Yarmouth boys open playoffs with decisive win over NYA

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Yarmouth senior Andrew Beatty, left, senior Patrick Grant, junior Bill Jacobs and Cooper May celebrate one of the Clippers’ 19 goals in Wednesday’s 19-4 win over North Yarmouth Academy in a Class B North quarterfinal.

Mike Strout photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Yarmouth 19 NYA 4

NYA- 0 1 0 3-4 
Y- 4 8 6 1- 19

First quarter
10:50 Y M. Beatty (unassisted)
8:50 Y A. Beatty (M. Beatty)
4:03 Y Grant (M. Beatty)
1:11 Y Chappell (Jacobs) 

Second quarter
10:52 Y Jacobs (unassisted)
9:51 Y M. Beatty (unassisted)
8:51 NYA Baker (unassisted)
8:32 Y H. Venden (M. Beatty)
5:51 Y May (M. Beatty)
4:01 Y Jacobs (unassisted)
2:01 Y May (Jacobs)
56.0 Y H. Venden (Grant)
48.5 Y M. Beatty (Tillotson) 

Third quarter
10:10 Y Conrad (unassisted)
9:58 Y M. Beatty (Jacobs)
7:59 Y A. Beatty (Chappell)
5:13 Y May (Ramsey)
3:50 Y Guertier (Newberg)
1:00 Y May (M. Beatty) (MAN-UP 

Fourth quarter
10:52 NYA Lachance (unassisted) (MAN-DOWN)
8:24 Y Bohrman (unassisted)
3:58 NYA Baker (unassisted)
1:53 NYA Clock (Lachance) (MAN-UP) 

Goals:
NYA- Baker 2, Clock, Lachance 1
Y- M. Beatty, May 4, A. Beatty, Jacobs, H. Venden 2, Bohrman, Chappell, Conrad, Grant, Guertier 1

Assists:
NYA- Lachance 1
Y- M. Beatty 5, Jacobs 3, Chappell, Grant, Newberg, Ramsey, Tillotson 1

Faceoffs (Yarmouth, 17-8)
NYA- Clock 8 of 16, Adams 0 of 9
Y- Tillotson 17 of 23, Conrad 0 of 2

Ground balls (Yarmouth, 37-21)
NYA- Clock 5, Johnson, Nice 3, Demers, Lathrop, T. Pitts 2, Adams, Baker, M. Pitts, Woods 1
Y- Tillotson 12, Grant 4, Conrad 3, M. Beatty, Guertier, Mallett, Pidden 2, A. Beatty, Chappell, Garrett, Harke, Jacobs, May, Moore, Ramsey, H. Venden, Winkle 1

Turnovers:
NYA- 16
Y- 9

Shots:
NYA- 12
Y-34

Shots on cage:
NYA- 6
Y- 26

Saves:
NYA (Woods) 7
Y (Libby) 2 (Harke) 0

YARMOUTH—Yarmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team knows how to take it to the next level when the calendar flips to June and Wednesday evening, in a Class B North quarterfinal, undermanned North Yarmouth Academy had no answers for the Clippers’ eruption.

The ancient rivals squared off again in the playoffs, but the visiting Panthers, down several key players, could only bear witness to Yarmouth’s extensive offensive capabilities for 48 minutes.

The third-seeded Clippers took control in the first quarter, as senior Matthew Beatty scored a goal and assisted on two others as the hosts went up, 4-0.

Yarmouth then exploded for eight more goals in the second period to take a commanding 12-1 advantage to halftime.

Less than two minutes into the second half, senior Walter Conrad scored to induce a mercy rule running clock and by the end of the third quarter, the Clippers enjoyed an 18-1 lead.

Sixth-ranked NYA played hard until the end and won the final stanza, but Yarmouth cruised to a 19-4 victory.

The Clippers got four goals apiece from Beatty and sophomore Cooper May and 10 different players tickled the twine as Yarmouth improved to 9-4, ended the Panthers’ season at 3-10 and advanced to host surprising Gardiner (7-7), the No. 10 seed, in the semifinals Saturday at a time to be announced.

“Our guys played well tonight,” said Clippers coach David Pearl. “We’ve been working hard trying to stay sharp and intense. We came out with great intensity. We’re much healthier now. When you get guys back, they still have to shake off the rust, but the guys are gaining confidence and the timing is coming back. Every day, we’re getting better.” 

Rite of spring

Not only is the Yarmouth-NYA lacrosse rivalry unique to the state (two schools, one public, one private, less than a mile apart, doing battle), but it’s also as much a part of the June calendar as graduations, the start of summer and Father’s Day.

Wednesday night marked the 16th time in 19 years since the Maine Principals’ Association started sanctioning lacrosse in 1998, that the rivals squared off in the playoffs.

