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Greely’s girls’ lacrosse team celebrates at the final horn of Saturday morning’s 8-7 home win over Gorham.
Mike Strout photos.
More photos below.
Go- 4 3- 7
Gr- 4 4- 8
24:04 Go Morton (free position)
23:24 Gr Spencer (unassisted)
22:26 Gr Bennert (free position)
15:02 Go Barr (free position)
12:07 Gr Dean-Muncie (Bennert)
9:19 Gr Morrison (Sullivan)
8:42 Go Shiers (free position)
48.5 Go Rossignol (unassisted)
19:01 Go Shiers (unassisted)
16:24 G0 Chapin (Shiers)
12:14 Gr Holt (unassisted)
10:30 Gr Dean-Muncie (free position)
7:15 Gr Sullivan (unassisted)
5:51 Gr Dean-Muncie (Clement)
3:56 Go Battaglia (free position)
Go- Shiers 2, Barr, Battaglia, Chapin, Morton, Rossignol 1
Gr- Dean-Muncie 3, Bennert, Holt, Morrison, Spencer, Sullivan 1
Go- Shiers 1
Gr- Bennert, Clement, Sullivan 1
Draws (Greely, 11-6)
Go- Shiers 4 of 10, Battaglia 2 of 7
Gr- Sullivan 8 of 11, Spencer 3 of 6
Shots on cage:
Go (Hume) 9
Gr (H. Perfetti) 7
CUMBERLAND—The word is out.
Greely’s girls’ lacrosse team could be in for big things this spring.
The Rangers know it and are rounding into form that could result in a special campaign.
Saturday morning, three days after a historic win over longtime nemesis Waynflete, Greely hosted Gorham and was pushed for 50 minutes.
And the Rangers pushed back.
And posted another win in the process.
On a day when its potent offense was largely held in check, Greely wasn’t able to deliver an early knockout blow against a Rams squad which produced a solid performance.
Gorham took the early lead on a free position shot from sophomore Peyton Morton, but an unassisted tally from senior Jen Spencer and a free position goal from sophomore Katie Bennert put the Rangers on top.
The Rams pulled even behind a goal from senior Molly Barr, but tallies from freshman Elsa Dean-Muncie and junior Jayme Morrison gave Greely a 4-2 lead.
It didn’t last, as by halftime, Gorham had rallied to tie things up at 4-4, thanks to scores from junior Hallie Shiers (on a free position) and senior Bridget Rossignol.
When Shiers scored unassisted, then set up senior Emily Chapin for a goal early in the second half, the Rams had the Rangers on the ropes, but after going over 22 minutes without a goal, Greely’s offense reawakened just in time.
An unassisted goal from sophomore Ellie Holt sparked the comeback and a free position tally from Dean-Muncie with 10:30 to play tied the score.
Then, with 7:15 remaining, senior standout Courtney Sullivan scored unassisted and the Rangers were on top to stay.
Dean-Muncie added a third goal, but with 3:56 to play, a free position goal from Gorham sophomore Carson Battaglia cut the deficit to one.
That’s as close as the Rams would get, however, as down the stretch, Greely managed to milk the clock and prevent Gorham from getting a look at a potential tying goal and the Rangers held on for an 8-7 victory, their third in a row.
Dean-Muncie paced a balanced attack with three goals and Greely improved to 4-1 while dropping Gorham to 2-3 in the process.
“It was very close the whole time, back-and-forth,” said Rangers coach Becca Koelker. “(Gorham) showed up and played great today.”
With lacrosse going to three classes this year, Greely finds itself with as good a chance as any in Class B and the Rangers have shown early signs that they’re up for the challenge.
Greely started with a 16-4 win at North Yarmouth. After a 13-5 loss at defending Class B champion Kennebunk, the Rangers downed host Morse (14-3) and Wednesday registered a 7-5 home win over Waynflete, beating the Flyers in successive meetings for the first time since 2004.
Gorham won its first two games on the road, 17-5 at Westbrook and 9-4 at Portland, then lost at Kennebunk (12-0) and at home to Thornton Academy (10-6).
Saturday morning, under 61 degree skies with a steady breeze, in the teams’ first countable meeting since a 15-5 Greely victory in the 2006 Western B quarterfinals, the Rangers enjoyed another win, but this one was much closer and needed all 50 minutes to decide.
The Rams took just 56 seconds to break the ice, as Morton beat Greely freshman goalie Hannah Perfetti.
The Rangers answered with 23:24 left in the first half, as Spencer scored unassisted and 58 seconds later, Bennert earned a free position and beat Gorham sophomore goalie Paige Hume to make it 2-1.
The Rams came right back with 15)2 to play in the half, as Barr scored unassisted.
Greely responded with 12:07 left on the first half clock, as Dean-Muncie scored for the first time, finishing a feed from Spencer.
