Waynflete boys make history, stun Yarmouth in OT epic

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Waynflete’s boys’ lacrosse team rushes the field to celebrate as Yarmouth senior Silas Chappell walks disconsolately away following junior Miles Lipton’s overtime goal which gave the Flyers a 12-11 victory in the teams’ regular season finale Thursday.

Mike Strout photos.

More photos below.


Waynflete 12 Yarmouth 11 (OT)

Y- 4 2 4 1 0- 11
W- 1 7 2 1 1- 12

First quarter
7:36 Y May (unassisted)
5:01 Y Corey (unassisted)
3:04 W Duvall (Lipton)
1:17 Y Hamm (unassisted)
34.9 Y Senger (Corey)

Second quarter
10:16 Y Corey (unassisted)
8:18 W Duvall (unassisted)
7:30 Y Corey (unassisted)
7:18 W Burdick (Duvall)
6:03 W Lipton (unassisted)
5:32 W Lipton (unassisted) (MAN-UP)
4:23 W Adams (unassisted)
3:03 W Lipton (unassisted)
2:12 W Lipton (unassisted)

Third quarter
10:49 W Duvall (Lipton)
7:59 Y Chappell (Corey) (MAN-UP)
7:11 Y Guertler (Truesdale)
6:34 Y Chappell (unassisted)
6:16 W Millspaugh (Adams)
33.1 Y Corey (Hamm) (MAN-UP)

Fourth quarter
3:26 W Duvall (Millspaugh) (MAN-UP)
9.7 Y May (Corey)

2:21 W Lipton (unassisted)

Y- Corey 4, May, Chappell 2, Guertler, Hamm, Senger 1
W- Lipton 5, Duvall 4, Adams, Burdick, Millspaugh 1

Y- Corey 2, Hamm, May, Truesdale 1
W- Lipton 2, Adams, Duvall, Millspaugh 1

Faceoffs (Yarmouth, 17-10)
Y- Sullivan 17 of 27
W- Parr 7 of 18, Makinen-Hall 3 of 9

Ground balls
Y- 42
W- 31

Y- 17
W- 17

Y- 47
W- 30

Shots on cage:
Y- 22
W- 21

Y (King) 9
W (Armstrong) 11

PORTLAND—While the Waynflete boys’ lacrosse team has dreams of going all the way this spring, one of the Flyers’ standouts was able to fulfill a more modest goal Thursday afternoon at Fore River Fields.

Junior Miles Lipton knew that Waynflete was going to battle perennial power Yarmouth in the season finale, on Senior Day, and he was bound and determined to gift his older teammates a historic victory over the Clippers.

And as twilight descended Thursday evening, after nearly 50 palpitating, mesmerizing minutes of lacrosse, Lipton made sure he accomplished his mission.

The Clippers, two days removed from a painful overtime home loss to Greely, took an early lead behind goals from senior Cooper May and sophomore Anders Corey and after the Flyers got on the board on a goal from senior Hank Duvall, tallies from sophomore Gavin Hamm and junior Connor Senger, as well as four timely saves from sophomore goalie Spencer King, produced a 4-1 advantage after one quarter.

When Corey scored again early in the second period, Yarmouth appeared en route to a decisive win, but things turned quickly once Lipton came to life.

After Duvall and Corey traded goals and sophomore Oliver Burdick scored to pull the hosts within three, Lipton scored his first goal midway through the quarter and after the tally, Clippers coach David Pearl had Lipton’s stick checked.

It was deemed legal and Lipton had an extra chip on his shoulder which helped Waynflete roar into the lead.

Goals from Lipton and junior Mitchell Adams tied the score and Lipton scored twice more before the half, both times bulling his way through the defense, to make it 8-6 Flyers at the break.

Lipton started the second half by setting up Duvall for a goal, but Yarmouth would respond, rallying to make it 9-9 on two goals from senior Silas Chappell, sandwiched around one from junior Michael Guertler.

Freshman Harry Millspaugh put Waynflete back on top, but with 33 seconds to go, Corey tied the score again.

Both offenses were stymied in the fourth quarter, but with 3:26 to play, Duvall gave the Flyers an 11-10 lead.

Waynflete tried to close it out, but a late turnover by Lipton gave the Clippers one final chance and with just 9.7 seconds on the clock, May scored to force overtime.

