Waynflete senior Hank Duvall raises his arms in triumph as junior Miles Lipton prepares to congratulate him during the Flyers’ 18-4 victory over Lincoln Academy in Friday’s Class C state final. Duvall and Lipton each scored a whopping seven goals to lift Waynflete to its first championship since 1997.
Mike Strout photos.
More photos below.
W- 2 7 5 4- 18
LA- 2 1 1 0- 4
8:48 W Lipton (unassisted)
6:41 LA Simmons (Cullina) (MAN-UP)
4:50 LA Michael (unassisted)
2:57 W Duvall (Lipton) (MAN-UP)
10:57 W Lipton (unassisted)
10:12 W Moorhead (unassisted)
9:29 LA Cullina (unassisted)
8:36 W Duvall (Adams)
4:55 W Duvall (Burdick)
4:20 W Burdick (Duvall)
49.4 W Lipton (Adams)
6.9 W Lipton (unassisted) (MAN-UP)
11:13 LA Cullina (Michael)
8:35 W Duvall (unassisted)
8:01 W Duvall (unassisted)
4:51 W Duvall (unassisted)
1:55 W Duvall (Adams)
46.2 W Lipton (unassisted)
9:49 W Lipton (Adams)
5:15 W Lipton (unassisted)
3:56 W Moorhead (Werner)
1:00 W Ogwudiegwu (unassisted)
W- Duvall, Lipton 7, Moorhead 2, Burdick, Ogwudiegwu 1
LA- Cullina 2, Michael, Simmons 1
W- Adams 4, Burdick, Duvall, Lipton, Werner 1
LA- Cullina, Michael 1
Faceoffs (Waynflete, 14-12)
W- Makinen-Hall 9 of 15, Parr 4 of 10, Lipton 1 of 1
LA- Nutter 5 of 11, Eckel 4 of 9, Avantaggio 3 of 5, Soohey 0 of 1
Shots on cage:
W (Armstrong) 8
LA (Westhaver) 13
PORTLAND—A championship two decades in the making made for a celebration that won’t end anytime soon in the West End of Portland.
Waynflete’s boys’ lacrosse team, a squad which entered the 2018 season as a favorite in the newly created Class C division, didn’t disappoint, as it rode its two super-duper stars, gradually improved as the year progressed and saved its absolute best for last Friday evening at Fitzpatrick Stadium.
The Flyers, ranked fourth, met third-seeded Lincoln Academy in the inaugural Class C state final and after a sluggish start, put on a show that not only gave Waynflete the hardware, but put senior standout Hank Duvall and junior star Miles Lipton in the record books as well.
The Flyers managed just two goals in the first period, as Lipton and Duvall each scored one, which the Eagles countered, thanks to tallies from senior Nathan Simmons and junior Nolen Michael.
Waynflete then got separation in the second quarter, as Lipton put the Flyers on top for good just 63 seconds in and after junior Zane Moorhead and Lincoln Academy junior Liam Cullina traded goals, Duvall scored twice, sophomore Oliver Burdick added a goal and in the final minute, Lipton finished twice for a commanding 9-3 halftime advantage.
Mindful that the Eagles had twice rallied from large deficits to win playoff games, Waynflete kept the pressure on in the third quarter and ended all doubt, thanks in large part to the brilliance of Duvall, who followed a goal from Cullina with four in a row before Lipton finished a rebound to make it 14-4 heading for the final stanza.
There, the Flyers induced a mercy rule running clock when they stretched their lead to a dozen goals, thanks to two tallies from Lipton, which allowed him to join Duvall as seven-goal scorers.
Then, Moorhead scored for a second time and with a minute to play, senior Matt Ogwudiegwu delivered the ultimate punctuation mark, bringing the house down with the game’s final goal and all that was left was for Waynflete to celebrate an 18-4 victory.
While Duvall and Lipton etched their names into the history books with their record-setting seven goals apiece, the win was a team effort, culminated an 11-4 season, ended Lincoln Academy’s magical year at 13-2 and earned the Flyers the second state championship in program history and their first since 1997.
