3-0 with 3:17 to play in the half.

Courtesy Adams, who simply wouldn’t be denied.

This time, Ford set up Adams, who barely beat one defender to the ball, eluded another then shot past Cowles to put the Yachtsmen firmly in control.

“That was a little lucky,” Adams said. “I barely beat the first defender, then I saw the second one coming on, so I gave a little move, then put it in.”

“Charlie’s special,” Halligan said. “He’s improved so much. He’s a lot of fun to watch.”

“We always talk about the most important goal in any game being the third goal,” said veteran Yarmouth coach Mike Hagerty. “If we could have gotten it to 2-1, we’d have an energy boost. The third goal did us in.”

The Yachtsmen had a 3-1 edge in shots on frame and a 5-1 advantage in corners, but the first half play wasn’t as lopsided as the score would have suggested.

“I thought Yarmouth played pretty well in the first half, but we were opportunistic,” said Halligan. “That’s the way it goes sometimes. A team like (Yarmouth) can expend a lot of energy trying to come back and that can wear you down as a game goes on.”

“I thought we played a pretty good first half, but they had three shots and three goals,” lamented Hagerty. “They finished and when a team shoots three-for-three, you’re going to be in for a long night. It’s weird to think you can be down 3-0 and have that be the better half you played.”

Not surprisingly, the Clippers came out strong to start the second half as well, but their frustration continued.

Yarmouth earned a corner kick that was deflected out for another chance and Van Lonkhuysen served a ball right on the doorstep, but no teammate could reach it and was cleared to set up one final corner which was headed away by Falmouth senior captain Cole Fairfield.

“Our defense is a huge part of our team,” Adams said. “They’re consistent every game.”

Clippers senior scoring threat Ian LaBrie had a rush broken up in the box, then McLaughlin missed wide.

Later, Van Lonkhuysen sent another free kick into a dangerous spot, but Daniels punched it away.

Another Van Lonkhuysen free kick was cleared and a left-footed attempt from freshman Adam McLaughlin missed just wide.

The Yachtsmen ran out the clock from there and celebrated their 3-0 triumph.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Ford. “(Yarmouth’s) a really good team. I know a lot of guys over there. We like playing good teams and they’re one of the best. We’ve looked forward to playing them. We always want to get better and today, we clicked. Usually by postseason, we’re one unit and that’s still the goal this year.”

“This is a special team,” Halligan said. “Unfortunately, the season’s the way it is, but we’ve tried to make it as normal as possible and treat games like it’s the tournament and you can do that against good teams.”

Falmouth out-shot Yarmouth, 5-1, and got one save from Daniels. The Yachtsmen had a 8-4 advantage in corner kicks.

The Clippers got two saves from Cowles, but couldn’t find a way to get the ball in the net.

“I thought we played well in the first half, but they were just better than us in the second half,” Hagerty said. “They’re good one-on-one. They capitalize. They get everything on frame. Give them credit. Their seniors are very good and their juniors are very good too. They’re a hard team to climb back against.

“I think they’re the best team in the state and they showed it tonight. Our effort was good, but we still have to play cleaner when we play faster and that team will make us play faster. I thought most of the game, our short passing in the midfield was good. We had three, four passes at times and held possession at times, but they were better in each box, defensively in their box and offensively in our box. It brought me back to the late-1990s, early-2000s when you could play them even in the middle 80 (yards) of the field, but inside both 18s, it’s very different.”

A permanent fixture?

Falmouth and Yarmouth won’t play another countable game for the foreseeable future, unless the conference/schedule structure changes.

Each team has a few games left in this abbreviated season to look forward to.

The Clippers return to action Thursday afternoon when they host crosstown rival North Yarmouth Academy. After welcoming Freeport Saturday, Yarmouth hosts Mt. Ararat Oct. 28 and closes at Greely Oct. 31.

“(This game) reminds us that if we want to be as good as we think we can be, we have to be cleaner and stronger,” Hagerty said. “We’ll learn from this and move on to our next games. Our effort will always be there. It’s a balance between trying to get seniors minutes and younger kids some experience. We’ve got some games coming up where I think we can play a lot of kids.”

Falmouth has two scheduled games remaining, both at home, versus Greely Friday and against Brunswick Tuesday of next week.

“We want to have the best games we can,” Halligan said. “We train just like any other year. Some of these guys want to play in college and we’d be doing them a dis-service if we just went through the motions. The younger guys, it’s like an extra preseason for them, then we’ll build from it. I wish we could play forever.”

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

Recent Falmouth-Yarmouth results

2020
@ Falmouth 1 Yarmouth 0

2016
Falmouth 5 @ Yarmouth 3
@ Falmouth 5 Yarmouth 0

2015
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 0
Yarmouth 2 @ Falmouth 0

2014
Falmouth 5 @ Yarmouth 2
Yarmouth 3 @ Falmouth 0

2013
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 0
Yarmouth 6 @ Falmouth 1

2012
@ Yarmouth 2 Falmouth 2 (tie)
Yarmouth 2 @ Falmouth 1 (2 OT)
Falmouth 2 @ Yarmouth 0 (Western B Final)

2011
@ Yarmouth 2 Falmouth 1
@ Falmouth 1 Yarmouth 0

2010
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 0
Yarmouth 2 @ Falmouth 1
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 0 (OT) (Western Class B Final)

2009
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 1 (tie) 
@ Falmouth 1 Yarmouth 1 (tie)
@ Falmouth 3 Yarmouth 0 (Western Class B Final)

2008
@ Falmouth 2 Yarmouth 1 (OT)
Falmouth 1 @ Yarmouth 0
Yarmouth 2 @ Falmouth 1 (Western Class B Final)

2007
Falmouth 1 @ Yarmouth 0
Yarmouth 1 @ Falmouth 0
@ Falmouth 1 Yarmouth 0 (Western Class B semifinals)

2006
@ Falmouth 0 Yarmouth 0 (tie)
Falmouth 3 @ Yarmouth 1
@ Falmouth 2 Yarmouth 0 (Western Class B semifinals)

2005
Yarmouth 2 @ Falmouth 0
Falmouth 1 @ Yarmouth 0

2004
@ Falmouth 0 Yarmouth 0 (tie)

2003
Falmouth 1 @ Yarmouth 0

2002
@ Falmouth 4 Yarmouth 0
Falmouth 1 @ Yarmouth 0
@ Falmouth 2 Yarmouth 0 (Western Class B semifinals)

2001
@ Yarmouth 2 Falmouth 2 (tie)
@ Falmouth 4 Yarmouth 0

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