Falmouth no match for defending champion Kennebunk

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Kennebunk freshman Emily Archibald races in for a shot as Falmouth sophomore Sarah Wentworth and sophomore goalie Hannah Dubinsky defend during the Rams’ 10-3 victory Tuesday night.

Joe Carpine / 365digitalphotography.com photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Kennebunk 10 Falmouth 3

F- 1 2- 3
K- 5 5- 10

First half
16:31 K L. Schwartzman (Beaudette)
4:54 K Gorton (H. Schwartzman)
3:22 K H. Schwartzman (unassisted)
1:56 F Camelio (free position)
1:42 K Beaudette (H. Schwartzman)
30.3 K Gorton (free position)

Second half
22:18 K Beaudette (unassisted)
20:58 K Gorton (unassisted)
18:09 F Sarazin (free position)
10:36 K Gorton (unassisted)
5:53 K Gorton (unassisted)
2:36 F Camelio (free position)
10.6 K Beaudette (H. Schwartzman)

Goals:
F- Camelio 2, Sarazin 1
K- Gorton 5, Beaudette 3, H. Schwartzman 1, L. Schwartzman 1

Assists:
K- H. Schwartzman 3, Beaudette 1

Ground balls:
F- 38
K- 29

Turnovers:
F- 20
K- 16

Shots on goal:
F- 18
K- 22

Shots on cage:
F- 11
K- 18

Saves:
F (Dubinsky) 8 
K (Moody) 8

KENNEBUNK—For the first 20 minutes of Tuesday evening’s contest, Falmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team held two-time defending Class B state champion Kennebunk to one goal.

The problem for the Yachtsmen was that they couldn’t even manage one.

Eventually, the Rams’ offense got going while Falmouth had fits all night trying to solve Kennebunk’s defense and the end result was an all-too familiar one for the Yachtsmen.

After Kennebunk freshman Lily Schwartzman opened the scoring with 16:31 to play in the first half, neither team scored for almost 12 minutes until Rams senior Erin Gorton tickled the twine.

She was just getting warmed up.

After senior Hallie Schwartzman added a goal for the hosts, junior Caitlyn Camelio scored on a free position with 1:56 on the clock to put Falmouth on the board, but senior Brie Beaudette and Gorton answered and Kennebunk took a 5-1 lead to the half.

The Rams never gave the Yachtsmen an opportunity to rally in the second half, as Beaudette and Gorton scored early and after junior Kayla Sarazin scored for Falmouth on a free position, Gorton scored twice more.

Camelio produced another free position goal, but Beaudette struck in the waning seconds and Kennebunk went on to a 10-3 victory.

The Rams didn’t allow a goal that wasn’t off a free position and they got five goals from Gorton and three from Beaudette as they improved to 2-0 on the season and dropped the Yachtsmen to 1-1 in the process.

“It’s great to play a team like (Kennebunk) early in the season,” said Falmouth first-year coach Ashley Pullen. “It gives us a lot to work on and gives us a sense of how we stack up.” 

Gold standard

After too many near-misses to count, Kennebunk finally ascended to the Class B pinnacle in 2016, then for good measure, upset Yarmouth in last year’s state final to go back-to-back.

With lacrosse expanding to three classes this year, both Kennebunk and Falmouth have moved up to Class A and remain among the state’s best teams.

The Rams opened their title defense by downing visiting Greely, 13-5, Saturday.

The Yachtsmen started with an 11-8 home win over Biddeford Saturday.

Entering play Tuesday, Kennebunk had won nine of 12 all-time meetings with Falmouth (see sidebar, below), including both a year ago. In the regular season, the Rams held the Yachtsmen to seven shots on frame in a 9-5 victory at Falmouth. Then, in the regional final, Falmouth gave host Kennebunk a scare, but the Rams came on in the second half to prevail, 9-6.

This time around, Kennebunk was in control much of the way and didn’t allow the Yachtsmen to get anything going offensively as the Rams made it six in a row in the series.

Early in the contest, Falmouth sophomore goalie Hannah Dubinsky stood tall, denying Beaudette and forcing Hallie Schwartzman to shoot wide.

Then, with 16:31 on the first half clock, Beaudette set up Lily Schwartzman for a shot which eluded Dubinsky and gave the Rams the lead for good.

After Kennebunk sophomore goalie Haley Moody denied bids from Yachtsmen juniors Christina Oakes and Kayla Sarazin, Hallie Schwartzman set up Gorton for her first goal with 4:51 to play in the half to make it 2-0.

“We pointed out that the second cutter on the adjacent side would be open all day long,” said longtime Rams coach Annie Barker. “It’s a new attack and all the kids don’t see it. It took awhile.”

Hallie Schwartzman rebounded her own shot into the goal with 3:22 remaining for a three-goal advantage.

Falmouth finally broke through with 1:56 to go, as Camelio earned a free position and beat Moody.

The Rams would take momentum into the break, however, as Hallie Schwartzman fed Beaudette for a goal off a free position 14 seconds later and with 30.3 seconds on the clock, Gorton scored on a free position.

