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Falmouth freshman Christina Oakes hugs junior Sydney Bell after one of Bell’s five goals in the Yachtsmen’s 14-7 home win over two-time defending Class B champion Yarmouth in the teams’ regular season finale Wednesday night.
Mike Strout photos.
More photos below.
Y- 4 3- 7
F- 6 8- 14
24:27 F Bell (Oakes)
24:12 Y Then (unassisted)
21:00 F Bell (unassisted)
16:59 Y Lunt (unassisted)
16:13 F Stucker (K. Sarazin)
15:58 F D. Sarazin (Bell)
15:24 F Bell (unassisted)
10:36 Y Lane (unassisted)
9:44 F Camelio (unassisted)
2:58 Y Waeldner (free position)
19:50 F Bell (free position)
18:22 F Smithwick (K. Sarazin)
17:16 Y Lunt (unassisted)
10:33 F D. Sarazin (Bell)
9:48 F Stucker (unassisted)
7:32 Y Lane (free position)
5:08 F Bell (unassisted)
4:15 F Camelio (Bell)
3:15 F D. Sarazin (unassisted)
1:37 Y Langenbach (Then)
13.3 F Camelio (unassisted)
Y- Lane, Lunt 2, Langenbach, Then, Waeldner 1
F- Bell 5, Camelio, D. Sarazin 3, Stucker 2, Smithwick 1
Y- Then 1
F- Bell 3, K. Sarazin 2, Oakes 1
Draws (Falmouth, 12-11)
Y- Lane 11 of 21, Lunt 0 of 1, Then 0 of 1
F- Bell 12 of 23
Ground balls (Falmouth, 36-34)
Y- Then 5, Lane, Langenbach, Lunt 4, Corey, Gunville, Watson 3, Bartlett 2, Antolini, Barbera, Decker, Dorsett, Harrison, Wilson 1
F- Bell 13, D. Sarazin 5, Camelio, Stucker 4, Bernier 3, K. Sarazin 2, Birkel, M. Budri, Farrell, Kuhn, Oakes 1
Shots on cage
Y (Gunville) 4
F (M. Budri) 9
FALMOUTH—Six days after a thrilling, yet gutwrenching double overtime loss to powerhouse Kennebunk, Falmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team responded like the champion it hopes to become when it bounced back nicely in the regular season finale against visiting two-time defending Class B champion Yarmouth Wednesday evening.
On Senior Night, the youthful Yachtsmen continued to play beyond their years and got strong performances from established stars and up-and-coming freshmen alike.
Junior standout Sydney Bell hinted at a big game to come when she opened the scoring 33 seconds in.
While the Clippers hung tough throughout, Falmouth gradually opened up a lead.
With 16:13 to go before halftime, Yachtsmen junior Olivia Stucker put her team on top to stay and tallies from junior Devon Sarazin and Bell made it 5-2.
Yarmouth cut the deficit to 6-4 on junior Katie Waeldner’s free position goal with 2:58 left in the half and 10 seconds later, sophomore Meredith Lane appeared to make it a one-goal game, but the tally was waved off and Falmouth junior goalie Mary Budri denied Waeldner seconds later to preserve the two-goal cushion at the break.
Goals from Bell and sophomore Chelsey Smithwick produced some breathing room early in the second half and the Yachtsmen only gained more and more confidence down the stretch, as goals from Bell, speedy freshman Caitlyn Camelio and Sarazin put it away and Falmouth went on to a 14-7 victory.
The Yachtsmen got five goals and three assists from Bell, three goals apiece from Camelio and Sarazin and they finished the regular season with a record of 11-1 for the second year in a row, dropping the Clippers to 9-3 in the process.
“We knew it would be a tough game and we needed redemption after the way Kennebunk went,” said Bell. “We love our seniors and we wanted to win this game for them. We knew we had to put Kennebunk behind us. We couldn’t dwell on it.”
The Class B girls’ tournament should once again be full of memories and Falmouth and Yarmouth will be right in the middle of the fun.
Falmouth opened by beating visiting Freeport (16-5) and Waynflete (17-6). The Yachtsmen then held on for a 9-8 victory at Thornton Academy, won at York (13-7) and Cape Elizabeth (17-8), at home over North Yarmouth Academy (17-7) and Gorham (11-2), then at Fryeburg Academy (17-4), Wells (17-2) and Greely (14-7). The win streak ended last Thursday with a 7-6 double-overtime home loss against Kennebunk.
