Yarmouth splits lacrosse doubleheader
Boys race past Scarborough, girls drop close one to Kennebunk
YARMOUTH— Slow starts put both Yarmouth lacrosse teams behind the eight ball Tuesday night.
Both squads were eventually able to rally, but only one wound up with a 'W' in an entertaining evening showcase of the sport.
The boys got things started, falling behind Scarborough 3-1 before erupting for 10 second half goals in a 13-6 victory in a battle of defending state champions.
The girls found themselves down 3-0 and 5-2 to Kennebunk before roaring back to take the lead in the second half, but the Rams got the game's final two goals and held off a furious Clippers' rally to send Yarmouth to its initial defeat of the 2009 season, 8-7.
Sloppy then superb
The boys entered Tuesday's game riding 58-game winning and 61-game unbeaten streaks on their home field. Yarmouth has been pretty formidable on the road as well in 2009 and the defending Class B champions had won their first four contests by a combined 61-12 margin.
Scarborough, which won Class A last season, started 2009 with wins over Falmouth, Massabesic, Deering and North Yarmouth Academy, but Friday night, the Red Storm were humbled, 12-1, at Portland.
The teams met on Opening Night last spring and the Clippers dominated the host Red Storm, 19-6.
This time around, the game would, for the most part, be much tighter.
Yarmouth appeared to be in good shape when it took a 1-0 lead 38 seconds in when senior Peter Erickson scored unassisted. Erickson, however, would soon be sidelined by a rib injury and the Clippers' offense began to struggle, turning the ball over five times in the first period. Scarborough pulled even with just 2.4 seconds to go in the frame when junior Matt Mayo took a pass from senior Brendan Ham and fired a shot past Yarmouth junior goalie Cam Woodworth to make it 1-1 after one.
Turnovers and penalties continued for the hosts in the second period and the Red Storm took advantage, going up 3-1 on goals from senior Nick Broadhurst (assisted by sophomore Peter Moore) and Moore (who scooped the ball off the ground past Woodworth with his team a man-up).
Finally, with 2:18 to go in the first half, the Clippers snapped a 21 minute, 4 second drought and pulled within 3-2 on an unassisted goal from senior Rob Highland. A mere 25 seconds later, Yarmouth tied the game when junior Evan Henry scored unassisted.
The Clippers had an edge in faceoffs and shots, and forced 15 turnovers, but found themselves deadlocked at the break.
Yarmouth would take the lead for good at the 8:08 mark of the third period. Junior Mike Johnson did the honors, taking a pass from classmate Steven Petrovek and beating Red Storm senior Ryan Kane to make it 4-3. Senior Jake Gallagher (from Henry), Henry (man-up, from Highland), and junior Colby Shields (unassisted) followed to give the Clippers a 7-3 lead after three.
"We just settled it down and started playing our game instead of getting penalties," Henry said. "We came out strong in the second half. We calmed down and became ourselves. It took us awhile to realize (Kane) was left-handed and to get on his other side. It's good to be aggressive, but sometimes penalties can hurt us. They did early."
Early in the fourth, Henry scored unassisted again to make it 8-3, but an unassisted goal from Scarborough senior Jake Barrett pulled the visitors within 8-4. Petrovek and Barrett traded unassisted goals, then Petrovek (from senior Colin Simsarian) and Barrett (unassisted) did it again to make it 10-6 with 3:03 remaining.
Yarmouth then put it away on goals from Shields (assisted by Henry), Petrovek (from senior Leo Oliva) and Highland (unassisted) that put the finishing touches on its 13-6 triumph.
"Some days you come out and you don't have it going," said Clippers coach Craig Curry. "I'm not terribly worried. We've looked good in practice. I just think we had a bad day.
"We didn't stay out of the penalty box very much. A lot of it's discipline. It's a tough lesson to learn. We were fortunate to come out of it. They had a lot of chances, but our goalie was awesome. I think the key for us is to build on this. We have tough teams coming up. If we can play well in one quarter, we should be able to do it for four quarters."
Henry and Petrovek had three goals each. Henry also had two assists and led his team with eight ground balls. Highland and Shields both had two goals. Woodworth made 11 saves.
Yarmouth (second in the latest coaches' poll and third in the latest Eastern Class B Heal Points standings) visits Kennebunk Friday, then hosts top-ranked and unbeaten Portland Monday in what might be the game of the year in boys' lacrosse.
The Clippers will be ready. They do have a streak to protect.
"This helps us get ready for Portland next week," Henry said. "That will be a good test."
The girls hoped to make it a sweep, but Kennebunk had other ideas.
Last spring, Yarmouth's 29-game win streak was snapped, 9-5 by the Rams on the Clippers' home turf. Tuesday night, Kennebunk did it again.
Yarmouth entered unbeaten, having downed Falmouth, Massabesic, Marshwood and Scarborough with relative ease. The Rams were coming off a hard-fought one-goal loss at NYA, their only blemish in five outings.
Tuesday, Kennebunk got the jump when senior standout Jamie Spang scored unassisted just 57 seconds in. Nineteen seconds later, sophomore Taylor Crowley scored from senior Maggie Lavoie and it was 2-0. The Rams made it 3-0 when Spang scored again midway through the first half, then the Clippers came to life.
Junior Molly Curry got her team on the board with an unassisted goal at the 11:16 mark. With 9:47 left, senior Tess Beem (from sophomore Becca Bell) beat Rams senior goalie Taylor Vaughan to pull Yarmouth within a goal, but Spang and Lavoie answered with unassisted tallies to make it 5-2. Bell and Beem then countered with unassisted goals for the hosts and it was a 5-4 Kennebunk lead at the break.
The Clippers were held in check by 15 first half turnovers. The Rams won seven of 10 draw controls and had a 12-10 edge in shots (Yarmouth senior Kelley Kasper made five saves).
With 21:32 left in regulation, the hosts pulled even when Beem fed senior Lanier Bolmer for a goal. Then, with 20:15 remaining, the Clippers took their first lead when senior Hannah Coleman passed to Bolmer, who made a great catch and followed with a shot that Crowley had no chance to stop.
That lead only lasted a little over a minute.
With 18:54 to play, Spang fed junior Brooke Worcester for a goal that tied the game at 6-6. With 8:47 remaining, Yarmouth went back on top, 7-6, when Beem set up sophomore Danielle Torres for a goal, but that would be the Clippers' last hurrah on offense.
With 7:01 to play, Lavoie scored on a free position. Then, 17 seconds later, Spang scored unassisted to put Kennebunk on top, 8-7.
Yarmouth would have its chances down the stretch, but Crowley (nine saves) came up big, denying Beem and junior Nalini Robbins. With three seconds to go, Bell's shot bounced over the cage and that was that.
Rams 8 Clippers 7.
"We just had some unlucky bounces," said Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt. "In the first half, it didn't go our way. We had to keep climbing back. All in all, we're at their level. The kids are playing well. It was a great game. This shows us what we have to work on.
"I'd love to see them again. It was great for us. It's strange to have so many unlucky bounces on our turf. We got off to a slow start. We had five turnovers in the first two-and-a-half minutes. We have some stuff to work on and we'll work a little harder. We had opportunities at the end, we just didn't close them."
Beem and Bolmer both scored twice for the Clippers. Bell, Curry and Torres (10 ground balls) had the other goals. Kasper stopped seven shots.
Kennebunk won 12 of 17 draws. Yarmouth had a 20-19 edge in shots, but turned the ball over 30 times.
Yarmouth (third in both the latest coaches' poll and the Eastern B Heal Points) goes to Deering Friday and visits Cape Elizabeth Tuesday of next week.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com.