Falmouth blanks Greely, stays undefeated

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Falmouth senior captain Maddie Rouhana blasts the ball during the Yachtsmen’s 2-0 victory at Greely Monday afternoon. Falmouth improved to 5-0 on the year.

Mike Strout photos.

More photos below.

CUMBERLAND—Greely’s up-and-coming field hockey team learned a hard lesson Monday afternoon when rival Falmouth paid a visit.

You can’t win if you don’t score and you can’t score if can’t shoot.

The Yachtsmen carried play most of the afternoon and held the Rangers without a single shot as they continued their undefeated run.

Falmouth got the only goal it would need with 16:15 remaining in the first half, when senior captain Maddie Rouhana set up senior standout Sydney Bell for a 1-0 lead.

While Greely hung tough thanks sophomore goalie Kylie Rogers and its defense, especially on penalty corners, the Yachtsmen did finally gain some breathing room with 24:18 left, when Bell set up senior captain Devon Sarazin and they went on to a 2-0 victory.

Falmouth improved to 5-0, won its sixth straight game in the series, ended Greely’s three-game win streak and dropped the Rangers to 3-2 in the process.

“Greely has some really solid players and I kept telling the girls in timeouts that they’re a team that can catch you when you least expect it and that we couldn’t lose focus,” said Yachtsmen coach Robin Haley.

High drama

Falmouth and Greely have both played their share of thrilling games in the early on.

The Rangers opened with a 3-2 double overtime home loss to Poland, then enjoyed overtime wins at Gray-New Gloucester (2-1) and at home over Lake Region (3-2) before triumphing in regulation Saturday at Old Orchard Beach (3-0).

The Yachtsmen had to go to overtime in their opener and they edged visiting Yarmouth, 3-2. Falmouth then won at Kennebunk (2-1) and Fryeburg Academy (2-0) before dominating visiting Gray-New Gloucester (8-1).

Greely went 8-2-1 against Falmouth between 2001 and 2007 (see sidebar, below), but since then, the Yachtsmen have had the better of the series, going 9-3-2 in the past 14 meetings, winning each of the past five, including a 2-0 home decision a year ago.

Monday, on yet another pleasant late summer day, the Rangers were seeking their first victory over Falmouth since Sept. 23, 2011 (1-0), but the Yachtsmen had too much firepower and they solved Greely yet again.

The tone was set two minutes in when Rouhana had a good look, but shot wide on a penalty corner.

Rogers made her first save in the fourth minute, denying Falmouth senior Bella Libby. 

After senior Kate Kelley shot just wide, Libby had another look, but Rogers made a terrific save. Rogers then denied Rouhana as well.

Then, with 16:15 left in the first half, the Yachtsmen broke through, as Rouhana crossed the ball to Bell and Bell beat Rogers for a 1-0 lead.

“Maddie had such a beautiful cross right into the circle,” Bell said. “That goal set the tone for us.”

Falmouth had six penalty corners in the first half and some other good looks as well, but couldn’t add to its lead, as Kelley was twice denied by Rogers, Sarazin had a shot saved and Rouhana shot wide on a corner.

Rogers made eight saves in the first half and stopped seven more in the second.

Early in the half, Rogers made a beautiful kick save on a Bell blast off a corner, then she stopped another Bell shot off a corner and the ensuing rebound by Libby.

The Yachtsmen then doubled their lead with 24:18 remaining, as Bell sent a long pass ahead to Sarazin and Sarazin finished for a 2-0 lead.

“Devon and I have a good connection,” Bell said. “It happens in lacrosse, it happens in field hockey. I can trust her and I know she’ll be able to knock it in.”

Falmouth wound up outshooting Greely, 17-0, and had 14 corners to none for the Rangers, but couldn’t score again and the game wound up 2-0.

“Greely always has strong teams and we couldn’t underestimate them,” said Bell. “They came out this afternoon wanting to win. It’s a huge transition going from turf to grass and it’s hard to adjust, but we did get two goals. It’s something we have to get used to.” 

“We certainly had more opportunities we could have executed on and that’s something we need to work on more as a team,” said Haley. “That’s also a tribute to their goalie.”

The Rangers got 15 saves from Rogers.

Despite its lack of offense, Greely played hard and that will bode well the rest of the season.

“I’m very proud of the girls, they didn’t get down,” said Rangers coach Becki Belmore. “They knew they’d have to play defensive. We need to learn to how to create opportunities from defense.”

Precious Heal Points

Greely’s next two games are on the road, Wednesday at Cape Elizabeth and next Tuesday at Lake Region. The Rangers also have pivotal games remaining against Freeport, Kennebunk, Yarmouth and two-time defending Class B champion York.

“We hope to get back on track and get our confidence back,” said Belmore. “We knew it would be a building year with a small program, all sophomores and juniors, but we’ve been in every game. They have good attitudes and they work hard. I feel confident that we’ll finish up stronger than we did last year.”

Falmouth needs as many Heal Points as it can get to finish as high as possible for the Class A South playoffs and avoid having to travel in late October. The Yachtsmen will have a golden opportunity for that Wednesday when they visit York.

“We’re excited for York, they’re so good,” Bell said. “I’ve never beaten them before. That would be huge. I’d like nothing more.”

“We are looking forward to it,” Haley said. “I’m glad we’re playing them earlier in the season. They’ll challenge us in a lot of ways and it will show us where we are and what we need to improve on. It’s a grass field, but we like their field.” 

Falmouth then visits Lake Region Friday and hosts North Yarmouth Academy Tuesday of next week. Games against Yarmouth and York follow.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Falmouth senior Sydney Bell is defended by Greely junior Ella Novick.

Greely sophomore Maddy Perfetti possesses the ball as Falmouth sophomore Emma Cohen tries to keep up.

Greely sophomore Maggie McCormick tries to poke the ball away from Falmouth junior Stone Carmichael.

Greely sophomore goalie Kylie Rogers makes one of her 15 saves, denying Falmouth senior Bella Libby.

Falmouth sophomore Liberty Ladd and Greely sophomore Maggie McCormick fight for possession.

Recent Falmouth-Greely results

2015
@ Falmouth 2 Greely 0 

2014
Falmouth 1 @ Greely 0
@ Falmouth 2 Greely 0

2013
@ Falmouth 1 Greely 0
Falmouth 2 @ Greely 0

2012

@ Falmouth 3 Greely 0
@ Greely 2 Falmouth 2 (tie)

2011

@ Falmouth 4 Greely 3
@ Greely 1 Falmouth 0

2010

Greely 2 @ Falmouth 1 (OT)
Falmouth 2 @ Greely 2 (tie)

2009

@ Falmouth 5 Greely 1
Falmouth 2 @ Greely 1 (OT)

2008

@ Greely 2 Falmouth 0
@ Falmouth 3 Greely 0

2007

Greely 1 @ Falmouth 0
@ Greely 1 Falmouth 0

2006

@ Greely 2 Falmouth 1 (OT)
@ Falmouth 3 Greely 1

2005

@ Falmouth 2 Greely 2 (tie)
Falmouth 4 @ Greely 0

2004

@ Greely 2 Falmouth 1 (OT)

2003

Greely 3 @ Falmouth 0
@ Greely 4 Falmouth 2 (Western B quarterfinal)

2002

@ Greely 4 Falmouth 0

2001

Greely 1 @ Falmouth 0 (OT)

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.