Yarmouth opened with an 8-7 home loss to York, then got things going with wins at Cape Elizabeth (11-6) and at home over Freeport (15-4). The good times continued with wins at NYA (13-3), at home against Greely (10-4), at Scarborough (12-6), at Lake Region (15-7) and at home over Waynflete (4-3) and Brunswick (16-1). The Clippers’ eight-game run ended at Kennebunk, 9-5, but they bounced back for a 14-4 home win over Cape Elizabeth on Senior Night.
Last spring, Falmouth went to Yarmouth in the opener and won, 14-9, behind five goals from Bell. That cut the Clippers’ all-time lead in the series to 11-5, as after Yarmouth won the first 10, the Yachtsmen captured five of six (see sidebar, below).
Wednesday evening, with the game time temperature reading 64 degrees, Falmouth produced a solid 50-minute performance to wrap up the regular season in style.
Bell won the opening draw and 33 seconds into the contest, Bell took a pass from freshman Christina Oakes and shot past accomplished Yarmouth junior goalie Mary Kate Gunville to break the ice.
“That goal was huge,” Bell said. “A fast start was important. The first goal, in my opinion, sets the tone for the rest of the game. I think getting that helped us and we took the momentum and kept going.”
Undaunted, Yarmouth roared right back as Lane won the ensuing draw and sophomore Eva Then scored unassisted with 24:12 to go in the first half to make it 1-1.
The Clippers almost went on top 16 seconds later, but Lane hit the crossbar. Lane was then denied on a free position by Budri.
Bell put the Yachtsmen back on top with 21 minutes remaining, as she scored unassisted.
After Stucker shot wide on a free position, Yarmouth transitioned to offense and with 16:59 showing, an unassisted tally from junior Eliza Lunt made it 2-2.
Falmouth coach Kait Johnson called timeout and her team responded nicely.
Forty-six seconds after Lunt’s goal, Stucker took a pass from freshman Kayla Sarazin and finished to put the Yachtsmen ahead to stay.
With 15:58 left in the half, in transition, Bell threw a strike to Devon Sarazin and Sarazin beat Gunville to make it 4-2.
With 15:24 to go, after a Clippers’ turnover, Bell scored unassisted to cap a three-goals-in-49-seconds surge and the lead was three.
Yarmouth got back on track offensively with 10:36 left in the half, when Lane scored unassisted, but 52 seconds later, Camelio first made her presence felt, using her unrivaled speed to race from the defensive end into the offensive zone and after finding a lane to the goal, beating Gunville to make it 6-3.
“Speed is definitely one of my better attributes,” Camelio said. “I was looking for an open girl, but there was an open net, so I just went in.”
“Caitlyn is so fast and is so important to our transition,” Bell said. “That’s a big role to fill as a freshman. She’s such a versatile player. She just adjusts. Everybody was so proud of her tonight.”
“Caitlyn has played attack and midfield before,” Johnson added. “We needed her at defense this year. She’s learned the game at the defensive end. She did a great job stepping up today. She found her confidence today.”
Falmouth couldn’t pull away, however, as the Clippers cut the deficit to two with 2:58 remaining in the half, as Waeldner scored on a free position.
After winning the ensuing draw, Lane raced in and appeared to score, but she was called for a charge and the goal was waved off.
Waeldner was then robbed on a rush and the Yachtsmen took a 6-4 lead to halftime.
In the first half, Bell won six of 11 draws, Budri made five saves and Falmouth got goals from four different players.
The Yachtsmen would be even more impressive in the second half.
With 19:50 left in regulation, Bell earned a free position and after a stop-and-go move, she beat Gunville to extend the lead.
After a Yarmouth timeout, Falmouth made it 8-4 when Kayla Sarazin fed Smithwick in traffic and Smithwick found the net.
An unassisted tally from Lunt pulled the Clippers back within three with 17:16 to go, but after junior Cory Langenbach shot wide in front and senior Sophia Harrison and Lunt had shots saved by Budri, the Yachtsmen got two goals in 53 seconds.
With 10:33 showing, Bell fed Devon Sarazin for a goal and with 9:40 to play, Stucker froze a defender in her tracks, then finished unassisted for a commanding 10-5 lead.
Yarmouth got a goal back with 7:32 remaining, as Lane converted a free position, but after junior Ella Antolini shot wide and junior Molly Wilson had a shot saved by Budri, Falmouth ended all doubt with three more goals in less than two minutes.
First, Bell, seconds after hitting the post, finished unassisted for her final goal with 5:08 to play.
With 4:15 left, Bell set up Camelio for another tally.
“I don’t necessarily feel like a freshman at this point,” Camelio said. “The upperclassmen have been so welcoming. They like having me on transition because of my speed. Against better teams, I can run the ball up to the offense. Today, I cut and got open.”
