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Falmouth senior Kayla Sarazin, left, is swarmed by classmate Caitlyn Camelio after scoring in overtime to beat Kennebunk, 8-7, Thursday afternoon.
Ben McCanna / Press Herald photos.
More photos below.
K- 4 3 0- 7
F- 5 2 1- 8
24:21 F Clement (free position)
23:45 F Fishman (Sarazin)
22:45 F Camelio (unassisted)
20:53 K Banglmaier (free position)
20:02 F Stucker (Clement)
17:29 K Banglmaier (Schwartzman)
10:41 K York (Gassman)
9:57 F Fishman (unassisted)
8:44 K Keizulas (unassisted)
20:00 K Wuerthner (free position)
16:34 K Keizulas (York)
13:39 K Keizulas (unassisted)
11:11 F Camelio (Oakes)
9:03 F Stucker (Camelio)
2:25 F Sarazin (Oakes)
K- Keizulas 3, Banglmaier 2, Wuerthner, York 1
F- Camelio, Fishman, Stucker 2, Clement, Sarazin 1
K- Gassman, Schwartzman, York 1
F- Oakes 2, Camelio, Clement, Sarazin 1
Draws (Falmouth, 13-4)
K- Banglmaier 2 of 9, Schwartzman 2 of 5, Wuerthner 0 of 3
F- Sarazin 13 of 17
Shots on cage:
K (Moody) 4
F (Dubinsky) 8
FALMOUTH—Falmouth’s seniors were sick and tired of losing to Kennebunk and Wednesday afternoon might have been their last chance to do something about it.
So the Yachtsmen did something about it, but victory sure didn’t come easily in a compelling early-season girls’ lacrosse showdown.
Falmouth, the defending Class A state champion, which lost to Kennebunk in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 playoffs and by a lopsided margin in last year’s regular season, came out sizzling, grabbing a 3-0 lead behind goals from sophomore Eva Clement, sophomore Avi Fishman and senior Caitlyn Camelio before the game was even three minutes old.
But the Rams settled down, locked down on defense and rallied back within a goal, 5-4, at halftime, thanks to a pair of tallies from junior Mia Banglmaier and one apiece from juniors Liz Keizulas and Anna York.
Junior Allison Wuerthner brought Kennebunk even with a free position goal five minutes into the second half and Keizulas scored twice moments later to give Kennebunk a 7-5 lead, but the Yachtsmen refused to roll over and forced overtime, thanks to goals from Camelio and senior Jo Stucker.
And there, just 35 seconds in, senior Kayla Sarazin delivered the winner and Falmouth prevailed in scintillating fashion, 8-7.
The Yachtsmen improved to 2-0 on the young season, dropped the Rams to 1-1 and in the process, whet the appetite of fans everywhere for the possibility of a rematch in the Class A state final June 15.
“This was awesome,” said Sarazin, who also dominated in the draw circle. “Everyone was excited. We knew this was our chance. You never know if we’ll face them again or not. We have a lot of seniors on the team who hadn’t beaten Kennebunk and we wanted this game. They’ve always been our rival, so this is extra sweet.”
Entering play Wednesday, Kennebunk had won 10 of 13 all-time meetings with Falmouth (see sidebar, below), including a 10-3 home decision a year ago, thanks in large part to five goals from Erin Gorton. Many expected the teams would meet again in the Class A state final, but the Rams’ quest for a third consecutive crown and a perfect season was derailed by Massabesic in the Class A South Final and the Yachtsmen went on to upset the Mustangs in the state game.
Falmouth began its title defense Saturday with a 10-2 victory at Biddeford.
Kennebunk, meanwhile, started Saturday with an 11-4 win over Greely in a game played on the turf at North Yarmouth Academy.
Wednesday, Kennebunk hoped to make it seven straight victories in the series, but Falmouth managed its first win over Kennebunk since May 26, 2015 (10-8 in Kennebunk) and its first at home over the Rams since May 12, 2012 (17-10).
Sarazin won the opening draw, the Yachtsmen set up on offense and Clement earned a free position 39 seconds in. Clement then shot the ball past Rams junior goalie Haley Moody for a quick 1-0 lead.
