FALMOUTH-What the Falmouth field hockey team expected to be a dose of sweet revenge, turned instead into another disappointing loss at the hands of its nemesis Tuesday afternoon.
The Yachtsmen hosted defending Class B state champion York, a team that eliminated them in penalty corners in last year’s regional final. Falmouth had cruised in its first three contests, but was never able to get its potent offense going in this one, managing just two shots, as the Wildcats carried play in the second half, scoring twice to make an early statement with a 2-0 decision.
“Not to take anything away from (York), they’re a great team, but we had two players out,” said Falmouth coach Robin Haley. “We were flat today. We were out of sync.”
Painful deja vu
Falmouth has seen its share of York in recent years and always plays the Wildcats tough. In 2004 and 2005, York eliminated the Yachtsmen from the playoffs in the semifinal round. Last year, in the regular season, Falmouth enjoyed a 3-0 home win over the Wildcats, then lost 2-1 at York. In the regional final, the Yachtsmen rallied to send the game into overtime and beyond, but on the third set of penalty corners, the Wildcats got the best of them again.
After Falmouth rolled past Lake Region (5-1), Yarmouth (6-1) and Fryeburg (4-1) to start the year, the Yachtsmen felt very good about their chances going up against York, which downed Wells (1-0), Cape Elizabeth (2-1) and Greely (3-1) in its early action.
Early in the first half, the Wildcats served notice that they came to play. Just 2 minutes, 30 seconds in, sophomore Cari Posternak got a good look on a penalty corner, but Falmouth junior goalie Kelsey Freedman made the save. In the ninth minute, Wildcats senior captain Kellee Cribby’s backhanded shot was saved, leading to a corner which was followed by a shot that went wide.
The hosts got their first good scoring chance with 8:05 to play in the first half, but senior Victoria Bridges’ shot in front was saved by York freshman goalie Amanda Kasbohm. Less than a minute later, Yachtsmen senior Amber Aaskov’s long shot went just wide.
The second half would belong to the Wildcats.
A minute in, senior captain Stephanie Lomasney’s shot was saved. With 22:55 to go, Bridges broke up a chance in front.
With 18:48 remaining in regulation, Falmouth junior Courtney Proctor (who had five goals against Yarmouth) unleashed a shot in transition which trickled just wide and the Yachtsmen wouldn’t seriously threaten again.
With 13:24 to play, York got on the board. Posternak did the honors, taking a long pass, turning the corner on a defender, then sending a shot past Freedman (eight saves) to make it 1-0.
With 10:36 remaining, the Wildcats got some breathing room, making it 2-0 on Cribby’s rebound goal of a Posternak shot.
Haley tried calling timeout to rally the troops, but Falmouth couldn’t generate a serious threat and went down to its first defeat of the season.
“We never could get into a rhythm and struggled,” Haley said. “I could feel it on the field, we were flat.”
The Yachtsmen had just two shots for the game (to York’s 10) and managed just two penalty corners (to 11 for the Wildcats). York had an 8-0 advantage in the second half.
Falmouth doesn’t have much time to lick its wounds. Thursday, the Yachtsmen play at dangerous Wells. Monday, they host Greely and Wednesday they welcome Cape Elizabeth.
“We’re in the midst of a tough stretch,” Haley said. “We have to get it back together.”
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org