“These guys deserve it,” said Waynflete first-year coach Parker Repko. “They fought really hard. The score today represented a lot of work from these guys starting freshman year when they first put on a Waynflete jersey. We had all the pieces this year and we made sure it came together at the end.”
Waynflete has had a competitive program for decades, but the Flyers have long been in the shadow of Cape Elizabeth and more recently, Falmouth. While Waynflete qualified for the Class B playoffs in 10 of 12 seasons, it never advanced past the semifinals. Last year, the Flyers missed the postseason altogether with a 3-9 record.
Everything changed this spring, as Waynflete joined Class C and improved to the point where it could compete with top teams from all classes. The Flyers went 8-4 in the regular season, with dramatic victories over Deering and Yarmouth (in overtime) serving as highlights (see sidebar, below, for links to previous game stories).
As the No. 4 seed for the playoffs, Waynflete roared to life in the second half to oust No. 5 Oak Hill, 13-6, in the quarterfinals and Tuesday, the Flyers won with surprising ease at top-ranked North Yarmouth Academy, 18-6, avenging an earlier one-goal loss.
Lincoln Academy, which went 4-8 a year ago, won its first seven games this spring, lost to Camden Hills, then closed on a four-game win streak to earn the No. 3 seed in Class C. The Eagles then rallied from an early three-goal deficit to down No. 6 Maranacook/Winthrop, 13-9, in the quarterfinals and erased a 5-0 deficit to beat second-ranked Fryeburg Academy, 12-11, in the semifinal round.
Lincoln Academy was taking part in its first championship game, while the Flyers were competing in their fourth, but just their first since 1999 (see sidebar, below).
The teams didn’t play this year and had no playoff history.
Friday, on a pleasant 66 degree evening, in front of a large and vocal crowd, they made some and Waynflete will long hail the results, as it won its first championship in the Maine Principals’ Association-sanctioned era and just its second ever.
The Eagles had the first good scoring chance, but Flyers senior goalie Will Armstrong denied Michael’s long shot.
Then, with 8:48 to play in the first quarter, Lipton scored for the first time, unassisted.
After Lipton hit the post and Lipton was robbed on the doorstep by Lincoln Academy senior goalie Damon Westhaver, Waynflete senior defensive standout John Veroneau was sent off for 30 seconds for a pushing violation and the Eagles capitalized, as with 6:41 to go in the opening stanza, Cullina set up Simmons for the tying goal.
After Westhaver saved a shot from Duvall, Lincoln Academy took the lead, for what proved to be the only time, when Michael scored his only goal with 4:50 to play in the first.
The Flyers answered back with a man-up goal of their own with 2:57 remaining in the frame, as Lipton set up Duvall to make it 2-2, a score which held into the second period.
Where Waynflete roared to life and never looked back.
Cullina had an early bid to give the Eagles the lead, but Armstrong made the stop and with 10:57 to go before halftime, Lipton scored unassisted to put the Flyers ahead for good, 3-2.
Moorhead scored unassisted 45 seconds later, stumbling, but still managing to beat Westhaver.
With 9:29 to play in the half, Cullina scored unassisted to cut Waynflete’s lead to one, but the rest of the quarter belonged to the Flyers.
Just 53 seconds after Cullina scored, in transition, junior Mitchell Adams set up Duvall for a goal and a 5-3 lead.
After Westhaver denied both Lipton and Moorhead, Burdick set up Duvall with 4:55 left in the half to make it a three-goal game, forcing Lincoln Academy coach Tom Farrell to call timeout.
It didn’t stem the tide.
With 4:20 to go before halftime, Duvall won a ground ball and passed to Burdick in front, who faked Westhaver then buried a shot for a 7-3 lead.
With 49.4 seconds on the clock, Adams set up Lipton for a goal and after Eagles junior Nicholas Huber was sent off for slashing, Lipton capped the second quarter surge with an unassisted, man-up goal with just 6.9 seconds remaining and Waynflete took a 9-3 lead to the half.
