PORTLAND—Syd the Kid turned Fore River Fields into her personal playground Wednesday afternoon and Falmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team made another powerful statement as a result.
The Yachtsmen continued their climb back to dominance after last week’s home loss to Cape Elizabeth by going to a one-time house of horrors and beating traditional powerhouse Waynflete for the third time in four seasons.
And this time, it wasn’t even close.
Sophomore standout Sydney Bell hinted at her big day to come just 53 seconds in, when she set up senior Elle Fitzgerald for the game’s first goal.
After the Flyers drew even, Bell scored her first goal and Falmouth was ahead to stay.
In the first half alone, Bell had two goals and three assists and won six of eight draws as the Yachtsmen opened up a 7-3 lead.
Waynflete had no answer for Bell in the second half either, as she scored four more times to help Falmouth pull away and go on to a 13-6 triumph.
Bell had six goals, four assists, nine ground balls and won 13 of 18 draws as the Yachtsmen became the first team this century to win at Waynflete in consecutive seasons, improving to 4-1 and dropping the Flyers to 5-3 in the process.
“We did everything we were supposed to,” said Bell. “We were first to ground balls, hit our passes, we played tough and got through it. We were nervous coming in because we knew Waynflete’s a tough team. You can’t ever underestimate a team like them.”
Falmouth and Waynflete have enjoyed early success this spring, but both entered play Wednesday trying to keep pace with preseason favorite Kennebunk in the standings.
The Yachtsmen got off to a fast start in 2015, downing host Yarmouth, the defending Class B champion, 14-9, then dominating visiting Fryeburg Academy, 18-1. Last week, Falmouth dropped a 7-6 home decision to Cape Elizabeth, before winning at home over Thornton Academy in a crossover, 11-9.
“We knew we were a better team than we were (against Cape),” said Yachtsmen coach Kait Johnson. “The girls don’t want to feel like that again. That was a reality check, if we have an off-day, a team can beat us.”
The Flyers began with a 13-4 victory at North Yarmouth Academy, then held off visiting Cheverus, 9-6, and lost at home to Kennebunk, 8-4. Waynflete bounced back with wins at Greely (10-7) and Fryeburg Academy (10-1) and at home over Gould Academy, 13-6, but Saturday, the Flyers lost to host Scarborough for the first time, 7-4.
Entering Wednesday’s game, Waynflete had beaten Falmouth 17 of 19 times (please see sidebar, below), but the Yachtsmen had won on two of their previous three visits to Portland, including a come-from-behind 8-6 decision last May.
This time, Falmouth carried play for most of the 50 minutes.
The Yachtsmen’s first possession saw Bell get time to look for an open teammate before spotting her field hockey partner in crime, Fitzgerald, for a goal and a 1-0 lead just 53 seconds in.
After Falmouth goalie Sarah Hutcheon denied a bid from Waynflete sophomore Isabel Canning, then hosts pulled even with 23:36 to go in the first half when junior Nina Moore finished after a spin move.
Flyers senior Helen Gray-Bauer won the ensuing draw and raced in looking to put Waynflete ahead, but she was denied by Hutcheon.
The Yachtsmen transitioned to offense and with 21:23 to play in the first half, Bell stretched to catch a pass from senior Leigh Bernardy, then fired a shot past Flyers sophomore goalie Charlotte Majercik to give her team the lead for good.
Bell then took over in the draw circle and was almost unstoppable when it came to gaining possession.
After Gray-Bauer shot high and Gray-Bauer had a shot saved by Hutcheon, Bell set up sophomore Olivia Stucker for a goal with 17:10 to play in the half, good for a 3-1 advantage.
“Everyone on our team is a great cutter,” Bell said. “Their defense is so tough. I knew I had to be patient with the ball.”
Gray-Bauer cut the deficit in half with a free position goal with 15:37 showing, but after Moore was denied by Hutcheon, Bell set up junior London Bernier for a goal with 7:14 left, stretching the lead to 4-2.
Bell scored unassisted with 4:28 to go, but out of a timeout, Gray-Bauer scored unassisted to make it 5-3.
