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Yarmouth boys enjoy emphatic win at Falmouth

Sports

Yarmouth boys enjoy emphatic win at Falmouth

FALMOUTH—Over the long and storied history of the Yarmouth boys' soccer program, classes have come and gone, most of them triumphant, some without peer, but most were stymied the majority of the time by rival Falmouth, especially in the 21st Century.

Not the Class of 2014.

No, not this class, which Tuesday evening, in its final game against the Yachtsmen, on Falmouth's turf no less, produced one of the most stunningly efficient clinics/displays of dominance that this rivalry has ever witnessed.

It was a junior, Adam LaBrie, that got the party started with a goal in the 11th minute, but the seniors took it from there.

Just three minutes later, senior Max Watson, finally nearing 100 percent health after battling a knee injury in preseason and September, set up classmate Wyatt Jackson, a matchup nightmare, who finished for a 2-0 lead.

That's the advantage the Clippers took into the half, but in truth, it could have been even more.

Then, in the second half, Yarmouth completely blew it open.

Just 2:21 in, Jackson finished a feed from LaBrie.

The hosts got a sliver of life when dynamic junior Luke Velas scored on a free kick with 36:31 to go, but Watson essentially ended the competitive phase of the contest when, after a couple of near misses, he took a pass from Jackson and finished with 31:42 remaining.

A goal from junior Ben Vigue with 23:11 to play made it 5-1 and senior Brazilian exchange student Caio Sawaya, a crowd favorite, delivered the exclamation point with his first goal with 10:32 to go and Yarmouth went on to a stunningly decisive 6-1 triumph, giving the senior class a four-year record of 7-2-1 against the state's most accomplished program.

"We certainly didn't expect this," said longtime Clippers coach Mike Hagerty. "We never thought we'd score six goals. I thought coming into the game, a 2-0 result would be fair based on the game last time. We had some nice bounces that went our way, don't get me wrong and Falmouth's on the back end of a tough week and they've been on the receiving end of some tough losses. I'm really happy for our kids. Our seniors especially, who had a great four years on this field. I feel like it's the most complete game we've played."

Last meeting

For most of this century, while the two regular season showdowns were huge, Falmouth and Yarmouth knew that more often than not, they would meet a third time in a de facto state final come playoff time.

That is no longer the case, as the Yachtsmen will be in Class A for the postseason.

That made Tuesday the last opportunity for bragging rights between the squads.

The Yachtsmen, the two-time defending Class B state champions who lost several players to graduation, opened with victories over host Gray-New Gloucester (4-0) and visiting Kennebunk (2-1, in double overtime), then ran into an offensive drought. After settling for a scoreless home tie against Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth again was held scoreless in a 0-0 draw at York. After beating visiting Poland, 4-0, the Yachtsmen fell for the first time, 3-0, at home against Greely, then lost again, 1-0, at Yarmouth. Falmouth got back on track with a 1-0 win at Cape Elizabeth, then fell at Greely Saturday, 2-1.

While Falmouth has struggled at times, Yarmouth has lived up to its preseason billing. 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. After beating visiting Falmouth, 1-0, Yarmouth had its way with visiting York, 4-1, then rallied to tie visiting Cape Elizabeth Saturday in a shootout, 3-3.

The Clippers came to Falmouth Tuesday having beaten the Yachtsmen two of the past three years on the Falmouth turf, including a double overtime triumph a year ago.

This time around, Yarmouth didn't just win, it won going away.

The tone was set in the second minute, when senior David Murphy's throw (which is as deadly as a corner kick) sat free in the box for a second before the Yachtsmen finally cleared the ball.

Five minutes in, LaBrie sent a header on goal, but Falmouth senior goalkeeper Will D'Agostino made the save.

At the other end, Falmouth had its first chance, but a free kick from freshman Jonah Spiegal was saved by Clippers junior goalkeeper Alex Lyon.

Then, with 29:56 to play in the first half, Yarmouth struck for the first time.

Off a corner kick (no one is more deadly on set pieces than the Clippers), Murphy chased down a ball that deflected to the far side, served it back toward the goal and LaBrie was waiting to head it past D'Agostino for a 1-0 lead.

"A fast start was huge," said Watson. "You have to come out fast against a team like Falmouth. In the past, we've come out slow. That first goal helped us get going."

Yarmouth almost made it 2-0 a minute later, but D'Agostino managed to beat Jackson to a feed from Clippers senior Wes Crawford, who had a stellar game defensively, on free kicks and in helping create offense.

The Yachtsmen dodged that bullet, but not the next one.

With 26:31 remaining before halftime, Watson spotted Jackson, sent him the ball and Jackson got to the ball before D'Agostino and one-timed it into the net for a 2-0 advantage.

"I saw him look at me and went," Jackson said.

"I thought Wyatt was the best player on the field tonight," Hagerty said. "He played simply. He took his touches when he needed too. When he mixes it up and gets less predictable, he's hard to cover. He gave it up and made a beeline for the goal and was open. He's giving it to the right people at the right time."

