No revenge for Yarmouth…Kennebunk stymies Clippers again

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Yarmouth freshman Annie Lowenstein prepares to shoot on Kennebunk sophomore goalie Haley Moody during the teams’ state final rematch Thursday afternoon. Moody had the game of her young life, stopping 13 shots, nine on free positions, as the defending champion Rams beat the Clippers, 12-5.

Mike Strout photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Kennebunk 12 Yarmouth 5

K- 9 3- 12
Y- 1 4- 5

First half
23:06 K H. Schwartzman (free position)
20:25 K Archibald (free position)
12:42 K H. Schwartzman (unassisted)
10:34 Y Elder (Then)
7:26 K Gorton (free position)
4:41 K H. Schwartzman (free position)
4:29 K Beaudette (Archibald)
2:53 K H. Schwartzman (unassisted)
2:03 K L. Schwartzman (Gorton)
5.3 K Gorton (Kiezulas)

Second half
20:00 Y Lowenstein (free position)
16:00 Y Marston (unassisted)
13:12 K Gorton (unassited)
10:51 Y Groothoff (Marston)
10:35 Y Groothoff (Lane)
7:36 K Kiezulas (unassisted)
4:03 K L. Schwartzman (free position)

Goals:
K- H. Schwartzman 4, Gorton 3, L. Schwartzman 2, Archibald, Beaudette, Kiezulas 1
Y- Groothoff 2, Elder, Lowenstein, Marston 1

Assists:
K- Archibald, Gorton, Kiezulas 1
Y- Lane, Marston, Then 1

Draws (Yarmouth, 10-9)
K- Archibald 7 of 15, H. Schwartzman 2 of 3, Gorton 0 of 1
Y- Lane 7 of 11, Then 3 of 5, Thornton 0 of 3

Ground balls:
K- 33
Y- 31

Turnovers:
K- 18
Y- 20

Shots:
K- 22
Y- 24

Shots on cage:
K- 19
Y- 18

Saves:
K (Moody) 13
Y (Serrano) 7

YARMOUTH—There will be no revenge for the Yarmouth girls’ lacrosse team this spring.

Thursday afternoon, the Clippers hosted rival and recent nemesis Kennebunk in a highly-anticipated rematch of last year’s stunning Class B state final, but while Yarmouth was consumed with avenging their gutwrenching loss from last June, the Rams entered play treating it as just another game.

And what a game it was.

Especially for unheralded Kennebunk sophomore goalie Haley Moody.

After the Rams took a quick 2-0 lead on free position shots from senior standout Hallie Schwartzman and freshman sensation Emily Archibald, the Clippers had a series of free position opportunities to answer, but they quickly learned that nothing was going to come free, or easy, as Moody set the tone by making clutch saves.

After Schwartzman added to Kennebunk’s lead, Yarmouth finally got on the board on a goal from senior Greta Elder, but in the final seven-plus minutes of the first half, the Rams exploded and built an insurmountable advantage.

First, senior Erin Gorton scored on a free position. Freshman Lily Schwartzman did the same and senior Brie Beaudette added a goal to make it 6-1.

Late in the half, Hallie Schwartzman, Lily Schwartzman and Gorton added goals, with Gorton’s coming with 5.3 seconds on the clock, and Kennebunk was firmly in command at halftime, up, 9-1.

To the proud Clippers’ credit, they didn’t roll over in the second half, but anytime they got a little momentum, Moody took it away.

Yarmouth scored its only free position goal of the game five minutes into the second half, with freshman Annie Lowenstein doing the honors and with 16 minutes to go, senior Emma Marston added a goal, but Gorton countered for a 10-3 advantage.

When Clippers sophomore Ehryn Groothoff scored twice in a 16-second span, the hosts were back within five, but Moody denied senior Eva Then twice on free positions and sophomore Liz Kiezulas and Lily Schwartzman added goals as Kennebunk went on to a 12-5 victory.

The Rams got four goals from Hallie Schwartzman, three from Gorton and 13 saves from Moody as they improved to 5-0 on the season, dropping Yarmouth to 3-2 in the process.

“The girls were so excited for this game and I think it backfired,” said Clippers coach Dorothy Holt. “They’ve talked about this for days. They wanted it so badly. Anticipation and nerves can get the best of you and you saw that in the first half. We had a mental block.”

Can’t-miss rivalry

Kennebunk has replaced North Yarmouth Academy as Yarmouth’s biggest rival, due mostly to the fact that the teams have met three years running with a Class B state title at stake.

After the Clippers upset the Rams in the 2015 state game to repeat as champions, Kennebunk won its long-awaited first title in 2016.

Last year, Yarmouth won, 7-3, at Kennebunk in the rain in the regular season, but in the state final, the Rams put on a defensive performance for the ages and shocked the Clippers, 5-4, to win their second title in a row.