There, Flyers senior goalie Will Armstrong denied May’s bid to end it and 99 seconds into the extra session, Lipton finished it, giving his team a breathtaking 12-11 victory.

Lipton had five goals, Waynflete beat Yarmouth for the first time this century and both teams concluded the regular season at 8-4.

“At the beginning of the season, I was talking to Hank and my goal wasn’t initially a state championship,” Lipton said. “That was too far our to think about. It was the first program win (this century) against Yarmouth on Senior Day. That was my goal the whole season. This legitimizes the program. That’s a huge win against a team that’s beaten some great teams. I’m so lucky to be a part of this team.”

Playoff tuneup

Both Waynflete and Yarmouth have produced some thrilling moments over the course of the 2018 season.

The Flyers, who have a new coach this spring in Parker Repko, started with home losses to defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth (18-9) and Greely (18-11), then downed visiting Wells (16-5), host Freeport (15-7) and host Gardiner (16-9) before dropping a tough 9-8 decision at North Yarmouth Academy. After bouncing back with a thrilling 12-11, come-from-behind home victory over Deering, Waynflete handled visiting Cony (14-1), host Lake Region (18-9) and host Cheverus (21-9) before dropping a 14-13 heartbreaker at York Tuesday.

The Clippers opened the season with an 8-4 win at Greely, then ended an eight-year, 20-game skid against Cape Elizabeth with a 7-6 victory before dominating visiting North Yarmouth Academy, 14-2. After holding off visiting South Portland, 8-7, Yarmouth won at York, 10-5, then dropped a heartbreaker to visiting Falmouth, 8-7. The Clippers rebounded with wins at Kennebunk (20-5), at home over Lake Region (15-1) and at defending Class A South champion Scarborough (11-8) before losing at home to Cape Elizabeth (8-2) and Greely (8-7, in overtime).

Yarmouth had won the previous eight meetings with Waynflete (dating to 2002, see sidebar, below) by a composite 100-20 margin. The last encounter came in 2015, a 9-1 home victory for the Clippers.

Wednesday, on a very pleasant last day of May (69 degrees with a 20 mile per hour wind at the start of the game), Yarmouth looked to do it again, but the Flyers rose up and played like the champions they hope to become, downing the Clippers for the first time since a 9-7 victory in the preliminary round of the 1999 state playoffs, back when longtime coach Bob Johnson was merely in the middle of his long tenure.

It looked like it would be a frustrating day for Lipton early, as just 44 seconds in, he was robbed in front by King.

The Clippers broke the ice with 7:36 to go in the first, as May scored unassisted.

After King denied both Lipton and Duvall, Duvall hit the post and King saved another shot by Lipton.

Then, with 5:01 on the clock, Corey scored his first goal, unassisted, to make it 2-0.

Waynflete finally tickled the twine with 3:04 to go in the first, as Lipton set up Duvall on the doorstep.

Late in the quarter, Yarmouth tacked on two more quick goals, as Hamm scored unassisted with 1:17 remaining and with 34.9 seconds showing, Corey set up Senger to make it 4-1.

The Clippers kept the good times rolling early in the second period, as Corey scored unassisted with 10:16 on the clock and after Duvall cut the deficit to three with 8:18 remaining, Corey scored again unassisted 48 seconds later for a 6-2 advantage.

Then, the Flyers awakened with a vengeance.

With 7:18 to go in the half, Duvall set up Burdick for a goal.

With 6:03 left, Lipton fought his way through traffic and finished to make it 6-4.

Yarmouth then called for Lipton’s stick to be checked and it was deemed legal, something that provided additional fuel for the star.

“I knew (my stick) was legal,” Lipton said. “Having people doubt you is always motivating.”

With 5:23 remaining in the half, Lipton scored unassisted.

After Adams tied the game a minute later, Lipton scored another unassisted goal with 3:03 on the clock and 51 seconds later, Lipton somehow fought his way through three defenders before beating King to make it 8-6 Flyers, a score that would hold into the break.

“Miles and Hank exploded,” Repko said. “When they start firing away and finding each other, it’s really tough to defend.”

In the first half, the Clippers had an advantage in faceoff wins, ground balls and shots, but they had nothing to show for it, as Waynflete’s defense and Armstrong stepped up big in the second quarter.

“We talked about going back to basics, moving our feet, playing conservative, no big stick checks,” said Flyers defensive standout and captain John Veroneau.