After Moody robbed Yachtsmen freshman Avi Fishman with just seconds remaining, Kennebunk took a 5-1 lead to the break.

“We were hanging in there, then we had a couple defensive breakdowns and we had a hard time stopping them,” Pullen said. “Part of that is the mental side of the game. We’re working on that.”

Falmouth had an edge in draw controls and ground balls and shots were even in the first 25 minutes, but the Yachtsmen just couldn’t get good looks and finish.

The Rams didn’t hesitate to get some breathing room when the second half began.

With 22:18 remaining, Beaudette scored unassisted.

With 20:58 to go, Gorton, up top, tried to pass the ball near the goal, but it got through everyone, including Dubinsky, and the lead was 7-1.

Falmouth answered with 18:09 left, when Sarazin scored on a free position, but with 10:36 remaining, Gorton scored unassisted and with 5:53 on the clock, she did it again.

The Yachtsmen’s final goal came again on a free position, this one by Camelio with 2:36 left, but it was far too little, too late and with 10.6 seconds to go. Hallie Schwartzman fed Beaudette for a goal which brought the curtain down on Kennebunk’s 10-3 triumph.

“We got a little frazzled, but we settled down and played our game and did great,” Gorton said. 

Gorton paced the Rams with five goals.

“I got a lot of help from my teammates,” Gorton said. “We worked really well as a team all over the field.”

“Erin is good at going in (at the goal),” Barker said. “She was good at that last year.”

Beaudette scored three times and Hallie Schwartzman and Lily Schwartzman each had one goal.

Hallie Schwartzman also had three assists, while Beaudette had one.

Gorton had a team-high nine ground balls, while Hallie Schwartzman collected seven.

Moody made eight saves and got a lot of help from a staunch defensive unit.

“We work hard on defense in practice,” Gorton said. “We have amazing coaches who help us do so.”

“I think our defense is great,” Barker said. “(Freshman) Emily Archibald is a new addition for us. It’s nice to have her height. If we get stuck clearing, we can go to Mia (Murray) and Emily.

“(Haley Moody’s) going to be really solid. She’s smart. “

Kennebunk had a 22-18 edge in shots (18-11 on cage) and turned the ball over 16 times.

Falmouth got two goals from Camelio and one from Sarazin.

Dubinsky stopped eight shots.

The Yachtsmen had a 38-29 edge in ground balls (Sarazin had a game-high 14 and Camelio added a dozen).

Falmouth committed 20 turnovers.

“The pressure they put on the ball makes them so tough,” Pullen said, of the Rams. “Their zone is very well executed. It’s a high-risk, high-reward and for them against most of their opponents, it winds up being high-reward. They’re well-coached and experienced. You have to be able to exploit holes and there aren’t many.”

Just getting started

Kennebunk looks to stay undefeated Saturday when it has another playoff rematch, as Cape Elizabeth. 

“We still have things we can do better,” Gorton said. “We’re looking good with the help of our new players. We know how to handle situations.”

“We’ll keep growing and building and keep adding things,” Barker said. “I’m pleased with our start so far.”

Falmouth doesn’t have much time to lick its wounds, as Messalonskee pays a visit Friday night. That game will have extra meaning for Pullen, who coached the Eagles to the 2016 Class A state title.

“It’s going to be hard coaching against girls I used to coach and coaching against my former assistant, but I’ll be all business,” Pullen said. “Maybe after the game there will be a few hugs. We won’t do anything different. We’ll set our sights on being 2-1 after Friday.”

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

Falmouth junior Kayla Sarazin and Kennebunk freshman Emily Archibald take the opening draw.

Falmouth juniors Caitlyn Camelio (12) and Kayla Sarazin battle Kennebunk freshman Lily Schwartzman for a loose ball.

Falmouth freshman Eva Clement races up the field with the ball.

Falmouth junior Kayla Sarazin is defended by Kennebunk senior Mia Murray.

Falmouth junior Christina Oakes and Kennebunk freshman Emliy Archibald fight for the ball.

Falmouth junior Caitlyn Camelio throws a pass.

Falmouth freshman Eva Clement (6) congratulates junior Caitlyn Camelio after a goal.

Previous Falmouth-Kennebunk results

2017
Kennebunk 9 @ Falmouth 5
Class B South Final
@ Kennebunk 9 Falmouth 6

2016
Kennebunk 7 @ Falmouth 6 (2 OT)
Class B South Final
@ Kennebunk 8 Falmouth 3

2015
Falmouth 10 @ Kennebunk 8
Western B Final
Kennebunk 9 @ Falmouth 7

2014
Kennebunk 9 @ Falmouth 8

2013
Falmouth 14 @ Kennebunk 8

2012
@ Falmouth 17 Kennebunk 10

2009
@ Kennebunk 15 Falmouth 4

2007
Western B semifinals
@ Kennebunk 11 Falmouth 7

2006
Western B quarterfinals
@ Kennebunk 14 Falmouth 6

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