Greely girls ride second half surge to win at Freeport

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Greely sophomore Greta Van Curan is denied point blank by Freeport senior goalie Sam Jordan during the teams’ battle Thursday. Jordan made 11 saves, but the Rangers prevailed, 13-9.

Chris Lambert photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Greely 13 Freeport 9

G- 7 6- 13
F- 6 3- 9

First half
24:36 G Schad (unassisted)
21:53 F Broderick (unassisted)
21:16 G Cuttingham (Leggat-Barr)
19:11 G Dougherty (Otley)
16:03 F Davidson (Johnston)
11:06 G Otley (unassisted)
8:57 F Johnston (Davidson)
7:51 F Rinaldi (free position)
7:31 G Sullivan (unassisted)
7:09 G Leggat-Barr (Schad)
3:42 F Broderick (free position)
1:07 G Dougherty (Sullivan)
17.1 F Dostie (unassisted) 

Second half
23:21 G Otley (unassisted)
21:55 G Otley (Sullivan)
20:42 G Otley (unassisted)
20:14 G Schad (unassisted)
14:50 F Johnson (Driscoll)
11:40 G Sullivan (unassisted)
8:29 F Broderick (Driscoll)
7:42 F Johnston (free [position)
4:50 G Sullivan (unassisted) 

Goals:
G- Otley 4, Sullivan 3, Dougherty, Schad 2, Cunningham, Leggat-Barr 1
F- Broderick, Johnston 3, Davidson, Dostie, Rinaldi 1

Assists:
G- Sullivan 2, Leggat-Barr, Otley 1
F- Driscoll 2, Davidson, Johnston 1

Draws (Greely, 15-9)
G- Sullivan 15 of 24
F- Davidson 7 of 22, Dostie 2 of 2

Ground balls (Greely, 46-44)
G- Schad 9, Otley 8, Reed 6, Sullivan 5, Coyle 4, Cunningham, Leggat-Barr 3, Dougherty, Morrison, Nicoleau 2, McDonald, Van Curan 1
F- Johnston 10, Broderick, Davidson, Driscoll 6, Dostie 5, Masison 3, Carter, Lynch, Rinaldi 2, Jordan, Washburn 1

Turnovers:
G- 15
F- 22

Shots:
G- 27
F- 18

Shots on cage:
G- 24
F- 14

Saves:
G (McDonald) 5
F (Jordan) 11 

FREEPORT—Greely’s girls’ lacrosse team has suffered some tough luck this spring, but when the Rangers click on all cylinders, they’re capable of some breathtaking things.

Host Freeport learned that the hard way at the start of the second half of the teams’ meeting on a cloudy Thursday afternoon.

The Falcons, despite committing 12 turnovers in the first half, only trailed by a goal, 7-6, at the break, thanks to a pair of strikes from senior Courtney Broderick and a late tally from sophomore Taylor Dostie.

Greely then erupted at the start of the second half, as senior Kelsey Otley scored three times in less than two minutes and the Rangers produced four goals total in a 2 minute, 17 second span to push the lead to five.

Freeport crept back within three, 12-9, on senior Lily Johnston’s free position goal with 7:43 left, but Greely got a goal back from sophomore Courtney Sullivan, then ran on the clock on its 13-9 triumph.

Otley had four goals, Sullivan scored three times and the Rangers improved to 4-5, while dropping the Falcons to 3-6 in the process.

“We’ve worked really hard on playing defense and the turnovers in the second half really helped,” said Greely coach Becca Koelker. “That was crucial today.”

In the hunt

Both teams have shown glimpses of promise this season.

Greely lost at home to Lake Region in its opener, 10-7, then won at North Yarmouth Academy, 13-7. After an 11-8 loss at a tough Massabesic squad in a crossover, the Rangers dominated visiting Cape Elizabeth, 17-6. Greely played tough at defending regional champion Kennebunk, but lost, 11-8, then fell at two-time defending Class B champion Yarmouth, 10-4. After bouncing back with a 14-6 home win over Mt. Ararat in a crossover, the Rangers dropped a tough 8-7 decision to York Tuesday.

Freeport started with a 16-5 loss at Falmouth, then downed visiting Fryeburg Academy, 15-7. After falling at Yarmouth, 15-4, the Falcons played visiting Waynflete tougher then they ever had, but lost, 10-8. Freeport then downed host Wells (11-8) and Cony (17-7) before losing a heartbreaker in overtime to visiting Morse Monday (7-6) and falling at home against Kennebunk Tuesday, 17-1.

Last year, it took three overtimes to decide a winner before Freeport prevailed, 14-13, in Cumberland. 

Thursday, Greely managed to beat the Falcons for the first time since May 30, 2013 (a 13-6 win in Freeport) and snapped a two-game skid in the series.

Sullivan won the opening draw and it took all of 24 seconds for the Rangers to take the lead, when junior Ellie Schad scored unassisted.

The Falcons drew even with 21:53 to go in the first half, when Broderick scored unassisted after a nice move, but 37 seconds later, sophomore Nettie Cunningham put Greely back ahead with an unassisted tally.

With 19:11 left in the half, in transition, Otley set up senior Maegan Dougherty for a shot which beat Freeport senior goalie Sam Jordan, making it 3-1.

The Falcons got a goal back with 16:03 to go, as Johnston set up sophomore Chloe Davidson for a shot which eluded Rangers freshman goalie Mollie McDonald.

