YARMOUTH—The team that couldn’t score did and the team that refuses to lose once more demonstrated its unassailable will.
That’s a short version of the 90 minute thrill ride the Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth boys’ soccer teams produced Saturday evening when the Clippers, undefeated and first in the standings, hosted a Capers squad which had only managed to win twice, due to a disturbing inability to tickle the twine.
Eight days after eking a 1-0 win at Cape Elizabeth, Yarmouth found itself behind its longtime rival when Capers junior Eddie Galvin scored on a rebound in the 14th minute.
The Clippers bounced back to tie the score in the 27th minute when opportunistic senior Chandler Smith tucked home a rebound.
It wouldn’t be the last deficit Yarmouth would face, nor would it be the last time the Clippers would roar back.
With 19:15 left in regulation, after a disputed call, Galvin struck again out of a scrum and when sophomore teammate R.J. Sarka added a third goal 79 seconds later, the Capers had a two-goal lead and appeared primed for a much-needed victory.
Instead, Yarmouth, which earlier this fall erased a late two-goal deficit at Greely, came to life with a vengeance.
A tremendous individual effort from junior Adam LaBrie resulted in a goal with 13:07 to play and suddenly the Clippers had life.
It then took the hosts a mere 58 seconds to draw even, as senior Travis Hamre scored.
After almost winning the game in regulation when senior David Murphy hit the crossbar, Yarmouth kept the pressure on in overtime, but never could break through. After a couple late Galvin chances were turned aside, the Clippers and Capers settled for an entertaining 3-3 draw.
Yarmouth is now 7-0-3, while Cape Elizabeth sits 2-4-3 as the stretch run of the regular season commences.
“We wanted a win, but (Heal) Points are important,” said Capers coach Ben Raymond. “It’s nice to get some Points anyway. Last time we went to overtime with them, we didn’t get anything.”
“It was a very interesting game,” said Clippers coach Mike Hagerty. “It was certainly a good comeback. I’m really, really proud of how the kids responded. They showed a lot of heart. They didn’t stop working. It’s demoralizing being down, 3-1, but they showed a lot of maturity. None of these guys ever stop working.”
The Capers battled host York to a scoreless tie in the opener, then handled visiting Poland, 4-0, before settling for a 0-0 tie at Falmouth. After falling at home to Greely, 2-1, Cape Elizabeth finally got its offense going with an 11-0 home win over Lake Region, but last Friday, the Capers fell at home to Yarmouth, 1-0, in overtime. Monday, Cape Elizabeth dropped a 3-0 decision at Kennebunk and Wednesday, fell in the waning moments to visiting Falmouth, 1-0.
The Clippers opened 2013 with a 4-0 home win over Poland. After rallying for a 2-2 tie at Greely, the Clippers handled host Freeport, 5-1. A scoreless tie at York was followed by a 2-0 win at Kennebunk, a 3-0 victory at Waynflete and a palpitating 1-0 overtime victory at Cape Elizabeth (on senior David Clemmer’s goal). Monday, Yarmouth held off visiting Falmouth, 1-0, then, two nights later, the Clippers had their way with visiting York, 4-1.
Yarmouth entered the game having beaten Cape Elizabeth four in a row, including the game last week. Last year, the Clippers won at home, 4-1, and on the road, 2-1. Since 2001, Yarmouth held an 11-4 advantage over Cape Elizabeth, with six other games ending in ties (please see sidebar, below).
Saturday, the teams were even, which wasn’t a surprise, but the number of goals certainly did turn heads.
The Clippers appeared to take the lead in the third minute, but an offsides call waved off a goal.
Then, in the 14th minute, the visitors struck first as Galvin was in the right place at the right time to knock home a throw from junior Griffin Thoreck after the ball had been pinballed around in the box. Galvin sent his shot off a defender and in.
“The ball was bouncing in the box, I took a lefty volley and it deflected into the net,” Galvin said.
Yarmouth looked for the equalizer, but was initially stymied as a Murphy free kick drifted just wide, a cross from sophomore Patrick Grant (who had a huge game) was snared by Cape Elizabeth senior goalkeeper Austin Andrews and a Smith header off a Murphy throw was cleared by a Capers defender.