This season, the teams won’t meet in the state final, as Kennebunk has moved up to Class A and Yarmouth remains in Class B, but once again, the Clippers and Rams are on the short list of the state’s finest teams.

Kennebunk opened the 2018 season with home wins over Greely (13-5) and Falmouth (10-3). After a 9-3 triumph at Cape Elizabeth, the Rams blanked visiting Gorham, 12-0, Tuesday.

Yarmouth started with victories over visiting Lake Region (15-12) and host Freeport (22-7), then dropped an 11-7 decision at defending Class A champion Massabesic before bouncing back Tuesday to dominate visiting NYA, 13-1

Entering play Thursday, the Clippers clung to a 9-8 edge in the series, dating back to 2002 (see sidebar, below).

Yarmouth fervently wanted revenge from last year’s state final, but Kennebunk refused to cooperate.

Yarmouth senior Meredith Lane won the opening draw, but the Clippers turned the ball over and with 23:06 to play in the first half, Hallie Schwartzman earned a free position and fired a shot past Yarmouth junior goalie Izzy Serrano to put the Rams on top for good.

After Serrano denied a free position shot from sophomore Tiernan Connor, Archibald earned a similar opportunity and tickled the twine with 20:25 on the clock, making it 2-0.

The Clippers hoped to answer, as Elder earned a free position, but Moody hinted at a big game to come with a save.

After Yarmouth junior Abi Thornton missed wide on a free position, Then was denied by Moody on a free position shot.

With 12:42 left in the half, Hallie Schwartzman scored for the second time, unassisted, to make the score 3-0, but with 10:34 showing, the Clippers broke through, as Then set up Elder for a goal.

The hosts almost drew closer with 9:09 left in the half, but Thornton’s free position shot hit the post.

And then, Kennebunk erupted.

With 7:26 remaining, on a free position, Gorton finished for her first goal.

With 4:41 to go, Hallie Schwartzman scored on a free position and off the ensuing draw, won by Archibald, Archibald passed to Beaudette, who finished to make it 6-1.

“Emily is coming up big for us,” said Rams coach Annie Barker. “She’s figuring out how to get the draw to herself. She can get possession for us and then we can get the ball to Hallie.” 

Hallie Schwartzman scored for the final time with 2:53 left in the half and 50 seconds later, Lily Schwartzman finished a feed from Gorton.

After Moody made another free position save, this time on Lane, the Rams got the ball up the field as time wound down and with 5.3 seconds showing, Kiezulas fed Gorton for a backbreaking goal and a 9-1 advantage.

In the first half, Kennebunk won eight of 11 draws and had a 14-9 edge in shots. Four big saves from Moody helped the Rams opened it up.

“Haley has been absolutely phenomenal for us this year,” said Hallie Schwartzman. “She’s been a difference-maker. She’s done more than we imagined. She makes crazy-good saves and can clear the ball. We play strong defense and have a great goalie and that gets in team’s heads. It makes them wonder how they can score against us.”

Moody would be even better in the second half, as the Clippers made up a little ground, but could never make things truly interesting.

After Serrano started the second half with a save off a Lily Schwartzman free position, Lowenstein finally solved Moody on a free position with 20 minutes to play.

It stayed 9-2 for awhile, as Groothoff missed an open net, Lane was denied on a free position, Lane shot wide on a free position, Elder was denied and Moody robbed Lane on the doorstep.

On Lane’s shot, the rebound came to Marston, who put it home with 16 minutes to go, but the deficit was still six.

Gorton ended the Rams’ 11-minute, 53-second drought with an unassisted goal with 13:12 remaining before Groothoff gave her team life by scoring from Marston with 10:51 on the clock, then from Lane 16 seconds later to make it a 10-5 game.

That would be as close as Yarmouth would get.

After Then denied Moody on a free position, Kiezulas scored unassisted with 7:36 to play.

“(Liz) was playing defense for us and I saw her shoot in practice once and I realized she was in the wrong spot,” Barker said. “She’s got a good stick. She’s solid and smart. We made that change and it paid off. She scored her first goal today.” 

Moody denied Then on another free position before Lily Schwartzman scored the game’s final goal on a free position shot with 4:03 remaining.

Late in the contest, Moody fittingly put a cherry on the victory sundae by stopping a pair of Lane free positions and Kennebunk closed out its emphatic 12-5 triumph.

“This was a fun game,” said Moody. “It brought us closer together as a team.”

“I knew it would be a big game, but one of the things we’ve accepted going into this is that it’s a new year and we’re a new team and while we have history with them, it’s just history,” Hallie Schwartzman said. “We were prepared. We had patience. We knew in order to win, we had to possess. Having only four seniors, we get frazzled sometimes, but today, we were patient and capitalized on our opportunities.” 

