Waynflete handles Freeport in playoff tuneup

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FREEPORT—It’s been a season of learning and growth for the Waynflete girls’ lacrosse team, but if Thursday’s finale at Freeport is any indication, the Flyers are saving their best for last.

Just like so many times before.

Waynflete made quick of the Falcons, racing to a 6-0 first half lead en route to an 8-3 advantage at halftime.

While their offense was balanced, the Flyers’ defense was up to its usual stymieing standards and Freeport never made a run. Junior Nina Moore, a former Falcon, and classmate Christian Rowe both scored twice in the second half and Waynflete went on to an emphatic 14-6 victory.

Moore led all scorers with four goals, Rowe and freshman Lydia Giguere each added three and the Flyers improved to 8-4, ending Freeport’s regular season at 6-6 in the process.

“It was a really good way to end,” said longtime Waynflete coach Cathie Connors. “The girls are stepping up every game. Everybody contributed today. Girls who hadn’t gotten in there got time and they dug deep.”

All Flyers

Waynflete has long dominated Freeport, much of the time by lopsided margins (see sidebar, below), but the teams have played a couple of historic games in recent years.

On May 3, 2010, the Flyers beat Freeport, 17-6, in Portland, giving Connors her 200th victory. On June 16, 2012, Waynflete beat the Falcons in their lone Class B state game appearance, 16-5. The following year, the Flyers downed visiting Freeport, 13-7, to improve to 9-0 against the Falcons in a 10-year span from 2004-13 (their average margin of victory was 14-5).

This spring has featured fits and starts for both programs, yet both believed they’ll be at their best in June.

Freeport started 0-4, losing to visiting York (11-4), at defending Western B champion Cape Elizabeth (12-6), at home to defending state champion Yarmouth (16-3) and at Lake Region (12-10), then turned it around completely, winning six straight: 10-5 at Wells, 16-4 at Gardiner, 15-9 at home over Morse, 18-9 at home over North Yarmouth Academy, 14-13 in a triple overtime thriller at Greely and 15-8 at home over Gould Academy, before finally dropping a 15-6 decision at powerhouse Falmouth Monday night.

Waynflete began with a 13-4 victory at North Yarmouth Academy, then held off visiting Cheverus, 9-6, and lost at home to Kennebunk, 8-4. The Flyers bounced back with wins at Greely (10-7) and Fryeburg Academy (10-1) and at home over Gould Academy, 13-6, then lost at Scarborough, 7-4, and was dominated at home, 13-6, by Falmouth. Waynflete returned to form with a 10-4 victory at Cape Elizabeth, but lost at home to Yarmouth (8-6) before holding off visiting York Friday, 7-6.

Thursday, in one of the final games of the regular season to be played anywhere in the state, a contest with Heal Points and playoff positioning at stake, the Flyers did enough to ensure they’d win at least eight games for the 13th consecutive regular season.

Just 2 minutes, 24 seconds in, Waynflete went ahead to stay when Rowe set up sophomore Isabel Canning for a goal.

After Flyers junior goalie Charlotte Majercik preserved the lead by denying a shot from Freeport junior Courtney Broderick, Waynflete transitioned to offense and Rowe took a pass from Moore and beat Falcons junior goalie Sam Jordan for a 2-0 advantage with 21:38 to go in the half.

The onslaught continued as senior Helen Gray-Bauer won the ensuing draw, raced in and finished 19 seconds later.

After Majercik again turned aside a shot from Broderick, Moore took a pass from sophomore Izzy Burdick and finished to make it 4-0 with 17:14 left.

“It was key to get ahead,” Moore said. “We had to start working on our playoff performance level. We came out strong.”

“We talked about making a conscious effort to get ahead quick,” Connors said.

Freeport coach Marcia Wood took a timeout, but it didn’t stem the tide as Canning set up Giguere for her first goal with 16:27 remaining.

Giguere hit the post with 12:45 to go, but got another look with 9:23 left and she finished unassisted for a 6-0 advantage.

The Falcons finally broke through 21 seconds later when Broderick set up freshman Chloe Davidson, but Gray-Bauer won the ensuing draw and again ran in and scored to restore a six-goal bulge.

Freeport freshman Taylor Rinaldi got her team back in the game by scoring unassisted with 7:45 left and striking again after taking a pass from senior Lizzy Martin at 2:58, but with 1:17 remaining in the half, Canning assisted on a Moore goal and the Flyers enjoyed an 8-3 advantage at the break.

