NYA surges in second half to down McAuley

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North Yarmouth Academy senior Mackenzie Sangster, left, and junior Lauren Tufts congratulate senior Emily Taylor after a goal during the Panthers’ 13-7 home win over McAuley Thursday.

Brian Beard photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

NYA 13 McAuley 7

M- 4 3- 7
NYA- 4 9- 13

First half
22:56 NYA Sturgeon (unassisted)
18:07 M Murray (Bolduc)
14:20 M Catherine Reid (Mazur)
10:05 M Poulin (free position)
9:41 M Catherine Reid (Mazur)
6:41 NYA Coleman (Taylor)
4:45 NYA Coleman (unassisted)
6.4 NYA Coleman (free position) 

Second half
24:22 M Leddy (free position)
19:05 M Mazur (Poulin)
17:57 NYA Sturgeon (unassisted)
16:57 NYA Sangster (unassisted)
16:24 NYA Coleman (unassisted)
16:11 NYA Sturgeon (unassisted)
14:37 M Catherine Reid (Leddy)
11:11 NYA Coleman (unassisted)
7:40 NYA Coleman (free position)
7:15 NYA Clegg (unassisted)
3:44 NYA Coleman (free position)
3:04 NYA Taylor (unassisted) 

Goals:
M- Catherine Reid 3, Leddy, Mazur, Murray, Poulin 1
NYA- Coleman 7, Sturgeon 2, Clegg, Rose, Sangster, Taylor 1

Assists:
M- Mazur 2, Bolduc, Leddy, Poulin 1
NYA- Taylor 1

Draws (NYA, 15-7)
M- Mazur 7 of 17, Leddy 0 of 5
NYA- Taylor 14 of 19, Lauren Tufts 1 of 3

Groundballs (NYA, 66-37)
M-Mazur 6, Bolduc, Edwards, Leddy, Catherine Reid 4, Barr, Carr, Poulin, Clair Reid 3, Wheeler 2, Murray 1
NYA- Coleman 14, Taylor 9, Sangster, Sturgeon 7, Laprise, Marr 6, Linscott 4, Block, Clegg, Collins 3, Rose 2, Bright, Lauren Tufts 1

Turnovers:
M- 27
NYA- 24

Shots:
M- 19
NYA- 39

Shots on cage:
M- 14
NYA- 27

Saves:
M (Carr) 14
NYA (Block) 7 

YARMOUTH—It’s probably a good thing for visiting McAuley that North Yarmouth Academy freshman Isabelle Coleman doesn’t wear a number that features double digits.

That’s because Thursday afternoon at Lewis Field, in a battle between two up-and-coming girls’ lacrosse squads, Coleman matched her jersey number with seven goals and helped spark an important victory for the Panthers.

The Lions took a 4-1 lead early, thanks to two goals from freshman Catherine Reid, but Coleman scored three times to even the score at halftime.

McAuley retook the lead, 6-4, early in the second half, but after NYA freshman Amber Rose and senior Mackenzie Sangster scored to tie the score, Coleman’s fourth goal with 16:24 to go put the Panthers on top to stay.

Coleman and her teammates weren’t finished, as she scored three more times, twice on free positions, and NYA pulled away to prevail, 13-7.

The Panthers improved to 2-2, eclipsed last year’s win total and dropped the Lions to 1-4 in the process.

“Fun is the key word for us, win or lose, and so far, so good,” said NYA first-year coach Molly Climo. “This season has been great for me. The girls are having fun and so am I.” 

Contenders

McAuley, which made the playoffs a year ago for the first time in a decade, opened with a 16-4 loss at defending Class A champion Marshwood, then got in the win column by edging visiting Noble (8-7). After a 5-4 home loss to Cony, the Lions fell at Biddeford (18-5).

After winning just once in 2015, NYA expected to be much more competitive this spring and that has held true. The Panthers opened with a 14-7 victory at Mt. Ararat, then lost at home to Greely (13-7) and Lake Region (16-9).

Last year, the teams also met in Yarmouth and NYA prevailed, 15-11. The Panthers also won the 2014 meeting (18-5, at home).

Thursday, NYA dug a hole, but rode Coleman’s talents to victory.

The Panthers scored first, as 2 minutes, 4 seconds in, senior Callie Sturgeon scored unassisted, beating Lions senior goalie Jordan Carr.

McAuley’s first goal came with 18:07 to go in the first half, when junior Lexi Bolduc fed sophomore Maggie Murphy from behind the goal for a one-timer to make it 1-1.

The Lions went ahead with 14:20 remaining, as freshman Zoe Mazur set up teammate Catherine Reid.

With 10:05 showing, senior Liz Poulin converted a free position, which NYA senior goalie Jenna Block got a stick on but couldn’t keep out of the goal.

Twenty-four seconds later, Mazur set up Reid again and McAuley had a 4-1 lead, forcing Climo to call timeout.

It helped, as the Panthers closed the half strong.

With 6:44 remaining, Coleman got in the scoring column, taking a pass from Taylor and finishing to make it 4-2, ending a 16 minute, 12 second scoring drought for her team in the process.

With 4:45 to go, Coleman’s unassisted goal cut the deficit to one.

NYA drew even with just 6.4 seconds showing, as Coleman scored on a free position and the game went to the half deadlocked at 4-4.