With 13:34 to play in the first half, the Clippers tied it up off another Murphy throw, as Smith managed to get to a loose ball and send it past Andrews to make it 1-1. Grant didn’t get an assist on the play, but Hagerty felt he deserved one.
“I thought Patrick Grant was fabulous today,” Hagerty said. “He created Chandler’s rebound goal. He did a really nice job defenisvely all night.”
Yarmouth had a 9-2 shots advantage in the first half, but the game was deadlocked at the break.
The first 20 minutes of the second half were relatively calm before fireworks broke out over a seven-minute span of goal after goal after goal after goal.
Early in the half, Andrews made a highlight reel save on a bid from LaBrie in close and Andrews then made a diving save on a Smith header off a Murphy throw.
With 35:35 to play, Hamre missed an open shot, but he’d later redeem himself.
With just under 20 minutes remaining, it appeared Yarmouth would get a goal kick, but the call was overruled and the Capers were given a free kick from just outside the box on the right side. Hagerty lobbied vociferously for a change in the call, but it stood and not surprisingly, led to a goal.
The ball was served in where it appeared to be cleared, but it came back into the box and there again was Galvin to sent it home, giving Cape Elizabeth a 2-1 advantage.
“It was the second cross (senior) Omar (Khlaidi) had,” said Galvin. “I headed the first one down. Somehow it got cleared out and the second one came and I had to finish. Somehow I got hit in the stomach. I didn’t even know it was a goal for a minute.”
Galvin stayed down on the turf after scoring, but soon rose and implored his teammates to keep the pressure on.
Instead of Yarmouth rallying, the Capers came right back down and with 17:56 to play, seemingly got the clincher when Thoreck threw the ball in from the side, it bounced and Sarka one-timed a shot past Clippers junior goalkeeper Alex Lyon to make it 3-1.
“I thought we were going to roll when R.J. scored,” Galvin said.
“We finally scored a goal inside the box,” said Raymond. “We’ve had the ball in there quite a bit. We didn’t do anything tremendously different, the ball just bounced our way tonight. We’re creating great opportunities. Kids are in the right spots. It’s just finishing consistently.”
“Of their three goals, I thought the third one was a nice goal,” Hagerty said. “The first two, we could have done a better job. They’re dangerous. You can’t give a team a set piece. Two of their goals came off throws.”
The Clippers were clearly on the ropes, but this senior-laden squad doesn’t give up until the final horn.
Just three minutes after Cape Elizabeth’s third goal, Hamre had a nice look at the goal, but couldn’t make solid contact and Andrews made the save.
Trust me, he’d get another chance and deliver.
Then, suddenly, with 13:07 to go, the ball came to the dangerous LaBrie, who showed off his foot skills by eluding a defender, then crushing a left-footed blast past Andrews diving to his right and just like that, the deficit was only one, 3-2.
Just as soon as that goal was announced, Yarmouth attacked again and after the ball grazed off a Capers defender, it came to Hamre, who lofted it over a charging Andrews into the net and the stadium erupted into bedlam.
“When we went down, 3-1, my only thought was that we had to get back within a goal,” Hamre said. “LaBrie had an amazing finish to make it 3-2. Once we were there, we pressed them. It’s an amazing feeling to have that tying goal. LaBrie made a great run. There was a great ball by one of the backs. I think there was a deflection. Austin’s a great and aggressive keeper. I saw him off his line and I just chipped it over him.”
“I think the difference tonight was our senior class, our captains,” said Grant. “Without them, there’s no way we would have come back from down two goals. I had swings of emotion, but I know we have great leaders and I knew we could do it. I was jumping off the bench (when we tied it), I was so excited.”
“Our seniors are just rocks,” Hagerty added. “They’re never out of it. I like to think that’s contagious in the entire town, even in the youth program. We did it before (against Greely) on the road. We don’t ever feel like we’re out of it. Look at Travis. He had the composure to make that beautiful touch and third goal. We knew they have a very good goalie who is aggressive coming off his line. That’s a great example of Travis having his head up and seeing he was off his line.”
