Falmouth girls begin new era with win over Biddeford

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Falmouth freshman Abby Blakeman, left, celebrates a goal with sophomore Emily Hamilton during the Yachtsmen’s 11-8 home victory over Biddeford Saturday morning.

Brianna Soukup / Portland Press Herald photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Falmouth 11 Biddeford 8

B- 1 7- 8
F- 7 4- 11

First half
22:20 F Smithwick (Fishman)
22:09 F Camelio (unassisted)
21:32 B A. Allen (Mourmouras)
21:22 F Camelio (unassisted)
15:35 F Camelio (Clement)
12:43 F Sarazin (Smithwick)
5:29 F Sarazin (Hamilton)
3:11 F Camelio (Blakeman)

Second half
23:52 B McKeown (Mourmouras)
23:36 F Oakes (Camelio)
17:22 F Hamilton (Wentworth)
15:45 F Blakeman (Hamilton)
15:35 F Camelio (unassisted)
11:05 B Mourmouras (H. Allen)
8:18 B H. Allen (unassisted)
6:39 B Mourmouras (unassisted)
3:24 B H. Allen (Laverriere)
2:00 B Laverriere (free position)
58.8 B Reissfelder (H. Allen)

Goals:
B- H. Allen, Mourmouras 2, A. Allen, Laverriere, McKeown, Reissfelder 1
F- Camelio 5, Sarazin 2, Blakeman, Hamilton, Oakes, Smithwick 1

Assists:
B- H. Allen, Mourmouras 2, Laverriere 1
F- Camelio, Hamilton 2, Blakeman, Clement, Fishman, Smithwick 1

Draws (Falmouth, 15-6)
B- Laverriere 4 of 10, McKeown 2 of 8, Boisvert 0 of 3
F- Sarazin 14 of 16, Camelio 1 of 3, Blakeman 0 of 1, Hamilton 0 of 1

Ground balls 
B- 25
F- 41

Turnovers:
B- 24
F- 24

Shots:
B- 25
F- 25

Shots on cage:
B- 15
F-  19

Saves:
B (8) McKenzie
F (7) Dubinsky 5, Bull 2

FALMOUTH—There’s a whole lot of new around the Falmouth girls’ lacrosse program this spring, but for one day at least, what the Yachtsmen are accustomed to, winning, continued to be the theme.

Hosting Biddeford Saturday morning at Falmouth’s Stadium Field, the Yachtsmen opened their regular season and not only played their first contest as a Class A school and member of the Southwestern Maine Activities Association, but also their first under new coach Ashley Pullen, whom they treated to a victory.

Falmouth came out sizzling, getting four first half goals from junior Caitlyn Camelio to grab a 7-1 lead at the break.

When Camelio scored her fifth and final goal, capping a 4-0 surge, with 15:35 to play, the Yachtsmen were up, 11-2, and were on the brink of inducing a mercy rule running clock.

Instead, the Tigers, coming off the best season in program history, roared back to make things most interesting.

Biddeford would score six straight goals, capped by a tally from junior Brooke Reissfelder with 58.8 seconds remaining, but Falmouth was able to run out the clock and prevail, 11-8.

Camelio led all scorers with five goals, the Yachtsmen dropped the Tigers to 1-1 on the young season and in the process, opened with a victory for the fourth consecutive year.

“We wanted to make a statement and show what Falmouth’s all about this year,” Pullen said. “We did a great job on transition and our draw control was phenomenal. We finished and found the corners of the net.”

Fresh start

Falmouth moved up to Class A this spring as lacrosse went to three classes for the first time.

The Yachtsmen also welcomed a new coach in Pullen, who previously coached Messalonskee to great heights, including the 2016 Class A state title.

“It’s gone really well,” said Pullen. “I told the girls that I wanted them to preserve team traditions and start some new ones as well. All in all, the girls are great, the parents are great and the administration is very supportive. It’s great to coach in a lacrosse town.” 

Pullen takes over a team which once again got to the Class B South Final a year ago, but lost, once again, to nemesis Kennebunk, the eventual state champion.

Falmouth graduated some top-notch talent, including four-year standout Sydney Bell, all-star Devon Sarazin and goalie Mary Budri, but the Yachtsmen expect to remain competitive this spring.

Biddeford enjoyed a 9-3 campaign a year ago and now playing in Class B, the Tigers are hopeful of big things as well. Biddeford opened with a 17-6 home win over Noble on April 12.

Prior to Saturday, the teams had never met in a countable game.

Despite chilly (44 degrees with gusting winds) conditions, the squads produced an entertaining early-season contest.

Falmouth junior Kayla Sarazin hinted at dominance to come by winning the opening draw and after the teams traded early turnovers, Chelsey Smithwick, the Yachtsmen’s lone senior, finished a pass from freshman Avi Fishman for the game’s first goal just 2 minutes, 40 seconds in.

It would only take 11 seconds for the second tally, as Sarazin won the draw to the speedy Camelio, who roared in and beat Tigers junior goalie Ella McKenzie for a quick 2-0 lead.

Biddeford got on the board with 21:32 to go in the first half, as sophomore Megan Mourmouras set up freshman Abby Allen, but the rest of the half would belong to the hosts.

