It's all Falmouth in state game rematch

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Falmouth junior Lou Mainella, left, senior Jack Scribner and senior Devin Russell celebrate the aftermath of a goal during the Yachtsmen’s 16-6 home win over Yarmouth in a Class B state final rematch Wednesday night.

Joe Carpine / 365digitalphotography.com photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Falmouth 16 Yarmouth 6 

Y- 1 0 1 4- 6
F- 6 5 4 1- 16

First quarter
8:32 F Scribner (unassisted)
7:22 Y Corey (Venden) (MAN-UP)
4:52 F N. Farnham (unassisted)
4:22 F Scribner (Mainella)
3:57 F Russell (Scribner)
3:11 F Russell (unassisted)
1:57 F Arrants (unassisted) 

Second quarter
8:49 F Mainella (Scribner)
6:46 F Russell (unassisted)
6:06 F Arrants (Mainella)
2:03 F Arrants (unassisted)
1:28 F Langdon (Scribner) 

Third quarter
10:32 F T. Fitzgerald (unassisted)
8:20 F Mainella (N. Farnham) (MAN-UP)
7:53 F Russell (Mainella) (MAN-UP)
3:23 F R. Tucker (Valle)
1:38 Y Leblanc (unassisted) 

Fourth quarter
10:42 Y Leblanc (unassisted)
8:06 Y May (unassisted)
5:37 F T. Fitzgerald (unassisted)
5:22 Y May (unassisted)
4.8 Y Leblanc (Jacobs) (MAN-UP) 

Goals:
Y- Leblanc 3, May 2, Corey 1
F- Russell 4, Arrants 3, T. Fitzgerald, Mainella, Scribner 2, N. Farnham, Langdon, R. Tucker 1

Assists:
Y- Jacobs, Venden 1
F- Mainella, Scribner 3, N. Farnham, Valle 1

Faceoffs (Falmouth, 19-7)
Y- Jancovic 1 of 10, Jacobs 6 of 7, Pearl 0 of 6, Rogers 0 of 3
F- Pierce 14 of 16, Kirk 5 of 8, St. Louis 0 of 2

Ground balls (Falmouth, 41-16)
Y- Jacobs 4, Moore 3, Chappell, Guertier, May 2, Barton, Jancovic, Mallett 1
F- Pierce 8, Reed 7, Arrants 4, T. Fitzgerald, Hickey 3, Preston, Russell, Scribner 2, H. Farnham, N. Farnham, G. Fitzgerald, Langdon, Mainella, Omar, St. Louis, Tucker, Wheeler, Zinn 1

Turnovers:
Y- 18
F- 11

Shots:
Y- 17
F- 44

Shots on cage:
Y- 10
F- 29

Saves: 
Y (King) 13 
F (Tucker) 2 (Chapman) 2

FALMOUTH—The rematch proved to be no match at all, but while Falmouth’s powerhouse, defending Class B state champion boys’ lacrosse team further cemented its status as the team to beat Wednesday evening on its home turf, the Yarmouth Clippers, even in decisive defeat, showed glimpses that they could be a force to be reckoned with down the road.

In the teams’ first of two (and perhaps three) meetings this spring, the Yachtsmen snapped an early 1-1 tie with five unanswered goals, including two from senior Devin Russell, to take a 6-1 lead after one quarter.

Falmouth never looked back from there, scoring five more times in the second period, as senior Nate Arrants tickled the twine twice, to make it 11-1 at halftime.

Goals from freshman Tom Fitzgerald and junior Lou Mainella induced a mercy rule running clock in the third quarter and the Yachtsmen eventually went up, 15-1, but the Clippers finished strong.

Down 15-2 starting the fourth period, Yarmouth got two goals apiece from senior Remi Leblanc and junior Cooper May and while Falmouth rolled to a 16-6 victory, the Clippers left town with something to build on.

The Yachtsmen got goals from eight different players, led by Russell’s four, and improved to 5-0 on the year, dropping the Clippers to 2-2 in the process.

“It was a business-like atmosphere tonight,” said Falmouth first-year coach David Barton. “We know we’ll see them again. When that team puts it together, they’ll be dangerous. They have a bunch of athletes. They’ll figure it out. Yarmouth’s right up there with Cape as a rival. A lot of our guys play in the offseason with guys from Yarmouth, so there wasn’t much to say before the game. The seniors took care of it.” 

Confident and unstoppable

Falmouth surged at the right time a year ago and went on to its third state title.

Yarmouth got to the state game and lost it for the fourth year in a row.

This season, the Yachtsmen returned many more top players than did the Clippers and are viewed as the team to beat.

Yarmouth, despite its youth, started by handling visiting North Yarmouth Academy (15-6) and Kennebunk (14-6), but Saturday, in a crossover, the Clippers lost, 22-5, at defending Class A North champion Brunswick. 

