Yarmouth edges Waynflete in a nailbiter

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Yarmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team celebrates after holding off Waynflete, 4-3, Thursday evening.

Mike Strout photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Yarmouth 4 Waynflete 3

W- 1 2- 3
Y- 1 3- 4

First half
23:54 W Moore (Burdick)
13:00 Y Harrison (free position) 

Second half
22:57 Y Antolini (Elder)
13:03 Y Lunt (unassisted)
10:36 Y Lunt (Kirk)
5:22 W Rowe (Stockford)
1:10 W Rowe (Stockford) 

Goals:
W- Rowe 2, Moore 1
Y- Lunt 2, Antolini, Harrison 1

Assists:
W- Stockford 2, Burdick 1
Y- Elder, Kirk 1

Draws (Waynflete, 5-4)
W- Pope 5 of 9
Y- Then 2 of 5, Kirk 1 of 2, Lane 1 of 2

Ground balls (Yarmouth, 34-25)
W- Moore 6, Giguere, Pope 4, Burdick 3, Boedeker, Majercik, Smith 2, Baginski, Olney 1
Y- Kirk, Langenbach, Then 4, Barbera, Bartlett, Corey, Harrison, Lunt 3, Antolini, Watson 2, Dorsett, Elder, Waeldner 1

Turnovers:
W-21
Y- 16

Shots:
W- 8
Y- 15

Shots on cage:
W-8
Y- 14

Saves:
W (Majercik) 10
Y (Gunville) 5

YARMOUTH—Waynflete and Yarmouth’s girls’ lacrosse teams are the two most storied in state annals and when they square off, they bring out the best in each other.

And those who bear witness are the ultimate winners.

The rivals did battle in their lone regular season meeting Thursday evening on Yarmouth’s turf and in one of the fastest games you’ll ever see (1 hour and 9 minutes), it again took until the final horn to determine the winner.

Almost nothing happened from an offensive standpoint in the first half, as defenses and goalkeeping were the highlights.

The Flyers broke the ice just 66 seconds in, when senior Nina Moore tickled the twine, but they wouldn’t score again until late in the contest.

The Clippers drew even with 13 minutes to go in the first half, when junior Sophia Harrison scored on a free position, but that would be it for first half production, as Waynflete senior goalie Charlotte Majercik made seven big saves and while the Flyers possessed the ball for much of the half, they couldn’t solve Yarmouth’s defense or junior goalie Mary Kate Gunville, who made four saves of her own.

The high-powered Clippers finally kicked it in gear in the second half, as with 22:57 to play, junior Ella Antolini finished sophomore Greta Elder’s feed.

Junior Eliza Lunt then scored consecutive goals to open up a 4-1 advantage, which in this game appeared insurmountable.

To its credit, Waynflete’s finest 50-minute effort this spring was culminated by a late rally which almost extended the contest.

With 5:22 to play, senior Christian Rowe ended a 43-minute-plus scoring drought to give the Flyers a spark and with 1:10 left, Rowe scored again and suddenly the deficit was only one.

Yarmouth was able to hold on, however, as sophomore Meredith Lane won the ensuing draw to classmate Jessica Kirk and the Clippers ran out the clock on their 4-3 victory.

Lunt scored twice, Gunville made five saves, including a critical stop late, and Yarmouth won its seventh game in a row, improved to 7-1, beat Waynflete for the fourth consecutive time and dropped the Flyers to 6-3 in the process.

“We started out with a tough first half and Waynflete played awesome,” said Clippers coach Dorothy Holt. “Their goalie did an awesome job. She stopped everything. We flipped the switch in the second half, then we played great. I give my kids credit. I’m thrilled we pulled out a win. We’re getting there.”

Best in B

Since girls’ lacrosse went to two classes in 2006, Yarmouth has won five state titles and Waynflete four. In fact, with the exception of 2010, when North Yarmouth Academy beat the Flyers in the state game, either the Clippers or Flyers have won the state title every year since 2001.

Both teams have been competitive again this spring. 

Waynflete eked out an 8-7 overtime victory at Cape Elizabeth in the opener, then suffered a 17-6 loss at Falmouth. After beating Scarborough, 10-5, in their home opener, the Flyers fell at home to juggernaut Kennebunk, 13-3. Waynflete then hit its stride, downing host Freeport (10-8), visiting Fryeburg Academy (15-2), host Cheverus (18-4) and host North Yarmouth Academy (11-1)

Yarmouth opened with an 8-7 home loss to York, then got things going with wins at Cape Elizabeth (11-6) and at home over Freeport (15-4). The good times continued, as the Clippers won at NYA (13-3), at home against Greely (10-4), at Scarborough (12-6) and at Lake Region (15-7).

