SCARBOROUGH—Scarborough’s girls’ lacrosse team has been the premier Class A squad in the state over the past decade, but one thing the Red Storm had never accomplished was beating the team that everyone in Maine measures themselves against, the Waynflete Flyers.
Saturday afternoon, Scarborough checked beating Waynflete off the list.
In impressive fashion.
The Red Storm came out sizzling at the Kippy Mitchell Sports Complex, scoring three times in an 85-second span, but the Flyers called timeout, tightened up their defense and Scarborough wouldn’t score again before halftime.
Waynflete wasn’t able to capitalize, however, as Red Storm sophomore goalie Sami Shoebottom added to her burgeoning athletic legend by stopping six of the seven shots she faced, helping Scarborough remain on top at the break, 3-1.
As they did in the first half, the Red Storm got the offense going again early in the second, as a free position goal from junior Emma Smith snapped a 23 minute, 14 second drought and broke the spell.
While Waynflete twice drew within two goals, Shoebottom didn’t allow the Flyers to get any closer and when senior standout Kaitlin Prince and classmate Sydney Hersey both scored on free positions, Scarborough pulled away. Waynflete got one final goal in the waning seconds, but it wasn’t nearly enough and the Red Storm went on to a history-making 7-4 victory.
Hersey and Prince both had two goals to spearhead a balanced attack and Shoebottom made 10 clutch saves as Scarborough improved to 3-1 and handed the Flyers’ their second loss in seven outings in the process.
“It was a really big win,” said Red Storm first-year coach Michaela Wipfler. “The girls showed up today. They were excited, wanted it and that showed on the field. Every year, this is a big game for us. The girls were motivated.”
Here comes the Storm
Scarborough won four Class A championships between 2006 and 2012 and downed almost all of the state’s traditional powers in that span, but three previous meetings against Waynflete this century all resulted in lopsided setbacks (see sidebar, below), including a 12-7 loss (which wasn’t even that close) last May in Portland.
Both teams are in somewhat of a reloading phase this spring, but both had enjoyed early success.
Waynflete 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. The Flyers bounced back with wins at Greely (10-7) and Fryeburg Academy (10-1), then they downed visiting Gould Academy Wednesday, 13-6.
Scarborough beat visiting South Portland in its opener, 10-5, then lost at Windham, 14-12. The Red Storm bounced right back Thursday with a 17-5 victory at Portland.
“We learn more from losses than wins,” Prince said. “We did a lot wrong in that (Windham) game, but I think it was a blessing in disguise, because we wouldn’t have learned anything from that game if we won. We had a lot to focus on. I think that loss will fuel us the rest of the season.”
“Windham was a tough loss,” Wipfler said. “We didn’t show up to play as well as I knew we could. The girls were frustrated and have turned it around.”
Saturday, Scarborough got the jump and despite a long dry spell, never relinquished its lead.
Waynflete junior Nina Moore won the opening draw and the visitors had the first good shot, but in a sign of things to come, freshman Lydia Giguere’s bid was denied by Shoebottom.
The Red Storm then transitioned to offense and went on top to stay when junior Abby Corbin fed Prince for a 1-0 lead with 23:43 to play in the first half.
Just 26 seconds later, after a Prince draw win, Prince set up junior Jamie Sargent, who beat Flyers junior Charlotte Majercik goalie for a 2-0 advantage.
“We came out on fire,” Prince said. “Waynflete was a little stunned by those transition goals.”
When Sargent set up Hersey for a goal with 22:18 to play in the half for a 3-0 lead, Waynflete coach Cathie Connors called timeout.
While the timeout managed to get the Flyers refocused on defense, they weren’t able to break through on offense for several minutes.
That’s because Shoebottom denied Waynflete junior Christian Rowe and freshman Izzy Burdick.
Finally, with 14:40 to play in the half, Rowe earned a free position and found the net to make it 3-1.
That score would hold up until halftime, but both squads had chances.
Flyers senior Haley Johnson had a free position saved by Shoebottom at one end and at the other, Scarborough senior Bailey Adams had a shot saved by Majercik. Majercik then denied Hersey once and Prince twice to keep it 3-1.
