Waynflete girls upset Falmouth on Senior Day, punch playoff ticket

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Waynflete senior Isabel Canning shoots through the Falmouth defense on senior goalie Mary Budri during the teams’ contest Tuesday afternoon. The Flyers raced to a 6-1 halftime lead before holding on for dear life for a critical 8-7 victory to lock up a playoff berth.

Joe Carpine / 365digitalphotography.com photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Waynflete 8 Falmouth 7

F- 1 6- 7
W- 6 2- 8

First half
21:54 W Pope (unassisted)
19:11 W Baginski (Canning)
11:00 W Olney (unassisted)
9:44 W Baginski (Burdick)
3:25 W Wagg (unassisted)
:56 F D. Sarazin (Stucker)
:01 W Burdick (Stockford)

Second half
24:10 F D. Sarazin (Stucker)
23:46 F K. Sarazin (Bell)
19:47 W Baginski (Canning)
18:17 F Bell (free position)
7:45 F Bell (K. Sarazin)
4:59 W Olney (unassisted)
3:05 F D. Sarazin (Bell)
2:35 F D. Sarazin (free position)

Goals:
F- D. Sarazin 4, Bell 2, K. Sarazin 1
W- Baginski 3, Olney 2, Burdick, Pope, Wagg 1

Assists:
F- Bell, Stucker 2, K. Sarazin 1
W- Canning 2, Burdick, Stockford 1

Draws (Falmouth, 11-5)
F- Bell 9 of 13, K. Sarazin 2 of 3
W- Pope 3 of 9, Canning 2 of 4, Bodeker 0 of 3

Ground balls (Falmouth, 35-34)
F- Bell 7, Stucker 6, Camelio, K. Sarazin 5, Mahoney, Smithwick 4, Budri, Farrell, Oakes, Waite 1
W- Canning 9, Pope 5, Stockford 4, Akers, Baginski, Olney 3, Boedeker, Wagg 2, Burdick, Sangster, Wildes 1

Turnovers:
F- 23
W- 13

Shots:
F- 15
W- 22

Shots on cage:
F- 12
W- 19 

Saves:
F (Budri) 11
W (Akers) 5 

PORTLAND—Waynflete’s girls’ lacrosse team played a nearly perfect first half Tuesday afternoon at Fore River Fields, awakening the echoes, and staggering the favored, visiting Falmouth Yachtsmen.

And it’s a good thing that the Flyers opened up a 6-1 halftime lead because the Yachtsmen roared back with a vengeance in the second half, only to fall one goal short in a compelling late-season showdown between Class B South contenders.

Waynflete, riding the emotion of honoring three seniors before the game, two who took the field and another who will never be forgotten, and desperately needing a big win to ensure a playoff berth, broke the ice a little over three minutes in when senior Ali Pope scored.

Later in the first half, goals from junior Laura Baginski, junior LZ Olney, Baginski and freshman Emily Wagg opened up a stunning 5-0 lead.

Falmouth finally got its potent offense in gear with 56 seconds on the first half clock, when senior Devon Sarazin scored, but as time expired, the Flyers punctuated their superb half, as junior Ya Stockford set up classmate Izzy Burdick for a transition goal, making it 6-1 at the break.

To no one’s surprise, the Yachtsmen scored two goals in 24 seconds early in the second half, as Sarazin and sophomore Kayla Sarazin did the honors, but Waynflete coach Cathie Connors called timeout to settle her charges and the Flyers got a little breathing room when Baginski scored with 19:47 to play.

The game was far from over, however, and Falmouth got a pair of goals from senior Sydney Bell to make it 7-5 with 7:45 still on the clock.

Waynflete got one final insurance goal, from Olney with 4:59 left, and that loomed large as Devon Sarazin scored twice in a 30-second span to make it a one-goal game with 2:35 left in regulation.

The Yachtsmen would even get a couple chances to tie it, but the Flyers defense rose up and forced a pair of turnovers and the offense was able to run out the clock on an inspirational 8-7 victory.

Baginski led a balanced attack with three goals, Olney added a pair and freshman goalie Avis Akers stopped five shots to help Waynflete hold on and improve to 7-4, move up in the standings and drop Falmouth to 9-2 in the process.

“We needed this win,” Connors said. “I tried to remind the girls that anything can happen on a given day and we proved it. Falmouth is awesome, but we just wanted it. We’ve been practicing and it all came together. We just needed time. I’m psyched for the girls because they’ve worked so hard.”

Cheers and tears

Waynflete and Falmouth have both produced standout players and winning teams in recent seasons and the 2017 campaign is no exception.

