HAMPDEN, Maine — It wasn’t quite the way this breakthrough season was supposed to end for the Presque Isle girls soccer team, but Falmouth’s Yachtsmen had too much wind in their sails for the Wildcats.
Falmouth scored a goal in each half — both off headers — and notched its third Class B state crown in the last four years with a 2-0 victory over Presque Isle at the Weatherbee School athletic complex on a misty Saturday.
“That team is very skilled, they have speed all over the field and they’re bigger than we thought they’d be,” said PI coach Ralph Michaud, whose ’Cats wound up a historic season 16-2. “Everyone on that team kicks well, whether it’s on the right foot or left. They don’t miss. It’s hard to get an attack going on them.”
Falmouth’s first goal came with 9:55 left in the first half, as junior forward Corey Morganstern scored on a header from the left post off a perfect pass from Sarah Girouard, who was also on the left and lured PI goalie Kelsey Park out before zipping the ball to Gallagher.
The second came with 19:56 left in the second half, when sophomore midfielder Jamie Sabo scored on a header from the left post off a perfect corner kick from the right by senior Haley Jordan.
“We tried to play balls wider so our kids could get to them rather than going directly at the goal,” said Falmouth coach Deb Lebel. “We needed to be more patient. That’s something we talked about at halftime, using a shorter passing game.”
The Wildcats had two good chances to score, but the first was foiled when a shot by Sarah Porter didn’t bounce high enough and allowed goalie Elizabeth Estabrook to grab it before it went over her head. The second also involved Porter, as she found herself all alone with the ball and about 30 feet away from the goal with 25 minutes left in the game.
Porter went to kick, but found only air as the ball was swept away by a Falmouth defender who was so quick, neither Porter nor Michaud could recall who it was.
“I did a quick two-touch and all of a sudden, there was a girl there and I have no idea where she came from,” said PI’s senior. “Coach just shook his head and said the same thing.”
Estabrook finished with two saves on five shots for the 16-2 Yachtsmen. Park wound up with five on 11.
It was the first appearance in a state final for the PI girls, so even in defeat, they still had smiles on their faces.
“Getting to this game was more than we expected,” Porter said. “My three years here before now, we lost in the semifinals, so once we got by that round, it seemed like the curse was broken.”