Waynflete rebounds with 17-7 win at Yarmouth
YARMOUTH—The Waynflete girls' lacrosse team had barely 24 hours to lick its wounds following Tuesday's historic home loss to Falmouth.
And that proved to be a very good thing.
The Flyers returned to action Wednesday evening at Yarmouth and like Tuesday, shot to an early five-goal lead, but this time, they didn't let up.
With junior Sadie Cole turning fortunes around in the draw circle, Waynflete was able to possess and unleash its balanced and potent attack.
As a result, the Flyers were up 6-1 in less than eight minutes, held a commanding 10-4 lead at halftime, then pulled away in the second half for a 17-7 win.
Junior Martha Veroneau was superb, scoring five times and assisting on five other goals, underappreciated senior Lucy Crane added four goals and Cole and sophomore Walker Foehl each finished with three as Waynflete wrapped up its regular season at 11-1, dropping the Clippers to 5-6 in the process.
"It was tough having back-to-back games, but clearly, we used it to our advantage," said Crane. "We learned a lot from the last game. We wanted to have a good game to end up the regular season."
Return to form
Yarmouth started the 2012 season with a cruel schedule, featuring arguably the four best teams in the state, and the new-look Clippers took their lumps early, falling at home to Falmouth, 12-2, at Waynflete, 13-2, at home to defending Class A champion Scarborough, 12-5, at Falmouth, 19-7, and at Cape Elizabeth, 14-6. After a 21-9 home victory over Wells, Yarmouth handled visiting NYA, 12-5. Victories over host Gorham (12-10), visiting Fryeburg (17-2) and host York (14-9) followed.
Waynflete has fallen in the Class B state game each of the past two years, including last spring's agonizing 9-8 loss to Yarmouth, but has been a team on a mission this season. The Flyers opened with a 15-5 home victory over NYA, then enjoyed a 13-2 home win over Yarmouth, a 15-7 triumph at Wells, a 10-8 victory at rival Kennebunk, a 17-3 home romp over Fryeburg, a 13-10 win at Falmouth, a 12-5 victory at Greely, a 16-5 home win over Cheverus and triumphs at NYA (16-7) and Freeport (13-10). The undefeated run ended with Tuesday's 13-10 loss at Falmouth, the first time Waynflete had ever lost to the Yachtsmen.
In that one, Falmouth won 20 of 25 draws, erased an early 5-0 deficit and dominated the second half.
The Flyers and Clippers have quite a history as they've combined to win 10 of the past 11 state championships (six for Waynflete, four, including last year, for Yarmouth).
Over the past decade, including the first meeting this spring, the Flyers held a 12-7 advantage (please see sidebar).
They would win again Wednesday, putting all their weapons on display.
It only took 1 minute, 49 seconds for Veroneau to find Cole for a goal and the lead. With 22:15 left in the first half, the duo switched things up and Cole set up Veroneau, whose shot eluded Yarmouth sophomore goalie Jordan Brown for a 2-0 advantage.
The Clippers answered with 18:56 to go in the half, when 14 seconds after senior Claudia Lockwood hit the post, sophomore Julia Primeau fed junior Julia Kameisha for a goal.
Waynflete then rattled off four straight scores to seize control.
Fourteen seconds after Kameisha scored, Cole won the draw, got possession, ran into the offensive zone and found Crane, who finished.
With 18:05 remaining, it was Veroneau's turn, scoring unassisted.
Forty-three seconds later, Veroneau set up Cole again and the lead was up to 5-1.
With 17:10 left in the half, Crane tipped in a pass from Veroneau to cap a four-goal surge in 92 seconds, pushing the advantage to 6-1.
An unassisted Kameisha goal with 14:22 left before halftime was answered by two Flyers goals in 24 seconds.
First, Cole took a pass from senior Maddy Agnew and finished. Then, with 8:15 remaining, Veroneau took advantage when a defender slipped and scored to make it an 8-2 game.
After Clippers senior Jeanna Lowery scored her first goal of the game (from classmate Maddy Wood at 7:28), Waynflete answered with a pretty transition goal as promising sophomore Sofia Canning set up junior Isabel Agnew for a score and Yarmouth called timeout.