With 9:19 to go before halftime, after forcing a turnover, Sullivan threaded a pass to Morrison, who beat Hume for a 4-2 advantage.
The Rangers wouldn’t score again until well into the second half.
Gorham got a free position goal from Shiers with 8:42 left in the half and with 48.5 seconds on the lock, an unassisted tally from Rossignol forged a 4-4 tie at the break.
In the first half, draws, ground balls, turnovers and shots were nearly even.
There wouldn’t be much separation in the second half either.
With 19:01 remaining, the Rams retook the lead, 5-4, on an unassisted goal from the speedy Shiers.
With 16:24 to go, Shiers earned a free position, but eschewed a shot and instead fed Chapin, who beat Perfetti for a 6-4 lead.
With 12:14 to play, after going 22-minutes, 5-seconds without a goal, Greely’s stagnant offense got a spark from Holt, who wouldn’t be denied, getting through the defense and beating Hume to cut the deficit to one.
After Sullivan hit the post on a free position, Dean-Muncie managed to finish a free position with 10:30 left and the game was deadlocked for the fourth and final time, 6-6.
The go-ahead goal came with 7:15 remaining, as Sullivan reminded all on hand why she’s so unstoppable, whether in cleats or on skates.
Sullivan got the ball up top and when she saw a gap in the defense, she didn’t hesitate and her speed and strength were undeniable, as she fired a shot past Hume for a 7-6 advantage.
“I just saw some space and shot,” Sullivan said.
With 5:51 left, Greely scored its fourth straight goal and earned a little breathing room, as after a Gorham turnover, junior Brooke Clement set up Dean-Muncie for her third goal and an 8-6 lead.
Just when it appeared the Rangers had the win secured, the Rams made things very interesting.
With 3:56 to play, Battaglia earned a free position and beat Perfetti to make it 8-7.
After Sullivan won the ensuing draw, Clement had a chance to make it a two-goal game again, but she was robbed by Hume.
Greely kept possession and ran the clock down to 2:13, when Spencer was injured and had to leave the game.
The Rangers turned the ball over with 2:01 remaining, but Gorham gave it right back.
Greely got the clock down to 29 seconds before giving it back, but again, the Rams couldn’t take advantage, as they threw the ball away and Holt collected the ground ball.
The Rangers ran out the clock from there and celebrated their 8-7 victory.
“We were having a tough time possessing the ball and it was hard to have a consistent lead when we couldn’t control it,” said Sullivan. “We had to settle down instead of throwing the ball around. It’s tough to stall. It’s a really long time. We just tried to make the pass.”
“We’ve talked a lot about challenging each other in practice,” Koelker said. “The idea of outworking the other team has given us momentum. Courtney did a great job off the draws which gave us possession. The turnovers kept us from having possession for awhile, then we were able to settle in the attacking zone.”
Greely got goals from six different girls, as it continued to show its balance. Dean-Muncie had a game-high three scores, while Bennert, Holt, Morrison, Spencer and Sullivan each tickled the twine once.
“We have a very deep team,” said Koelker. “We have a lot of girls who can put the ball in the net.”
Bennert, Clement and Sullivan all had one assist.
Perfetti made seven saves.
The Rangers won 11 of 17 draws, had a 33-20 advantage in ground balls (Sullivan had a game-high eight and Holt collected seven), outshot the Rams, 21-16 and overcame 18 turnovers.
Gorham got two goals from Shiers and one apiece from Barr, Battaglia, Chapin, Morton and Rossignol. Shiers added an assist.
Hume made nine saves.
Shiers had a team-high five ground balls.
The Rams had a 16-15 edge in shots on frame and turned the ball over 17 times.
Gorham returns to action Wednesday at Windham.
Greely, meanwhile, stays home to meet York Tuesday. The Rangers also have home games remaining against Scarborough, St. Dom’s and Cape Elizabeth, as well as trips to Freeport, Lake Region and defending Class B North champion Yarmouth.
Nothing will come easily, but Greely has the pieces in place to be a factor deep into June.
“We’re trying to outwork every team, no matter their skill,” Sullivan said. “We just need to get possession and put a lot of shots on net.”
“It’s an incredible group,” Koelker said. “They’re very close on and off the field. All the girls’ potential comes out. We just need to take care of the ball, pass and catch. The basics.”
Greely senior Jen Spencer and Gorham senior Brooke Greatorex hit the ground following a collision.
Greely freshman Elsa Dean-Muncie beats Gorham sophomore Paige Hume for one of her three goals.
Greely junior Jayme Morrison shoots and scores.
Greely sophomore Ellie Holt is defended by Gorham sophomore Carson Battaglia.
Greely sophomore Katie Bennert loses the ball as Gorham sophomores Maddy Sweatt, left, and Carson Battaglia defend.