Waynflete won eight of 12 first half draws, enjoyed a 22-14 advantage in ground balls and outshot the Falcons, 14-7.

Freeport tried to rally in the second half and 99 seconds in, Martin scored on a free position to make it 8-4, but the Falcons would draw no closer.

With 21:07 to play in regulation, Burdick set up Giguere for her third goal and a 9-4 lead.

After Majercik denied Martin and Burdick hit the post, the Flyers showed their transition brilliance again, as sophomore Beata Vest passed to Rowe for and a goal to make it 10-4.

Waynflete kept scoring, as Moore cut through three defenders and finished with 12:09 left, Burdick set up Rowe two minutes later and with 9 minutes to play, Burdick fed freshman LZ Olney for a goal and a 13-4 advantage.

After Jordan denied Moore on a free position, preventing the Flyers from inducing a running clock, Davidson set up senior Julia Dearden for a goal with 6:06 to play.

After Rinaldi hit the post, senior Emily Johnson scored on a free position to pull Freeport within seven, but with 1:03 to play, Moore, fittingly, capped the scoring by finishing a feed from Giguere to bring the curtain down on Waynflete’s 14-6 victory.

“I think we played amazing as a team,” Giguere said. “The last couple games, we’ve really put it together. Toward the end of the season, we really improved.”

Moore had four goals in her return to Freeport.

“I was really nervous before the game,” Moore said. “I miss my old teammates. It’s great to be back. It was great to see everybody again.”

“(Nina) had a great game,” Connor said. “It’s hard to come back to your old field and play well against your old team. She didn’t appear nervous to me.”

Giguere had three goals in a clutch performance.

“I got great passes,” Giguere said. “We really played as a team.”

Rowe also scored three times. Gray-Bauer added two goals and Canning and Olney each had one.

Ten of Waynflete’s 14 goals were assisted.

Burdick had four, Canning two and Giguere, Moore, Rowe and Vest one apiece.

Majercik made five saves.

The Flyers enjoyed a 36-33 advantage in ground balls (Moore led the way with eight and Gray-Bauer had seven), committed only 16 turnovers while forcing 19 and outshot the Falcons, 24-16 (17-9 on cage).

Waynflete faced a brutal slate and had to come of age this spring, but still managed to win two-thirds of its games.

“It was a very tough schedule and I think we had some off-games and we had some on-games,” Moore said. “We surprised ourselves.”

“For awhile there, we weren’t really sure, but we’ve come a long way,” said Connors. “Everybody’s worked hard and is doing their job.”

Freeport got two goals from Rinaldi, while Davidson, Dearden, Johnson and Martin all had one. Broderick, Davidson and Martin each had assists. Johnson led all players with nine ground balls. Jordan made three saves. The Falcons won 12 of 22 draws.

“It’s frustrating, because I know if we put an entire game together, it would be a different story,” Wood said. “There was a spurt in the first half where we played great and a spurt in the second half where we played great, but we couldn’t play that way the whole game. Their zone defense is impeccable. We talked about breaking it, but we don’t play zone. We could talk the talk and say we knew what we needed to do, but we didn’t walk the walk.”

The Falcons started the year with a four-game losing streak and ended it with consecutive losses, but for a six-game stretch in the middle, they dazzled.

“It’s been a roller-coaster,” Wood said. “It’s a process. i’m glad we could end with a .500 record. That win against Greely was our saving grace. I was hoping we’d hang with some of these top teams more than we have. We hope if we see them again, we’ll play them tougher knowing what to expect.”

The fun begins

Freeport projects to be the No. 4 seed for the Eastern B playoffs and will likely host Winslow (7-5) in the quarterfinals Wednesday. The teams didn’t meet this year.

The good news for the Falcons is that they wouldn’t have to play second-ranked Yarmouth until the regional final, if the teams advance that far.

“It’s a brand new season,” Wood said. “We’ll focus on what we need to do. I think we could make a run.”

Waynflete leapfrogged Cape Elizabeth into the No. 4 spot in Western B and will host the fifth-ranked Capers (7-5) in the quarterfinals Wednesday, which will mark the fifth straight postseason the rivals have done battle (last year, Cape Elizabeth snapped a 24-game losing streak to the Flyers with a shocking upset in the semifinals).