Waynflete made a point of not letting up.
"They called a timeout and we talked about coming back out with as much intensity as we started the game," said Veroneau.
Sure enough, Crane scored on a rebound at the 5:35 mark to make it 10-3.
With 3:01 remaining, in transition, Lowery took a pass from sophomore Grace O'Donnell and beat Flyers junior goalie Katherine Torrey to cut the deficit to 10-4 at the break.
The biggest reason for Waynflete's first half success was Cole's dominance in the draw circle (she won 11 of 15 opportunities).
The hosts hung tough for most of the second half, but ultimately, the Flyers put it away.
Just 18 seconds in, Foehl got on the score sheet when she took a pass from Veroneau and finished.
Junior Ali Merrill (from classmate Olivia Conrad) answered for Yarmouth at 19:54, but goals from Veroneau (who went end-to-end at 18:26), Foehl (from Canning at 15:24) and Crane (from Veroneau at 12:13) pushed the lead to 14-5 and forced Clippers coach Dorothy Holt to call timeout.
Yarmouth responded as Lowery finished a pass from senior Mo McNaboe at 10:28, then Lowery scored on a free position 46 seconds later, but the visitors wouldn't allow another goal.
With 8:17 remaining, Veroneau scored her final goal of the game, unassisted.
At the 4:26 mark, Foehl scored an unassisted goal.
Then, with 2:42 to go, sophomore Ellen Silk set up classmate Leigh Fernandez for a goal which triggered the mercy rule running clock.
Waynflete then made the regular season-ending 17-7 victory official.
"It felt good to have this opportunity to come back out and play," Cole said. "We were so ready. We had a good start yesterday too, but we couldn't stay with it. We were tired, but we stayed together. Every single person I've talked to has said it was a good thing we lost. It's as good as a loss can ever be."
"It was a nice win after yesterday," Veroneau said. "We regrouped. Yesterday was definitely a wakeup call for what we need to work on. Falmouth's really good. They showed us what type of competition we'll face from here on out. We came in today with a lot of intensity so we could carry it over to playoffs."
"It was good to just come out and play," Flyers coach Cathie Connors added. "Yarmouth has played really well. They've stepped up from the last time we saw them. I didn't know what to expect since it's been a whole season in between. They were great. I'm just glad we were able to maintain playing our game."
Even without injured sophomore Ella Millard (battling an ankle injury, but expected back for the playoffs), the Flyers showed how prolific they can be.
Veroneau personally accounted for 10 of Waynflete's 17 goals, scoring five, while setting up five others.
"The adrenaline rush is pretty nice, but everyone on the team contributes taking defenders away," Veroneau said. "We work as a unit. We take what's open."
Crane stood out by finishing four times.
"Some teams play a zone that doesn't much highlight my position, but the way we worked tonight and with the passing, I had some opportunities and capitalized on them," Crane said. "Everyone on the team plays a crucial role. It was fun to see the goal."
"Lucy came out and had an amazing game," Cole said. "It was good to see."
"Lucy has been in the right place in the right time and sometimes it hasn't happened for her," Connors added. "Tonight, it connected for her. We've been working on using everybody. It's really important."
Cole (two assists) and Foehl both added three goals, while Isabel Agnew and Fernandez had one apiece.
Canning had two assists, Maddy Agnew and Silk one each.
In all, 11 of the Flyers' 17 goals were assisted.
Torrey made seven saves.
Waynflete finished with a 15-11 draw advantage, as Cole won 14 of 25 and freshman Helen Gray-Bauer went 1 for 1.
"I was so frustrated with the draw yesterday," Cole said. "Nothing was working for us. I don't know what I did differently. I guess I was just more determined to come out and win the draws today."
"Draws are crucial," said Veroneau. "Sadie really stepped up. That was good for our offense."
"It was good for (Sadie) because we were feeling a little discouraged after yesterday," said Connors. "We worked out some kinks. We just needed to come back out and win some draws and we did that today, which was nice."