“We’re prone to coming out a little scared,” Lipton said. “Having it be close and knowing it shouldn’t be, I just turned on the jets and I knew I needed the galvanize the boys and get them rowdy.”
“We were hoping to come out strong,” Veroneau said. “We could have come out stronger, but first state game for lacrosse, there were definitely nerves, then we turned it on.”
In the first half, the Flyers had an 8-6 edge in faceoffs, a 24-15 advantage in ground balls and a 24-11 edge in shots (16-8 on cage). Seven saves from Westhaver kept Lincoln Academy within hailing distance.
The onslaught continued in the third period.
The Eagles got the first goal of the second half, when Michael set up Cullina with 11:13 to go in the third, but Lincoln Academy wouldn’t score again and the game’s final nine goals went to Waynflete.
In fact, four straight went to Duvall, who proved completely unstoppable.
With 8:35 on the clock, Duvall somehow snapped a shot over the shoulder of a defender past Westhaver into the net to make it 10-4.
Thirty-four seconds later, Duvall scored unassisted again.
After freshman Harry Millspaugh hit the post, Duvall scored unassisted with 4:51 remaining in the frame and with 1:55 to go, after being denied several times by Westhaver, including once by the goalie’s facemask, Duvall finished a feed from Adams for a 13-4 advantage, giving him a record seven goals in a boys’ state final, eclipsing the six scored by Scarborough’s Sam Neugebauer in last year’s Class A state game.
“I’ll give it up to (Lincoln Academy defensive standout Ethan Avantaggio, who previously played at Cape Elizabeth),” said Duvall. “He pretty much shut me down most of the game, but my teammates helped me score a lot of goals.”
“We had nerves and had to get in our groove, but once Hank starts shooting well, no one can stop him,” Repko said. “We executed our game plan starting in the second period.”
With 46.2 seconds to go, Lipton got back involved in the fun, burying a rebound and the Flyers took an insurmountable 10-goal lead to the fourth period.
Waynflete had possession almost throughout the final stanza, which doubled as a protracted coronation.
With 9:49 to play, Adams set up Lipton to make it 15-4.
Then, with 5:15 on the clock, Lipton scored for the seventh time, joining Duvall at the pinnacle of state goal scorers, and that induced the running clock.
With 3:56 left, sophomore Nicholas Werner set up Moorhead for a goal and after Repko cleared the bench late, much to the Waynflete cheering section’s delight, Ogwudiegwu got the ball with a minute to play and rocketed a shot past Westhaver to account for the 18-4 final score.
At 9:04 p.m., the Flyers’ long title wait was over and they rushed the field to celebrate.
“State champs, it feels really good,” said Veroneau, who joins his sisters, Margaret, Martha, Catherine and Anne, in winning a championship at Waynflete. “Will kept telling us to stay focused. We played hard until the clock read zero.
“We had a good season and there’s no other way to go out. We didn’t let expectations get to our heads. We came to practice every single day like it was our last practice. We knew that at any given moment, our season could be over. We knew we had to grind every single day. It didn’t matter who we were playing, we’re the Waynflete Flyers and we did what had to be done.”
“It means everything,” Duvall said. “We’ve had this goal for two years now. As a senior, I’ve come close in different sports, so this is amazing. We started slow. We grinded and starting piling on. Once we got that separation, we didn’t look back. ‘All gas, no brakes.’ That’s our motto. We handled the pressure alright. We were used to being the underdog. It was weird being the favorite, but we tried to stay humble.”
“It’s surreal,” Lipton said. “To be a part of something like this and to give the seniors something like this is more than I could have ever asked for from this season. We preached how Lincoln was better than NYA and they had really good players. Ethan (Avantaggio) is the best pole we’ve faced all season. He’s really, really good. We just concentrated on our game.”