Yarmouth entered play having won 10 of those previous 15 games (see sidebar, below), including a 10-4 triumph in last year’s Eastern B Final.

This season, both squads have stumbled at times, but found themselves back in the postseason again.

The Clippers defeated visiting York in their opener, 14-3, then, after losing, 15-5, at home to Cape Elizabeth, fell at home to defending Class A champion Brunswick (11-7), before bouncing back with a 16-10 victory at Greely. After falling again at home, 12-7, to Falmouth, Yarmouth hit its stride, winning at North Yarmouth Academy, 12-5, at Class A South power Scarborough, 16-11, at home over Lake Region (19-2), at Waynflete (18-10) and at home over Kennebunk in a thriller, 15-13, then losing at Cape Elizabeth (14-6) and closing with a 13-4 home victory over NYA.

“Those losses helped us, frankly,” Matthew Beatty said. “Losing is never fun, but coming out of those games, we came together as a team. We learned our strengths and weaknesses.”

The Panthers started with a 10-4 win at Gardiner, then lost at Greely (7-3) and at home to Falmouth (16-0), Kennebunk (10-9, in double overtime), Yarmouth (12-5), Wells (7-6) and Maranacook (9-2) and at Waynflete (16-2). NYA snapped a seven-game skid with a 15-10 win at Fryeburg Academy, then, after falling at Cape Elizabeth, 12-6, the Panthers punched their playoff ticket with a 7-6 (overtime) home win over Greely. NYA closed with a 13-4 setback at Yarmouth.

In the first game this spring, the Clippers pulled away late and won behind four goals from junior Anders Newberg and three from Jacobs. In the regular season finale, Jacobs scored five times and Matthew Beatty added three goals.

Wednesday, NYA came into the contest without several top players and Yarmouth had too much firepower and a result, moved on to the semifinals in a tidy 84-minute affair.

Just 70 seconds in, Beatty gave the Clippers the lead for good, when his shot eluded Panthers freshman goalie Zack Woods, who was making his first varsity start.

Beatty, who has produced some huge assist numbers this spring, then set up his twin brother, senior Andrew Beatty, with 8:50 left in the first period for a 2-0 lead.

Matthew Beatty’s pass to senior Patrick Grant with 4:03 remaining led to another tally and with 1:11 showing, sophomore Silas Chappell got in on the fun, finishing the feed of junior Bill Jacobs for a 4-0 advantage.

Yarmouth’s offense hit another gear in the second period, scoring eight times.

Just 68 seconds in, Jacobs, who is well known and respected for his left-handed shot, showed that he can finish with his right hand as well, scoring unassisted to make it 5-0.

With 9:51 to play before halftime, Matthew Beatty finished unassisted for a 6-0 advantage.

NYA got on the board a minute later, as freshman Ryan Baker scored unassisted, but 19 seconds later, Matthew Beatty’s gorgeous feed led to a goal from sophomore Henry Venden to restore the six-goal bulge.

The Clippers then added five more goals in five minutes to end all doubt.

With 5:51 left in the half, Matthew Beatty set up May for his first goal. 

Jacobs added a second right-handed goal, unassisted, with 4:01 to go.

Two minutes later, Jacobs set up May.

With 56 seconds showing, Grant fed Venden for a goal.

Eight seconds later, after senior Ricky Tillotson won the ensuing faceoff, Tillotson passed to Matthew Beatty, who finished to make it 12-1 at halftime.

In the first half, Tillotson won 12 of 15 faceoffs, Yarmouth had a 27-13 edge in ground balls and a commanding 20-3 advantage in shots.

The second half was academic, but the Clippers didn’t let up and the Panthers didn’t quit.

With 10:10 left in the third period, Conrad scored unassisted to make it a 12-goal game, running the clock the rest of the way.

Twelve seconds later, Jacobs set up Matthew Beatty to make it 14-1.

The goals kept coming for the hosts, as Chappell fed Andrew Beatty for a score with 7:59 left in the quarter, May scored (from junior Owen Ramsey) with 5:13 to go, Newberg passed to freshman Michael Guertier for a goal with 3:50 showing and with exactly one minute to go, playing man-up, Matthew Beatty set up May for a goal to stretch the lead to 18-1.

NYA’s best quarter was the fourth, as it outscored Yarmouth, 3-1.

The Panthers got their second goal 68 seconds into the final stanza, as senior Trevor Lachance scored man-down.

With 8:24 remaining, sophomore Ian Bohrman scored the Clippers final goal.

With 3:58 left, Baker scored unassisted for NYA and with 1:53 to play, junior Connor Clock finished a Lachance feed man-up to account for the 19-4 final score.