“We’re ready for playoffs,” Giguere said. “We’re excited. Cape will be ready for us. Last year, I wasn’t on the team, but they beat us. I think we’ll have to come just as strong as we did when we beat them at home. We’ll have to play very well.”

The Flyers don’t face their usual expectations this time around and just might be a darkhorse.

“We’re looking forward right now and trying to improve every step of the way,” said Moore. “We still have a  lot to work on. We’re working on offense and working on perfecting our zone. We’re trying to capitalize in the playoffs. There’s amazing competition. We can surprise ourselves. As long as we really focus and play hard and want it, we can compete against the top teams. I look forward to it. If we do our best, we can play great.”

“I’m excited,” Connors said. “I just hope we can play like we played today and against York. We’ll go out and have fun with no pressure.”

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

Freeport freshman Chloe Davidson throws a pass as Waynflete sophomore Ali Pope defends.

Freeport senior Julia Dearden shoots past Waynflete junior goalie Charlotte Majerick.

Waynflete senior Haley Johnson battles Freeport junior Courtney Broderick for possession.

Freeport junior goalie Sam Jordan keeps an eye on Waynflete junior Christian Rowe.

Freeport junior Sam Jordan keeps a wary eye on Waynflete junior Nina Moore, a former Falcon. Moore had a game-high four goals.

Freeport senior Lizzy Martin shoots as Waynflete seniors Helen Gray-Bauer (1) and Dana Peirce defend.

Waynflete junior Christian Rowe fires a shot past Freeport junior goalie Sam Jordan.

Waynflete freshman Izzy Burdick is defended by Freeport senior Lizzy Martin (left) and freshman Jessi Driscoll.

Waynflete sophomore Beata Vest collects the ball as Freeport junior Courtney Broderick looks on.

Recent Waynflete-Freeport results

@ Waynflete 13 Freeport 7 

Waynflete 13 @ Freeport 10
Class B State Final
Waynflete 16 Freeport 5 

Waynflete 18 @ Freeport 3 

@ Waynflete 17 Freeport 6 

Waynflete 13 @ Freeport 1 

Waynflete 11 @ Freeport 4 

@ Waynflete 12 Freeport 0

Waynflete 17 @ Freeport 6 

Sidebar Elements

Waynflete freshman Laura Baginski congratulates classmate LZ Olney after a goal in the second half of the Flyers’ 14-6 win at Freeport Thursday in the teams’ mutual regular season finale.

Mike Strout photos.

More photos below.


Waynflete 14 Freeport 6

W- 8 6- 14
F- 3 3- 6

First half
22:36 W Canning (Rowe)
21:38 W Rowe (Moore)
21:19 W Gray-Bauer (unassisted)
17:14 W Moore (Burdick)
16:27 W Giguere (Canning)
9:23 W Giguere (unassisted)
9:02 F Davidson (Broderick)
8:51 W Gray-Bauer (unassisted)
7:45 F Rinaldi (unassisted)
2:58 F Rinaldi (Martin)
1:17 W Moore (Canning)

Second half
23:21 F Martin (free position)
21:07 W Giguere (Burdick)
14:15 W Rowe (Vest)
12:09 W Moore (unassisted)
10:08 W Rowe (Burdick)
9:00 W Olney (Burdick)
6:00 F Dearden (Davidson)
3:16 F Johnson (free position)
1:03 W Moore (Giguere)

W- Moore 4, Giguere, Rowe 3, Gray-Bauer 2, Canning, Olney 1
F- Rinaldi 2, Davidson, Dearden, Johnson, Martin 1

W- Burdick 4, Canning 2, Giguere, Moore, Rowe, Vest 1
F- Broderick, Davidson, Martin 1

Draws (Freeport, 12-10)
W- Gray-Bauer 8 of 12, Moore 0 of 7, Canning 2 of 3
F- Martin 6 of 16, Davidson 6 of 6

Ground balls (Waynflete, 36-33)
W- Moore 8, Gray-Bauer 7, Majercik 4, Burdick, Vest 3, Canning, Johnson, Pope, Rowe 2, Baginski, Giguere, Smith 1
F- Johnson 9, Broderick, Driscoll 4, Martin, Rinaldi 3, Greuel, Johnston 2, Davidson, Dearden, Jordan, Lynch, Olins, Washburn 1

W- 16
F- 19

Shots on goal:
W- 24
F- 16

Shots on cage
W- 17
F- 9

W (Majercik) 5
F (Jordan)  3

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