The teams have played their share of memorable games over the years, including three state final battles between 2006 and 2013. A year ago, Yarmouth rallied late to beat host Waynflete, 8-6, cutting the Flyers’ advantage to 16-10 in games played since 2002 (see sidebar below).

This time around, the Clippers won again, but again, it certainly wasn’t easy.

Waynflete junior Ali Pope won the opening draw and Waynflete managed to score first, as Moore took a feed from sophomore Izzy Burdick and beat Gunville just over a minute into the game.

Majercik then took center stage, denying senior Lilly Watson twice on free positions.

After Gunville denied Moore and sophomore Laura Baginski, with 13 minutes to go in the half, Harrison earned a free position and finished to make the score 1-1.

After Majercik robbed Lunt, Gunville did the same to Rowe and the game went to the half with just two goals scored.

Waynflete had mastered its game plan with the exception of scoring goals.

“I felt like we had opportunities in the first half, but we couldn’t put it in,” said Flyers coach Cathie Connors. “Yarmouth is phenomenal. Mary Kate is insanely good and she made big saves.” 

The quick first half, which took 27 real time minutes to complete, saw Yarmouth hold a slight edge in shots (8-6), but the Clippers were frustrated.

“We talked at halftime about how hard our defense was working and how we needed to feed off of that and move more quickly,” Antolini said. “We had to keep our heads up and play our game.”

Yarmouth got a little offense going in the second half and it was just enough.

With 22:57 remaining in regulation, Elder, from behind the goal, fed Antolini with a high pass and Antolini beat Majercik to end a 15 minute, 3 second scoring drought, putting the Clippers on top to stay.

“I got a nice pass,” Antolini said. “That’s how it usually goes. It felt good to finally get one.”

After Majercik denied Lunt on a free position, Lunt finally got in the scoring column with 13:03 left, when she weaved through the defense and scored unassisted to make it 3-1, forcing Connors to call timeout.

It didn’t help, as with 10:39 to go, Kirk set up Lunt for another goal to seemingly secure the victory.

But the game wasn’t over yet.

After Lane had a free position denied by Majercik, Yarmouth sophomore Hannah Corey was given a yellow card and Waynflete took advantage.

With 5:22 to play, Flyers sophomore Ya Stockford earned a free position and instead of shooting, fed Rowe in front and Rowe finished to end a 43:32 drought, cutting the deficit to two.

Burdick had a chance to draw Waynflete closer when she took a free position with 3:55 to go, but Gunville’s only save of the second half stemmed the comeback.

The Clippers tried to run out the clock, but after Flyers sophomore Lydia Giguere forced a turnover, she passed ahead to Stockford, who delivered a pinpoint transition pass to Rowe, who tickled the twine to make it 4-3 with 1:10 still to play.

Holt called timeout and at that point there wasn’t much strategy necessary. Yarmouth simply needed to win the draw or risk going to overtime.

The Clippers went out and did just that, as Lane directed the ball to Kirk.

“That was a game-changer for sure,” said Antolini.

“We’ve worked on draws a lot,” Holt said. “We’ve got a lot of girls who can take them. The girls who took them tonight did a great job. Meredith’s an underclassmen, but she was ready and she did a great job. This team supports each other really well.” 

Yarmouth then milked the clock to zero and celebrated its 4-3 win.

“I think we came out for a fight,” said Clippers senior captain and defensive standout Campbell Dorsett. “We worked hard and we worked together. We talked. Everything came together. It was tough. It was all about possession, getting the ball and going into our stall to run out the clock. It felt good.”

“They play that zone and we’re not used to that and their goalkeeper is stronger than any goalkeeper we’ve encountered this season,” Antolini said. “We’re used to Mary Kate making save after save, but it’s not as consistent with other teams. We were wiped at the end and they didn’t have any subs either. Everyone was sucking wind at the end. It’s a great rivalry, regardless of who wins.” 

“We have a lot of respect for (Waynflete) and I think the feeling is mutual,” Holt added. “It’s always great lacrosse. Our defense played strong. We have two seniors back there and a seasoned Mary Kate. Our attack’s young and still learning. They panicked a little bit, but that’s OK, we won the game. We look great with our conditioning, running up and down the field. We just have to work on our finesse.”