Falmouth tried to answer in the 20th minute, but after senior captain Nick Burton's throw landed in the box, the Clippers cleared it from harm's way.

The rest of the half featured Yarmouth bidding for a third goal, only to be denied.

First, LaBrie sent a blast through the football uprights, but too high to do any good.

In the 28th minute, D'Agostino made a stellar, no-time-to-think, point blank save on Jackson.

A minute later, Watson had a good look, but sent a shot wide.

With 7:20 to play before halftime, off a Murphy throw, Watson fired a one-timer toward the far corner, but D'Agostino again robbed him.

Then, in the final minute, Watson got to another Murphy throw and sent a one-timer just high.

The Clippers had a 9-2 shots advantage in the first 40 minutes and were about to become even more dominant.

Just seconds into the second half, LaBrie had a great look, but shot just wide.

The next time down, however, Yarmouth capitalized.

The third goal was set up by Murphy, who played the ball on the right side, eluded a defender then crossed it. LaBrie got the pass and managed to send it Jackson and Jackson chested the ball into the goal to make the score 3-0.

That goal marked the first time this century that Yarmouth scored more than two goals in a game against Falmouth.

"We've worked a lot this week on offensive runs and getting numbers in the box," Hagerty said. "When we play too direct like we did against Cape, we're not that good. When we don't play direct, we have good soccer players. This is the cleanest we've played. Our first touches were better and our movement was better."

Just when the Clippers appeared home free, however, the Yachtsmen reminded them that they can never take a second off.

After a foul, Falmouth earned a free kick just outside the box and while Yarmouth was uncertain about how to defend, Velas pounced, banging a low shot past Lyon into the goal to suddenly make it a game again, 3-1, with 36:31 still to play.

"We played so well, except for that mistake on the dead ball," Hagerty said. "Good for Velas. He made us pay. It was a good lesson."

When Falmouth earned a corner kick moments later, the hosts had a chance to make things really interesting, but Crawford cleared it and the Clippers transitioned to deliver the dagger.

This time, it would be Jackson setting up Watson and this time, Watson didn't miss, beating D'Agostino on a one-timer for a 4-1 lead with 31:42 to play.

"It felt great," Watson said. "We've worked all year on making runs from the midfield. I owe that goal to Wyatt. He played an incredible ball. All I had to do was finish. We knew we ouldn't let up. We knew they'd keep battling back. We kept going and didn't let up."

"(Max) finally got one," Hagerty said. "Good for him. He and David have come close so many times. What a great offensive run from the midfield. He found the right lane. September was his preseason. That's how Max can play."

Goal number five came with 23:41 to play and again Murphy played a huge role, although he didn't finish.

This time, Murphy eluded not one, not two, but three defenders before blasting a shot which hit the crossbar. The rebound caromed to Vigue and he headed it home for a 5-1 advantage.

That was the end of D'Agostino's night, as he was replaced by senior Joel Boehm.

After a couple Falmouth near misses (a low shot from senior Joe Dancoes was saved by Lyon and a shot from junior Caleb Lydick on a corner was also saved), an unlikely hero scored the final goal of the game.

Sawaya, who has developed a cult following among the Yarmouth fans, got into the game late and with 10:32 to go, made like so many other Brazilian heroes over the years, finding a way to put the ball in the net.

Sawaya managed to pounce on a rebound off a corner and he sent it past Boehm into the net for a 6-1 lead.

"I had just entered and the goalie punched the ball and it came to me," Sawaya said. "I turned and kicked and the ball went in."

"(Caio) can't score goals in practice, but he got one tonight," Hagerty joked.

Sawaya is spending his senior year in Yarmouth and has greatly enjoyed the experience.

"Coach in practice encourages us to be a team," Sawaya said. "They're terrific kids. I'm very happy to help Yarmouth. I  live in a city with 200,000 inhabitants and moved to a city with 8.500. It's a difference I'm enjoying. People are awesome here and make me feel at home."

With just over seven minutes to play, Hagerty pulled Lyon and placed senior captain Chandler Smith, a defensive standout and opportunistic goal scorer, in the cage. He didn't face a shot, but wasn't shy about directing his teammates, per goalie coach Dale Wing's instructions.

"Chandler is a very good goalie," Hagerty said. "Our concern has always been, what happens if Alex gets hurt? We wanted him to see the game from that perspective."

Yarmouth then put the finishing touches on its 6-1 triumph.

"It definitely comes as a surprise," Jackson said. "We just made our runs and we finished our runs. We made it happen. We just finished in the box and that was the difference."

"We talked today about the Brady Cup (the round robin competition between Yarmouth, Falmouth, Cape Elizabeth and Greely with the winner owning the trophy for the following year) being an important goal this year," Hagerty said. "This helps a lot with that."

