PORTLAND—After five relatively easy victories to start the 2009 season, the Waynflete girls’ lacrosse team was eager to measure itself in a close game, something the Flyers expected when top Western A contender Scarborough came calling Tuesday afternoon.
Instead, Waynflete is still seeking a challenge.
The Flyers scored early and often and dominated from the opening draw to the final whistle during an emphatic 18-6 victory which left no doubt that the defending Class B champions are the team to beat until further notice.
Waynflete demonstrated its wealth of offensive riches, as four different players scored three goals or more and the Flyers’ vaunted defense never let the Red Storm get comfortable as Waynflete improved to 6-0 on the season.
“I didn’t expect to win by 12,” said Flyers coach Cathie Connors. “(Scarborough’s) strong and very fast. They have some strong attack players. We were specific about getting after them off the draw and moving the ball around. We needed to pop the first few in quickly.”
Waynflete returned several key players from last year’s championship team and served notice from day one this spring that it intends to repeat. Prior to Tuesday, the Flyers rolled past York (14-6), Falmouth (16-7), Massabesic (18-6), Marshwood (13-2) and Greely (14-2).
Scarborough, meanwhile, a regional finalist in 2008, took a 3-2 mark into the game. The Red Storm beat Greely (15-7), Cheverus (14-10) and Marshwood (15-3) and lost to North Yarmouth Academy (12-9) and Yarmouth (10-7).
The teams hadn’t met since May 15, 2003, a 16-2 Waynflete triumph.
Tuesday’s game, surprisingly, wouldn’t end much differently.
Junior Amy Allen set the tone just 23 seconds in, when she took a pass from senior Ellie Cole and beat Scarborough’s junior goalie Marina Sterrer for a 1-0 lead.
A little over a minute later, promising sophomore Liv Chap got in on the fun, taking a pass from junior Morgan Woodhouse and scoring to double the advantage.
With 22:51 to play in the first half, Woodhouse fed Cole for a goal and it was 3-0 Flyers.
The Red Storm finally got a sustained offensive possession after a Waynflete turnover and got on the board with 21:54 to play in the half when junior standout Ellie Morin beat Flyers junior goalie Sasha Timpson (four saves).
Waynflete responded when Woodhouse (celebrating her 17th birthday) converted a pass from Cole, but with 20;21 to go in the half, Scarborough senior Chelsea Barrett scored unassisted to make it 4-2.
That’s as close as the Red Storm would get.
Senior All-American Mariah Monks scored for the Flyers just 27 seconds after Barrett’s goal to push the lead back to three, 5-2. Woodhouse (unassisted), senior Anna Libby (from Cole) and Woodhouse (unassisted) then tickled the twine to make it 8-2 with 10:38 to go in the half.
The Red Storm ended a 10 minute, 6 second drought when Morin (from junior Lindsay Hagerman) scored at the 10:15 mark, but Cole (from Chap), Libby (from Cole) and Cole (from Monks, with one second to go) answered to give Waynflete a commanding 11-3 lead at halftime.
In the first half, the Flyers had a 10-4 edge in draw controls and had a 17-11 advantage in shots. Waynflete forced nine turnovers and grabbed 17 ground balls. Eight of the Flyers’ goals were assisted.
“I think we worked really hard on getting pumped up before the game and making everyone on the team look really good and I think that helped us connect together,” said Cole. “We work hard on keeping it spread out. Cathie encourages assists instead of just goals. That’s what she values. That helps us look for other people.”
“We have a lot of shooters,” Connors added. “We had to play possession.”
Nothing changed in the second half.
Just 25 seconds in, Monks scored unassisted. Six minutes later, Monks scored again, this time on a free position, and it was 13-3.
Scarborough then scored successive goals for the only time in the game as Hagerman (unassisted) and Morin (from Hagerman) converted, but with 13:16 to go, Woodhouse scored an unassisted goal and with 10:25 to play, Allen (from Monks) tickled the twine to make it 15-5 and force running time.
In the waning moments, Monks and Woodhouse scored on free positions and Allen added an unassisted goal before Hagerman (from sophomore Dani Foster) scored in the final minute to account for the 18-6 final.
Woodhouse finished with five goals and three assists. Monks scored four times and had a pair of assists. Allen and Cole (four assists) added three goals each. Libby finished with two goals, while Chap had one (and an assist).
“I think we slowed it down a lot more,” Monks said. “We’ve been working more on set plays and not just running it in. We focused on a calm, poised offense, rather a hectic, run-and-gun.”
For the game, Waynflete won 17 of 25 draws, had a 36-31 advantage in ground balls (Woodhouse led with eight, sophomore Mica Thompson grabbed six), outshot Scarborough 29-20 and forced 17 turnovers.
“I think this was a big game since Scarborough’s a good team,” Cole said. “We have to keep our intensity high and that will help us do well in the end.”
The Flyers (second in both the latest coaches’ poll and Western Class B Heal Points standings) are right back at it Thursday at home against a Kennebunk team that on paper at least, could give it trouble. Showdowns with Yarmouth and NYA (a rematch of last year’s Class B state game) still linger as well.
“Not having a tough game yet worries me,” Connors said. “We have Kennebunk Thursday and I expect that to be tough. I feel like we’re playing together as a team. We need to keep working on it.”
“We try to bring a lot of intensity and competitiveness to all games,” Monks added. “When we do have a team that finally challenges us, I think we’ll be ready.”
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mhoffer
Waynflete senior Greer Millard found herself trapped by two defenders in the second half. (Brandon McKenney photo)
Scarborough senior Chelsea Barrett went up for a shot with Waynflete senior Greer Millard providing interference. Barrett had one goal on the day. (Brandon McKenney photo)
Waynflete junior Liv Chap made a move toward the goal during second half action. Chap had a goal and an assist in the win. (Brandon McKenney photo)
Waynflete junior and birthday girl Morgan Woodhouse was her usual omnipresent self, playing formidable defense, transitioning to offense without peer and pumping in five goals for the game. (Brandon McKenney photo)