“Coming into the first game of the playoffs, we were focused, we wanted to win,” Matthew Beatty said. “Getting the injured guys back is motivating. It gives us extra legs. It’s really helpful. The younger guys are stepping up. Our teamwork is getting better. At the beginning of the year, just a couple guys were scoring, now it seems like everybody is scoring.”

“We respect NYA,” Pearl said. “This wasn’t as close a game as it’s been in the past, but it’s a great rivalry. Our biggest focus has been on making easy passes. Too often guys are trying to make a 20-yard pass, when we need an easier play. We’ve also learned we need to take care of the ball. This game is much more about us than the opponent.”

Yarmouth’s balanced offensive attack started with Matthew Beatty, who had four goals and five assists. May also scored four times. Andrew Beatty, Jacobs and Venden had two goals apiece and Bohrman, Chappell, Conrad, Grant and Guertier all added one goal.

Jacobs had three assists, while Chappell, Grant, Newberg, Ramsey and Tillotson finished with one apiece.

Junior Cam Libby made two saves in his one half of action. Starting freshman goalie Liam Harke, didn’t record a save in his.

Tillotson won 17 of 23 faceoffs and had a game-high 12 ground balls, as the Clippers enjoyed a 37-21 advantage in that category.

Yarmouth only turned the ball over nine times and outshot NYA, 34-12 (26-6 on cage).

Something to build on

NYA’s offense featured two goals from Baker, one from Clock and a goal and an assist from Lachance. Clock led the team with five ground balls.

Woods turned heads with seven saves.

“Zack doesn’t turn away from the ball and he made some saves,” NYA coach Peter Gerrity said.

The Panthers committed 16 turnovers.

“We were hoping to be competitive,” Gerrity said. “We got the guys excited. We knew at full strength, playing well, we could play with them, but we were a little light and we were just OK. It’s not an unexpected result.

“We were excited to make playoffs. I didn’t know what we’d look like coming into the year. We’re really happy with how these guys did.”

NYA should begin from a stronger position in 2017.

“We lose four seniors,” Gerrity said. “We’re light on eighth graders coming up, but we have nine freshmen coming back. They’ll have some experience. Hopefully some of these guys will play in the offseason.”

“Coach Gerrity does a great job,” Pearl said. “I’m sure they’ll be back strong next year.”

Next step

Yarmouth got a big break when Gardiner handed No. 2 Cony its first loss Wednesday, allowing the Clippers to host the Tigers in the semifinals instead of having to go to Augusta.

Yarmouth and Gardiner didn’t meet this season, but have played in each of the past five postseasons with the Clippers winning each of the past four. Last year, in the semifinals, Yarmouth prevailed, 14-2.

The Clippers are bound and determined to keep their train rolling.

“We just need to stay focused,” Matthew Beatty said. “It’s all business. We know how to win.”

“We feel like we have the talent and ability,” Pearl said. “If we don’t have unforced errors, we can execute. We’ll just have to take care of business. The guys are working hard and they’re dedicated. They’ve very hungry. We’re looking ahead, just trying to improve.”

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

Yarmouth sophomore Silas Chappell fires a shot.

NYA sophomore Connor Clock and Yarmouth senior Walter Conrad fight for a loose ball.

Yarmouth junior Bill Jacobs plays keep-away from NYA senior Tom Pitts.

Yarmouth sophomore Cooper May shoots and scores.

NYA senior Tom Pitts carries the ball as Yarmouth senior Andrew Beatty defends.

Yarmouth senior Patrick Grant launches a shot past NYA freshman goalie Zack Woods.

Previous NYA-Yarmouth playoff results

2015 Eastern B Final
@ Yarmouth 10 NYA 4 

2013 Eastern B semifinals
Yarmouth 8 @ NYA 7 

2012 Eastern B Final
NYA 8 @ Yarmouth 7

2010 Eastern B semifinals
@ Yarmouth 17 NYA 7

2009 Eastern B Final
@ Yarmouth 15 NYA 4

2008 Eastern B Final
@ Yarmouth 12 NYA 7

2007 Eastern B Final
@ NYA 10 Yarmouth 9

2006 Eastern B Final
@ Yarmouth 9 NYA 3

2005 East Region Final
@ Yarmouth 10 NYA 0

2004 East Division Semifinals
@ Yarmouth 11 NYA 3

2003 East Division Final
@ Yarmouth 9 NYA 8

2002 East Quarterfinals
@ Yarmouth 10 NYA 5

2001 North Division Semifinals
@ NYA 15 Yarmouth 6

2000 State Semifinals
NYA 12 @ Yarmouth 11

1998 State Semifinals
@ NYA 15 Yarmouth 14 (OT)

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