“The guys had high expectations,” Repko added. “We had leaders and leaders by example. Dan Thomsen, the previous coach, set a good foundation and we built on that. We knew Lincoln came from behind in both of their other playoff games. They can claw their way back and we knew that. We respect them.”
Duvall, who will play lacrosse next year at Union College, in Schenectady, New York, and Lipton, who has already committed to play lacrosse at Boston University, each scored a whopping seven goals to account for nearly 80 percent of Waynflete’s offense.
“I love that kid,” Duvall said, of Lipton. “He’s like my little brother. We make each other better. It’s so fun to play with him.”
“It’s like love, it’s not a competition at all,” Lipton said. “He saw I was drawing Ethan, so I got Ethan out of the play and got Hank the ball and he did what he does. He’s raised me on this team. Under pressure, he’s a rock. We look to him and he’s there and everyone follows suit. I’ve always tried to emulate him. He has an unreal shot. He can pull it from anywhere and he doesn’t miss.”
“Miles and Hank are good not only through their stick skills and their ability to create offense, but they’re absolute leaders and they know that you don’t win a championship with two guys,” Veroneau said.
“Those guys played middle school lacrosse at Waynflete and came up through,” Repko added. “We’ll miss Hank next year and Miles will return and set high expectations for himself and the team.”
Moorhead added two goals and Burdick and Ogwudiegwu both finished with one.
Adams didn’t score, but had four assists. Burdick, Duvall, Lipton and Werner all added one.
Armstrong made eight saves.
Sophomore Tafari Makinen-Hall, senior Mak Parr and Lipton helped Waynflete win 14 of 26 faceoffs.
The Flyers had a 45-28 edge in ground balls (junior Mykel Henry had a game-high seven, Duvall and Lipton had six each and Parr collected five), a commanding 50-21 shots advantage (31-12 on cage) and overcame 27 turnovers.
Lincoln Academy was paced by two goals from Cullina and one apiece from Michael and Simmons, who had a team-high four ground balls.
Cullina and Michael each had assists.
Westhaver made 13 saves.
The Eagles turned the ball over 22 times.
Waynflete has to part with not only Duvall, but also Armstrong, Ogwudiegwu, Parr, Veroneau, and Ilyas Abdi.
“These seniors are special and they led us all the way,” Repko said. “John always covers the other team’s top attackman and he shut (Michael) down tonight. Ilyas stepped up on man-down (defense) and Will was great in cage.”
Now that the Flyers have returned to the mountaintop, they don’t plan on waiting 21 years to do it again.
In fact, next year’s squad projects to be a potential powerhouse, as Lipton will lead the way in his final season and that team figures to have no shortage of graduates cheering it on.
“I’d love to win another,” Lipton said. “I would love that. There’s no greater feeling than this.”
“This is the start of something big,” Duvall said. “The young kids are so good.”
“No plans for this to be the last one,” said Veroneau.
“We want to do it again,” Repko added. “We hope making it this far will encourage younger players to pick up a stick for Waynflete.”
Waynflete senior Hank Duvall rips a shot for one of his seven goals.
Waynflete junior Mitchell Adams tries to get past Lincoln Academy junior Dakota Nutter.
Waynflete sophomore Oliver Burdick fires a shot in close.
Waynflete senior Will Armstrong prepares for a shot from Lincoln Academy junior Liam Cullina.
Waynflete junior Liam Feeney shoots in traffic.
Waynflete junior Miles Lipton manages to get a shot off despite being tripped up by Lincoln Academy senior Seamus Gilbert.
Waynflete freshman Harry Millspaugh keeps a close eye on Lincoln Academy senior Dylan Soohey.
Waynflete junior Ben Musgrove dumps water on coach Parker Repko at the final horn.
Waynflete senior captains Hank Duvall, left, John Veroneau and Will Armstrong show off the championship trophy following the victory.
Cape Elizabeth 11 Waynflete 3
1997 Division II
Waynflete 8 Kennebunk 5
1994 Division II
Back Bay 12 Waynflete 8