Late in the half, the visitors got two more good looks, but Shoebottom denied sophomore Isabel Canning and Rowe.
While the Red Storm didn’t score the final 22:18 of the half, they still were on top and refocused their offensive approach heading into the second half.
It paid off as just 56 seconds in, Emma Smith earned a free position and her shot beat Majercik to make it 4-1, ending a 23:14 drought.
“(Waynflete’s) defense is so solid,” said Prince. “It’s not that we let up, but I think we didn’t take time on our shots. I know I didn’t, but my teammates will back me up. The difference in this game was we shot and got it back, we turned it over and got back. We didn’t let it get in our heads. Yeah, we didn’t score for 23 minutes, but I think we had the possession most of those 23 minutes.”
“Waynflete’s a really strong team and their defense held us off,” said Wipfler. “They’re a powerhouse. I had to remind our offense to be patient and wait for an open girl or a call. They took that to heart. You have to keep the ball moving, see where spaces are, double-cut, triple-cut. The girls on offense did a wonderful job of that.”
The Flyers answered when senior Helen Gray-Bauer scored on a free position with 22:49 to go, but with 22:22 left, Prince set up Adams for a goal and a 5-2 advantage.
Waynflete again made it a two-goal game with 15:30 to play, when Burdick set up Johnson, but again Scarborough refused to allow their lead to shrink to one and with 12:04 to go, a Prince free position tally restored a three-goal bulge, 6-3.
“Their goalie is talented,” Prince said. “She’s good high, so we had to move her. At halftime, we made adjustments and figured out their zone a little more and put a few in.”
Forty-five seconds later, Adams fed Hersey for a goal to make it 7-3, forcing Connors to call timeout.
It didn’t help, as Shoebottom denied Moore on a free position, robbed Canning on a free position, made a tremendous save, moving from her right to her left to rob sophomore Beata Vest, then stopped a Burdick free position.
With 20.4 seconds remaining, Canning set up Moore for a goal, but that only made it 7-4 and the Red Storm were able to run out the clock from there and finally got to celebrate a win over the mighty Waynflete Flyers.
“We came to play today,” Adams said. “We proved that from start to finish. Mentally, we were ready. We believe in ourselves. This game, we played as a unit and we proved we can do it. This means a lot to our program. It proves we’re here to play. After we lost to Windham, we worked a lot on affirmations of the mind the next day in practice and that fueled our fire today.”
Scarborough had great balance on offense, as five players combined to score the seven goals. Hersey and Prince each had a pair, while Adams, Sargent and Emma Smith had one apiece. Sargent had two assists and Adams, Corbin and Prince had one each.
“If ‘KP’ is double teamed, which happens most games, we know our roles and we’re a deep team and we know we can do it,” Adams said.
“I’m trying to have balance every game,” Wipfler said. “I don’t want one or two scorers.”
Shoebottom continued to develop into one of the state’s elite goalies, making 10 critical saves.
“I think I developed a lot in the offseason as a goalie,” Shoebottom said. “I wasn’t ready last year, but this year I’m ready and I can handle it. We do a lot of rapid fire free positions in practice. I can see it easier than a 7-on-7 situation. I think my defense played really solid, which helped a lot. We didn’t give Waynflete anything.”
“Sami is unbelievable,” said Wipfler. “I know I can always count on her. She was fired up today and it showed.”
Prince won eight of 13 draws and had a game-high nine ground balls. Adams finished with six.
The Red Storm were able to overcome 27 turnovers.
Waynflete got one goal apiece from Gray-Bauer, Johnson, Moore and Rowe. Burdick and Canning both had assists. Majercik made four saves.
The Flyers had a 34-29 edge in ground balls (Gray-Bauer had seven, Burdick six and Moore five) and put 14 shots on cage to 11 for Scarborough (overall shots were 15-15). Waynflete turned the ball over 18 times.