A minute later, Devon Sarazin collected a ground ball, then scored an unassisted goal to make it 13-6.
The Clippers got their final goal with 1:37 to play, when Then fed Langenbach, but with 13.3 seconds showing, Camelio scored unassisted and that brought the curtain down on Falmouth’s 14-7 victory.
“We wanted to beat (Yarmouth), they won the last two state championships,” Bell said. “We’ve recognized we lost a lot of people, but we can’t think about that. We think about what we gained in the underclassmen.”
“This is the way we play,” Johnson said. “We had a lull with exams and everyone was stressed out, but we found our energy today. So many players stepped up. Our freshmen are all playing beyond their years. We pulled away after halftime because we played beyond our years and that’s what we talked about at halftime. The girls took it to heart.”
Bell capped a transcendent regular season with five more goals and three assists. She also won 12 of 23 draws and easily had a game-high 13 ground balls.
“Sydney does everything,” Johnson said. “From defense to midfield to offense, she had an incredible game. She’s so smart off-ball. She’s unselfish and she’s always a threat. She doesn’t just stand there when she’s face-guarded. She wants the ball even more. That’s a testament to her. She never stops.”
Camelio and Devon Sarazin both scored three goals, Stucker had two and Smithwick had one. Kayla Sarazin had two assists and Oakes added one. Budri made nine saves.
Falmouth had a 36-34 edge in ground balls, an 18-16 edge in shots on cage and overcame 17 turnovers.
Yarmouth’s offense featured two goals apiece from Lane and Lunt and one each from Langenbach, Then and Waeldner. Then had an assist. Gunville made four saves. Then had a team-high five ground balls.
The Clippers had a 23-20 edge in shots, but were done in by 16 turnovers.
“We just struggled taking care of the ball,” Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt said. “We forced it too much. That’s young team mistakes, but I feel like we played well. (Falmouth’s) a great team. I feel like we’re evenly matched. We hurt ourselves, but we had some players step up in key roles. That’s why I’m happy. We’re not devastated. We’re still working on our attack. We’re getting there. I’m proud of the girls. This was a great test for us.”
If Falmouth and Yarmouth meet again it would be June 18 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in the Class B state final.
The road there won’t be easy for either team.
The Clippers project to be the third seed in Class B North and will likely have to play two games away from home to reach states. They will host a quarterfinal next week, likely against Freeport.
“We just have to keep working,” Holt said. “Our playoff run starts now. I’m thrilled with our season. We’re getting there. Baby steps.”
The Yachtsmen will be second to Kennebunk in Class B South and will be idle until Saturday, June 11, when they host a semifinal against York or Greely. Then, a trip to Kennebunk for the regional final possibly awaits.
Falmouth plans on keeping the good times rolling.
“Bouncing back from our loss is a good start to what we want to have happen,” Bell said. “We know we can play with Kennebunk and we know we can do it.”
“We have to play like we did today,” Camelio said. “We can’t let the pressure get to us. When we play composed, we play amazing. It’s been a great ride.”
“Mental toughness is huge and this late in the season, it will come down to who’s more mentally prepared,” Johnson added. “We have a great group. The girls work hard every day. I have a great coaching staff. We’re as close as the girls are. There’s no pressure on us. Here we are. We’re excited.”
Falmouth junior Olivia Stucker shoots as Yarmouth sophomore Hannah Corey arrives too late.
Falmouth freshman Kayla Sarazin splits Yarmouth junior Eliza Lunt, left, and senior Campbell Dorsett.
Falmouth junior Sydney Bell scores one of her five goals.
Yarmouth junior Eliza Lunt shoots on Falmouth junior goalie Mary Budri.
Falmouth junior Sydney Bell knocks the ball away from Yarmouth sophomore Meredith Lane.
Yarmouth junior Katie Waeldner shoots as Falmouth freshman Natalie Birkel defends.
Yarmouth junior Gretchen Barbera races up the field as Falmouth sophomore Chelsey Smithwick gives chase.
@ Yarmouth 17 Falmouth 9
@ Falmouth 16 Yarmouth 7
Falmouth 11 @ Yarmouth 8
Falmouth 12 @ Yarmouth 2
@ Falmouth 19 Yarmouth 7
@ Yarmouth 13 Falmouth 12
Yarmouth 13 @ Falmouth 8
@ Yarmouth 19 Falmouth 10
Yarmouth 14 @ Falmouth 9
Yarmouth 12 @ Falmouth 1
Yarmouth 11 @ Falmouth 2
@ Yarmouth 9 Falmouth 2
@ Yarmouth 13 Falmouth 2
@ Yarmouth 16 Falmouth 5
@ Yarmouth 14 Falmouth 1