Waynflete junior Sophie Sangster defends as sophomore goalie Avis Akers denies Cheverus junior Zoe Mazur for one of her 15 saves during the Flyers’ 9-3 victory Tuesday.
Joe Carpine / 365digitalphotography.com photos.
More photos below.
C- 1 2- 3
W- 5 4- 9
21:05 W Baginski (Burdick)
20:30 W Burdick (Olney)
16:55 C Booth (free position)
3:43 W Stockford (free position)
3:02 W Stockford (unassisted)
:12 W Stockford (free position)
23:58 W Parr (Burdick)
20:25 W Stockford (Wagg)
14:45 W Stockford (unassisted)
9:21 C Johnston (unassisted)
4:54 C Mazur (McCauley)
3:45 W Baginski (Olney)
C- Booth, Johnston, Mazur 1
W- Stockford 5, Baginski 2, Burdick, Parr 1
C- McCauley 1
W- Burdick, Olney 2, Wagg 1
Draws (Cheverus, 10-4)
C- McCauley 8 of 9, Mazur 2 of 5
W- Olney 4 of 14
Shots on cage:
C (Cawley) 4
W (Akers) 15
PORTLAND—Waynflete’s girls’ lacrosse team opened with a dramatic overtime win at York and after a short break, the Flyers looked to stay in fine form when they hosted Cheverus Tuesday afternoon at Fore River Fields.
Thanks in large part to tremendous play from sophomore goalie Avis Akers and timely scoring from senior Ya Stockford.
Early goals from seniors Laura Baginski and Izzy Burdick put Waynflete ahead to stay and after the Stags got on the board thanks to a free position goal from junior Bella Booth, Akers took center stage, blanking Cheverus the rest of the half behind eight saves, many of them spectacular.
The Flyers’ offense was dormant for a long stretch as well, but in the final 3 minutes, 43 seconds of the half, Stockford scored three goals to produce a 5-1 advantage.
Early in the second half, junior Marady Parr scored a goal and Stockford added two more to help Waynflete break it open.
While the Stags got goals from senior Mackenzie Johnston and junior Zoe Mazur, they couldn’t draw any closer and a late goal from Baginski brought the curtain down on a 9-3 victory.
Stockford had five goals and Akers made 15 saves as Waynflete improved to 2-0 on the young season and handed Cheverus a loss in its first outing.
“We came together as a team and trusted each other,” Akers said. “We made some mistakes, but we pushed them aside.”
While the teams are in different classes and different conferences, they’ve met every year since 2007.
Cheverus won the first two meetings in the series, regular season and playoff victories that first year, but since then, the Flyers have captured nine of 10 meetings (see sidebar, below), including last spring’s 15-8 home decision.
The Stags went on to the Class A North semifinals, where they lost to Messalonskee. This spring, Cheverus expects to be a top team in its region.
Waynflete, meanwhile, lost in the quarterfinals last year for the first time in the Maine Principals’ Association-sanctioned era, but the Flyers believe that this could be a special season. Waynflete opened with a palpitating 8-7 overtime victory at York on Burdick’s game-winner.
Tuesday, on another very pleasant early spring day (58 degrees with a strong south wind), the Stags sought their first victory over the Flyers since Alex Logan scored in the final second to produce a 10-9 victory June 4, 2014, but instead, Waynflete made it four in a row in the series.
Akers set the tone just three minutes in, when she denied a shot by Cheverus junior Margaret Keating.
After some early turnovers, the Flyers struck first with 21:05 to go in the first half, as Burdick set up Baginski for a shot which got past Stags freshman goalie Neve Cawley.
Just 35 seconds later, Burdick took a pass from Olney and scored for a 2-0 advantage, but Waynflete would go nearly 17 minutes without finding the net again.
After Akers stopped shots from Mazur and Booth, Booth earned a free position with 16:55 remaining in the half and finished to get Cheverus on the board.
The Stags then had ample opportunities to pull even, but Akers stopped a shot by Keating, robbed Mazur on the doorstep and stopped bids from Mazur and Booth.
“My goalie coach (Laura Bishop) has helped me immensely,” Akers said. “I’ve felt myself get so much better. I’m more confident this year. Once I make a save or two, I get more confidence. My low D, I don’t know what I’d do without them. It’s crazy how much they do.”
Then, Stockford heated up.
With 3:43 left before halftime, Stockford finished a free position.
