Greely holds off Falmouth in controversial OT win

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Greely senior Riley Soule is congratulated by her teammates after scoring in overtime to give the defending Class B state champions a 3-2 victory at Falmouth in Friday’s season opener.

More photos below.

FALMOUTH—Falmouth and Greely’s girls’ soccer teams packed so much drama and intrigue into their season opener Friday afternoon that more than 80 minutes were required to determine a winner.

The defending Class B champion Rangers, who have a very new look this fall, jumped ahead, 1-0, in the 31st minute when senior Ellie Schad scored, but the Yachtsmen, playing without several key players who are out with injuries, tied the score in the 36th minute on a gorgeous finish from junior Amelia Waite.

Falmouth then appeared to grab the lead early in the second half when senior Lucy Mahoney finished a feed from Waite, but to the shock and dismay of the hosts, the goal wasn’t allowed as it was ruled to have hit the post, although it clearly hit a sandbag holding down the back of the goal frame.

Undaunted, the Yachtsmen did take a 2-1 advantage with 28:52 to play, when Mahoney set up junior Lauren Wendland, but just 97 seconds later, after a Falmouth turnover, Greely junior Courtney Sullivan tied the score.

The game would go to overtime and in the first of a possible two five-minute, “sudden victory” extra sessions, the Rangers won it, as sophomore standout Anna DeWolfe got the ball to senior Riley Soule and Soule, who played defense a year ago, buried her first varsity goal to give Greely a 3-2 triumph.

The Rangers got out of town with what will be a Heal Points-rich victory and the Yachtsmen were left frustrated and angry at their fate.

“It was an exciting game,” said Greely coach Josh Muscadin. “It’s a game that we dominated, but we just couldn’t score. I have to give Falmouth credit. They came back and scored goals on our mistakes. We had more opportunities, but we didn’t put them away. If we did, it wouldn’t have gone to overtime.”

Repeat bid

Greely was close to unstoppable a year ago, going 16-2 and winning the Class B crown in decisive 6-0 fashion over Hermon, capping a dominant playoff run.

Repeating this fall won’t be easy after graduating a ton of talent, but the Rangers believe they’ll be in the hunt throughout.

Falmouth went 8-5-2 in 2015, dropping a 1-0 decision to Thornton Academy in the Class A South preliminary round. The Yachtsmen have been battling injuries in the preseason, but once they get healthy, they’ll be one of the most dangerous teams around.

While Falmouth knows a lot about repeating as state champions (the Yachtsmen went back-to-back in 2001 and 2002, 2005 and 2006 and three-peated between 2010-12, Greely has never won consecutive Gold Balls, although the Rangers have four titles to their credit.

Entering play Friday, since the start of the 2001 season (see sidebar, below), Falmouth had won 15 meetings and Greely 11 (with four ties), but the Rangers had taken four of the past five, including both a year ago (4-2 in Falmouth and 2-0 in Cumberland).

Friday, under skies that alternated from ominous to sunny, the Yachtsmen sought their first victory over the Rangers since a 3-2 double overtime triumph Sept. 30, 2014, but instead, the defending champions started their year on a high note.

For the first 30 minutes, neither team had many chances, as a pair of fill-in goalies, Falmouth junior Kathryn Caldwell and Greely freshman Brooke Obar, stood tall in relief of Adelaide Cooke and Molly Matthews, respectively.

With 9:49 to go in the first half, less than a minute after she shot high on a great opportunity in close, Schad got the ball from freshman Sawyer Dusch in the middle of the box, turned and launched a blast that Caldwell couldn’t reach, putting the Rangers ahead, 1-0.

Greely couldn’t take that lead to halftime, however, as with 4:41 to go, after a steal, Waite beat Obar with a shot that soared past the goalie and just inside the far post to make it 1-1 at the break.

The drama continued in the second half.

Just 1 minute, 22 seconds in, Falmouth transitioned on the attack, Waite crossed the ball to Mahoney and Mahoney beat Obar with a hard, low shot for an apparent go-ahead goal, but instead, the officials kept the clock running and didn’t count it.

Yachtsmen coach Andrew Pelletier was flabbergasted.

“They said they didn’t see it go in the back of the net,” Pelletier said. “I’m not sure what they were looking at.”

Muscadin remembered a similar event from last year and felt his team dodged a bullet.

“I think that was a gift for us, but I call it karma,” Muscadin said. “Last year, we had a goal here and they said it didn’t go in.”