For Murphy and Smith, who played all four years, and for Watson and senior Ben Decker, who saw limited time as freshmen, then played big roles from their sophomore year on, they couldn't have asked for anything more in their final game against Falmouth.

"This was an incredible game," Watson said. "It was a complete team effort. Everyone played their roles. Falmouth's a good team. We had to play our game to get the 'W' and everybody played great tonight."

The Yachtsmen could only shake their heads and give credit to the Yarmouth juggernaut.

"They beat us in every phase of the game," said longtime Falmouth coach Dave Halligan, who had never had a team surrender this many goals in one game in his 27 seasons. "They're a good team. Games like this happen sometimes. They were just flat out better than us. They showed up to play. They were motivated. Our kids were like deer in the headlights."

The Clippers finished with a 23-7 shots advantage (12-4 on frame). Corner kicks were even, 3-3. D'Agostino stopped five shots, while Boehm made one save. Lyon made three saves for Yarmouth.

Gearing up

The playoffs draw ever closer and while both teams are locks to take part, just where they'll finish in the final standings remains uncertain.

Falmouth (now ninth in Western A) is home with York Thursday, plays at Kennebunk and Freeport, then closes at home against Waynflete Oct. 21.

Halligan hopes his team quickly shakes off this loss.

"This is a concern, losing a game like this," he said. "If we beat them, we'd be concerned about the high highs. Now, especially with a young team, we're concerned with the low lows. This is best quickly forgotten. We'll move on."

Yarmouth (first in Western B) is in a heated battle with Greely for the top seed. The Clippers' final three games are at home: versus Kennebunk Friday, Greely next Wednesday and Gray-New Gloucester on Oct. 21.

While it's hard to fathom after a win like this, Yarmouth knows it can still get better and will need to if it wants to be the best team in Class B, which is how this squad will ultimately be measured.

"There are always things we can get better at," Jackson said. "Greely will be a battle. I'm looking forward to it."

"We've played great, but we have room for improvement," Watson said.

"Kennebunk will be worth a lot of points," Hagerty said. "Kennebunk's not dissimilar from Greely. They have speed up top and a good midfield. They'll be good preparation. The goals we've given up this year have been correctable. Hopefully we can clean them up. If we can keep moving the ball like this, we'll be in good shape."

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

Photo: Michael Strout

Yarmouth junior Adam LaBrie heads the ball past Falmouth senior goalkeeper Will D'Agostino for the first goal Tuesday.

Photo: Michael Strout

Falmouth junior Ben Lydick plays the ball away from Yarmouth senior Ben Decker.

Photo: Michael Strout

Yarmouth senior David Clemmer fights off Falmouth sophomore Nigel Dunn for a loose ball.

Photo: Michael Strout

Yarmouth senior Chandler Smith matches Falmouth junior Caleb Lydick stride for stride.

Photo: Michael Strout

Yarmouth senior Travis Hamre heads the ball away from Falmouth freshman Schulyer Parkinson.

Photo: Michael Strout

Falmouth junior Jake Grade shields Yarmouth senior David Murphy.

Photo: Michael Strout

Falmouth sophomore Jesse Melchiskey and Yarmouth senior Wyatt Jackson go all out for the ball.

Recent Yarmouth-Falmouth results

2013
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 0

2012
@ Yarmouth 2 Falmouth 2
Yarmouth 2 @ Falmouth 1 (2 OT)
Falmouth 2 @ Yarmouth 0 (Western B Final)

2011
@ Yarmouth 2 Falmouth 1
@ Falmouth 1 Yarmouth 0

2010
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 0
Yarmouth 2 @ Falmouth 1
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 0 (OT) (Western Class B Final)

2009
@ Yarmouth 1 Falmouth 1 (tie)
@ Falmouth 1 Yarmouth 1 (tie)
@ Falmouth 3 Yarmouth 0 (Western Class B Final)

2008
@ Falmouth 2 Yarmouth 1 (OT)
Falmouth 1 @ Yarmouth 0
Yarmouth 2 @ Falmouth 1 (Western Class B Final)

2007
Falmouth 1 @ Yarmouth 0
Yarmouth 1 @ Falmouth 0
@ Falmouth 1 Yarmouth 0 (Western Class B semifinals)

2006
@ Falmouth 0 Yarmouth 0 (tie)
Falmouth 3 @ Yarmouth 1
@ Falmouth 2 Yarmouth 0 (Western Class B semifinals)

2005
Yarmouth 2 @ Falmouth 0
Falmouth 1 @ Yarmouth 0

2004
@ Falmouth 0 Yarmouth 0 (tie)

2003
Falmouth 1 @ Yarmouth 0

2002
@ Falmouth 4 Yarmouth 0
Falmouth 1 @ Yarmouth 0
@ Falmouth 2 Yarmouth 0 (Western Class B semifinals)

2001
@ Yarmouth 2 Falmouth 2 (tie)
@ Falmouth 4 Yarmouth 0