Waynflete opened with a 16-2 win at NYA, then held off host Freeport, 11-7. After a 12-4 setback at Yarmouth, the Flyers prevailed, 13-5 at Scarborough. After an 8-6 home loss to Greely, Waynflete’s first to the Rangers since 2004, it fell, 10-4, at York. The Flyers then bounced back with a 15-8 home victory over Cheverus in a crossover, an 8-5 win at St. Dom’s and a palpitating 11-10 double-overtime home victory over Lake Region. Waynflete then lost at home to Cape Elizabeth, 15-9.

Falmouth started the 2017 campaign by winning at Gorham (11-5) and at home over Greely (18-8). The Yachtsmen then rallied late to stun visiting Thornton Academy, 7-6. After a 14-2 victory at Wells, Falmouth edged visiting Cape Elizabeth, 9-8, in overtime. After rolling at Fryeburg Academy, 18-10, the Yachtsmen held off visiting York (10-7) and beat host Freeport (14-6). Last week, Falmouth fell at home to defending Class B champion Kennebunk in a regional final rematch, 9-5, then rolled at Fryeburg Academy, 19-8.

Waynflete won the first 14 meetings against Falmouth (see sidebar, below), but the Yachtsmen had won four straight, including last spring’s 17-6 home triumph.

Tuesday, Falmouth hoped to make it five in a row in the series, but the Flyers earned their first win over the Yachtsmen since a 16-3 home victory May 21, 2013 in a game that serves as yet another example that anything is possible this spring in Class B South.

Prior to the game, Pope and fellow senior Isabel Canning were honored along with their families. A third player, Beata Vest, who took her life last year, remained a presence as well as Waynflete’s players wore yellow ribbons in their hair in her honor.

All of that emotion led to the best start the Flyers have produced so far this season.

Waynflete didn’t allow Falmouth many looks in the first half and the hosts took advantage of their chances.

Just 3 minutes, 6 seconds in, on a restart after a Yachtsmen turnover, Pope raced in and beat Falmouth senior goalie Mary Budri for the game’s first score.

After Budri denied Canning on a free position, Canning set up Baginski for a 2-0 lead with 19:11 left in the first half.

After four possessions led to four turnovers and an early deficit, Falmouth coach Kait Johnson called timeout, but the Yachtsmen couldn’t respond.

After Devon Sarazin had a free position denied by Akers, the Flyers added a third goal with exactly 11 minutes on the clock, as Olney finished unassisted.

With 9:44 left, Burdick set up Baginski for her second goal and a 4-0 advantage.

With 3:25 remaining, after a turnover, Wagg collected the ball, raced in and beat Budri for the biggest goal of her young career.

Falmouth tried desperately to answer, but Akers robbed Devon Sarazin, then denied Kayla Sarazin on a free position.

Finally, with 56 seconds to go, senior Olivia Stucker fed Devon Sarazin for the Yachtsmen’s first goal, but the half would end with a Waynflete celebration.

After a Falmouth turnover, with time winding down, the Flyers got the ball ahead to Stockford. Stockford got around a defender, saw Burdick up ahead and passed to her teammate, who ducked past one defender then shot and scored just before the horn sounded to make it 6-1 at halftime.

“We were hyped up to start,” Pope said. “Everyone was excited to play Falmouth.” 

“We talk about everyone doing their job all the time,” Connors said. “Everyone did their job today. We started fast and we moved the ball. We have seven shooters on attack.”

In the second half, the Yachtsmen returned to their prolific ways and nearly came all the way back.

After Bell won the draw to start the second half, Stucker set up Devon Sarazin 50 seconds in to make it 6-2.

After another Bell draw victory, Bell set up Kayla Sarazin for a shot which eluded Akers, cutting the deficit to just three with 23:46 still to play.

Connors called timeout, but Bell won the next draw too and raced in again.

This time, however, Akers made the big save.

Waynflete then turned the tide a bit when Canning set up Baginski for a goal with 19:47 on the clock.

With 18:17 to go, Bell answered with a free position and after Budri kept Falmouth alive by denying Canning, Olney and Stockford, Bell scored again, taking a pass from Kayla Sarazin and firing a rocket past Akers to cut the deficit to 7-5 with 7:45 still to play.

The Flyers were content to milk time off the clock, but with 4:59 remaining, Olney found a seam through the defense, utilized it and finished to make it 8-5.

Waynflete wouldn’t score again, but that eighth goal would be just enough to be the difference.

With 3:05 to go, Bell threw a high pass to Devon Sarazin in front and Sarazin somehow went up and caught the ball, then shot it past Akers to again make it a two-goal game.

After Kayla Sarazin won the ensuing draw, Devon Sarazin earned and finished a free position with 2:35 still to play and just like that, Falmouth had pulled within a single goal, 8-7.

Connors called her final timeout to guide her team to the finish line.

“The momentum was getting away from us, but I reminded the girls to think about how good it would feel to win and to get a playoff spot,” Connors said.