With 28:52 to go in regulation, the hosts did manage to take a 2-1 lead, as Mahoney set up Wendland, who was wide open behind the defense, and Wendland did the rest, beating Obar.

Falmouth gave the goal right back, however, as with 26:48 remaining, the Yachtsmen carelessly gave the ball away, Sullivan pounced on it and finished to make it 2-2.

Down the stretch in regulation, Obar saved a header from sophomore Madison Wolf and Caldwell made two breathtaking diving saves, robbing Soule and DeWolfe, to send the game to overtime.

“(Kathryn is) in a tough spot with Adelaide being out, but she played well,” Pelletier said.

Falmouth got the first scoring chance in OT, but Wolf’s cross was cradled by Obar.

With 1:08 left in the first overtime, Greely ended it.

The goal came in transiton, as DeWolfe took on multiple defenders and as she so often does, came out with the ball and enough room to pass to Soule on her left. Soule got the ball on a deflection, ran it down and had enough time to think about where to shoot before she fired it past Caldwell, who dove to no avail to her left.

“Anna deflected it off a defender and it happened to go right in front of me,” Soule said. “I was trying to shoot in the right corner and I put it where I wanted. It was my first varsity goal. It feels great.”

“Riley made the run and the ball was right there,” Muscadin said. “She had a couple other chances, but she finished the one that matters.”

After a thrilling hour-and-a-half, the Rangers prevailed, 3-2.

“It was a great game,” Soule said. “Going back and forth. There was high intensity. I loved it. We’ve played in a lot of big games. That helped and so did the bench really cheering us on.”

“Everybody is figuring things out,” said Muscadin, who for one day at least will have bragging rights over his daughter, Falmouth freshman Aimee Muscadin, who showed great promise Friday. “First game, you deal with nerves and pressure. My kids were timid and panicked. That final goal was how it was supposed to be the whole game.”

Falmouth was left staggered and stunned.

“We deserved to win,” Pelletier said. “No doubt about it. The kids played hard. We dominated the second half. I assume we outshot them.”

No holiday

Falmouth looks to get in the win column Tuesday, but it won’t be easy, as Cape Elizabeth pays a visit. The Yachtsmen then have to host York and Yarmouth and go to St. Dom’s, Greely and Yarmouth to wrap up a brutal first half slate.

“We need to get back to it,” Pelletier said. “It doesn’t get any easier. We knew we could play with top teams. We thought it would take a little more time, but if this is the height of the talent pool, I know we’ll compete.”

Greely plays at Kennebunk Thursday, then finally has its home opener Sept. 13 versus Fryeburg Academy.

“This gives us a lot of confidence, but it will take a lot of work to beat the phenomenal teams we play,” Soule said.

“We have a long season ahead of us,” Muscadin said. “We’re wearing the bullseye this year. Every game will be like this. We have to be ready.”

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

Recent Greely-Falmouth meetings

2015
Greely 4 @ Falmouth 2
@ Greely 2 Falmouth 0 

2014

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

2013

Falmouth 2 @ Greely 1
Greely 3 @ Falmouth 0

2012

Falmouth 1 @ Greely 0
@ Greely 1 Falmouth 1 (tie)

2011

@ Greely 5 Falmouth 1
Greely 2 @ Falmouth 1

2010

Falmouth 1 @ Greely 0
Greely 5 @ Falmouth 0

2009

@ Falmouth 1 Greely 1 (tie)
@ Greely 0 Falmouth 0 (tie)

2008

Falmouth 5 @ Greely 1
@ Falmouth 2 Greely 0

2007

@ Falmouth 3 Greely 1
Falmouth 2 @ Greely 1

2006

Falmouth 3 @ Greely 2
@ Falmouth 2 Greely 0

2005

@ Falmouth 3 Greely 0
@ Greely 5 Falmouth 2

2004

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

2003

Falmouth 2 @ Greely 1
Greely 1 @ Falmouth 0 (2 OT)

2002

@ Greely 2 Falmouth 0
@ Falmouth 1 Greely 0

2001

@ Greely 1 Falmouth 0
@ Falmouth 2 Greely 0

Falmouth senior Grace Connolly carries the ball up the field as Greely freshman Ellie Holt (10) and sophomore Skylar Cooney give chase.

Greely freshman Katherine Clancy plays keep away from Falmouth senior Mia Cooney.

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