There wasn’t much question in the mind of Falmouth Coach Bill Andrade that his Clippers were going to be in for a fight in their season opener against Plymouth North. Andrade’s FHS squad might be the best he’s had in some time, but the Eagles are a very solid team with experience and playmakers.
That played a big role as North came out hard early and closed the game well. With a goal in each half they were able to survive a scare from Falmouth and leave the Cape with a 2-1 victory.
“They expected something different, something like what they’ve seen in the preseason against teams like Bourne, like Old Rochester,” Coach Andrade said. “I knew it, though. A lot of their players are club players...I knew that we were going to be in store for something good.”
Senior goalie Jack Richardson gave his team a chance to compete, despite allowing a goal just four minutes into the proceeding. There wasn’t much that he could have done on that one, though, as a perfect cross from the right side by Colin Brown found Brady Sorenson on the far post for a header that Richardson could not get over for.
Prior to that the Falmouth goalie made two big stops, and he went on to make a number of more, including a leaping one-handed slap late in the first half that brought the crowd to its feet.
“Both teams, I thought, were pretty evenly matched,” Coach Andrade said. “The first 15 minutes we weren’t in it, we were just trying to stay alive. Then we picked up our pace a little bit, and Coleby’s goal really inspired us a little bit.”
Coleby Andrade put home a direct kick for the Clippers with 3:30 left to play in the first half to tie the score and give FHS a lift. Falmouth had been playing better over the second part of the opening half, and an innocuous handball just outside the box set up the set play for Falmouth. Andrade stepped into it from 20-yards out and rung the ball in off the post to tie the score.
In the second half Falmouth had a couple of chances to take the lead. Andrade just missed over the crossbar in the 61st minute after spinning out of the right wing corner and letting one rip. In the 69th minute FHS had its best chance of the second half after a great run up the left wing by Gabe Girouard, who cut back in and sent a pass to the doorstep for Rowan Gallant. The one-touch shot hit the keeper in the chest and was held onto.
Moments later North got the winner, again from Sorenson. A touch pass out of the midfield by Eric Chase allowed Sorenson to get a step on the Falmouth defense and he bore down on Richardson, making the goalie commit before tucking the ball low and under him for a 2-1 lead.
FHS had one last bid to tie it, on a set play. Andrade’s free kick was a pass to the right wing for Nick Hardin, who stepped into a shot but sent it high and wide of the net.
Coach Andrade said he feels good about where his team is at, and he’s confident it will improve as the days pass. Defensive integrity will be a point of emphasis going forward as the team preps for its second game of the season, a trip to Martha’s Vineyard on September 10.
“We have to solidify our back line and make sure that everyone’s working together. Our midfielders were taxed, because they weren’t holding onto the ball in the midfield, they were just pushing it through and had our defense on our heels.”