YARMOUTH—After settling for frustrating tie last Tuesday at North Yarmouth Academy, Yarmouth’s girls’ soccer team had to sit and stew for a week.

And when the reigning Class B state champion Clippers returned to action Tuesday evening, they made the visiting Freeport Falcons feel their wrath.

It took less than six minutes for Yarmouth to score the only goal it needed, as senior Brooke Boone set up classmate Aine Powers.

The Clippers clung to a 1-0 lead into the second half, where the Falcons had a golden opportunity to tie the score when they earned a penalty kick with 28 minutes left, but they came up empty as Yarmouth senior goalkeeper Regan Sullivan made a critical save.

With 26:18 to go, Powers scored for a second time, from junior Taylor Oranellas, for some breathing room and the Clippers went on to a pivotal late-season 2-0 victory.

Yarmouth began a critical closing stretch with a key win, improved to 9-1-1 and in the process, dropped Freeport to 7-3-3.


“It was all the kids,” said Clippers coach Andy Higgins. “They show up and compete and push each other every day. We know we have a tough schedule. Freeport’s fantastic. They’re tough and they’re aggressive and they present a lot of problems for us. The kids got dialed in and focused. We have a lot of kids who play a lot of sports and have played in big games and they rise to the challenge. I’m really proud of them for how they stepped up and got us back on track tonight.”

Not much separation

While Yarmouth has excelled during its championship defense, Freeport has been right there with the Clippers in the standings.

The Falcons opened the season with a 3-0 victory at Gray-New Gloucester, then settled for a scoreless home draw versus North Yarmouth Academy in a game which saw the lights fail to come on for the second half. Freeport then lost at Cape Elizabeth (2-1), sandwiched scoreless ties against visiting Greely and host York around a 4-0 victory at Traip Academy, then downed host Wells (2-0) and visiting Waynflete (2-1). After a 1-0 home loss to Yarmouth, the Falcons defeated host Morse (2-0), visiting Lincoln Academy (2-1, in overtime) and visiting York (3-1).

Yarmouth, meanwhile, suffered a 1-0 overtime loss at Greely in the opener, then blanked host Gray-New Gloucester (6-0), won at reigning Class A North champion Brunswick (2-0), blanked host York (3-0), then captured its home opener, 1-0, over Cape Elizabeth, before edging visiting Waynflete, 3-2, shutting out visiting Greely (3-0), then downing host Freeport (1-0) and visiting Mt. Ararat (3-1) before settling for a 1-1 draw at NYA last week.

In the teams’ previous meeting Sept. 26, senior Kadin Davoren scored the lone goal, from Powers with 7:20 to play. Senior goalkeeper Amanda Panciocco kept the Falcons in it with 10 saves.


Entering play, Yarmouth had won 28 of 32 meetings this century with Freeport prevailing three times and the teams settling for one draw.

On a chilly mid-October night (50 degrees and dropping at kickoff), the Falcons hoped to down the Clippers for the first time since Sept. 17, 2019, but instead, Yarmouth took control early and didn’t look back.

Freeport senior Rosie Panenka controls the ball while being surrounded by Yarmouth junior Taylor Oranellas, left, and senior Sonja Bell during the Clippers’ 2-0 victory Tuesday. Hoffer photos.

Freeport had possession the first few minutes, but couldn’t produce a good scoring opportunity, then the Clippers transitioned and went on top for good.

The goal began with a throw from senior Neena Panozzo, then Boone got some room to run free down the right side. When a defender came over to cut down her angle, Boone crossed the ball near the far post, where Powers ran on to it and booted it past Panciocco for a 1-0 lead.

“That was a really nice pass from Brooke,” Powers said. “She set me up really nicely and I just had to finish. Getting that momentum so early in the game was super-helpful for the whole team, especially after a week of not playing.”

“That first goal was big,” Higgins said. “They don’t give up many goals, so to get one early was helpful for confidence. We were on our heels a little bit until that point. We were on our defensive side of the field. That loosened us up, but it was a long time to hang on to a lead against a good team.”


“That was a mis-touch in the back and we left somebody wide open,” lamented Falcons coach Dave Intraversato. “We can’t make a mistake like that against a top team.”

Yarmouth tried to add to its lead, but Paniocco denied Powers, Oranellas missed just wide, junior Ali Miller missed wide, Panozzo had a shot blocked on a corner, then senior Sonja Bell missed wide and Oranellas had a shot saved by Panciocco.

