Nauset arrived at Trotting Park on Wednesday, July 30, ready to play its aggressive style of soccer against Falmouth United. Both teams were backed by strong keepers, but Nauset was able to find the back of the net more often, and earned a 3-1 victory.
Falmouth almost took an early lead in the beginning of the first half off of a free kick just outside the 18-yard line. Falmouth’s striker launched the ball into the box, which bounced around before falling to a Falmouth foot.
However, Nauset’s keeper made an athletic, diving save to his left to keep the game scoreless.
After that scare, Nauset’s attack stepped up and took control. Consistent pressure allowed Nauset a corner kick opportunity. The ball landed at the feet of a Nauset striker, who easily one-touched it into the net. Nauset continued to maintain pressure against Falmouth’s backs in the second half.
Falmouth United head coach Abdul Faiky acknowledged the fast and direct style of Nauset, saying, “I think that team is always aggressive. They play hard, they run, they pressure. I think we tried to match them a little bit, but we just got unlucky a couple of times.”
Nauset’s second goal came early in the second half. Falmouth’s defense had trouble cornering one of Nauset’s strikers, who dribbled inside of the box and delivered a powerful strike to put his team up by two. After Nauset’s second goal, Falmouth seemed to come alive and step up its attack. A ball sent into the box by Falmouth was mishandled by Nauset’s keeper. Falmouth’s Justin Mendez was there at the goal line to roof the ball into the far corner, getting Falmouth on the board. Falmouth might have tied the game in the next minutes if it weren’t for a redeeming save by Nauset’s keeper, who dove to his right to block the ball from the low corner of the net.
Falmouth kept pushing for an equalizer, getting support from its midfielders in the attack. Falmouth’s Tom Delmont consistently carried the play into the attack and created chances for the offense. With increased pressure, however, Falmouth sacrificed some coverage in the back. With 5 minutes to play, Falmouth was caught off guard by a fast break down the sideline. Two defenders were able to catch up, but Nauset’s striker was composed in the box, avoided the tackle, and fired a shot into the back of the net.
Wednesday’s loss marked the end of the regular season for Falmouth United. Falmouth hopes to bounce back in its first playoff game on Sunday, August 3, at 5:30 PM at Trotting Park. The Tide will be hosting the Wellfleet Breakers (4-9-1). The two teams split a couple of games this year; both ended in blowouts. In Falmouth, United won an 8-0 decision. In Wellfleet, the Breakers won 6-1.