Lax twinbill results in split for Yarmouth; Boys pull away from NYA, girls give Waynflete a scare
(Ed. Note: For a full girls' game story, visit www.theforecaster.net).
Four of the finest lacrosse teams in the state gathered at Yarmouth High School Monday night for a late-season showcase.
In the first game, the Clippers girls managed to do something no one else had done all year: give powerhouse undefeated and defending Class B state champion Waynflete a scare, but despite pulling even twice in the second half, Yarmouth couldn't pull ahead and the Flyers went on to an 8-6 victory.
In the nightcap, the Yarmouth boys hosted rival North Yarmouth Academy, which put forth a spirited effort. The Panthers were within a goal, 4-3, midway through the third period, before the Clippers closed the game on an 8-1 run to win, 12-4.
Since 2001, either Waynflete (five times) or Yarmouth (three times) has won the girls' state championship. The Flyers had decimated the opposition to date this spring and were coming off a 12-3 home win over NYA Saturday.
Yarmouth, meanwhile, lost by a goal at home to Kennebunk on May 12, but had downed everyone else and was on an emotional high after last Wednesday's stirring 12-11 (sudden-victory overtime) home win over an NYA team which eliminated them from the playoffs a year ago.
Monday, the Flyers suggested early that they were on their way to another romp, scoring two quick goals, but the Clippers promptly responded with three straight strikes, one from sophomore Natalie Salmon and a pair from classmate Becca Bell. The rally set the tone for a close contest.
Yarmouth's 3-2 lead was the first deficit the Flyers had faced all season.
Waynflete answered to go up 4-3 at break, then took a 5-3 lead early in the second half, but again the hosts answered.
With 15:24 to go, senior Lanier Bolmer (who played defense for most of the game thanks to a savvy move from coach Dorothy Holt) rejoined the offense and promptly scored an unassisted goal. That strike ended a 26 minute, 28 second drought and proved to be the first of Bolmer's two goals in 39 seconds as she next took a pass from senior Hannah Coleman at the 14:45 mark and tied the score with a shot Flyers junior goalie Sasha Timpson deflected, but couldn't stop.
Waynflete retook the lead, 6-5, with 13:12 remaining, but again the Clippers got off the deck, tying it at 6-6 when junior Nalini Robbins scored unassisted with 8:31 to go.
Yarmouth wouldn't be able to spring the upset, however, as the Flyers (12-0) scored twice in a 50 second span, then made some key plays on defense before running out the clock on their 8-6 victory.
Yarmouth got two goals each from Bell and Bolmer and one apiece from Robbins and Salmon.
"We did have opportunities, but (Waynflete's) good," Holt said. "We had turnovers at key times. We still have a lot to work on, but the kids are giving it their all. All the kids played well. Waynflete was just that much better than us. That's why they're undefeated. We wanted to give them a game and we did. No one has. This is a good way to go into the playoffs."
Yarmouth (9-2 and first in Eastern Class B) will likely be the top seed for the playoffs as it seeks to win its third championship in four years. The Clippers (who played at York Wednesday, too late for print, then have a bye until the semifinals, June 13) are almost certain to meet up again with fierce rival NYA, likely in the regional final.
"Homefield is huge for us," Holt said. "It'll be a long road, but we'll take baby steps. We're young, but we're having fun along the way."
Doorstep of perfection
The Yarmouth boys entered Monday's game 10-0, while NYA was 7-4 and coming off a 17-5 home loss to Portland. However, anyone expecting a blowout in this rivalry game, was in for a surprise.
The Clippers led just 4-2 at halftime, thanks to a pair of goals from senior Jake Gallagher. When junior Cam Smith scored at the 7:08 mark of the third period, the Panthers were within a goal, but before the quarter ended, junior Evan Henry scored twice and classmates Mike Johnson and Steven Petrovek added one each to open it up to an 8-3 lead. Petrovek scored twice more in the fourth and Yarmouth pulled away to win a game much closer than the final score indicated, 12-4.
"We started to click on offense," said Petrovek, who led all scorers with four goals and four assists. "We slowed it down and got our looks and played our game. (NYA's) a good, aggressive team. We were ready to play. We were calm and confident."
"We just needed to stay patient and not try to win it on every play," added Clippers coach Craig Curry. "It's NYA-Yarmouth. It's the game we hoped for and we came out on top."
The Panthers got two goals from junior Gus Wellin as they finished 7-5 (third in latest Eastern B Heals).
"We played really well tonight," said NYA first-year coach Chris Carpentier. "I couldn't have asked for more. Yarmouth's deep and has numbers. That showed in the fourth quarter. They really capitalized in the second half.
"To go into playoffs looking like we did tonight is encouraging. We gave it our all. That's all I can ask. I think we'll show a lot of passion in the playoffs. If we play our game and control the ball, we can play a whole four quarters."
The Clippers wrapped up their regular season at Falmouth Tuesday (please see Web site for game story), looking to finish undefeated for the just the second time (2004 was the other). They have the top seed wrapped up.
"We've had a great season," Petrovek said. "We're clicking on all cylinders right now, ready to go into the playoffs."
"I feel great," Curry added. "We beat ourselves more than other teams beat us and that's the frustrating part. Hopefully, we'll clean that up."
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org