It took just 36 seconds for Falmouth to strike again, as after forcing a turnover, Sarazin passed to Fishman, who finished to make it 2-0.
The third goal came with 22:45 remaining in the first half and after making a long run as only she can, the University of Michigan-bound Camelio finished unassisted to put Kennebunk on the ropes.
And the Rams responded like the champion they hope to become.
With 20:53 left in the half, Banglmaier earned a free position and beat Yachtsmen junior goalie Hannah Dubinsky to give Kennebunk life.
Stucker countered 51 seconds later (from Clement), but with 17:29 to go, Banglmaier finished a feed from sophomore Lily Schwartzman and with 10:41 remaining, in transition, sophomore Danielle Gassman set up York for a goal which drew the Rams within one, 4-3.
“We made some adjustments,” said Kennebunk coach Annie Barker. “We knew we wouldn’t win the draw, so we tried to stack ourselves defensively.”
Falmouth stemmed the tide 44 seconds later, after a turnover, as Fishman raced in and scored unassisted, but with 8:44 on the clock, Keizulas’ first goal, unassisted, again made it a one-goal contest.
Dubinsky then kept the Yachtsmen on top, denying Gassman, then twice turning aside Schwartzman free positions to all Falmouth to cling to a 5-4 advantage at halftime.
In the first 25 minutes, Sarazin won eight of 10 draws, but the Yachtsmen turned the ball over 14 times, keeping things close.
“We made some unforced errors which hurt us and led to them having the ball more than we did,” said Yachtsmen coach Ashley Pullen. “We forced the ball on offense and their attack woke up. Our first few goals were fastbreak goals and they adjusted and didn’t allow any more.”
Kennebunk then completed its comeback in the second half and appeared poised to beat Falmouth again before the hosts roared back.
Dubinsky continued to stand tall early in the half, stopping another Schwartzman free position, then denying another Schwartzman shot.
But with 20 minutes to go, Dubinsky had no answers for Wuerthner, who finished her free position to tie it, 5-5.
The Yachtsmen nearly retook the lead 14 seconds later, but Moody robbed Stucker.
The Rams then took the lead for the first time with 16:34 to play, as York set up Keizulas to make it 6-5.
After Moody preserved the lead by robbing Camelio, Keizulas scored again, unassisted, with 13:39 remaining and with her team now down by two, Pullen called timeout.
It would have its desired effect, as with 11:11 to play, in transition after a turnover, senior Christina Oakes set up Camelio to cut the deficit to one.
That goal snapped a 23 minute, 46 second scoring drought and gave the hosts life.
“That timeout I called when we went down by two, I pulled them in and calmly told them this is to re-set and stop Kennebunk’s momentum and reaffirm my faith in us winning this game,” Pullen said. “I told them in order to win, we had to work together and execute and that’s what they did.”
The equalizer came with 9:03 to go, as again in transition, Camelio drew the defense, dished to Stucker and Stucker beat Moody to make it 7-7.
Kennebunk would possess the ball for most of the rest of regulation, but couldn’t score.
First, junior Tiernan Connor got the ball right in front, but shot just high with 7:01 remaining.
Then, with 5:02 to go, Schwartzman earned another free position, but again, her low shot was stopped by Dubinsky.
“I really don’t think about what I’ve heard about how they shoot,” Dubinsky said. “I just watch the ball and sometimes their eyes. I’m patient for the ball to come and I tried to stop it.”
After Falmouth turned the ball over with 2:54 to play, the Rams got the ball into their offensive end, then called timeout. Kennebunk milked the clock, looking to get the final shot, but with 5 seconds left, the Rams turned the ball over and the game would go to overtime.
“It was a very stressful time, but at that point of the game, we’d figured out that they shot mostly iso’s, so we knew to watch for that,” Dubinsky said. “We all talked and worked well together. I was pretty nervous, but I knew the team had my back. They kept me confident.”
“That was a victory to have the defense play cleanly there and not give up a goal, or a free position,” Pullen said.
