HAMPDEN — Yarmouth boys’ soccer coach Mike Hagerty knows he has a smart team. His Clippers do something that reminds him of that nearly every day.

In the second half of the Class B state championship game Saturday against John Bapst, that reminder came on an adjustment to direct kicks suggested by senior captain Stevie Walsh, leading to the key play in the Clippers’ 3-2 win at Hampden Academy.

“They were just waiting for the last minute to drop their defensive line. I noticed that if we played the ball a little bit quicker and delayed our runs a little bit, it would open it up for a free header,” Walsh said. “Truman (Peters) played a great ball. I had gotten free from the guy that was marking me, and the ball was falling right toward my head. All I had to do was really hit it.”

Walsh’s suggestion worked. With the score tied midway through the second half, Yarmouth was awarded a direct kick on a yellow card to John Bapst’s Jack Mason. From 40 yards, Peters curled a pass to the left corner of the goal, where Walsh was able to head the ball into the net.

Walsh’s goal put Yarmouth ahead for good. The Clippers (14-2-2) earned their third straight state title, their seventh in eight seasons and 15th overall.

John Bapst ends the season at 16-1-1.


“All props go to Coach Hagerty. What he’s built here is a dynasty. It’s unbelievable to be a part of it,” Walsh said.

The Clippers had a pair of direct kicks in the first half that were unsuccessful. Peters said the team practices the play on which Walsh scored every day, but hadn’t quite nailed it down.

“It worked perfectly today. Stevie, he’s the best header I’ve ever met. If it’s anywhere in the vicinity of his head, he’ll finish it,” said Peters, who scored Yarmouth’s first goal early in the game and added an insurance goal with 13:52 left, connecting on a rebound that came to him at the top of the box.

The Crusaders answered with 3:41 to play, when Hunter Clukey cut the deficit to 3-2.

Peters’ first goal came barely four minutes into the game. Bapst Coach Jason Pangburn said it took the Crusaders a little while to find their rhythm after that.

“It took really until the last 12 minutes (of the first half) to settle in and start playing our style. I really felt going into the half, we had started to possess the ball and began to do what we wanted to do,” Pangburn said.


The Crusaders tied the game early in the second half on a goal by Jon Pangburn.

It was a physical game, with each team assessed a yellow card.

“They’re not dirty. They’re clean, but I knew it would be fast and physical,” Jason Pangburn said.

Hagerty credited the entire Yarmouth community with the win, and building the foundation for his team’s success, noting it begins with the town’s popular youth soccer program.

“The last seven years, whatever it is, are the result of a community. It’s a community championship. These kids have been going to clinics since they were 3,” Hagerty said.

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