YARMOUTH—Mother Nature spoiled what have might have been a dramatic finish Saturday evening at Yarmouth High School.

The host Yarmouth Clippers and visiting Cape Elizabeth Capers produced a memorable early-season contest between up-and-coming squads that ultimately didn’t deliver any resolution.

The Clippers struck first, midway through the first period, when sophomore Izzy Gilbert scored and thanks to the heroics of senior goalie Cassie Walsh, held that advantage deep into the fourth quarter.

Then, with just 6:11 to play, senior Camden Woods finally solved Walsh to tie the score.

After the Capers failed to win it late in regulation, the game appeared poised for overtime, but thunder and lightning interfered and the extra session was wiped out with the game going into the books as a 1-1 draw.

Cape Elizabeth remains undefeated at 3-0-1, while Yarmouth’s four-game win streak was snapped, leaving the Clippers 4-1-1 on the season.

“What a bummer we couldn’t finish,” said Capers coach Maura Bisogni. “I thought it was a great game. It would have been a really exciting overtime.”

“It’s a wicked bummer we couldn’t finish the game,” said Clippers coach Molly Saunders. “Honestly it could have very well gone either way.”

Surging

Cape Elizabeth went 7-8 in 2019 and lost to Lake Region in the Class B South quarterfinals before going 3-4-1 a year ago, but so far in 2021, the Capers have been impressive, outscoring their first three foes by a composite 18-1 margin. Cape Elizabeth began with an 11-0 home win over Wells, then blanked visiting Fryeburg Academy (5-0) and held off visiting Lake Region (2-1).

Yarmouth, meanwhile, was 6-8-1 in 2019 (losing to Fryeburg Academy in the quarterfinals) and went 5-4 a year ago, in Saunders’ first season as coach.

The Clippers started 2021 with a 4-3 home loss to St. Dom’s, then turned things around with a 2-1 home win over Freeport, then blanked host Greely (1-0), host Wells (3-0) and visiting Gray-New Gloucester (4-0), before edging visiting Poland Thursday, 2-1, on sophomore Colleen Lynch’s goal in the second-overtime.

A year ago, Yarmouth won at Cape Elizabeth, 4-1.

Saturday’s game began under foggy skies, which eventually cleared, but late in the contest, the skies darkened, rain fell, then it got even worse.

On the field, the Capers pressured early, but Walsh stood tall, denying junior Grace Gray.

Yarmouth sophomore Sophie Smith tries to get past Cape Elizabeth senior Haley Hemeon as classmate Zofia Leary-Forray also defends during the teams’ 1-1 tie Saturday. Hoffer photo.

The Clippers then struck quickly for the lead, as Gilbert managed to beat Cape Elizabeth sophomore goalie Zoe Burgard with 7:32 to play in the first quarter.

“It was nice to score first and get that little breathing room at the beginning of the game, but we knew that wasn’t going to be enough,” Saunders said.

Late in the first, sophomore Sophie Smith hoped to double the lead, but she was robbed on a rush, then Burgard turned away a rebound shot from Gilbert and another rebound attempt from Smith.

Walsh opened the second period with a dazzling, diving save on a shot from junior Kaitlyn McIntyre.

At the other end, Burgard saved a bid from senior Cat Jordan.

Late in the half, Woods rushed in but was robbed by Walsh and on her knees, Walsh turned aside a rebound attempt as well.

In the first half, Yarmouth had a 6-5 edge in shots on cage, each goalie made five saves and both teams had a couple of penalty corners.

There was little separation in the second half as well.

Early in the third quarter, Gray set up sophomore Maddy Hansen for a good look which rolled just wide.

Gray then hoped to tie the score, but Walsh kicked her shot aside.

Midway through the frame, the Clippers nearly added to their lead, but Burgard saved a shot from Smith and Jordan’s rebound bid went just wide.

After Gray was just wide on a rush, the Capers had back-to-back penalty corners with nothing to show for it.

With 1:15 remaining in the third, junior Meghan Conley crossed the ball to Gray, who appeared primed to tie it, but Walsh dove from nowhere to make the save and allow Yarmouth to take a one-goal lead to the fourth period.

There, with rain falling and the threat of thunder and lightning ever present, the Clippers tried to close it out while Cape Elizabeth fought hard for the equalizer.

A minute in, Walsh saved a shot from junior Abbie Homicz.

After Woods missed wide, Yarmouth transitioned to offense and hoped to get an insurance goal, but Smith was robbed by Burgard.

Then, with 6:11 to play, the Capers finally struck, as senior Haley Hemeon set up Woods for a shot which Walsh couldn’t stop and the game was deadlocked, 1-1.

Down the stretch, Cape Elizabeth had ample chances to win it, but Walsh made a superb kick save on a shot from McIntyre, Gray missed on a corner and in the waning seconds, Conley’s shot was saved by Walsh, sending the contest to overtime.

But it never got there.

At the end of regulation, before the countdown could begin for OT, thunder was heard and play was halted. By rule, a game can’t resume until a minimum of 30 minutes after the last bolt of lightning is seen or the last clap of thunder is heard, but after a couple thunder boomers forced the clock to be re-set, lightning was seen in the area and that was enough for the powers to be to say enough was enough and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

“Yarmouth came out really strong and played really well and it took us a little bit of time to start connecting,” Bisogni said. “I was really proud of how our team just kept going and powered through. Yarmouth’s defense and goalie are strong. but the team just kept on grinding and believing that one would eventually go it. This was the first game we haven’t led in.”

“Overall, it was a very fun game to watch and as always, the weather keeps it interesting,” Saunders said. “We’re looking forward to having the chance to see (Cape) in the postseason for a rematch.”

Cape Elizabeth finished with a 12-8 shots advantage, had a 6-2 edge in penalty corners and got seven saves from Burgard.

Walsh stole the show for the Clippers, making 17 saves, several of them of the spectacular variety.

“Cassie Walsh showed up and had an amazing game with 17 saves and four of them being crucial on-the-ground scrambles in front of the net,” Saunders said. “We played a big defensive game, but our girls came to play as we knew this was going to be a tough fight. Our defense had some big stops in key moments of the game.”

Long way to go

Yarmouth is back in action Monday night when perennial regional champion York pays a visit. Thursday, the Clippers visit Poland.

“We are still a young team and we’re taking it game by game,” said Saunders. “We take a little bit of good and the bad from each game and try to improve it the best way we can.”

Cape Elizabeth hopes to stay undefeated when it welcomes Gray-New Gloucester Monday. After a home game versus Greely Thursday, the Capers host Fryeburg Academy Sept. 27.

“I think this was a great learning experience about making adjustments and coming from behind that will serve us well as the season continues,” said Bisogni.

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

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