In high school girls’ lacrosse, after a five-minute break, teams play a three-minute, “sudden victory” OT and it didn’t take long for the Yachtsmen to end it.
Sarazin won the draw with Camelio picking up the loose ball and after Oakes kept possession by winning a ground ball, she threw a pass to Sarazin in front and Sarazin fired the ball past Moody with 2:25 on the clock and at 6:36 p.m., Falmouth celebrated its 8-7 victory.
“Someone cut in front of me and opened up a lane for me and I cut in,” said Sarazin. “I looked to Haley and tried to read where her stick was and what was open and Christina gave me an awesome feed.
“Everyone’s so supportive on this team and it’s so exciting. Kennebunk never gives up. They’re a great team. They weren’t going to make it easy. Their defense is hard to break through.”
“I was really proud of how the girls maintained their composure,” Pullen said. “I felt good about our work on the draws and I knew that was in our favor going into overtime. Kayla’s not a player who scores a ton of goals, but as a senior captain and amazing player, I have confidence in her. It wasn’t the most precise feed, but if anyone could get their stick on it, Kayla could and she converted.
“This is huge for us. Kennebunk is obviously one of the strongest teams in Class A, so to go toe-to-toe with them and win is huge. It’s always fun to play them. It’s a great rivalry. I’d much rather have a game like this than blow a team out.”
Camelio, Fishman and Stucker all scored twice, while Clement and Sarazin had one goal apiece for the Yachtsmen’s balanced offense.
Oakes assisted on two goals, including the winner, while Camelio, Clement and Sarazin also had assists.
Dubinsky made eight saves, all of them clutch.
“I can’t say enough about the work Hannah did in the offseason and the positive changes she’s made,” Pullen said. “She was a good keeper last year and now she’s a great keeper. Those couple extra saves were the game.”
Sarazin won 13 of 17 draws, including the pivotal one to start overtime.
Falmouth had a 38-33 advantage on ground balls (Camelio and Sarazin each collected a game-high seven) and overcame 20 turnovers.
Kennebunk got three goals from Keizulas, two from Banglmaier and one apiece from Wuerthner and York.
Gassman, Schwartzman and York each added an assist.
Moody made four saves.
Junior Abigale Lamontagne had a team-high six ground balls.
The Rams enjoyed a 17-15 shots advantage (15-12 on cage) and committed 15 turnovers.
“We’re still growing and to do this today, I’m very happy,” said Barker. “It was very positive. Haley had a good game in the cage. Liz stepped up for us. Once they all arrive, we’ll be fine. We’ll see (Falmouth) again and that’s when it really matters.”
Kennebunk is scheduled to play its first game at home Friday when defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth pays a visit, but there’s a good chance bad weather will postpone that contest to Monday. The Rams then go to Gorham Tuesday of next week before returning home Friday, May 3 to battle talented Yarmouth.
Falmouth, meanwhile, goes to Messalonskee (Pullen’s old team) Friday. A home game with Marshwood Tuesday follows.
“We have a lot of stuff we do well at, but we have to make sure on defense if something isn’t working, we have come together as a team and fix it as a group,” Dubinsky said.
“We need to clean up our unforced errors,” Pullen said. “Our decision-making with the ball. On defense, we have to play as a unit. That’s the only way any defense works. We just have to be more consistent.”
Kennebunk junior Liz Keizulas, who scored three goals, gets past Falmouth junior Grace Fallon.
Falmouth senior Kayla Sarazin launches a shot on Kennebunk junior goalie Haley Moody.
Falmouth senior Caitlyn Camelio looks to drive on the Kennebunk defense.
Falmouth senior Caitlyn Camelio, left, is congratulated by junior Holly Barney after a second half goal.
Kennebunk 9 @ Falmouth 5
Class B South Final
@ Kennebunk 9 Falmouth 6
Kennebunk 9 @ Falmouth 8
Falmouth 14 @ Kennebunk 8
@ Falmouth 17 Kennebunk 10
@ Kennebunk 15 Falmouth 4
Western B semifinals
@ Kennebunk 11 Falmouth 7
Western B quarterfinals
@ Kennebunk 14 Falmouth 6