In the span of 58 seconds, Cape Elizabeth watched a two-goal lead disappear into the night.
“There was a lot of energy, a lot of goals,” Galvin said. “You couldn’t blink your eyes without a goal. This year, we haven’t really been able to score much, so having a lead, we weren’t really sure how to keep it. We did lighten up and stopped playing defense for about 10 minutes and that cost us huge.”
“We’re not used to being up,” Raymond said. “The kids maybe panicked. We let off the gas a little bit and didn’t mark. They’re very good if they have space and time. We had a bad bounce off (senior Danny Brett’s) back with Austin coming for it. It was kind of a fluke.”
Now flying high, the Clippers went for the win and almost got it.
With 10:13 left in regulation, Andrews had to come way out to play a free kick from Yarmouth senior Wes Crawford.
A minute later, a Murphy free kick was cleared away.
With 5:23 showing, the ball came to LaBrie with room, but he couldn’t get his foot on a shot.
Senior Max Watson attempted a shot with 3:59 to go, but Thoreck booted it away.
The Clippers earned a corner with just over a minute to go and it would wind up resulting in a scrum with the ball coming to Murphy, who had a great look, but his bid was just a wee bit high and hit the crossbar.
In the waning seconds, a rush by Clemmer was broken up and it was on to overtime.
In Maine boys’ high school soccer, teams play two five-minute “sudden victory” overtime sessions and the game goes in the books as a tie if no one scores, which is how this one played out.
In the first OT, Grant had a good look after going one-on-one with a defender, but Andrews made the save.
In the final minute, a Murphy throw landed in the box and was cleared, a shot by Murphy was saved and Watson’s header on the rebound was off the mark.
The Capers had the better chances in the second overtime.
After LaBrie booted Yarmouth’s last chance way high, a cross from Khalidi was cleared, junior Cole Caswell sent a shot in that Lyon leaped to save and as time wound down, Galvin had a shot blocked, then lofted a soft shot that settled into Lyon’s hands as time expired.
Cape Elizabeth 3 Yarmouth 3.
The Capers had survived and earned some valuable Heal Points.
“After they scored their two goals to tie, we had to pack it in to limit their offensive opportunities,” Galvin said. “We had a good counterattack at the end, but we couldn’t finish. We just lost three in a row, so getting out of here with a tie is amazing. They’re undefeated with a lot of Points. Hopefully we’ll move up in the standings.”
“We played really, really well for 60, 70 minutes, but our goal’s to do it for 80,” Raymond said. “We’re trying to improve every single day we play. We have two kids, (junior midfielder) Noah (Haversat) and Austin, who play soccer for their number one sport. Everyone else is a seasonal soccer athlete. It takes time to get better. They continue to learn.”
The Clippers were thrilled to have rallied for a tie, but really wanted a victory.
“We felt like we did really well in the first half and thought we deserved to be up, then, we went down a couple goals on mistakes we’ll fix,” said Hamre. “We were close to winning it. We’re getting better at finishing, now that we’re back on the turf and having (former Yarmouth standout) Eoin Lynch’s coaching.”
” Cape’s a heck of a team to play,” Hagerty said. “They play hard all the time. We talk about it before all the Brady Cup games (the annual round robin series between Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Greely and Yarmouth). We had the Cup in the shed. It reminds the kids to be safe away from soccer. We have the chance to be the first four consecutive winners of the Brady Cup. It’s impressive to think we’re now in the hunt for that.
“Not having (senior) Ben Decker, who was out with his knee (injury) and not having Wyatt Jackson (red card versus York Wednesday) made it tough today. Henry Coolidge, a freshman, did a nice job being composed in the first half. (Sophomore Nicholas Kamra) did a nice job in the midfield off the bench. I’m impressed with our youth. Walter’s as composed as can be in the back.”
In total, Yarmouth outshot Cape Elizabeth, 23-9 (11-7 on frame). The Clippers had six corner kicks to none for the Capers. Andrews made eight saves, while Lyon stopped four shots.