Kayla Sarazin then won the ensuing draw and the Yachtsmen had their opportunity to tie, but after failing to get a look, Falmouth gave the ball away and Pope pounced on the ground ball.

Waynflete couldn’t finish it out, however, giving the ball back to the Yachtsmen, as junior Chelsey Smithwick collected it.

With 38 seconds left, Stucker attempted a shot in traffic for the tie which was blocked. On the play, she was sent off with a yellow card for a dangerous follow through and on the turnover, the Flyers regained possession.

This time, Waynflete was able to milk the remainder of the clock and the Flyers almost got another goal at the buzzer, but Budri turned aside a Burdick shot.

At 5:26 p.m., the horn sounded and the Flyers got to celebrate their 8-7 victory.

“Emotionally, it was obviously a big game,” Canning said. “That played to our advantage and made us stronger together. We all wanted it. We’ve put in a ton of hours and we wanted the result. We talk about being a second half team. I think we’re a second half of the season team as well. The more time a player can spend with Cathie, the better they’ll be. Falmouth is an incredible team. I’m stunned by the goals they’re able to pull of. Our defense worked off each other’s energy and Avis made some great saves.”

“It was the best Senior Day we could have asked for,” Pope said. “We tried to keep our composure and not let the moment be too big for us and focus on the task at hand. It was nervewracking, but in the moment, we focused.”

“We had the drive of Senior Day, being home and we were in sixth place,” Connors added. “Now, we’ll have a playoff spot. The seniors came up huge and everybody did. This was a big win. We’ve lost some big games and some of them by a lot, so it’s nice to beat a really good team.”

Five different Flyers scored goals, as Baginski had three, Olney two and Burdick, Pope and Wagg one apiece.

Canning finished with two assists, while Burdick and Stockford had one each.

Canning had a game-high nine ground balls.

Akers made five key saves.

Waynflete had a 22-15 shots advantage (19-12 on cage) and only turned the ball over 13 times.

Falmouth got four goals from Devon Sarazin, two from Bell and another from Kayla Sarazin. Bell and Stucker both had two assists and Kayla Sarazin added one.

Budri made 11 saves to keep her team in the game.

The Yachtsmen had an 11-5 advantage in draws and a 35-34 edge in ground balls (Bell led the team with seven and Stucker collected six).

Falmouth turned the ball over 23 times.

Finishing strong

Falmouth is now second behind Kennebunk in the Class B South Heal Points standings, but could still possibly finish first if it can beat visiting, undefeated Yarmouth Friday afternoon. Conversely, a loss and a York win over Lake Region in its finale could conceivably move the Yachtsmen into the No. 3 spot and necessitate them playing a quarterfinal.

Waynflete has leapfrogged Greely into the No. 5 spot. The Flyers close against Kennebunk in their finale Thursday (that game will be played at the University of New England) and could move up even higher if they can spring another key victory.

“We always want to finish strong,” Canning said. “We want to keep the momentum going.”

“We’ll keep playing for each other,” Pope said. “I feel like that was the key to this game. Everyone put their heart out and that’s what we need every game.”

“I can’t wait,” Connors added. “Kennebunk’s a good team. We look forward to playing them. It’s really nice for these girls to have more time together.”

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

Waynflete senior Ali Pope and Falmouth senior Sydney Bell take a draw.

Waynflete sophomore Emi Boedeker keeps the ball away from Falmouth senior Olivia Stucker.

Falmouth senior Caroline Proctor passes the ball away from Waynflete junior Ya Stockford. 

Waynflete junior LZ Olney scoops up the ball as Falmouth sophomore Caitlyn Camelio looks on.

Recent Waynflete-Falmouth results

2016
@ Falmouth 17 Waynflete 6

2015
Falmouth 13 @ Waynflete 6 
Western B semifinals
@ Falmouth 8 Waynflete 2 

2014
Falmouth 8 @ Waynflete 6

2013
Waynflete 10 @ Falmouth 8
@ Waynflete 16 Falmouth 3

2012
Waynflete 13 @ Falmouth 10
Falmouth 13 @ Waynflete 10
Western B semifinals
Waynflete 10 Falmouth 9 @ Fitzpatrick Stadium

2011 
Waynflete 18 @ Falmouth 10
Waynflete 12 @ Falmouth 8

2010
Waynflete 15 @ Falmouth 5
Western B Final
@ Waynflete 11 Falmouth 6

2009
@ Waynflete 16 Falmouth 7
Western B semifinals
@ Waynflete 12 Falmouth 4

2008
@ Waynflete 18 Falmouth 4

2007
@ Waynflete 10 Falmouth 2

2006
@ Waynflete 9 Falmouth 2

2005 
Waynflete 12 @ Falmouth 1

2004
@ Waynflete 13 Falmouth 0

2003
Waynflete 14 @ Falmouth 3

2002
Waynflete 13 @ Falmouth 4

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