FALMOUTH—Senior Alec Dunn scored two goals in the opening eight minutes as the Yachtsmen boys’ soccer team held on to defeat Cape Elizabeth, 3-1, Monday night.
Dunn, undernoticed on a team of stars, showed his versatility, scoring a gritty goal from in close and another with flash from long range.
Just over three minutes in, Dunn cleaned up Michael Bloom’s rebound, knocking it past Cape Elizabeth goalie Cam Brown. Four minutes later, he dribbled up the left sideline. Stopped by a defender 25 yards from goal, he faked to the inside, but moved toward the sideline, driving a shot inside the far post with his left foot.
“He is special player,” said Falmouth coach Dave Halligan. “Everybody concentrates on some of our other players but we have some talent all over the field.”
Halligan said that all teams that reach the postseason have their share of stars who opponents will focus on shutting down, but he said that it’s players like Dunn who make the difference. Players that put in their work in practice and do what is asked of them in games.
“(Dunn) has started to come into his own,” Halligan said. “He’s been in the program and worked hard and developed. He’s played with good players and he’s played against good players. It’s the difference between a junior and a senior—he plays with a little more urgency.”
Falmouth opened fast against Cape Elizabeth. In addition to Dunn’s two goals, the Yachtsmen put a ball off the post, and had a lose ball headed from an open goal by a defender on the same sequence, just three minutes in.
“Early, I think it took us a little bit to get into it,” Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond said.” They came out at 100 miles-per hour. We made a few mistakes and they scored on them. That was the big difference in the game.”
Cape Elizabeth held its own the remainder of the half, and went on to outshoot the Yachtsmen, 6-3, over the final 40 minutes.
Halligan noted the danger of leading by two. A situation where a goal in your favor will make it a three-goal contest, effectively putting the game a way and a goal against will make it a one-goal game, shifting momentum to the opposition. Teams with a two-goal lead often relax and get away from what got them the lead to begin with.
Trailing, 2-0, Cape Elizabeth made it a one-goal game midway through the second half when sophomore Tim Lavallee lofted a shot high into the left corner, out of reach of Falmouth goalie Ben Goffin.
“We have a a lot of sophomores playing,” Raymond said. “It’s great to get experience in games like this. We have a lot of kids that don’t have that experience. Its a little more pressure and they understand that, so they are learning.”
Cape Elizabeth had more chances in the second half. Senior Captain Ben Brewster just missed with a few shots, sending them just wide on more than one occasion.
“He needs to focus a little bit, take a little more off his shots and put them on goal,” Raymond said, “Make the keeper work a little more.”
Falmouth, however, showed why it’s one of the early-season favorites, protecting its one-goal lead and eventually going back up by two on a goal by Bloom with just under eight minutes remaining.
“It was a good pass played in by Sam White,” Bloom said. “ It deflected off a defender but went right to me.”
Bloom went left with his shot, beating Brown who finished with five saves. Goffin had five saves for Falmouth, as well.
The Capers will get a second shot at Falmouth on October, 6 at home. The game comes at the end of a three game stretch in which Cape Elizabeth hosts a trio of its rivals—Greely (Oct. 1), Yarmouth (Oct. 3) and Falmouth.
“(The Yachtsmen) have some real talented players that go forward really fast,” Raymond said. “I think we will play with them, without a doubt, but its just a matter of getting all the kids on the same page for an entire game, not just a half.”
Falmouth travels to Yarmouth on Thursday for a rematch of last season’s Western Class B Final. Yarmouth won, 2-1, en route to a state title.
“Its going to be a battle— we know that,” Halligan said. It’s going to be emotional and it’s going to be good soccer. It’s why we play the games, it’s why we practice and do all the extra stuff.”