The rest of the half belonged to Falmouth, however, as with 2:11 remaining, Bernardy fed sophomore Devin Sarazin for a goal and with 1:04 left, Sarazin set up Bernier for a goal and a 7-3 advantage.
In the first 25 minutes, the Yachtsmen enjoyed a 7-4 edge in draws, grabbed more ground balls and outshot their opposition.
Falmouth never let Waynflete make a game of it in the second half.
After Hutcheon saved a bid by Flyers sophomore Beata Vest, the Yachtsmen transitioned and Bernardy fed Bell for a goal which made it 8-3 with 19:40 to play.
“It’s an adrenaline rush when I can see it and go for it,” said Bell. “Sometimes it’s just subconsciously done.”
With 15:01 to go, Bell returned to her passing ways, setting up Sarazin for a 9-3 lead.
“Sydney is a great player, a great athlete,” said Johnson. “It’s crazy because she still has so much untapped potential. It’s exciting. She’s worked on being a playmaker. She’s excelling at that. She gets better and better with experience.”
Waynflete got a goal back on a Gray-Bauer free position with 14:15 left, but Bell scored unassisted at 10:35 and Bell finished a feed from Bernier with 6:17 to play to make it 11-4.
After Canning scored unassisted for the Flyers with 3:31 left, Bell scored her final goal, unassisted, 33 seconds later and with 2:43 to play, Bernardy set up Stucker to make it 13-5.
An unassisted tally from Waynflete freshman Izzy Burdick with 1:10 left on the clock accounted for the 13-6 final score.
“Going into this game, after losing to Cape, we knew we had to come back and get back on track,” Bell said. “It got close at one point and that’s when we came in and we huddled and took a deep breath and knew we had to pull away.”
“We knew it was going to be a battle and we were ready for it,” Johnson said. “We executed so well. We controlled the things we could control, the girls did a great job executing and I’m very, very proud of that. Our attack had to figure it out against the first zone we’ve played against. We found holes and put it away.”
Bell had a career day, scoring six goals, assisting on four others, leading all players with nine ground balls and winning 13 of 18 draw controls.
“I was just the replacement (on draws),” Bell said. “I usually try to put it back behind me and it worked. Leigh has her height to use to her advantage. Helen has a lot of power and muscle and was directing it.”
“They have very different styles,” Johnson said. “Leigh’s height was utilized better on the circle.”
Bernier, Sarazin and Stucker had two goals apiece, while Fitzgerald scored once. Bernardy had four assists and Bernier and Sarazin had one apiece. Ten of Falmouth’s 13 goals were assisted. Hutcheon made six saves.
Falmouth won 14 of 21 draws, enjoyed a 44-28 ground balls advantage (Bernier collected eight, while Fitzgerald wound up with seven), outshot Waynflete, 24-14 (20-12 on cage) and overcame 21 turnovers.
Waynflete was paced by Gray-Bauer’s three goals. Burdick, Canning and Moore had one apiece. Majercik made seven saves. Moore had a team-high eight ground balls. The Flyers turned the ball over 17 times.
Longtime Waynflete coach Cathie Connors could only praise her opponent in the aftermath of the Flyers’ most decisive home loss in memory.
“Falmouth was phenomenal,” Connors said. “Sydney was incredible today.”
Heal Points and playoff positioning will remain up in the air right through the end of the regular season early in June and both teams have several tough tests remaining.
Waynflete (second to Kennebunk in the Western B Heal Points standings as of press time) has just four games left. The Flyers hope to bounce back and avenge last year’s playoff loss when they go to Cape Elizabeth Monday. After hosting Yarmouth and York, Waynflete finishes at Freeport.
“We need to keep working,” Connors said. “I have 15 girls who really want it. It’s just a matter of putting it together. We need to regroup and trust each other.”
Falmouth (which was sixth in the Heals, but bound to move up) is at Gorham Friday and hosts dangerous York Monday. After going to Lake Region and Kennebunk, the Yachtsmen welcome Greely and Freeport, then close at Cape Elizabeth.
“We have so much confidence in ourselves and our team,” Bell said. “We connect on a level that we didn’t have before. We push ourselves 100 percent and remind ourselves we’re here for each other.”