“We just took it as another game,” Barker added. “Game five. We wanted to play well and we did. Dorothy was smart enough to double- and triple-team us, knowing it would rattle us. We’re not there yet, but this was good preparation for us. I’m pleasantly surprised. Some of the kids not only can play lacrosse, but they have game sense you can’t teach.” 

Hallie Schwartzman, who is bound for Colby College next year, led the way with four goals.

Gorton added three goals and an assist, Lily Schwartzman had two goals and Archibald (one assist), Beaudette and Kiezulas (one assist) also scored.

Moody stole the show with 13 saves, nine coming on free positions.

“We knew they shoot it low, so I was watching for that,” Moody said. “I think (those saves were) a big lift, a big momentum shift. The defense allowed me to see shots. They’re incredible. The experienced players have mentored me incredibly. If I have a save, they tell me I did a great job. If I give up a goal, they’ll tell me I’ll get the next one.”

“Haley has brought a lot to our team,” Barker said. “She’s smart and she sees the play all over the field, not just in the goal area.”

“Their goalie came up big,” Holt said. “That’s what goalies do. Give her credit, she played great.” 

The Rams had a 33-31 edge in ground balls (Archibald led the way with seven) and finished with a 19-18 edge in shots on cage. Kennebunk overcame 18 turnovers.

Not their day

Yarmouth got two goals from Groothoff and one apiece from Elder, Lowenstein and Marston.

Lane, Marston and Then all had assists.

Serrano made seven saves.

Then collected a game-high eight ground balls, while Elder and Lane finished with six apiece.

The Clippers won 10 of 19 draws and had a 24-22 edge in shots. They turned the ball over 20 times as they suffered their most one-sided loss since a 17-5 home setback to Waynflete April 23, 2013.

“We found out earlier today that (senior captain) Hannah (Corey) couldn’t play (after she got hurt in practice Wednesday) and when you take your best defender off, it throws everyone into a tither,” Holt said. “We had some young players in some key positions and we moved our older players into new positions. We had our seasoned athletes make some big turnovers. I think we’re evenly matched, but  you can’t turn the ball over to a good team because they’ll take advantage of your mistakes.”

Back to business

Kennebunk is on the road again Tuesday, when it goes to Marshwood. Cheverus pays a visit Thursday of next week.

Looking ahead, a home showdown against Massabesic May 24 is a game that everyone will have an eye on.

“We have a great coaching staff and as a program, we don’t rest on what happened last year,” Hallie Schwartzman said. “We always want more. That helps us perform on the field. We don’t take for granted what we’ve achieved and we want to be better than we were. We can still improve on all aspects of our game. We never settle and that’s an amazing part of our program. We still have silly turnovers and our transition can still be better, but we’re pushing to get better.”

“We build our confidence as we go,” said Moody. “We need to keep improving in practice.”

“We still need to improve on possessing, taking the right shots and not rushing when we win draws,” Barker said. “We’ll keep instilling that.”

Yarmouth is off until next Wednesday, when it figures to get another stern test at Cape Elizabeth. 

“We’re not panicked,” Holt said. “This isn’t the end of the season. We have another big week next week. We’ll be ready.”

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

Yarmouth junior Abi Thornton scoops up a ground ball.

Kennebunk senior Hallie Schwartzman races in as Yarmouth senior Olivia Robichaud defends. Schwartzman scored four goals in the Rams’ victory.

Yarmouth sophomore Ehryn Groothoff, who scored twice, rushes to the goal.

Yarmouth sophomore Jane Fulton cradles the ball.

Kennebunk senior Erin Gorton, who scored three times, heads to the goal.

Yarmouth senior Eva Then fires a shot as Kennebunk sophomore Alaina Schatzabel defends.

Yarmouth junior goalie Izzy Serrano makes one of her seven saves.

Kennebunk senior Erin Gorton is hugged by classmate Brie Beaudette after a goal.

Recent Yarmouth-Kennebunk results

2017
Yarmouth 7 @ Kennebunk 3
Class B State Final
Kennebunk 5 Yarmouth 4

2016
@ Kennebunk 9 Yarmouth 5
Class B State Final
Kennebunk 9 Yarmouth 7

2015
Kennebunk 10 @ Yarmouth 7
Class B State Final
Yarmouth 11 Kennebunk 10 (OT) 

2014
Yarmouth 9 @ Kennebunk 6
Kennebunk 8 @ Yarmouth 6

2009
Kennebunk 8 @ Yarmouth 7

2008
Kennebunk 9 @ Yarmouth 5

2007
Yarmouth 12 @ Kennebunk 11 (OT)
Class B State Final
Yarmouth 7 Kennebunk 5

2003
@ Kennebunk 13 Yarmouth 8
@ Yarmouth 9 Kennebunk 8 (OT)

2002
@ Yarmouth 10 Kennebunk 5
Yarmouth 7 @ Kennebunk 6
State Final
Yarmouth 13 Kennebunk 8

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