The scoring pace would slow a little in the third period, setting the stage for a white-knuckle finish.

Just 71 seconds into the third, Lipton drew the defense, then fed Duvall for a goal to make it 9-6.

That goal awakened Yarmouth, which answered with three straight goals.

After Clippers sophomore Preston Jancovic hit the crossbar with a bounce shot and Hamm had a shot saved by Armstrong, the visitors pounced on a turnover and Corey set up Chappell for a man-up goal with 7:59 left in the quarter, which ended Waynflete’s 7-0 run and an 11-minute, 31-second scoring drought.

Only 48 seconds were needed for the next Yarmouth goal, as Truesdale set up Guertler for a shot which eluded Armstrong.

With 6:34 remaining, Chappell ripped a shot into the net and the contest was deadlocked.

Repko called timeout and the Flyers responded, as senior Makany Parr won the ensuing faceoff, Adams scooped up the ground ball and fed Millspaugh for a shot which King couldn’t stop to make it 10-9 Waynflete with 6:16 on the clock.

In the final minute of the quarter, after a cross-check penalty on Duvall, the Clippers drew even again, as with 33.1 seconds to go, Hamm fed Corey for a man-up tally, sending the game to the (what we thought would be) final stanza tied, 10-10.

Both teams had man-up opportunities early in the fourth period, but couldn’t finish, as Burdick was robbed by King, then shot just wide and the Clippers couldn’t hold on to the ball long enough for a decent bid.

Finally, with 3:26 to play, 36 seconds after Yarmouth junior James Hook was sent off for a slash, Millspaugh passed to Duvall on the doorstep for a shot King had no chance to save and Waynflete was back on top, 11-10.

The Flyers then tried desperately to hold on, but couldn’t do so.

Duvall had two chances to produce some insurance, but twice, King made saves.

With 1:13 on the clock, Pearl called timeout, hoping to set up the tying tally, but May missed wide and with 21.9 seconds to go, Waynflete got the ball back.

Lipton hoped to run out the clock, but with 17.2 seconds remaining, he was called for a ward and the Clippers regained possession on the Flyers’ end of the field.

This time, May was able to put a shot on target and with 9.7 seconds to go, it got past Armstrong and after neither team could generate a shot, the game went to overtime, tied, 11-11.

“We have a lot of confidence in Cooper,” Pearl said. “He had that shot and buried it.”

Yarmouth appeared to have all the momentum, but Waynflete didn’t buckle.

“They tied it because of me,” said Lipton. “I made a dumb play. I forget it was a rule that you couldn’t lower your shoulder. I got that out of my head and we battled back and played the next play.”

Prior to overtime, the Flyers had Corey’s stick checked, but it too was deemed legal.

The Clippers then won the faceoff and looked to quickly end it as again, the ball came up top to May, but this time, his rocket was snared by Armstrong.

“That was a giant save,” said Lipton. “That shot before the end of regulation was with too much space and was a save that no goalie would make, but he made that one and he played a great game.”

“Will’s been there all season, coming up with so many big saves,” Veroneau said. “We really owe him a lot.”

Waynflete then called a timeout and it was obvious where the ball was going to go.

Lipton carried the ball into the offensive zone and found some room and shot, but King knocked it away.

The Flyers kept possession, however, and Lipton wouldn’t be denied a second time.

From the perimeter, to the left of King, with 2:21 on the clock, Lipton gained some separation and fired and the ball didn’t stop until it tickled the twine.

“I wanted the ball,” Lipton said. “I saw the goalie commit to my top-side hand when I rolled back and I saw some space, so I pulled my stick back and shot it. There’s nothing like that feeling.”

“Miles is strong and fast and he can play with both hands and he’s a very smart player,” Repko said. “He’s an all-around player and we ask him to do everything. He plays 48 minutes and sometimes, he plays 50 minutes. We were hoping they’d slide to him and he’d give it to Hank, but it turned out OK.”

At 6:29 p.m., Waynflete was able to celebrate its 12-11 victory.

“Having been (in close games) before was really helpful,” said Lipton. “Losing against York was a huge motivator.”

“We’ve had a lot of good battles this season, one-goal games, so it was really good to come out on top tonight,” Veroneau said. “As long as there’s time on the clock, we’re ready to play. It was unbelievable, winning on Senior Night. That’s what Miles can do. We’re really grateful he did it for the seniors.”