Falmouth exploded for a 27-1 home win over York in its opener, then handled visiting Messalonskee, 19-8, in a crossover. Last Wednesday, the Yachtsmen made an early statement by rallying to win at Cape Elizabeth, 9-8. Saturday, Falmouth held off host South Portland in another crossover, 12-10.

Last year, Falmouth and Yarmouth squared off in a state final for the first time. The Yachtsmen shot to an early 5-0 lead and the Clippers weren’t able to catch up and Falmouth prevailed, 13-9, behind three goals apiece from George Gilbert, Mainella and Russell.

That victory cut Yarmouth’s advantage in the series (dating to 2003) to 11-7 (see sidebar, below).

Wednesday, on a cool and breezy evening, the Clippers hoped to get a measure of revenge for last June, but instead, Falmouth rolled to another impressive victory, its second-biggest ever over Yarmouth (17-0 in 2011 was the largest).

Yachtsmen junior faceoff specialist and midfielder Spencer Pierce set the tone throughout the first half, winning 13 of 14 opportunities, including his first 10, whether he went up against Yarmouth freshman Preston Jancovic, sophomore Ben Pearl or sophomore Jake Rogers.

Falmouth got the game’s first goal with 8:32 to go in the first quarter, as senior Jack Scribner raced around the crease before beating Clippers freshman goalie Spencer King.

After a tripping penalty on Yachtsmen senior Nico Ciraulo, Yarmouth got on the board man-up, as freshman Anders Corey, who has shown a penchant for finishing right out of the gate this spring, scored off a feed from junior Henry Venden, beating Falmouth senior goalie Liam Tucker to tie it, 1-1 with 7:22 remaining in the frame.

That would prove to be the Clippers’ highwater mark, as the rest of the half would belong to the Yachtsmen.

With 4:52 left, Falmouth went on top to stay, as junior Nick Farnham scored unassisted.

That would be the first of three goals in a 55-second span and it was followed by Scribner beating King top shelf (assisted by Mainella) and Russell scoring for the first time (set up by Scribner).

Yarmouth coach David Pearl called timeout hoping to stem the tide, but it didn’t work, as with 3:11 remaining in the period, Russell scored unassisted and with 1:57 to go, Arrants got his first goal, unassisted, for a commanding 6-1 advantage.

In the first quarter, Pierce won all eight faceoffs and the Yachtsmen fired 16 shots to just two for the visitors.

Little changed in the second period.

After killing a penalty, Falmouth got a seventh goal, as Scribner set up Mainella with 8:49 left in the half.

With 6:46 to go, Russell scored unassisted again.

Forty seconds later, Mainella set up Arrants to make it 9-1.

The Yachtsmen had to kill two minutes of penalties later in the half and after doing so, Arrants scored again, blowing past a defender and finishing unassisted with 2:03 left.

Then, 35 seconds later, Scribner set up senior Andrew Langdon for a goal and an 11-1 halftime lead.

Pierce won 13 of 14 faceoffs to allow Falmouth to dominate first half possession.

“Spencer winning faceoffs and getting possession is a monumental part of our game,” Russell said. 

“Spencer played very well tonight,” Barton said.

The Yachtsmen had a 29-6 shots advantage in the half (17-3 on frame). King did make six saves for the Clippers.

Barton began to substitute players as early as the start of the second half, but the first four goals of the third quarter would still go to the hosts.

With 10:32 left, Fitzgerald fought his way through traffic and finished.

When Mainella finished a feed from Farnham and scored man-up with 8:20 remaining, the lead was 12 goals and the clock ran.

With 7:53 to play, Mainella set up Russell for another man-up goal and with 3:23 left, sophomore Reilly Tucker finished a feed from junior Kristian Valle to make it 15-1.

With 1:38 remaining in the quarter, Yarmouth ended Falmouth’s 14-0 run and a 29 minute, 44 second scoring drought, as Leblanc scored his first goal, beating junior backup goalie Ethan Chapman, cutting the deficit to 15-2 heading for the final stanza.

There, the Clippers closed strong, as senior Billy Jacobs started taking faceoffs and winning them.

With 10:12 to play, Leblanc scored unassisted and with 8:06 left, May’s unassisted goal cut the deficit to 15-4, undoing the running clock.

Falmouth briefly went back up by a dozen when Fitzgerald scored unassisted with 5:37 left, but 15 seconds later, May scored unassisted again.

Yarmouth got one final goal in the waning seconds, as playing man-up, Jacobs set up Leblanc to account for the 16-6 final score.

“It’s always a very competitive game to play Yarmouth,” Russell said. “It was fun to get out after practicing really hard and playing the way we did. We want to always play our best. We have a really deep squad this year. Everyone does their job and gets on top of the ball.”

“We didn’t finish the way we wanted to Saturday against South Portland,” Barton said. “Credit to them. They’re a very talented team. The last couple days at practice, we got after it and did some soul searching and re-discovered our identity. We’re trying to roll a bunch of guys out there. Some guys might not have gotten big minutes earlier in the year, but we’ve seen them in practice and they can play. We try to grind defenses down. There are times to turn it into a track meet and times to work for a high percentage shot.”

