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- The Forecaster
(For the complete Falmouth-Waynflete girls’ lacrosse game story, with photos and a box score, see theforecaster.net)
The week began with six local lacrosse teams still dreaming of winning a state championship.
Falmouth, North Yarmouth and Yarmouth’s boys’ squads all survived into the regional finals, as did the Falmouth, Freeport and defending Class B champion Yarmouth girls.
Falmouth’s boys’ squad, ranked second in Western B, earned a bye into Saturday’s semifinals, then crushed No. 3 Waynflete, 18-3, behind five goals from Bryce Kuhn. That sent the Yachtsmen (10-3) to their seventh straight Western B Final showdown versus two-time defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth (11-2) Wednesday evening (see theforecaster.net for game story). The teams split in the regular season, with each winning on the road (the Capers by a 19-11 margin at Falmouth and the Yachtsmen in an 11-9 shocker at Cape Elizabeth). The Capers won four of the previous six regional final encounters, including an 11-8 triumph last season. The winner will face the Eastern B champion in Saturday’s state final at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland at a time to be announced.
That Eastern B champion will either be two-time defending regional champion Yarmouth or rival North Yarmouth Academy.
The Clippers, seeded second, had no trouble with seventh-ranked Winslow (winning, 18-2) in the quarterfinals or third-ranked Gardiner (prevailing, 14-2) in the semifinals, as they improved to 11-3. Will Garrett had four goals in the win over the Black Raiders and scored five times versus the Tigers.
The Panthers, ranked fourth, downed No. 5 Oak Hill by a 10-6 margin in the quarterfinals, then upset No. 1 Maranacook/Winthrop in the semifinals, 11-7, to improve to 6-8. Trevor Lachance had six goals in the quarterfinals. Lachance had five more goals and Henry Farnham added four in the semifinals.
Yarmouth hosted NYA Wednesday afternoon. The Clippers swept the Panthers this year, winning 14-3 at home May 12 and 8-3 at the Panthers June 3. Yarmouth had won nine of 14 previous playoff encounters, including an 8-7 heartstopper two years ago in the semifinals.
Falmouth and Yarmouth have never played in a state final. The Yachtsmen beat NYA in both 2011 and 2012.
The Clippers have lost each of the past two state games and six of nine prior state finals against Cape Elizabeth, including last year’s 6-3 setback.
The Panthers are 2-5 all-time against the Capers in the state final, but the teams haven’t met since NYA’s 13-10 victory back in 2001.
Freeport, the No. 6 seed in Eastern B, was ousted by No. 3 Gardiner in the quarterfinals and lost, 12-6, to finish 6-7.
Greely, ranked fourth in Western B, let a lead slip away and lost to No. 5 Kennebunk in overtime in the quarterfinals, 9-8, to wind up 8-5.
Falmouth’s girls enjoyed the best regular season in program history and as the top seed in Western A earned a bye into Saturday’s semifinals, where the Yachtsmen made quick work of perennial powerhouse, fourth-ranked Waynflete.
A goal from standout Sydney Bell in the fifth minute put the Yachtsmen ahead to stay and as the first half progressed, they gradually picked apart Waynflete’s storied zone defense. Bell and Leigh Bernardy both had two first half goals and Lizzie Goodrich, London Bernier and Devin Sarazin each added one as Falmouth opened a commanding 7-0 lead. The proud Flyers carried play in the second half, but eight key saves from Yachtsmen goalie Sarah Hutcheon prevented them from getting close and Falmouth went to an 8-2 victory. Bell led the way with three goals and Hutcheon stopped eight shots.
“We take everyone seriously,” said Bernier, who had a game-high four assists. “We knew how good Waynflete is. We came out strong.”
“We have really good team chemistry,” senior captain and defensive standout Angie DiPhilippo said. “Coming into playoffs, we emphasized being a team and we came out fired up today, ready to play.”
“I’m very, very proud,” Yachtsmen coach Kait Johnson added. “This group of girls is so level-headed. We preach mental toughness, one game at a time and being a team. The postseason is tough because it’s all about mental toughness. We played a perfect first half. We faltered a little bit in the second half.”
Falmouth (12-1) hosted No. 2 Kennebunk (12-1) in what promised to be a thrilling regional final Wednesday afternoon (see theforecaster.net for game story). On May 26, the Yachtsmen won at the Rams, 10-8. Kennebunk has won both prior playoff meetings, 14-6 in the 2006 quarterfinals and 11-7 in the 2007 quarterfinals.
“We’ll focus on playing Falmouth lacrosse,” Johnson said. “It’s very cool to host. We’re excited.”
If the Yachtsmen win a regional title for the first time, either Freeport or Yarmouth will be waiting for them in the Class B Final Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium at a time to be announced.
The defending state champion Clippers, ranked second in Eastern B, rampaged through their first two playoff foes, crushing No. 7 Camden Hills, 20-2, in the quarterfinals, then dominating third-ranked Oceanside, 21-1, in the semifinals, as they improved to 10-4. Against the Windjammers, Shannon Fallon and Emma Torres both scored three goals. Torres paced the win over the Mariners with five goals.
The Falcons went into the playoffs ranked fourth and had no trouble with No. 5 Winslow in the quarterfinals, winning, 16-7. Julia Dearden had five goals, while Courtney Broderick and Emily Johnson both scored three times. Saturday, Freeport somehow rallied to knock off top-ranked Morse in a 17-16 thriller. The Falcons dug an 11-3 hole, but went on a 6-0 run to get back in the game. Down, 12-9, at halftime, Freeport rallied again and drew even, 15-15, with 8:50 left on a goal from Jasmine Olins. Lily Johnston put the Falcons ahead for the first time and Taylor Rinaldi added a goal to make it 17-15, but the Shipbuilders got a goal back. Freeport was able to hold on from there and advance. Johnston had four goals, Broderick, Chloe Davidson and Martin had three apiece and Rinaldi added a pair.
“I’m super-proud of the hard work and fight of my team,” said Falcons coach Marcia Wood. “Being down by eight, many teams would have given up, but we rallied and fought and I couldn’t be any prouder of that.”
Freeport (8-6) went to Yarmouth for the regional final Wednesday. The Clippers romped in the regular season meeting, 16-3, back on May 2 in Freeport. Yarmouth beat the Falcons in last year’s regional final, 11-6, to improve to 6-1 in the all-time postseason series.
If the Clippers play Kennebunk in the state game Saturday, they’ll look to improve to 3-0 all-time in such meetings after downing the Rams in both the 2002 and 2007 state games.
Greely, the No. 7 seed in Western B, lost to Kennebunk in the quarterfinals, 14-8, and finished the season 4-9.
Falmouth goalie Sarah Hutcheon makes a save during the Yachtsmen’s 8-2 win over Waynflete in Saturday’s Western Class B semifinal.