Greely keeps good times rolling, blanks Yarmouth

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Greely senior Maddy Perfetti, second from right, is congratulated by her teammates after converting a first half penalty stroke. Perfetti added a second half goal as the Rangers went on to a 3-0 victory at Yarmouth.

Brianna Soukop / Portland Press Herald photos.

More photos below.

YARMOUTH—Greely senior standout Maddy Perfetti loves hearing the sound of the ball banging off the backboard, signifying a goal.

Perfetti and her teammates have heard that sound a lot lately.

Wednesday afternoon, the Rangers traveled to rival Yarmouth for an early-season Class B South showdown and while Greely’s offense continued to surge and produce goals, the host Clippers are wondering what they have to do to put the ball in the cage.

In a game that saw the Rangers control play nearly throughout, it wasn’t until midway through the first half when Greely finally got on the board.

The goal came on a Perfetti penalty stroke, but Yarmouth senior goalie Cayte Tillotson stopped every other shot she faced, keeping the Clippers within one at the break.

Greely got some separation with 22:27 left, when sophomore Delia Knox scored out of a scrum off a penalty corner and with 15:17 to go, Perfetti scored again, from sophomore Anna Dougan, to lead the Rangers to a 3-0 victory.

Greely won its third game in a row, improved to 3-1 on the season, handed Yarmouth its third consecutive loss and dropped the Clippers to 1-3 in the process.

“That sound of the ball hitting the backboard is one of my favorites,” Perfetti said. “We were really hyped for this game. I know there was a lot of positive energy out there and that helped us get started.” 

New faces

Both the Clippers and Rangers were playoff teams a year ago and each squad welcomed a new coach this fall.

Greely lost its opener, 5-2, to visiting Freeport, then held off host Gray-New Gloucester, 3-2, and blanked visiting Cape Elizabeth, 5-0, last Thursday in its most recent outing.

Yarmouth began the year by avenging last year’s playoff ouster with a 3-1 win at Poland, but the Clippers couldn’t score in a 1-0 overtime home loss to defending Class B South champion York and a 3-0 setback at Fryeburg Academy last Thursday.

Last fall, Yarmouth won, 2-1, at Greely.

Wednesday, the Clippers hoped to do it again, but the Rangers snapped a four-game winless skid in the series and won in Yarmouth for the first time since Oct. 1, 2011 (4-0).

Greely was able to possess the ball nearly from the get-go, but it took nearly 15 minutes for a good scoring chance.

With 15:19 on the first half clock, Tillotson saved a shot by Rangers senior Wren Payne. Perfetti then got possession and sent a shot past Tillotson that appeared goal-bound until at the last second, a Clippers’ defender stopped it with her foot.

By rule, that led to a penalty stroke and Perfetti had a chance to go one-on-one against Tillotson.

Perfetti fired her shot, which Tillotson got a pad on, but fortunately for the visitors and unfortunately for Yarmouth, the ball rolled behind Tillotson and over the line to put Greely ahead to stay, 1-0.

“I’ve seen one (penalty stroke) in a regular season game my whole career,” said Perfetti. “We practice it, but it’s different going against a different goalie. It was a new experience. It wasn’t my best stroke, but it went in. I thought she saved it, but we got lucky.”

“Maddy sets the tone, each and every game,” said Rangers first-year coach Chelsea Morley. “Every player, regardless of grade, feeds off her. That stroke gave us confidence. It’s the hardest way to score, but she can capitalize and score any way. She’s a great role model.” 

The Clippers’ one good scoring chance came with 10:27 remaining in the half, when senior Lydia Guay, returning to action after suffering a scary facial injury, fired a promising shot which Greely freshman goalie Savanna Harvey denied.

The Rangers had an 8-1 edge in first half shots and took five corners to one for Yarmouth, but only had a one-goal advantage.

Greely then opened it up in the second half.

Less than five minutes in, Knox had a shot saved by Tillotson on a corner.

The Rangers kept on the attack, however, and off a penalty corner, after Tillotson turned aside a shot from sophomore Hannah Perfetti, a pair from Maddy Perfetti and one from senior Maggie McCormick, Knox fought for the rebound and sent it past Tillotson into the goal for a 2-0 advantage with 22:27 to play.

“We work every day on finishing in front of the cage,” Maddy Perfetti said. “We had that intensity, but we didn’t finish until we got on posts and on pads and it clicked.”

“You kind of know when it’s coming as a coach,” said Morley. “We had multiple corners in a row and we just had to finish. We had to get our sticks down. We got the ball in the right place and got what we needed there.”

After Tillotson denied Knox and Maddy Perfetti, then dove to rob Payne on a corner, Greely made it 3-0 with 15:17 to play, as Dougan sent a pretty pass to Maddy Perfetti, who one-timed a shot past Tillotson for a 3-0 advantage.

“I was debating whether or not to call for (the ball), but (Anna) needed to get rid of it,” Perfetti said. “I was sort of open. She made a great pass. I wound up and shot.”

“A lot of things are working, but most importantly, the passes to get to the goal,” Morley said. “Different athletes are scoring. That stems from ball possession and ball movement. We just look for whoever is open.”

Yarmouth couldn’t recover from there and the Rangers closed out their 3-0 victory.

“We all regrouped (from our first game) and came together and decided what we want to be as a team,” Maddy Perfetti said. “We started marking a lot better on the field. We’ve gotten a lot more intense. We’ve been able to take commands and criticism and learn and not be insulted by it. Now, everyone is working together.”

“Today, we showed up confident and more importantly, ready to have fun and play as a group,” said Morley. “It’s been a few days since our last game and the girls were itching to get out on the field.”

Greely finished with a commanding 26-1 shots advantage. The Rangers also had an 11-2 edge in corners. Harvey made one big save.

Tillotson stole the show for Yarmouth, making 23 saves.

“Cayte did a great job,” said first-year Clippers coach Tracy Quimby. “It’s big for confidence knowing she’s back there, but sometimes it’s too comfortable and we don’t mark.

“We have to figure out when one thing goes wrong, not everything goes wrong. We can’t stay down. We have to stay intense the whole time. Greely had the energy and when they got in the circle, they got hungry.

“It’s a really young group and we’ve had injuries. We’re having bad luck there. We only have a few seniors. These are tough, tough teams, every team we play has great players. Most of them have more seniors too.”

Sky’s the limit

Yarmouth returns to action Friday at Gray-New Gloucester, as it seeks to rediscover its offense.

“We’re trying every scoring drill you can think of,” Quimby said. “I hope it works at some point on the field.”

After hosting Lake Region Saturday, the Clippers visit Cape Elizabeth Tuesday.

“It just keeps getting tougher,” Quimby said. “We have no easy games.”

Greely hopes to keep the good times rolling Saturday in Poland in a playoff rematch.

“We’ll continue having a hard schedule,” Morley said. “Poland knocked us out last year. The girls have been waiting for that one. Defensive marking is still an area we need to work on. We need to still practice communication and talking on the field.”

The Rangers then host Lake Region Monday.

“We’re one big team and if we keep working together like we have, with the same goal in mind, big picture, I think we’ll do very well,” Perfetti said. “It’s anybody’s game this season.”

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

Greely sophomore Delia Knox and Yarmouth sophomore Winifred Leahy collide along the sideline.

Yarmouth senior goalie Cayte Tillotson goes to the ground to make one of her 23 saves as Greely senior Wren Payne, left, and sophomore Anna Dougan try to reach the rebound.

Greely senior Maggie McCormick drives the ball up the field as Yarmouth sophomore Anna Pires joins the play.

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