Camelio’s second goal came 10 seconds later, again unassisted after a Sarazin draw win.

“We came out hyped up,” said Camelio. “It was our first game of the season and we’d been practicing hard. Cutting and getting open and working with my teammates was all it was. We all worked together. Kayla was awesome. We work great together. She’s a great player all over the field.”

With 15:35 to play before halftime, freshman Eva Clement set up Camelio for her third tally.

After Sarazin hit the post, Smithwick was awarded a free position, but she passed up the shot and fed Sarazin for the goal and a 5-1 lead with 12:43 remaining.

After Clement and Tigers junior Paige Laverriere each hit the post, the Yachtsmen closed the half strong, getting goals from Sarazin (set up by sophomore Emily Hamilton) with 5:29 on the clock and Camelio (assisted by freshman Abby Blakeman) with 3:11 to go, giving Falmouth a seemingly commanding 7-1 halftime advantage.

In the first 25 minutes, Sarazin won eight of nine draws and the Yachtsmen enjoyed an 11-3 advantage in shots on frame.

Those trends continued early in the second half before Biddeford would roar back.

Just 68 seconds into the new half, the Tigers ended a 5-0 Falmouth run and scored for the first time in 22 minutes, 40 seconds, as Mourmouras set up senior Peyton McKeown for a shot which got past Falmouth sophomore goalie Hannah Dubinsky.

The Yachtsmen immediately answered again, as Sarazin won the draw to Camelio, who set up junior Christina Oakes to restore the six-goal bulge.

Falmouth kept the pressure on, as with 17:22 to play, Camelio set up Hamilton to make it 9-2.

With 15:45 remaining, Hamilton assisted on a goal by Blakeman and 10 seconds later, again off the draw, Camelio scored her fifth and final goal for an 11-2 advantage.

At that point, the Yachtsmen scoring again to run the clock seemed far more likely than a Tigers’ comeback, but the visitors would carry play the rest of the way and produce some anxious moments for the hosts.

With 11:05 remaining, junior Hailey Allen set up Mourmouras for a shot which got past senior Caitlyn Bull, who had come on to replace Dubinsky.

A little less than three minutes later, Allen collected a loose ball in front and backhanded it into the cage to cut the deficit to 11-4.

With 6:39 left, Mourmouras scored again and after Oakes hit the post for Falmouth, junior Paige Laverriere set up Hailey Allen for another goal, making it 11-6 with 3:24 still to play.

“It was a combination of a lot of things,” Pullen said. “We had some girls in positions they don’t normally play, we didn’t win as many draws, we had some turnovers and they capitalized.”

Laverriere scored to reach the 100-point plateau for her career with 2 minutes on the clock and with 58.8 seconds left, after Dubinsky had returned to the game, Hailey Allen fed Reissfelder for a goal to make the score 11-8.

That’s as close as Biddeford would get, however, as Camelio forced a turnover and Falmouth was able to run out the clock and celebrate its victory.

“I think sometimes when you get a big lead, you just get excited, but we stayed composed at the end,” Camelio said.

Camelio led all scorers with five goals and a pair of assists. Sarazin scored twice and Blakeman, Hamilton, Oakes and Smithwick had one goal apiece.

Hamilton added two assists and Blakeman, Clement, Fishman and Smithwick each finished with one.

Dubinsky stopped five shots, while Bull had a pair of saves.

The Yachtsmen enjoyed a 15-6 advantage in draws, as Sarazin won 14 of 16 opportunities, and had a 41-25 edge in ground balls (Camelio collected a game-high 11, while Clement and Sarazin each grabbed five). Falmouth finished with a 19-15 edge in shots on cage.

Biddeford got two goals apiece from Hailey Allen and Mourmouras. Abby Allen, Laverriere, McKeown and Reissfelder each added one goal. Hailey Allen and Mourmouras both had two assists, while Laverriere finished with one. Laverriere had a team-high eight ground balls.

McKenzie stopped eight shots.

“Coming in, knowing we were playing Falmouth, we tensed up,” lamented Tigers coach Caitlin Albert. “The girls took awhile to adjust.”

Each team committed 24 turnovers.

Heavy lifting

Biddeford hopes to return to the win column Thursday at Brunswick. 

“We’re holding the girls to a high standard this season,” Albert said. “Playing 25 minutes out of 50 isn’t enough. It’s good that it happened now.”

Falmouth has a big test Tuesday when it goes to defending Class B state champion Kennebunk for a playoff rematch. Friday, the Yachtsmen welcome Pullen’s old team, Messalonskee.

“We’re a younger team and we don’t have a lot of expectations, but I think we’ll have a big year,” said Camelio.

“We’ll shift gears quickly and get ready for Kennebunk,” Pullen said. “There’s a lot of history there with these girls. We need to tighten things up defensively. Our hands need to be better and we need to be smarter too.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Falmouth senior Chelsey Smithwick tries to fight her way to the goal.

Falmouth freshman Eva Clement shoots past Biddeford senior Serena Speight.

Biddeford senior Peyton McKeown takes a free position shot.

Falmouth junior Christina Oakes battles Biddeford sophomore Jillian Lewis for the ball.

Falmouth junior Jo Stucker takes a shot.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.