YARMOUTH—The 2013 Yarmouth girls’ soccer team is young, but has a ton of promise.
That was perfectly illustrated Monday afternoon when the Clippers got on their turf field for the first time this fall and while they had their share of missed opportunities, eventually found a way to dispatch Freeport.
After a first half in which Yarmouth controlled play, but couldn’t finish, the Clippers were further frustrated most of the second half, but eventually, they couldn’t be denied.
With just over nine minutes to play, junior Emma Torres managed to break the ice and Yarmouth held on for a 1-0 victory, evening its record at 1-1, dropping the Falcons to 2-2 in the process.
“It took us awhile,” said Clippers coach Rich Smith. “We’ve got a lot of young kids out there. They know how to play. We have potential. Top to bottom, I have a solid core. We’re young and we’re learning. There’s lots to build on.”
Yarmouth lost its opener to visiting Greely, 3-0. Freeport, meanwhile, fell at home to powerhouse Cape Elizabeth in its first game, 5-0, then handled visiting Sacopee, 4-2, and Wells, 2-1.
The Clippers have dominated the Falcons this century (please see below), not losing to their neighbor, but Freeport has been close in recent years, tying Yarmouth at home in 2012 (1-1) after losing the prior three meetings by one goal.
Monday would produce another one-goal decision and again, the Clippers found a way.
In the first half, Yarmouth had several chances, but couldn’t finish.
In the eighth minute, Clippers sophomore Lilly Watson won a loose ball and set up Torres, whose high shot was tipped away by Freeport senior goalkeeper Livvy Dimick, setting up a corner kick which didn’t produce a shot.
In the 13th minute, a bid from Yarmouth freshman Katie Clemmer was tipped wide.
After senior captain Julia Primeau shot high and a cross from junior Lane Simsarian was just beyond the reach of freshman Abby Condon, the Falcons produced their one good chance as a cross from junior Julia Smith was on target, but Clippers junior goalkeeper Shannon Fallon got the ball first.
Late in the half, Clemmer set up freshman Gretchen Barbera, but Dimick broke up the play, Torres then shot high, before having a long shot saved.
Yarmouth kept the pressure on in the second half, but it took a long time before the hosts finally broke through.
With 31:16 left in regulation, a serve into the box by Watson headed Clemmer’s way, but she couldn’t quite reach the loose ball.
Clemmer got a look at the goal with 27:38 to play, but shot just high.
After Torres shot wide, Clemmer and Simsarian had shots saved by Dimick.
With 14:36 remaining, Clemmer appeared to have a goal, but the ball trickled just wide of the post.
With 9:40 left, off a corner kick, Watson served the ball in front and senior captain Abby Belisle-Haley got her head squarely on it, but Dimick made the stop.
Yarmouth kept the pressure on, however, and it paid off.
The ball came to freshman Cory Langenbach on the right wing and she sent it in front to Torres, who had room from about 20 yards out. Torres’ shot was high and cleared Dimick, but it looked like it was going to hit the crossbar.
Instead, the ball kissed off the bottom of the crossbar and with 9:09 remaining, fell into the net to give the Clippers a 1-0 advantage.
“We were pretty frustrated,” said Torres. “When we started the second half, we knew we had to take it up a notch because we weren’t playing to our abilities. Corey passed the ball, it landed and I just kicked it. I thought it would bounce back out the way things were going. It was a fortunate shot.”
Freeport had one last look to tie, but with 1:45 remaining, senior Ashley Richardson’s through ball was ruled to have been played with a teammate offsides and Yarmouth was able to run out the clock on its 1-0 win.
“Freeport packed it in a little bit, so we got frustrated,” Smith said. “We needed to have more poise in the box. All in all, I thought we played a solid game and worked the ball around. I have a lot of players who can play in different spots. We’ll do what we need to do to get energy and get some offense going.”
Freeport held on for as long as it could, but eventually fell short.
“I told my team I felt like we played as strong as I know we can play,” said Falcons coach Elayna Girardin. “Defensively, we were strong. They had a ton of shots, but they weren’t scary goal chances. I was sure we were getting tired and I tried to sub because there’s only so much you can do to hold a team off.
“We’ve worked on defense, getting organized. We finally got that piece. Now, we need to combine that piece with our attack. It’s just getting the two together. When we play strong teams, it’s one or the other. We can do both, I’ve seen it, it’s just doing it together. We didn’t give in. I’m happy. We played as hard as we could.”
Freeport is back in action Wednesday at Gray-New Gloucester. The Falcons return home Saturday against Fryeburg.
“The schedule is easier than it’s been,” Girardin said. “It’s different. We have to win games. If we don’t win, we won’t move on.”
Yarmouth plays at York Tuesday and goes to Kennebunk Friday. After playing just twice in the first two-plus weeks of the season, the Clippers are about to get busy.
They also hope to keep getting better.
“It’s been hard to get into a rhythm,” Torres said. “Hopefully from here, we’ll just go up. We’re a really young team. With our senior leadership, with Julia and with Abby, we’ll be good. We have to practice the way we play in games. If we keep up our intensity, we can make it far. Hopefully this is the start of something good. I think so.”
@ Freeport 1 Yarmouth 1 (tie)
Yarmouth 2 @ Freeport 1
Yarmouth 2 @ Freeport 1
@ Yarmouth 2 Freeport 1
Yarmouth 6 @ Freeport 0
Yarmouth 6 @ Freeport 3
@ Yarmouth 4 Freeport 0
Yarmouth 4 @ Freeport 1
@ Yarmouth 3 Freeport 1
Western B quarterfinals
@ Yarmouth 5 Freeport 0
Yarmouth 2 @ Freeport 1 (2 OT)
Yarmouth 4 @ Freeport 1