“I told the guys we just had to play more lacrosse,” Repko added. “We focused on staying mentally in it. The guys stayed zeroed in all game. The mental focus was a big key. We had a close game against York Tuesday on a hot day and that prepared us for today.

“Miles and Hank played up and down the field, playing defense, clearing, assisting, taking shots, but we relied on everybody. We got big plays out of our goalie, Will Armstrong, and guys like John Veroneau, who played really solid defense. (Junior) Liam Feeney had a pole on him in overtime, but we trusted he could carry the ball and move it around. We knew every ground ball mattered. We’re piecing it together and getting good at the end.”

Lipton’s game-winner was his fifth of the day. He also had a pair of assists.

“(Miles Lipton) is quite a special player,” Pearl said. “We had a hard time adjusting to him. We threw everything we had at him.”

Duvall added four goals and one assist.

Adams, Burdick and Millspaugh had one goal apiece and Adams and Millspaugh each contributed one assist.

Armstrong came up with 11 saves.

Duvall had a team-high eight ground balls and junior Mykel Henry collected five.

The Flyers overcame 17 turnovers.

Yarmouth was led by four goals and two assists from Corey. Chappell and May each scored twice, while Guertler, Hamm and Senger had one goal apiece.

Hamm, May and Truesdale added assists.

King made nine saves.

The Clippers won 17 of 27 faceoffs, as freshman Wyatt Sullivan came up big time and again.

“Hats off to our freshman faceoff boy, Wyatt Sullivan, our third string guy, who made great adjustments and got beaten up, but kept popping up,” Pearl said. “He gave us momentum.”

Yarmouth had a 42-31 advantage in ground balls (Corey had a game-high nine and Sullivan collected five) and a 47-30 edge in shots (22-21 on cage).

The Clippers committed 17 turnovers and closed the regular season on a three-game skid.

“This is a disappointing loss, but (Waynflete) played a gusty game,” Pearl said. “You can see why they’ve been successful. We didn’t come in here taking them lightly. We had our chances. It’s a game of inches. The beauty of sports is winning and the heartbreak is losing and we’ve had a little of both. We’ve lost twice in overtime where we scored late and that shows our resilience. I guarantee we’ll never give up. We refuse to lose. Sometimes, it just doesn’t go our way. We outshot them and dominated time of possession. We could have won that game, but we didn’t. It was a thrilling game and a big disappointment.”

Big things ahead

Yarmouth (third behind Greely and Brunswick in the Class B Heal Points standings at press time) should have at least one home playoff game, as it looks to get to the state final for the sixth year in a row and this time, come out on top.

“The playoffs begin for us tomorrow,” said Pearl. “It’s a much more difficult road to the state championship, but it will be that much more sweet when we win it. I still think we have better lacrosse to play. If we keep winning faceoffs and get shots to drop, the result will be different.”

Waynflete projects to be the fourth seed in Class C and will host a quarterfinal round playoff game next week. The best Flyers team in a generation has done some special things this spring, but the best could be yet to come.

“We’ll have to believe and we have to bring it every day in practice,” said Lipton. “When we don’t, we lose to teams we shouldn’t lose to. We have to bring it mentally all the time.”

“We’ll keep practicing and watching film,” Veroneau said. “We’ll practice like we play. We just made history today, so why not again?”

“It’s definitely a good win for us going into the playoffs,” Repko added. “It reminds us as a team how good we are. It’s a big step, but we have bigger sights than just a win over Yarmouth. We’ll get back to work tomorrow. We have to work on our two-minute drill and other scenarios that we know will occur in the playoffs.”

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

Yarmouth senior Joe Truesdale fights Waynflete senior Hank Duvall for a loose ball.

Waynflete junior Miles Lipton prepares to shoot on Yarmouth sophomore goalie Spencer King. Lipton scored five times.

Yarmouth senior Cooper May shoots as Waynflete junior Mykel Henry defends. May tied the game late in regulation.

Yarmouth sophomore Spencer King robs Waynflete sophomore Oliver Burdick.

Waynflete junior Mykel Henry scoops up a ground ball.

Yarmouth senior Silas Chappell fires a shot.

Waynflete senior goalie Will Armstrong keeps an eye on Yarmouth sophomore Anders Corey, who had four goals.

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