If you’re going to save up your goals, you might as well save them up for the league playoffs.
The Falmouth High School boys’ soccer team had potted just five goals in eight Cape and Islands League games this season, and had a total of nine over 10 games. After averaging less than a goal per outing, the Clippers exploded for four goals in the first half, three in the second quarter against rival Sandwich in the first round of the Cape and Islands League tournament on Tuesday, November 10. Senior captain Daniel Holt had two of the markers for Falmouth as it took control and never looked back in a 5-2 win.
For the Clippers the victory was the first for Coach Dave Plourde against a league opponent and second overall as the team won the matchup of the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams in Sandwich. The Clippers advanced to face defending league champion Nauset.
“If we had five goals (during the regular season), Daniel (Holt) probably had four of them,” Plourde said. “When he’s had a chance, he’s finished it...more and more pieces of the jigsaw are getting added and it’s starting to look like a mosaic as we go. The biggest thing is the effort. They were like warriors out there today.”
The game came down to a seven-minute stretch in the second quarter. The game was knotted at 1-1 after Holt put home a goal in the 12th minute on a pretty delay shot that he tucked past Tim Clark. Sandwich then got one off the foot of Jack Greeley, who won a race to a high bouncer that popped over Jack Richardson’s head. Greeley tapped in the tying goal in the 14th minute and it appeared that a back-and-forth battle would ensue from there.
FHS tilted it in its favor in the second quarter. Senior Eben Delinks started the surge with a nice play on the left side, beating Clark with a hesitation move to put his team up one. Moments later Thad Lincolne scored to make it a two-goal game, winning a footrace to the ball and then sneaking it inside the post before letting out a huge bellow and striking a flex pose.
If it wasn’t clear that FHS was fired up there, it really got excited when the lead went to four. Holt connected on his second as a misplayed ball by the Knights found him in front and he high-toed it behind the keeper in the 35th minute.
“I was up there pressing, and they kind of just knocked it off me and I put it over the goalie’s head,” Holt said. “The goalie was out, so I just took it right over...this is the best game (of my career), my favorite too. It felt great. We were coming into this year with a new coach and we weren’t really sure how it would go and we worked hard the whole entire season and we built up to it and we finally pushed one through, and we’re hoping to do that in our next game, too.”
With some high-quality defense and a little luck, FHS was able to hold onto the lead in the second half. Sandwich had a couple of chances to make a game of it but couldn’t catch a break until the 74th minute, when Joey Morrison made things interesting. SHS had rattled several shots off the crossbar and post during the game, but Morrison was able to connect on the rebound of Greeley’s 30-yard free kick that hit the horizontal bar and landed at his feet in the 74th minute. That made it 4-2 and gave the Knights some hope.
That was dashed in the 78th minute, though. James Hirth sank the dagger for the Clippers, slotting a hard and low shot inside the pipe to sew things up for Falmouth and advance it into the tournament semifinals.
Sandwich played well for most of the game, but Head Coach Alfredo Alvarenga acknowledged that the funk his team found itself in during the second quarter was the difference.
“We were slow for like a five-, 10-minute stretch...it was pretty much footrace and the way that the rules are, those balls are hard to control, especially if you’re running towards your man,” Alvarenga said.