FALMOUTH — The Falmouth High girls’ soccer team hasn’t trailed often this season. When the Navigators found themselves down a goal early Wednesday night in a Class A South quarterfinal against Marshwood, they didn’t panic.

“We try to keep our minds in the game, and not freak out,” said Falmouth junior Abbie Ford. “It happened against Scarborough, too.”

The Navigators kept their cool, took the lead for good early in the second half on a goal by Ford, and held on for a 2-1 win.

Falmouth (14-1-1), the No. 2 seed, will host the winner of Thursday’s game between No. 6 Cheverus and No. 3 Gorham in the regional semifinals. No. 7 Marshwood ends its season at 8-6-2.

Ford’s go-ahead goal, with just over 33 minutes remaining, was a hard shot from the top of the box into the left corner of the net.

“(The ball) was just bouncing around. I stayed back for the rebound. The ball came back to me, so I (struck) it home,” Ford said.

Marshwood scored first, barely four minutes into the game, when Lilli Hammond’s shot off a rebound following a corner kick found the upper left corner.

“Our set pieces are where we’ve scored a lot,” said Marshwood Coach Chelsea Watson. “Lilli is a good striker with a nose for the ball.”

The Navigators tied it with 17:19 left in the first half. Sydney Shiben’s shot slipped through the hands of Marshwood goalie Samantha Arnold right to the foot of Gwen Long, who tapped the ball into the net.

“We’ve been in that situation a few times,” Falmouth Coach Andrew Pelletier said about playing from behind. “I thought Marshwood was very good for the first 15 minutes, then it was a lot of us.”

Falmouth controlled play before and after tying the goal, and also throughout the second half as it played with the lead. Aside from the early success, the Hawks never sustained an attack. A steady, strong wind out of the northeast was a factor. Falmouth’s attempts at long passes into the wind in the first half went nowhere, and the Hawks faced the same problem in the second half.

“Playing into that wind was difficult,” Pelletier said.

With no seniors on the roster, Marshwood might be the youngest team in the tournament. Picking up a win in the preliminary round over Portland and playing a strong Falmouth team tough showed growth in her inexperienced team, Watson said.

“This experience for them will be beneficial. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year, and the girls responded to the occasion,” Watson said.


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