The Clippers got two goals from Lunt and one apiece from Antolini and Harrison. Elder and Kirk had assists. Gunville made five saves.

Yarmouth enjoyed a 34-25 advantage in ground balls, as Kirk, junior Cory Langenbach and sophomore Eva Then all collected four.

The Clippers committed 16 turnovers, but forced 21 and outshot the Flyers, 15-8 (14-8 on cage).

Positive step

Waynflete got two goals from Rowe and one from Moore. Stockford had two assists, while Burdick finished with one. Pope won five of nine draws and Moore had a game-high six ground balls.

Majercik played one of her best games, making 10 saves.

“Charlotte was awesome, she made some big saves,” Connors said.

While the Flyers didn’t pull out a victory, they reminded everyone that on any given day, they’re capable of greatness and they must be taken seriously going forward.

“It’s very encouraging,” Connors said. “We’re getting there. I’m glad we put those last two in because it shows the girls they could do it. We’re having fun, playing together as a team. Every game we’re playing hard. Our goal was to get fastbreaks and we did. We wanted to get through the midfield and we did. I wanted us to shoot as much as we could.”

Final push

Waynflete (fifth in the Class B South Heal Points standings) finishes the regular season with home games versus Wells and York and a trip to Lake Region.

“We’re doing good things,” Connors said. “We’re moving forward and not looking back.”

Yarmouth (which is now first in Class B North) is back in action Friday night when Brunswick visits in a crossover game. The Clippers then have a huge test Tuesday when they go to Kennebunk for a state game rematch against the fired-up Rams.

“(Kennebunk has) a very talented team,” said Dorsett. “It’s all about continuing to build momentum until whenever we’re done.”

A home game against Cape Elizabeth and a trip to Falmouth closes the regular season.

“We’ve never had depth like this before,” Antolini said. “I don’t know if years before if Dorothy would have felt comfortable putting anyone other than the starters in, but this year, we can take anyone off the bench and those fresh legs are so helpful. They bring energy and drive. Anyone can play defense and anyone can play offense. As long as we play the game we know and the game we’ve been playing, we have every chance to win.”

“We’re getting there,” Holt said. “It doesn’t get any easier. Feeling pressure is great. We still have a lot of work to do. Nothing is perfect yet. We’re still playing around with things. I think we’ll get there.”

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

Yarmouth sophomore Eva Then races up the field.

Waynflete sophomore LZ Olney shoots as Yarmouth senior Lauren Bartlett defends in front of junior goalie Mary Kate Gunville.

Waynflete senior Anne Veroneau speeds upfield as Yarmouth junior Ella Antolini gives chase.

Waynflete senior goalie Charlotte Majercik makes one of her 10 saves.

Yarmouth sophomore Jessica Kirk is defended by Waynflete senior Meddy Smith.

Waynflete senior Christian Rowe is robbed by Yarmouth junior goalie Mary Kate Gunville.

Yarmouth junior Eliza Lunt shoots as Waynflete sophomore Claire Dubois defends.

Recent Waynflete-Yarmouth results

2015
Yarmouth 8 Waynflete 6 

2014
@ Yarmouth 11 Waynflete 4
Yarmouth 7 @ Waynflete 6 (OT)

2013
Waynflete 17 @ Yarmouth 5 
@ Waynflete 16 Yarmouth 10
Class B State Final
Waynflete 7 Yarmouth 4

2012
@ Waynflete 13 Yarmouth 2
Waynflete 17 @ Yarmouth 7

2011 
@ Waynflete 11 Yarmouth 10
@ Yarmouth 13 Waynflete 8
Class B State Final
Yarmouth 9 Waynflete 8

2010 
@ Waynflete 8 Yarmouth 6
Waynflete 12 @ Yarmouth 9

2009 
Waynflete 8 @ Yarmouth 6

2008 
Waynflete 13 @ Yarmouth 7
@ Waynflete 13 Yarmouth 5

2007 
Yarmouth 7 @ Waynflete 5
@ Yarmouth 12 Waynflete 5

2006 
Waynflete 8 @ Yarmouth 7
Class B State Final
Yarmouth 12 Waynflete 5

2005 
Waynflete 11 @ Yarmouth 6

2004 
@ Waynflete 9 Yarmouth 8

2003 
Waynflete 7 @ Yarmouth 6
@ Waynflete 10 Yarmouth 7

2002
@ Yarmouth 8 Waynflete 6
Yarmouth 8 @ Waynflete 3

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