YARMOUTH—The good times keep rolling for the Yarmouth boys’ lacrosse team.
Friday evening, the red-hot Clippers hosted Waynflete and while they ran into some familiar offensive problems, they figured them out and took care of business.
Yarmouth’s defense pitched a shutout in the first half and a pair of goals from senior Joe Oliva and sophomore Anders Newberg produced a 4-0 halftime lead.
The Flyers scored early in the third period, but the Clippers slammed the door from there and a four-goal outburst in the fourth quarter ended all doubt as Yarmouth went on to a 9-1 victory, its fourth in a row.
Oliva scored four times and Newberg added three as the Clippers improved to 7-2 and dropped Waynflete to 6-3 in the process.
“It’s a good stretch of victories that feels good,” Yarmouth coach David Pearl said. “The guys are playing pretty well at this point. They’re working really hard. Our defense is still really our strength and they played really well tonight.”
Both teams have turned up their game after early struggles.
Waynflete was dominated by visiting two-time defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth in the opener, 18-6, but then won five in a row: 9-6 at York, 13-4 over visiting Fryeburg Academy, 7-5 at North Yarmouth Academy, 13-6 at Oak Hill and 15-9 at home over Freeport. Following a 15-9 home loss to Western A power Thornton Academy, the Flyers bounced back Tuesday with a 23-4 romp at Lake Region.
Yarmouth opened with a 17-2 home win over York, then lost at Cape Elizabeth in a state game rematch, 6-3. The Clippers then downed visiting Greely (11-6) and won at Lake Region (15-0), but lost at home to defending Eastern A champion Brunswick (14-8) before flipping the switch, enjoying a 14-3 home win over North Yarmouth Academy, eking out a 7-6 overtime win at defending Class A champion South Portland, then holding off host Falmouth Tuesday, 8-6.
Yarmouth had won seven previous meetings with Waynflete (dating to 2002, see sidebar, below) by a composite 91-19 margin, but last spring, the Flyers took the visiting Clippers to the wire before Yarmouth escaped, 5-4.
This time around, Waynflete was no match for the sizzling Clippers.
It took Yarmouth several minutes to solve the Flyers’ zone defense, but with 3:19 to play in the first period, Oliva scored unassisted to put the Clippers on top to stay.
After going scoreless the final 29 minutes and 28 seconds of Tuesday’s win at Falmouth, Yarmouth was just happy to tickle the twine.
“Waynflete’s zone defense is very hard to penetrate and our guys had a hard time,” Pearl said. “We had to move the ball crisply. It took awhile to get used to it. We have to continue to improve against that kind of defense.”
Early in the second period, after senior goalie Connor Hoehle denied Flyers junior Cooper Chap, the Clippers doubled their lead when Oliva took a pass from sophomore Bill Jacobs and beat Waynflete senior goalie Graham Ratner.
Newberg scored for the first time, unassisted, with 6:53 left in the half and after Hoehle denied Chap again, Newberg finished a feed from senior Will Garrett and scored with 2:37 to go for a 4-0 lead.
“Anders is a sophomore who has found himself as a starter,” Newberg said. “He’s a great all-around athlete. His lacrosse IQ has really improved. We needed him to have a breakout game tonight.”
Yarmouth had a 16-6 shots advantage in the first half and won all six faceoffs, thanks to junior Ricky Tillotson.
Waynflete hoped to get back in the game in the second half and got on the board 44 seconds in when Chap scored unassisted, but after Hoehle denied Flyers junior Cal Lewis in transition, Garrett set up Newberg for a goal with 3:38 left in the third period to restore the Clippers’ four-goal lead.
Yarmouth then ended all doubt in the fourth quarter.
Just 54 seconds in, Garrett set up Oliva to make it 6-1.
With 5:02 to play, sophomore Matt Dostie scored unassisted.
Twenty-seven seconds late, Jacobs scored an unassisted goal.
Then, with 57.7 seconds to play, Oliva scored unassisted to account for the 9-1 final score.
“I think we’ve just picked up the intensity in practice,” Newberg said. “Everyone’s excited, especially after the South Portland win. We had nothing to lose in that game and ever since then, we feel like we’re the top dogs now. We were spinning the ball well. We’re confident. Everyone has stepped up.”