Cape Elizabeth (now fourth in the Western B Heal Points standings) needs some wins down the stretch to solidify its playoff status. Tuesday, the Capers welcome Kennebunk. Saturday they’re at Greely. A trip to Fryeburg, a home game versus York and a home tilt with Freeport rounds out the remaining schedule.
“We might have to come here (for the playoffs),” Galvin said. “We’d be confident. We’re a good team. We just have to play together. We can put it in the back of the net if we buy into the system.”
“The pressure now that we’re in Class B to get Heal Points isn’t quite as much because we’re not at a numerical disadvantage to Class A teams,” Raymond said. “If we were in Class A with two wins, we’d be struggling to make the playoffs. We can focus more on the process than the result. With Yarmouth, York, Greely, every game has been close. Teams are very even.”
As for Yarmouth (first in Western B), its final road game of the season looms Tuesday, but it’s a doozy, at Falmouth.
“(Falmouth) will hopefully be our last away game,” said Hagerty. “I think we’ll have to win out to keep homefield. We won’t look past Falmouth. Ever. We’ll prepare well for them. Falmouth plays a lot like Cape does. They play direct, try to get the ball in our third and force a mistake.”
The Clippers then close with home games versus Kennebunk, Greely (likely to decide the top seed and homefield advantage in the region) and Gray-New Gloucester.
“I feel we’re really strong and we’ll get even stronger,” Grant said. “It’s overwhelming, our tough schedule. Each game, we’re getting better and better. I think we’ll be even better heading into the playoffs.”
“We just need to keep working,” said Hamre. “We’ll rest up a little more. We need to build up for the Greely game. That will be a deciding factor for homefield advantage.”
Yarmouth senior David Clemmer gets a step on Cape Elizabeth senior Matt Fisher.
Cape Elizabeth senior goalkeeper Austin Andrews makes a save.
Yarmouth senior Wes Crawford heads the ball over Cape Elizabeth junior Cole Caswell.
Yarmouth junior Ben Vigue defends Cape Elizabeth junior Cole Caswell.
Cape Elizabeth freshman Connor Thoreck heads the ball away from Yarmouth sophomore Walter Conrad and junior Connor Lainey (10).
Yarmouth sophomore Walter Conrad contends with the pressure of Cape Elizabeth senior Brian Taintor (5) and junior Eddie Galvin.
Yarmouth 1 @ Cape Elizabeth 0 (OT)
Cape Elizabeth 2 @ Yarmouth 1
Yarmouth 1 @ Cape Elizabeth 0
Cape Elizabeth 1 Yarmouth 1 (tie)
@ Yarmouth 3 Cape Elizabeth 1
@ Yarmouth 2 Cape Elizabeth 1
@ Cape Elizabeth 2 Yarmouth 2 (tie)
@ Yarmouth 0 Cape Elizabeth 0 (tie)
@ Cape Elizabeth 3 Yarmouth 1
@ Yarmouth 1 Cape Elizabeth 1 (tie)
@ Cape Elizabeth 3 Yarmouth 1
@ Yarmouth 2 Cape Elizabeth 0
Yarmouth 2 @ Cape Elizabeth 0
Yarmouth 1 @ Cape Elizabeth 0
@ Yarmouth 0 Cape Elizabeth 0 (tie)
Yarmouth 1 @ Cape Elizabeth 0
Cape Elizabeth 1 @ Yarmouth 0
@ Cape Elizabeth 0 Yarmouth 0 (tie)
@ Yarmouth 1 Cape Elizabeth 0
@ Cape Elizabeth 2 Yarmouth 1
Cape Elizabeth junior Eddie Galvin (22) and his teammates celebrate Galvin’s first half goal Saturday night at Yarmouth.
Mike Strout photos.
Yarmouth senior Chandler Smith is congratulated by teammates senior Max Watson (9), sophomore Patrick Grant (3) and senior David Clemmer (15) after tying the game in the first half. The Clippers would rally to force a 3-3 tie.
More photos below.