Russell paced the offense with four goals and he had plenty of company. Arrants scored three times, Fitzgerald, Mainella and Scribner had two goals apiece and Farnham, Langdon and Reilly Tucker all finished with one goal.

Mainella and Scribner both added three assists, while Farnham and Valle had one each.

Falmouth had a 19-7 edge in faceoffs and a 41-16 advantage in ground balls (Pierce led the way with eight, while sophomore defensman Riley Reed collected seven, despite playing with a cast on his hand). The Yachtsmen finished with a 44-17 shots advantage (29-10 on cage), overcame 11 turnovers and got two saves apiece from Chapman and Tucker.

As usual, Falmouth’s defense was stingy, but got lost in the shuffle.

“Our defense is a confidence booster,” said Russell. “We know they can get the stop. That’s a boost for the offense.”

“We have six or seven guys who can go out there and take away the opponents’ top attackmen,” Barton said.

Glimpses

Yarmouth’s offense featured three goals from Leblanc, two from May and one from Corey. Jacobs and Venden each had an assist. Jacobs had four ground balls. King made 13 saves.

The Clippers turned the ball over 18 times.

“(Falmouth’s) a very talented team from top to bottom,” Pearl said. “Very well coached. Very aggressive on-ball and adjacent. They put a lot of pressure on us. We had a hard time clearing the ball. If you can’t clear the ball, you give a team like that, as loaded as they are, second, third, fourth chances and your defense wears down. It was lopsided possession.

“We’re a young team. We’ll see them again and hopefully, we’ll see them again (in the state final). We need to grow. One thing I love is that we never give up, all the way to the end. Every single faceoff and ground ball, we competed. We tried about six different things, but clearly, the faceoffs were a big problem. I’m proud of how Billy put the team on his shoulders in the fourth quarter, taking faceoffs.”

Just getting warmed up

Yarmouth looks to bounce back Saturday when it faces Greely (the game has been moved to Yarmouth’s turf field at 3:15 p.m.). Next week brings the daunting task of hosting Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough.

“We have to focus on getting better,” Pearl said. “A famous quote says adversity introduces a man to himself. How you respond when you face adversity is the measure of the kind of man you’ll be. We talk about that in our program. We look at lacrosse as a way to teach these guys resilience. I’m proud of them. They’re not hanging their heads.

“We have to grow in various phases. We have a very young team. We have a freshman and sophomore competing to play goalie, a freshman and sophomore competing to faceoff. Freshmen on attack and on the wing.  I know they’ll work hard tomorrow at practice. We just need to get better by June.”

Falmouth is off until Tuesday, when it hosts Freeport. After going to Waynflete and Lake Region, the Yachtsmen play Cape Elizabeth for the second of a likely three times, May 20, this time at home.

“We have to keep working on our sets and moving the ball better,” Russell said.

“We’ve got a little time to breathe, then we have some big ones after that,’ Barton said. “It’s a tough stretch for the seniors with AP exams. They have four-hour exams, then they come out and compete. That’s a testament to them.”

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

Falmouth senior Devin Russell beats Yarmouth freshman goalie Spencer King for one of his four goals.

Yarmouth senior Max Barton tries to keep the ball way from Falmouth senior Henry Farnham.

Falmouth junior Brendan Hickey races up the field with Yarmouth sophomore Michael Guertier in hot pursuit.

Yarmouth sophomore Jake Rogers defends Falmouth senior Jack Scribner.

Yarmouth freshman Anders Corey fires a shot past Falmouth senior goalie Liam Tucker for an early goal.

Falmouth senior George Fitzgerald puts a move on Yarmouth sophomore Michael Guertier.

Recent Falmouth-Yarmouth meetings

2016
Falmouth 12 @ Yarmouth 7
Class B state final
Falmouth 13 Yarmouth 9 

2015
Yarmouth 8 @ Falmouth 6 

2014
Falmouth 17 @ Yarmouth 12

2013
@ Yarmouth 10 Falmouth 9 (OT) 
Yarmouth 15 @ Falmouth 14 (OT)

2012
@ Falmouth 14 Yarmouth 7
Falmouth 12 @ Yarmouth 6

2011
Falmouth 14 @ Yarmouth 5
@ Falmouth 17 Yarmouth 0

2010
Yarmouth 7 @ Falmouth 4
@ Yarmouth 8 Falmouth 6

2009
Yarmouth 18 @ Falmouth 5

2007
@ Yarmouth 17 Falmouth 2

2006
@ Yarmouth 13 Falmouth 2

2005
@ Yarmouth 19 Falmouth 6

2004
@ Yarmouth 18 Falmouth 1

2003
Yarmouth 13 @ Falmouth 2

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