YARMOUTH—The Yarmouth girls’ soccer team added another triumphant chapter to their special season Thursday night.
Hosting their recent nemesis, the defending Class B state champion York Wildcats, the Clippers dominated play much of the way and finally broke through on senior Devin Simsarian’s goal in the 59th minute as they improved to 9-0 with a 1-0 victory, dropping York to 8-1.
“I was really proud of how we played,” said Yarmouth coach Rich Smith. “From the back line and the goalie all the way through, we controlled the game.”
Good times keep coming
Yarmouth was a semifinalist in 2009, but lost at York, just as it did in the semifinal round of the 2008 postseason. The year before, the Wildcats came to Yarmouth and beat the Clippers in overtime in the regional final.
Entering the contest, Yarmouth hadn’t defeated York since Oct. 5, 2007 (3-2), a span of seven meetings.
The Clippers certainly came in full of confidence after their best start this century. After opening with a 2-1 victory at Freeport and a 3-0 home triumph over Gray-New Gloucester, Yarmouth held off rival Falmouth, 3-2, giving Smith, the only coach the program has ever known, his 200th career victory. Victories over Wells (7-0), Greely (2-1, in overtime), Cape Elizabeth (3-1), Fryeburg (5-0) and North Yarmouth Academy (1-0) followed.
York, while not as potent as last year, hadn’t dropped any of its contests either and was coming an impressive 1-0 home victory over Falmouth Tuesday.
Thursday, however, the Wildcats couldn’t generate much offense and ultimately fell to the Clippers’ relentless attack.
Scoring chances were at a premium in the first half. York had a 4-2 edge in shots on frame, while Yarmouth had three corner kicks to two for the visitors.
The best opportunity came in the 35th minute when Simsarian, who was hounded all night by Wildcats senior defensive standout Nikki Taylor, broke into the clear, but shot wide of an open net.
In the second half, York had a shot on goal early, but Clippers freshman goalkeeper Olivia Smith made the save.
Yarmouth then carried play the rest of the way.
With 22:51 to play in regulation, senior Danielle Torres almost gave the hosts the lead, when she fired a blast from about 30 yards out that appeared ticketed for the top of the net, but Wildcats junior goalie Carly Lee managed to get a hand on the ball and deflect it away.
The next chance did result in a goal.
With 21:55 to play, Simsarian took a pass from senior Becca Bell and just outside the box, fired a left-footed blast that found nothing but net for a 1-0 lead.
“We were ready to go out and score,” said Simsarian. “We talked at halftime about how everyone had an equal chance to score. We just wanted to go out and do it. Once I got it under control, I realized that Nikki was finally not on my back so I hit it. It felt right.
“(Nikki) marked me well. It’s hard. I had to stand my ground and be as aggressive as she is strong and match her intensity.”
York wasn’t able to muster a counterattack and was fortunate that Yarmouth couldn’t convert again as it went on to the 1-0 victory.
“We’ve been waiting for this,” Simsarian said. “I think we’re a cohesive group. I love every single person on this team. We bond really well together. I can honestly say that any person on the bench or on the field could take my position. We’re all equal.”
“York has a really strong team,” Smith said. “They played hard. Their goalie is experienced. They have a really good defensive line. It’s hard to get goals off them. We kept coming at them. We played to feet more in the second half. Devin had a great game.
“I knew we had a lot of talent and I knew we had great senior leadership, but I didn’t expect to jell this early and play this well against Falmouth, York, Greely and Cape. The girls work hard in practice and get along great. They care about each other and have fun.”
For the contest, Yarmouth had a 7-5 edge in shots on goal and finished with seven corners to just two for the Wildcats. Lee made six saves, Smith had five.
The Clippers are first in the Western Class B Heal Points standings and have a chance to stay there and have homefield advantage for the playoffs, but it certainly won’t be easy.
After hosting Freeport Monday, Yarmouth’s final four games are at home versus Cape Elizabeth, then at Falmouth, York and Greely.
“We love our field,” Simsarian said. “We’re used to having a lot of space to work with. (Homefield advantage) would definitely help us.”
“We have to play everybody over again,” Smith added. “No easy ones.”
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yarmouth senior Danielle Torres beats a York defender to the ball. Torres was her usual dominant self in the midfield and helped the Clippers stay undefeated.
Yarmouth senior Becca Bell skies to head the ball away from a York defender Thursday. Bell assisted on the game’s lone goal.
Yarmouth senior Devin Simsarian dribbles past a York defender during the teams’ showdown Thursday night. Simsarian’s second half goal gave the Clippers their first win over the defending Class B state champion Wildcats in three years, 1-0.
More photos below.