PORTLAND—Two of the top girls’ soccer teams in the area squared off in an early season contest Tuesday afternoon at Fore River Fields and both host Waynflete and visiting Falmouth got value out of the encounter.
While the Yachtsmen came away with the victory while bouncing back from their lone in loss, the Flyers learned they could play with a Class A contender and that their future is bright.
Waynflete had a couple golden opportunities early, but had one bid denied by Falmouth junior goalkeeper Adelaide Cooke, then rang a shot off the crossbar.
The Yachtsmen then struck first in the 13th minute, when senior Tyler Spence set up sophomore Amelia Waite for a 1-0 lead.
Falmouth dominated play in the second half, but couldn’t score again until 3:37 remained when freshman Madison Wolf’s cross found Waite, who finished to make it 2-0, and the Yachtsmen ran the clock out from there for an important victory.
Falmouth improved to 3-1, stayed perfect all-time against the Flyers and handed Waynflete its first loss in three games in the process.
“I think our team was panicking a lot early,” Waite said. “We needed to settle the ball and play to feet. When we did, we got the result we wanted. This was really important for me and my teammates to gain confidence and go forward.”
Falmouth and Waynflete are always in contention to do special things and the 2015 season looks to be the same.
The Yachtsmen opened with a 7-0 home win over Gray-New Gloucester, then won at Kennebunk, 5-0, before falling at home to Greely Friday, 4-2.
The Flyers started with a pair of 3-1 road victories, over Traip Academy and Fryeburg Academy.
The teams had only met three previous times, with Falmouth winning them all. In 2010, the Yachtsmen triumphed at home, 3-0. In 2013, Falmouth eked out a 1-0 win at Waynflete. Last year, the Yachtsmen got the jump early, the Flyers were a player down most of the contest and Falmouth prevailed, 4-0.
Tuesday, Waynflete hoped for its first ever win in the series, but the Yachtsmen had too much.
The first good chance came in the game’s fifth minute, when Flyers junior Elizabeth Lualdi had a great look and appeared to send a shot into the goal, but Cooke instinctively kicked the ball away and a rebound bid was cleared.
A minute later, Waynflete sophomore Amelia Bertaska rifled a shot over the head of Cooke, but it hit the crossbar.
The Flyers wouldn’t come that close again.
“The first few minutes, we were shaky,” said Falmouth coach Andrew Pelletier. “(Waynflete coach) Todd (Dominski) does a great job with his girls. They don’t get to train together all summer, but they come out and play for him every single game. They always come out and battle. We dealt with it. Adelaide made a great save. She hasn’t had to make many. That turned the tide.”
With 27:03 to go in the half, Falmouth transitioned to offense and Spence passed ahead to Waite, who got inside position on Waynflete senior Esme Benson and raced in and beat Flyers junior goalkeeper Ali Pope, who dove to no avail.
“It was a counter-attack and there was only one defender on me,” Waite said. “I got one touch and just slid it right in the goal. Tyler really helps me and everyone else get set up for the goals we score. It’s awesome to have her in the center of the field.”
“Amelia has improved so much,” Pelletier said. “She’s finishing goals for us right now. Amelia and Tyler play well together. After the goal, we didn’t have a scare.”
Neither team had a good chance the rest of the half and the Yachtsmen took a 1-0 lead to halftime.
Falmouth then dominated the second half, but it took awhile to register its second goal.
Just 22 seconds in, Yachtsmen junior Mia Cooney got a look, but Pope made a sprawling save.
With 32:48 left in regulation, Waynflete got its final chance, but Bertaska shot wide.
After Waite and Cooney missed, Spence had a low shot saved, Wolf shot high, Pope leaped to snare a Spence floater and senior Alex Shapiro, junior Lucy Mahoney and Spence were all denied.
Finally, with 3:37 to play, Wolf got the ball in the corner and crossed it right in front, where Waite gathered it, then buried it to make it 2-0.
“I just settled it on my chest and got it in the goal,” Waite said.
Falmouth locked it up from there and celebrated its win, which put the Greely setback in the rearview mirror.
“It’s important for us to put that loss behind us and get back on the right track mentally,” said Pelletier.
The Yachtsmen finished with a 17-3 shots advantage (9-2 on frame). Cooke made two saves while Pope stopped seven shots. The Flyers had a 3-2 edge in corner kicks, but couldn’t convert.
“I thought we played well early, then bunkered up,” Dominski said. “They’re a good team, so I’m proud of how my girls played today. We won’t see a team like this after today. Playing teams like this helps us get better. We always have a shot to win if we’re disciplined. I think our discipline was good, we just got tired at the end. It’s hard to defend for a long time and not get tired. They got behind us a couple times and scored.”
Waynflete returns to action Tuesday when North Yarmouth Academy pays a visit. The Flyers then visit Lake Region and Old Orchard Beach.
“I think we’re getting there,” Dominski said. “We took a step today even if we didn’t get the result we wanted. You can’t make mistakes against a team as good as Falmouth and expect to get away with it. It’s good for the kids to play these games.”
Falmouth is at defending Western B champion Cape Elizabeth Friday and welcomes York Tuesday.
“I’m really happy with our team,” Waite said. “We have a lot of good players, talent all over the field. I think it’s going to be a good year for us. We need to play as a team and play the Falmouth soccer we know how to play and that will get us where we need to be.”
“I feel really good,” Pelletier said. “We play a tough schedule. We’ll have some losses. It’s about how we deal with coming back from those losses. We have to stay healthy. We have to find more scoring. We’re not getting enough chances. We have to score against the good teams. It doesn’t get any easier.”
Falmouth sophomore Amelia Waite is congratulated by freshmen Delaney Goodell (2) and Madison Wolf (5) after one of her two goals during the Yachtsmen’s 2-0 win at Waynflete Tuesday afternoon.
Bruce Feeley photos.
Falmouth senior Hannah Donovan launches the ball.
Waynflete sophomore Amelia Bertaska tries to elude a pair of Falmouth defenders.
Waynflete senior Arianna Giguere shields the ball from a Falmouth defender.
Falmouth senior Tyler Spence gets a step on Waynflete senior Christian Rowe.
Waynflete junior Beata Vest shows off some nifty footwork.
Falmouth freshman Caitlyn Camelio and Waynflete junior Elizabeth Lualdi fight for the ball.