SCARBOROUGH, Maine — As he waited for the signal to take his penalty kick with the game tied, Falmouth co-captain J.P. White knew what he was going to do.
“I always go to the same side. I always go left,” said the senior midfielder.
The play went exactly like he planned it and the goal with 8:29 remaining propelled the Yachtsmen to a 2-1 win over Camden Hills of Rockport in the Class B boys soccer state championship game Saturday.
“The goalie moved and luckily he didn’t go to that side,” White said of Camden Hills’ Marshall Spear. “I just fake right and go left and it usually works.”
White was awarded the kick when Windjammer freshman defender Jack Gallagher was red-carded for a hand ball in the penalty area.
“I thought he was just going down and trying to head the ball to the ground,” said Camden Hills coach Ryan Hurley. “That’s what it looked like to me, but I guess his hand touched it. Can’t fault him for that.”
Falmouth, which also defeated Camden Hills 2-1 in last year’s state game, continued to apply the bulk of the offensive pressure the rest of the game.
“Just a great job by our [defense],” said White, “because every time the ball came up, they were able to clear it back to the corner and give our offense a chance to hold it up in the corners and keep it down in their end.”
Camden Hills (14-2-2) was able to break out a couple of times in the closing minutes despite playing a man down because of the red card.
Junior midfielder Colin Morse of the Eastern Maine champion Windjammers blasted a line drive from 25 yards out with 4:30 left, but it sailed over the goal.
The Windjammers also controlled the ball most of the final minute. They just couldn’t get a shot off before the clock expired.
“We weren’t going to lay down. We were going to try to win,” said Hurley. “Even that last five minutes we left three people back, three in the middle and put four guys up front and went after them.”
Morse opened the scoring with 1:27 gone in the second half. He took a through ball and blasted it by Falmouth goalie Will D’Agostino into a half-open net.
“I realized I was wide open,” said Morse, “and Grayson [Szumilas] just fed me on a through ball and just an easy volley on the other side where the ’keeper wasn’t and it just went in.”
But the WM titlist Yachtsmen (13-3-2) returned the favor a minute later.
They had a corner kick knocked out of the box straight to another Yachtsman.
“[Senior defender] Tom Wilberg passed it right back and I just put it right in,” said sophomore forward Luke Velas of his booming shot from the middle of the field inside the top of the penalty area. The ball hit the bottom of the crossbar and caromed into the back of the net.
The play was an example of Falmouth’s strategy.
“We were getting balls to the end [of the field] and serving some in and getting opportunities that we weren’t the first half,” said Velaz.
D’Agostino finished with one save on nine shots and Spear had 12 saves on 24 shots. Senior sweeper Marshal Crockett aided Spear by heading out a couple of Falmouth shots that were labeled for the back of the net.
“Third in four years. It means a lot, especially as a senior, going out on top,” said White.