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The two-time defending Class B state champion Yarmouth boys’ lacrosse team might have a new rival standing in its way when it attempts to three-peat Saturday afternoon.
As expected, the Falmouth Yachtsmen have arrived and find themselves just one win away from a first-ever trip to the championship game. Unfortunately for the Yachtsmen, that one win had to come against perennial powerhouse Cape Elizabeth.
The Clippers played host to St. Dom’s, the only remaining undefeated team in Class B, in their regional final.
Freeport hoped to advance to its first regional final, but couldn’t hold a late lead at St. Dom’s and dropped a 14-13 overtime heartbreaker in the semifinals Saturday.
Greely was ousted, 22-5, at Falmouth in the semifinals.
NYA, which qualified at the last moment, eliminated Lincoln Academy, 12-1, in the quarterfinals, then lost, 17-7, at Yarmouth in Saturday’s semifinal round.
Yarmouth has been the state’s premier program since finally getting over the hump and winning a first title in 2004. The Clippers won 11 of 12 regular season contests, earned the top seed in Eastern B for the third year in a row and hosted No. 4 NYA in the semifinals (the Panthers rolled past No. 5 Lincoln in the quarterfinals behind senior Phil Champoux’s four goals) Saturday night.
Yarmouth easily handled NYA twice in the regular season, 11-4, April 16 on its home turf and with stunning ease, 19-1, on the Panthers’ field, May 18. The rivals met for the 12th time in 13 postseasons and the Clippers improved to 8-4 in those games behind four goals from senior Steven Petrovek and three from classmate Evan Henry. Nine different players scored for Yarmouth before all was said and done as it gradually pulled away (3-1 after one quarter, 9-4 at halftime, 12-4 after three) to win, 17-7.
“We had control,” said Clippers coach Craig Curry. “It was a great game for us. We knew what it meant to NYA. They fought tooth and nail, which was awesome for us. It was intense.
NYA’s season ended at 5-8.
Yarmouth didn’t face St. Dom’s this year. In 2009, in the quarterfinals, the Clippers drubbed the Saints, 26-1.
“We haven’t seen them play,” Curry said. “Their good players from last year are back. They have a good coach with a lacrosse background. They’re a growing program. I’m sure they took what happened last year and will use it as motivation.”
Game time is 5 p.m.
St. Dom’s ended Freeport’s fine season in agonizing fashion. The Falcons went 8-4 and earned the No. 3 seed in the region. The first-ever Freeport-St. Dom’s playoff meeting proved to be a classic.
Senior Thomas Dorsey scored six goals. His last made it 13-8 Falcons with 4:52 to go, but the Saints didn’t quit, scoring five times to tie it with 37 seconds to go. Then, in OT, St. Dom’s completed the comeback and broke Freeport’s heart, 14-13.
“I don’t want to blame anything specifically,” said Falcons coach Geoff Arris. “We just stopped playing our game. The hustle was there, but the team concept wasn’t.”
Senior Jackson Dodge added three goals and sophomore goalie Alex Sturtevant made 14 saves.
“Our keeper was amazing,” said Arris. “He’s just a sophomore. He’ll be one of the best in the state in a couple of years.”
Look for Freeport to remain a top contender in 2011, even after graduating some top talent.
In Western B, Falmouth won 10 of 12 regular season games, losing twice to Yarmouth by a total of five goals. The top-ranked Yachtsmen hosted No. 4 Greely Saturday in the semifinals. It marked the fourth straight season the rivals have squared off and Falmouth evened the ledger at 2-2 with a dominating performance.
It was 8-2 after one quarter, 14-5 at halftime and 22-5 after three. That’s how it ended up as the Yachtsmen got six goals and an assist from junior Nick Bachman, three goals each from seniors Dan Hanley (one assist) and Kyle Lucas (two assists) and sophomore Mitch Tapley (three assists) and a pair of goals (and an assist) from senior Mike Kane.
“Greely did have their scoring opportunities, however, they failed to score on many of them,” said Falmouth coach Mike LeBel. “My seniors have worked too long and hard to get knocked out this early. They are extremely determined and will not allow for the younger players to lose focus of the ultimate goal.”
Teddy Russell had two goals for the Rangers (6-7) in defeat.
In the regional final, Falmouth faced the daunting task of trying to beat a proud program for third time. The Yachtsmen opened the year with a stunning 11-4 triumph in Cape Elizabeth April 16, then held off the Capers, 9-7, at home May 18. Last year, in the regional final, Cape Elizabeth ended Falmouth’s then-finest season to date, 11-7.
“I anticipate both a very physically and emotionally draining event,” said LeBel. “Cape is playing their best lacrosse of the season. They are peaking at the right time. (Coach) Ben (Raymond) is doing an outstanding job of keeping them focused and productive. I feel that neither team has a clear advantage at any position on the field. However, from the way they were able to win faceoffs versus Yarmouth, Cape may have the nod. This will be one of the most exciting games to watch during the tournament.”
The winner moves on to the state game (Saturday at 12:30 p.m., at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland).
Sun Journal staff writer Dave St. Hilaire contributed to this story.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
NYA sophomore Nick Robinson gets the worst of a collision with Yarmouth senior Brodie Woodson during the teams’ Eastern B semifinal Saturday night.
Two of the best boys’ players in the state get up close and personal Saturday as Yarmouth senior Steven Petrovek runs into NYA senior Brandon Barrett. The Clippers advanced to the regional final with a 17-7 victory.