With 11:06 remaining, Otley’s first goal, an unassisted strike, pushed the lead back to two, 4-2.

Freeport bounced back with two goals in just over a minute to tie the game, as Johnston finished a feed from Davidson and sophomore Taylor Rinaldi scored unassisted.

Greely would take the lead for good with 7:31 left in the half, as Sullivan scored unassisted.

Twenty-two seconds later, Schad fed junior Katherine Leggat-Barr for a goal and a 6-4 lead.

Broderick got a goal back on a free position shot with 3:42 remaining, but with 1:07 left, Sullivan fed Dougherty to make it 7-5.

The Falcons would finish the half strong, as with 17.1 seconds left, Dostie scored unassisted and as time expired, junior Olivia Greuel had a great look, but McDonald made a huge save to preserve the Rangers’ 7-6 advantage.

In the first half, draws were even (7-7), as were shots (11-11) and it looked like the contest would go down to the wire.

Greely then roared to life to start the second half.

Seconds after a Dougherty shot hit the post, Otley pounced on the ground ball, then beat Jordan with 23:21 left for an 8-6 lead.

With 21:55 remaining, Sullivan fed Otley for another goal and after Leggat-Barr hit the post, Otley scored again with 20:42 to go to make it 10-6 just like that.

“I worked in the second half on getting into zone right away and cutting and that’s where a lot of my shots came from, from feeds from behind the net,” Otley said.

The Rangers weren’t done, as Schad got in on the fun with 20:14 to play.

Freeport snapped the 4-0 run when Johnston (from sophomore Jessie Driscoll) scored with 14:50 left, but with 11:40 to play, Sullivan finished unassisted after a crease roll to make it 12-7.

To their credit, the Falcons refused to go quietly, as Driscoll set up Broderick for a goal at 8:29 and 46 seconds later, Johnston’s free position tally cut the deficit to 12-9.

Freeport would draw no closer, however, as with 4:59 to play, Sullivan again finished unassisted after a nice individual move and Greely ran out the clock from there on its 13-9 victory.

Otley led all scorers with four goals. Sullivan had three, Dougherty and Schad two apiece and Cunningham and Leggat-Barr once each. Sullivan had two assists and Leggat-Barr and Otley each had one.

McDonald saved five shots.

Sullivan won 15 of 24 draws, including eight of 10 in the second half.

“Winning draws makes a world of difference,” Otley said. “That fuels our momentum. Everybody immediately sprints to the goal. If you don’t win the draw, you have to drop to defense, win the ball back, then go the whole field.”

“At halftime, we talked about how important it was to win 50-50 balls and draws are 50-50 balls,” Koelker said. “That made the difference.”

The Rangers had a 46-44 edge in ground balls (Schad led the way with nine and Otley had eight), only turned the ball over 15 times and had a 27-18 shots advantage (24-14 on cage).

Freeport got three goals apiece from Broderick and Johnston. Davidson, Dostie and Rinaldi all scored once. Driscoll had two assists, while Davidson and Johnston had one apiece. Jordan made 11 saves. Johnston collected a game-high 10 ground balls.

The Falcons were done in by 22 turnovers.

“I felt like we were pumped at halftime, but the way they came out against us in the second half was deflating,” said Freeport coach Marcia Wood. “We dug too deep a hole. When you have that many turnovers against a good transition team like Greely, it’s hard to come back. Greely wasn’t beating Freeport. Freeport was beating Freeport.

“We’ve had a long week. Three games, we had kids at conventions and Model UN and we had a bomb threat, but we have to keep playing.”

Playoff jockeying

Freeport appears postseason-bound as it’s ranked seventh in the Class B North Heal Points standings at press time and 10 teams will qualify. The Falcons are idle until Tuesday when Lake Region pays a visit. After going to Fryeburg Academy Thursday, Freeport closes the regular season June 1 at York.

“I gave the girls the weekend off,” Wood said. “In my eyes, we have three winnable games left. We’ll hope to get into the playoffs. Other than Yarmouth, we’re in a wide-open region. We hope to keep improving and we’ll hope for the best.”

Greely doesn’t have anything locked up. The Rangers are sixth in Class B South, but only six teams qualify and Cape Elizabeth is nipping at Greely’s heels. After hosting powerhouse Falmouth Monday, the Rangers welcome NYA a week from Friday, then close at Cape Elizabeth June 1, in what might be a win-and-get-in showdown.

“We’re working on starting out strong,” Otley said. “We didn’t come out as strong as we should have today. We’re a second half team. We have to be strong at the beginning of the game too. We have to get pumped up in warmups. We have to play as a team. Doing well on both ends of the field would help.”

“We’ve had a tough schedule,” Koelker said. “We have work to do. Falmouth will be a big game. It makes a difference getting them at home on grass. We’re working toward consistency and being the same team every game, every half.”

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

Freeport sophomore Taylor Rinaldi gets a step on Greely sophomore Nettie Cunningham.

Freeport senior Courtney Broderick shoots past Greely freshman goalie Mollie McDonald on a first half free position.

Greely junior Katherine Leggat-Barr knocks the ball away from Freeport senior Lily Johnston.

Greely senior Maegan Dougherty shoots on Freeport senior goalie Sam Jordan.

Freeport sophomore Taylor Dostie tries to shoot over Greely senior Brie Nicoleau.

Greely junior Ellie Schad fires a shot on goal as Freeport senior Lily Johnston defends.

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