Freeport had four corner kicks, but couldn’t produce a shot on goal in the first half.

The Falcons had some great chances to get back in the game in the second half, but couldn’t convert.

First, with 35:43 to play, Freeport’s first shot on frame saw Sullivan deny senior Luci Bourgeois.

After Oranellas had a shot saved by Panciocco and Boone shot high, Clippers senior Cate King broke up a feed from senior Pearl Peterson to senior Sadie Grogan.


The Falcons then got their break with 28:23 on the clock, as sophomore Silvi Strong was taken down in the box, a penalty kick was awarded and Strong stepped to the line with a chance to level the score.

But her shot was right at Sullivan, who, as she’s done so often in the past, came up huge and made the save.

Yarmouth senior goalkeeper Regan Sullivan denies a penalty kick from Freeport sophomore Silvi Strong.

“I was just thinking, ‘Don’t let it in,'” Sullivan said. “There’s definitely some strategy to it. We take a bunch of PKs in practice. I love it. It was a big relief.”

“For me personally, that save gave me so much energy,” Powers said. “I was screaming, ‘Let’s go, Regan!'”

“That’s just Regan being Regan,” Higgins added. “She’s as good as there is. We lean on her a lot and she stepped up. Last week, the bear was poked a little bit and she decided she was going to make a statement and she made one today. I’m very glad she’s in our jersey.”

Freeport was left distraught.


“That was a perfect situation right there,” said Intraversato. “If we hit it, it would have picked the team up. When we missed it, it’s a letdown. If we made it 1-1, it would have been a different game.”

With momentum on its side, Yarmouth then doubled its lead with 26:18 to go, as Oranellas dribbled the ball down the middle, then passed to Powers on her right and Powers again beat Panciocco for a 2-0 advantage.

“Taylor is super-skilled,” Powers said. “She was able to find that pass and made it easy for me.”

“We’ve spent time in practice lately working on movement in the final third and creating space to get in behind and the girls did a great job executing,” Higgins said. “(Aine’s) gone from an unbelievable athlete to an unbelievable athlete who’s a really good soccer player and finisher. She’s a handful to defend. Whatever she does, she has a knack for scoring. Goal-scoring is a tough thing to do and she does it really well. ”

The Falcons kept fighting and with 14:44 remaining, Sullivan had to make a highlight reel diving save to rob junior Kenzie Cochran.

“I love diving saves,” said Sullivan. “Those are some of the most satisfying saves, even if I pay for it in the end.”


Freeport didn’t get a great look from there and the Clippers were able to run out the clock and celebrate their 2-0 victory.

“We focused on our mistakes we made in the NYA game and worked hard in practice and it showed on the field today,” said Powers.

Yarmouth finished with a 6-5 edge in shots on frame and got five saves from Sullivan.

Freeport had a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks and got four saves from Panciocco, but couldn’t put the ball in the net.

“It was frustrating not being able to score when we had opportunities,” Intraversato said. “We had a lot of corners.”

Final tuneup


Freeport (currently ranked third in the Class B South Heals) finishes at home versus Cape Elizabeth in another critical contest Thursday.

“I’m hoping we learn from today and go into Cape with some positive energy,” Intraversato said. “It’s Senior Night, so we’ll get some emotion going. Hopefully we’ll pull out a win or a tie and stay where we are. Hopefully we can get a home playoff game. We hope to see Yarmouth again. We know we can play with them.”

Yarmouth (first by a whisker over Cape Elizabeth for the moment in Class B South) is home with Wells Thursday and York Saturday, then goes to Cape Elizabeth Tuesday of next week for a showdown which will likely determine the region’s top seed.

“We have a big week this week,” Powers said. “We have to stay strong and healthy to get us through these tough games.”

“We’ve spent a lot of time together on and off the field, our team chemistry is through the roof and you can see that on the field,” Sullivan said. “I feel like we’re ready for anything. We’ve got the momentum.”

“Cape’s the big one that everyone looks at, but we have two more to take care of first,” Higgins added. “We have to have a good practice tomorrow to get ready for a tough game with Wells. They present some challenges with a strong midfield and fast players up top.

“You can never underestimate this team. The way our senior class guides and leads these kids, we’re very fortunate. It’s a fun group. It’s going to be a fun few weeks.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. For game updates and links to game stories, follow him on Threads: @foresports2023

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