The Flyers had 39 ground balls. Veroneau led the way there as well with eight. Junior defensive specialist Jo Moore collected six, while Canning and Cole both had five.
The Flyers had 17 turnovers and finished with a commanding 33-14 shots advantage (including 27-14 on cage).
A young group that entered the spring with a plethora of question marks managed to win 11 of 12 games against a tough schedule and is only getting better.
"It's been so much fun," said Crane. "I'm just floored by how our team has come together, people have stepped up and come to new positions."
The players believe that much of the credit is due Connors, who now has 233 wins and 10 state titles (and counting) in her 20 seasons.
"Cathie knows exactly what we need to do," Cole said.
"It all goes back to the coach," Veroneau said. "Cathie's been incredible bringing this team together. Everybody on the team has stepped up. Everybody's played a really crucial role. The new players and the veterans. With Cathie leading us, the sky's the limit. "
"We owe it all to Cathie," Crane said. "She's the core of our team. She just brings us together. She consistently brings together good teams. She's just so much fun. On and off the field is where we shine, being a family. She's such a great Mom and she brings that to the field. She's motherly and cares about us. We feel that on the field and we bring that heart and strength to the field. She instills trust and relying on each other."
For Yarmouth, Lowery made the most of her final regular season home game, scoring four times. Kameisha had two goals, while Merrill finished with one. Conrad, McNaboe, O'Donnell, Primeau and Wood all had one assist. Brown made 10 saves, most of them coming in the second half. Senior Ricki Pierce went 8 of 16 on draws. O'Donnell finished 3 of 7, Primeau 0 for 2 and senior Claudia Lockwood 0 for 1.
The Clippers had 41 ground balls. Pierce and junior defender Claire King, who had a terrific game, both grabbed six. Senior Caitlin Crawford finished with five.
Yarmouth turned the ball over 21 times.
"We just had a slow start," said Holt. "We made some costly turnovers and fouls in the first half. Waynflete's good. I've moved kids around trying to find the right match, but we're getting there. Jeanna had a great game. We need those seniors to step up. I moved Claudia back to defense and she's really stepped up. Caitlin too, of course. Claire and Jordan had phenomenal games. Our defense played really well. Our offense needed to click a little more, but we were a different team than the first game. The score just doesn't show it."
Yarmouth has one regular season game remaining, while Waynflete won't take the field for another meaningful contest until June 9.
The Clippers (first by a slim margin over Freeport and Morse in the Eastern Class B Heal Points standings) closes at NYA Wednesday of next week.
"Our goal is to get through the playoffs," said Holt. "I feel like we can get there. Conditioning-wise, physically, the girls are doing well. They've done everything I've asked. My team's working really hard. It's an amazing group of kids. They just have to have the confidence to play at this level. "
The Flyers are third behind Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth in Western B and will wait to see where they finish in the standings. Waynflete would love nothing more than to be the No. 1 seed and get homefield advantage for the fifth year in a row, meaning the Capers and Yachtsmen would have to square off first, but it's likely the winner of Tuesday night's Cape Elizabeth at Falmouth showdown will earn the top spot and the Flyers could finish as low as third.
In the meantime, they'll make the most of their time off, possibly scrimmage the likes of Marshwood and/or Scarborough and will be a most dangerous foe when they take the field for the semifinals two weeks from Saturday.
"I can't believe it's already our last regular season game," said Cole. "It's gone by so fast. I'm just so proud of how well our team has done. We'll do some scrimmaging and have a lot of good practices. Bonding on and off the field, that connection we have, we'll just keep that up the next few weeks."
"Having a loss really was a good thing for us," Crane said. "Going in undefeated, it's so hard to have your first loss. Cathie says we don't want to play not to lose. We want to play to win. I'm really excited for the playoffs. We'll run and have fun in practice. We'll work hard and scrimmage."
"I'm very happy with the regular season," Connors added. "I had no idea how it would turn out. All the kids stepped up. It was OK for us to feel a loss. Now we have two-and-a-half weeks to practice. We have our routine. I think we've done great things. We're capable of doing more great things."