“We have to prevent injuries and stay unified,” said Johnson. “Staying drama-free is a big thing for us. We have all the tools to win states. We just have to make sure we execute.”
Falmouth sophomore Sydney Bell, who had six goals and four assists, looks to drive on Waynflete junior Meddy Smith.
Falmouth sophomore London Bernier finds herself in the middle of Waynflete’s zone defense.
Waynflete freshman Izzy Burdick defends Falmouth sophomore Sydney Bell.
Waynflete sophomore Isabel Canning turns the corner on Falmouth sophomore Gabby Farrell.
Waynflete senior Helen Gray-Bauer is defended by Falmouth sophomore Sydney Bell.
Falmouth sophomore Devin Sarazin is hounded by Waynflete senior Dana Peirce.
Waynflete junior Charlotte Majercik keeps a wary eye on Falmouth junior London Bernier.
Falmouth senior Leigh Bernardy is defended by Waynflete senior Dana Peirce.
Waynflete freshman Ya Stockford is defended by Falmouth sophomore Gabby Farrell.
Falmouth coach Kait Johnson talks to her team during Wednesday’s game.
Recent Waynflete-Falmouth results
Falmouth 8 @ Waynflete 6
Waynflete 10 @ Falmouth 8
@ Waynflete 16 Falmouth 3
Waynflete 13 @ Falmouth 10
Falmouth 13 @ Waynflete 10
Western B semifinals
Waynflete 10 Falmouth 9 @ Fitzpatrick Stadium
Waynflete 18 @ Falmouth 10
Waynflete 12 @ Falmouth 8
Waynflete 15 @ Falmouth 5
Western B Final
@ Waynflete 11 Falmouth 6
@ Waynflete 16 Falmouth 7
Western B semifinals
@ Waynflete 12 Falmouth 4
@ Waynflete 18 Falmouth 4
@ Waynflete 10 Falmouth 2
@ Waynflete 9 Falmouth 2
Waynflete 12 @ Falmouth 1
@ Waynflete 13 Falmouth 0
Waynflete 14 @ Falmouth 3
Waynflete 13 @ Falmouth 4
Falmouth sophomore Devin Sarazin hugs classmate Sydney Bell after one of Bell’s six goals during the Yachtsmen’s 13-6 win at Waynflete Wednesday afternoon.
Mike Strout photos.
More photos below.
Falmouth 13 Waynflete 6
F- 7 6- 13
W- 3 3- 6
24:07 F Fitzgerald (Bell)
23:36 W Moore (unassisted)
21:23 F Bell (Bernardy)
17:10 F Stucker (Bell)
15:37 W Gray-Bauer (free position)
7:14 F Bernier (Bell)
4:28 F Bell (unassisted)
4:18 W Gray-Bauer (unassisted)
2:11 F Sarazin (Bernardy)
1:04 F Bernier (Sarazin)
19:40 F Bell (Bernardy)
15:01 F Sarazin (Bell)
14:15 W Gray-Bauer (free position)
10:35 F Bell (unassisted)
6:17 F Bell (Bernier)
3:31 W Canning (unassisted)
2:58 F Bell (unassisted)
2:43 F Stucker (Bernardy)
1:10 W Burdick (unassisted)
F- Bell 6, Bernier, Sarazin, Stucker 2, Fitzgerald 1
W- Gray-Bauer 3, Burdick, Canning, Moore 1
F- Bell, Bernardy 4, Bernier, Sarazin 1
Draws (Falmouth 14-7)
F- Bell 13 of 18, Bernardy 1 of 3
W- Gray-Bauer 7 of 20, Moore 0 of 1
Ground balls (Falmouth, 44-28)
F- Bell 9, Bernier 8, Fitzgerald 7, Sarazin 5, Bernardy, Costa, Goodrich, Stucker 3, Farrell 2, Hutcheon 1
W- Moore 8, Gray-Bauer 4, Majercik, Smith 3, Canning, Johnson, Rowe 2, Burdick, Giguere, Pope, Vest 1
Shots on cage:
F (Hutcheon) 6
W (Majercik) 7