“It was a tough game,” Connors said. “That tough start killed us. I should have had them get back on defense from the beginning. That was my bad, not theirs. I wish that I had called the timeout sooner, but Scarborough played beautifully. They’re very good. We’re just not finishing offensively.”
Both teams return to their conference schedule, but neither one will have an easy time of it in the next couple weeks.
Waynflete hopes to bounce back Wednesday, when it hosts Falmouth in a contest rife with Heal Points implications. After playing at Cape Elizabeth, the Flyers have home tests against Yarmouth and York.
Scarborough hopes to keep the good times going Tuesday, when it plays at Gorham. The Red Storm host Thornton Academy Thursday, seeking to avenge last year’s semifinal round playoff loss, then go to defending Class B champion Yarmouth Friday. Scarborough then sandwiches home games against Marshwood and defending Eastern A champion Cheverus around a trip to defending Class A champion Massabesic.
“I think we can do it,” Adams said. “‘We Want The Cup’ is our slogan this year. The biggest thing is Coach believes in us and we believe in her. We trust each other.”
“We have to refocus,” Wipfler said. “We have a lot of big games to come. This is the first of many challenging teams we’ll play in the next couple of weeks. We’ll keep our focus, stay positive and tweak a few things. It’s been nice to step in with a clean slate. The girls have been receptive and hard working. I feel really lucky.”
Scarborough senior Bailey Adams looks for an open teammate.
Scarborough junior Emma Smith is defended by Waynflete senior Helen Gray-Bauer.
Scarborough senior Sydney Hersey scores one of her two goals.
Waynflete senior Helen Gray-Bauer (1) is congratulated by classmate Dana Peirce after a second half goal.
Waynflete senior Haley Johnson fires a shot on goal.
Scarborough senior Kaitlin Prince scores on a free position in the second half.
Waynflete junior Christian Rowe charges toward the goal on a free position.
Scarborough sophomore goalie Sami Shoebottom loomed large Saturday, making 10 clutch saves.
Waynflete sophomore Beata Vest gets a step on Scarborough senior defender Miranda Page.
Senior Bailey Adams (5) is congratulated by junior Emma Smith (19), senior Sydney Hersey (15) and junior Abby Corbin after a Scarborough goal.
First-year Scarborough coach Michaela Wipfler looks on during Saturday’s victory. Wipfler and her team are off to a 3-1 start.
Recent Waynflete-Scarborough results
@ Waynflete 12 Scarborough 7
@ Waynflete 18 Scarborough 6
@ Waynflete 16 Scarborough 2
Scarborough’s girls’ lacrosse team erupts with joy after Saturday’s 7-4 home victory over Waynflete, the Red Storm’s first-ever triumph over the Flyers.
Mike Strout photos.
More photos below.
Scarborough 7 Waynflete 4
W- 1 3- 4
S- 3 4- 7
23:43 S Prince (Corbin)
23:17 S Sargent (Prince)
22:18 S Hersey (Sargent)
14:40 W Rowe (free position)
24:04 S Emma Smith (free position)
22:49 W Gray-Bauer (free position)
22:22 S Adams (Prince)
15:30 W Johnson (Burdick)
12:04 S Prince (free position)
11:19 S Hersey (Adams)
20.4 W Moore (Canning)
W- Gray-Bauer, Johnson, Moore, Rowe 1
S- Hersey, Prince 2, Adams, Sargent, Emma Smith 1
W- Burdick, Canning 1
S- Sargent 2, Adams, Corbin, Prince 1
Draws (Scarborough, 8-5)
S- Prince 8 of 13
W- Moore 3 of 8, Canning 0 of 3, Gray-Bauer 2 of 2
Ground balls (Waynflete, 34-29)
W- Gray-Bauer 7, Burdick 6, Moore 5, Best, Johnson, Pope 3, Canning, Giguere 2, Majercik, Peirce, Rowe 1
S- Prince 9, Adams 6, Hersey 3, Panico, Shoebottom 2, Corbin, McCown, Nygren, Ellie Smith, Emma Smith, Souza, York
Shots on cage:
W (Majercik) 4
S (Shoebottom) 10