Oliva had four goals, Newberg added three and Dostie and Jacobs both scored once. Garrett had three assists and Jacobs finished with one. Hoehle made four saves and Tillotson won 12 of 14 faceoffs.
“I’ve been working hard in practice and practiciing my move,” Tillotson said. “My backup guy, (sophomore) Remi (Leblanc), works me hard. I’ve seen a lot of improvement from that.”
“Ricky works very hard at his craft,” Pearl said. “I almost don’t get any coaching done in practice, because he always wants to do faceoffs. He’s worked on getting the ball after the faceoff. He wins almost every faceoff, it’s the ground ball after. He’s the kind of player you love to coach. He comes early and stays late. When I shut off the lights, he’s practicing faceoffs and that’s not an exaggeration.”
The Clippers ousthot the Flyers, 30-15 (17-5 on cage).
Waynflete’s lone goal came from Chap.
Ratner made eight saves.
“We were a little thinner than usual today,” Flyers coach Dan Thomsen said. “(Yarmouth has) a good defense and their goalie is awesome and it’s hard to go against that. We try to simulate that in practice, but they’re athletic and aggressive.”
Both teams will look to make the most of their final few games and go into the playoffs hot.
Waynflete (now fifth in the Western Class B Heal Points standings) hopes to get back in the win column Wednesday, when Wells pays a visit. After hosting York Saturday of next week, the Flyers close at Freeport June 2.
“We just need to work some things out on offense,” Thomsen said. “I think we can do better. Guys have to look deep inside. If they do, I think we’ll have better luck in the future.”
Yarmouth (third in Eastern B) has three challenges left. After going to Kennebunk Wednesday, the Clippers have their home finale Friday versus Cape Elizabeth. A game at NYA June 3 brings the curtain down on the regular season.
“This team is tight,” Tillotson said. “We’re best friends on and off the field and that keeps us focused. We push each other.”
“I’m not even thinking about Cape right now,” Pearl said. “I’m thinking about Kennebunk. They’re very good. They beat us last year. It’s never easy down there. I look forward to it. We feel like we’ve come a long way. It’s not about X’s and O’s this time of year, it’s about execution. Things are starting to click. The conversations we’re having are ahead of the conversations we’ve had at this time in the past. We’re hungry.”
Waynflete junior Cooper Chap is defended by Yarmouth sophomore Matt Dostie.
Waynflete senior Harry Baker-Connick controls possession.
Yarmouth sophomore Bill Jacobs looks for a teammate.
Waynflete freshman Ford Malter tries to fight his way out of traffic.
Yarmouth senior Samuel Morris controls the ball as Waynflete junior Reilly Musgrave looks on.
Waynflete junior Cooper Chap tries to get past Yarmouth senior Will Garrett.
Yarmouth senior Joe Oliva fires a shot.
Waynflete senior goalie Graham Ratner makes one of his eight saves.
Yarmouth 9 @ Waynflete 3
@ Yarmouth 14 Waynflete 2
Yarmouth 15 @ Waynflete 2
Yarmouth 12 @ Waynflete 3
@ Yarmouth 17 Waynflete 0
Yarmouth 19 @ Waynflete 5
Yarmouth senior Joe Oliva (right) is congratulated by sophomore Matt Dostie after scoring one of his four goals in the Clippers’ 9-1 home win over Waynflete Friday night.
Ben McCanna photos.
More photos below.
W- 0 0 1 0- 1
Y- 1 3 1 4- 9
3:19 Y J. Oliva (unassisted)
8:21 Y J. Oliva (Jacobs)
6:53 Y Newberg (unassisted)
2:37 Y Newberg (Garrett)
11:16 W Chap (unassisted)
3:37 Y Newberg (Garrett)
11:06 Y J. Oliva (Garrett)
5:02 Y Dostie (unassited)
4:35 Y Jacobs (unassisted)
57.7 Y J. Oliva (unassisted)
W- Chap 1
Y- J. Oliva 4, Newberg 3, Dostie, Jacobs 1
Y- Garrett 3, Jacobs 1
Faceoffs (Yarmouth, 12-2)
W- Chap 2 of 14
Y- Tillotson 12 of 14
Shots on cage:
W (Ratner) 8
Y (Hoehle) 4