“We just got the girls back into the mentality that we were playing a game,” Climo said. “The first few minutes, I wasn’t seeing the team I knew I should see.”

In the first 25 minutes, the Lions won six of nine draws, but turned the ball over 15 times.

The Panthers then started to win draws and control possession in the second half and eventually, they pulled away.

McAuley retook the lead on a free position from Leddy with 24:22 left and when Poulin set up Mazur for a goal with 19:05 to play, the lead was 6-4, but NYA closed the game on a 9-1 run.

After a Lions’ turnover, Rose started the rally with an unassisted goal with 17:57 remaining.

A minute later, Sangster tied the score with an unassisted goal of her own and momentum had turned for good.

With 16:24 remaining, after a Taylor draw win, Coleman’s unassisted tally put the Panthers on top for good.

Thirteen seconds later, Sturgeon’s unassisted goal capped a four-goals-in-106-seconds surge and NYA was up, 8-6.

McAuley made things interesting with 14:37 to play, when Leddy fed Reid for a goal, but after Reid’s bid to tie the score hit the post with 12:51 showing, the Panthers controlled play the rest of the way.

Coleman hit the post at the other end, but NYA kept the ball and with 11:11 to go, Coleman finished unassisted to restore a two-goal advantage.

With 7:40 left, Coleman’s free position goal made it 10-7.

Twenty-five seconds later, junior Zelda Clegg scored unassisted to extend the lead further.

With 6:11 remaining, play was stopped for several minutes after an injury to Lions senior defender Megan French. McAuley, which didn’t have a single reserve, appeared destined to playing down the remainder of the contest, but in an admirable display of sportsmanship, Climo pulled a player as well and the teams were even strength the rest of the way.

“That was great sportsmanship,” said Lions coach Jackie Dubois. “We recognize they didn’t have to do that, but we appreciate it.” 

“We felt it was appropriate,” Climo said. “In high school, we’re all in the same boat together.”

With 3:44 left, Coleman scored her final goal, on a free position, and 40 seconds later, Taylor’s unassisted goal brought the curtain down on the Panthers’ 13-7 triumph.

“We’ve been working on possession in practices and working on coming together as a team,” Coleman said. “We have a mix of seniors and freshmen. We’ve persisted and worked hard through the tough times. We had to push through and play our game.”

“Every player contributed,” Climo said. “We got after ground balls and capitalized.”

Coleman, in just her fourth game, made a name for herself with seven goals.

“t wasn’t just me driving to the goal, I was trying to make space for cuts and being aware of quick passes,” Coleman said.

“Isabelle is a firecracker, that’s for sure,” Climo said. “She sees space and the whole field. I’m proud of her today, as well as the overall team.”

Sturgeon scored twice and Clegg, Rose, Sangster and Taylor (who also had an assist) had one goal apiece. 

Block made seven saves.

NYA won 12 of 13 second half draws, as Taylor won 14 of 19 chances overall.

“Draws are key to the game,” Climo said. “If we don’t have the ball, there’s no way we can score. We got the ball in the second half.”

The Panthers had a commanding 66-37 advantage in ground balls, as Coleman also led the way there with 14. Taylor collected nine, while Sangster and Sturgeon had seven apiece.

NYA turned the ball over 24 times, but forced 27 turnovers. The Panthers had a 39-19 shots advantage (27-14 on cage).

McAuley’s offense was paced by three goals from Reid. Leddy, Mazur, Murray and Poulin all scored once. Mazur had two assists, while Bolduc, Leddy and Poulin also assisted on goals. Mazur had a team-high six ground balls, while Carr made 14 saves.

“NYA is very competitive and they have great talent,” Dubois said. “Draw controls really hurt us in the second half. That’s the key to any lacrosse game and they won those. Having a small bench hurts us in some games more than others.

“We’ve been competitive all year. It’s about keeping things simple this year and working on fundamentals.” 

Moving forward

McAuley hopes to bounce back Tuesday, when it hosts Westbrook. The Lions are at Sanford Thursday.

“We hope to get over the hump in the next couple games,” Dubois said. “Westbrook and Sanford should be good games. We hope to clean things up a little bit and get some wins. It’s fun to work with these girls. They’re positive even on tough days like this.”

NYA has a huge test Saturday, when it hosts rival and two-time defending Class B champion Yarmouth. The Panthers’ road gets no easier Tuesday when they go to powerhouse Falmouth.

“We’re psyched to play Yarmouth,” Coleman said. “We have to continue to work together and work on our consistency and clean up our passes. We’re excited about the new coach and our improvements. It’s a transition year, but we’re excited. We’re having fun. Fun is definitely a word I’d use to describe our season.” 

“So far, everything’s great,” Climo said. “We have some tough games coming up. Hopefully we can give these top teams some good games.” 

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

NYA senior goalie Jenna Block keeps a wary eye on McAuley sophomore Molly Barr.

NYA sophomore Charlotte Collins winds up for a shot.

NYA junior Lauren Tufts gets a step on McAuley freshman Zoe Mazur.

McAuley sophomore Molly Barr is defended by NYA senior Mackenzie Sangster.

NYA freshman Isabelle Coleman runs past McAuley junior Meredith Wheeler en route to one of her game-high seven goals.

Coleman shows she can play some defense too as she shadows McAuley freshman Zoe Mazur.

NYA senior Callie Sturgeon is defended by McAuley junior Lexi Bolduc.

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