Forty-one seconds later, Stockford scored unassisted.
With 12 seconds on the clock, Stockford converted another free position and the Flyers’ lead was 5-1 at the break.
“Our transition was really strong, but our connection wasn’t there at the beginning,” Stockford said. “Then we started talking and that inspired me. I just turned it on.”
The Stags had a 13-9 edge in shots in the first half (9-5 on frame), but Akers left them frustrated.
The second half was more of the same.
Just 62 seconds in, Burdick set up junior Marady Parr for a goal and with 20:25 remaining, sophomore Emily Wagg set up Stockford for another goal and a 7-1 lead.
After Olney hit the post, Stockford scored on a rebound with 14:45 to play to stretch the advantage to seven.
Akers continued to hold Cheverus at bay, denying Keating and freshman Lucia Pompeo.
Finally, with 9:21 to go, Johnston solved Akers, beating her low to end a 32-minute, 34-second drought and a 6-0 Waynflete run.
With 4:54 on the clock, Mazur took a pass from her cousin, freshman Emma McCauley, and beat Akers to make it 8-3, forcing Flyers coach Cathie Connors to call timeout.
Then, with 3:45 left, Oleny set up Baginski for a goal to slam the door and Waynflete closed out its 9-3 victory.
“We struggled with ground balls and we weren’t connecting or trusting each other enough, but we got it going,” Connors said. “So far, so good.”
Akers’ 15 saves were the big story.
“I couldn’t ask for a better goalie,” said Stockford. “From the very beginning of the season, I’ve seen a big difference in her.”
“Avis has come so far,” Connors said. “We saw it at the end of last season and she’s got a great goalie coach who has given her a ton of attention. She’s working so hard. She made some tough saves.”
Stockford paced the offense with five goals. Baginski added two goals and Burdick and Parr had one each. Burdick and Olney each had two assists, while Wagg added one. Olney had six ground balls and Burdick and Stockford each collected five.
The Flyers overcame an uncharacteristic 25 turnovers.
Cheverus got goals from Booth, Johnston and Mazur and an assist from McCauley, but couldn’t generate enough offense to prevail.
“It was exciting when it was 2-1, but we kind of lost focus and forced some shots,” said Stags coach Bill Fenton. “They’re a very good team. Cathie’s awsome. She does a heck of a job with her girls.”
Cawley made four saves, Cheverus had a 41-34 advantage in ground balls (Mazur had a game-high 12 and Johnston collected eight) and had a 26-17 shots advantage (18-13 on cage).
The Stags turned the ball over 22 times.
Cheverus returns to action Saturday when it hosts Lewiston and has reason for optimism going forward.
“The biggest thing coming out of this is it was a huge learning curve for our girls,” said Fenton. “We have a lot of talent and we’re coming together as a team. We have some work to do. We have three days to get ready for Lewiston.”
Waynflete takes the field again Wednesday afternoon at Scarborough and Wells pays a visit Saturday. The Flyers figure to keep getting stronger.
“I have good feelings about the rest of the season,” said Stockford.
“I feel amazing about our team,” said Akers. “I think the more experience we get, it will just make us stronger.”
Cheverus freshman Emma McCauley and Waynflete senior LZ Olney battle for the opening draw.
Cheverus senior Teagan Guenther is hounded by Waynflete senior Laura Baginski.
Waynflete senior Ya Stockford races up the field.
Cheverus senior Mackenzie Johnston attempts a shot in traffic.
Waynflete sophomore Anna Wildes throws a pass.
Cheverus junior Zoe Mazur tries to shoot past Waynflete junior Sophie Sangster (15) and senior Claire Dubois.
Cheverus freshman goalie Neve Cawley tries to stop a free position shot from Waynflete senior Ya Stockford.
Waynflete senior Izzy Burdick fights Cheverus junior Bella Booth, left, and senior Kate Sessler battle for a loose ball.
Cheverus junior Bella Booth, right, is congratulated after scoring a first half goal.
Waynflete seniors LZ Olney, left, Ya Stockford, Izzy Burdick and Laura Baginski celebrate a goal.
Waynflete 18 @ Cheverus 4
Waynflete 10 @ Cheverus 6
@ Waynflete 14 Cheverus 4
Waynflete 15 @ Cheverus 2
@ Waynflete 15 Cheverus 1
@ Cheverus 9 Waynflete 8
Western B semifinals
@ Cheverus 12 Waynflete 6