Yarmouth girls end regular season with win at Waynflete

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Yarmouth senior Eva Then (middle) is congratulated by classmates Emma Marston (4) and Meredith Lane after scoring one of her four goals in Friday’s 13-6 win at Waynflete. The Clippers finished the regular season 10-2 and will be the top seed for the Class B state tournament.

Mike Strout photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Yarmouth 13 Waynflete 6

Y- 6 7- 13 
W- 2 4- 6

First half
24:05 Y Elder (Lane)
23:29 Y Then (free position)
18:50 W Burdick (free position)
16:49 Y Then (free position)
16:16 Y Elder (Lane)
15:09 W Burdick (Stockford)
6:32 Y Lowenstein (free position)
:02 Y Groothoff (Elder)

Second half
24:48 Y Marston (Elder)
20:20 Y Then (unassisted)
19:08 W Stockford (Olney)
13:27 Y Groothoff (Lane)
11:35 W Burdick (Olney)
9:08 Y Then (unassisted)
8:32 Y Lowenstein (free position)
5:28 Y Groothoff (unassisted)
1:23 Y Groothoff (Corey)
:41 W Burdick (Olney)
:18 W Baginski (Burdick)

Goals:
Y- Groothoff, Then 4, Elder, Lowenstein 2, Marston 1
W- Burdick 4, Baginski, Stockford 1

Assists:
Y- Lane 3, Elder 2, Corey 1
W- Olney 3, Burdick, Stockford 1

Draws (Yarmouth, 14-7)
Y- Lane 14 of 18, Then 0 of 2, Thornton 0 of 1
W- Olney 4 of 13, Baginski 3 of 5, Sandberg 0 of 3

Ground balls:
Y- 35
W- 25

Turnovers:
Y- 9
W- 15

Shots:
Y- 29
W- 8

Shots on cage:
Y- 24
W- 8

Saves:
Y (Serrano) 2
W (Akers) 11

PORTLAND—Yarmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team had to overcome some bumps in the road early in the 2018 regular season, but at the end, the Clippers have found themselves in an accustomed place.

Atop the heap and ready to make a run at a state championship. 

Friday afternoon at Fore River Fields, Yarmouth closed in style at Waynflete, dominating in the draw circle, holding the Flyers’ offense at bay and starting fast and never looking back.

Just 55 seconds into the game, senior Greta Elder gave the Clippers the lead for good and senior Eva Then added another goal.

After Waynflete, on its Senior Day, got on the board when senior Izzy Burdick scored, Then and Elder answered for a 4-1 advantage.

But the Flyers hung tough, thanks in large part to the play of sophomore goalie Avis Akers, and got a goal back courtesy Burdick and had other chances to draw even closer, but couldn’t do so.

After Yarmouth freshman Annie Lowenstein scored on a free position shot with 6:32 to play in the half, sophomore Ehryn Groothoff scored a momentum-turning goal with only two seconds on the clock and the Clippers had a 6-2 lead at the break.

If that wasn’t enough, senior Emma Marston scored for Yarmouth just 12 seconds into the second half and Then added another goal to open it up further.

Senior Ya Stockford answered for the hosts, but Groothoff scored for the Clippers.

After Burdick scored for a third time, Yarmouth ended all doubt, getting goals from Then, Lowenstein, Groothoff and Groothoff again and while Waynflete got tallies in the final minute from Burdick and senior Laura Baginski, the Clippers went on to a 13-6 victory.

Groothoff and Then each scored four times and senior Meredith Lane won 14 of her 18 draw opportunities to help Yarmouth dominate possession, as it extended its win streak to seven games and closed the season 10-2, dropping the Flyers to 6-6 in the process.

“It’s really coming together toward the end of the season,” said Then. “It’s going really well.” 

Ancient rivals

Waynflete and Yarmouth have long been the gold standards in girls’ lacrosse, combining for 16 state titles since the Maine Principals’ Association started sanctioning the sport 20 years ago.

Both squads remained in Class B this spring, as lacrosse went to three classes, and both view themselves as title contenders.

Yarmouth started with victories over visiting Lake Region (15-12) and host Freeport (22-7), then dropped an 11-7 decision at defending Class A champion Massabesic before bouncing back to dominate visiting NYA, 13-1. After a 12-5 home loss to Kennebunk in a state final rematch, the Clippers caught fire, downing host Cape Elizabeth (9-6), host St. Dom’s (14-11), visiting Marshwood (11-1), visiting York (12-7) and host Messalonskee (18-7). Wednesday, Yarmouth held on for a 12-10 home win over Greely on its Senior Night.

Waynflete won its first three games, 8-7 (in overtime) at York, 9-3 over visiting Cheverus and 6-5 at Scarborough. After falling at Greely, 7-5, the Flyers bounced back with a 10-5 home win over Marshwood. After a 16-6 home loss to Cape Elizabeth, Waynflete handled visiting Wells in a makeup game, 15-2. Losses at Falmouth (8-7), at home to Lake Region (12-5) and at Freeport (9-7) followed before the Flyers got back on track with a 10-7 victory at St. Dom’s Wednesday.

The teams have played their share of memorable games over the years, including three state final battles between 2006 and 2013 (with the Clippers winning in 2006 and 2011 and the Flyers in 2013). A year ago, Yarmouth rolled at home, 12-4, cutting Waynflete’s advantage to 16-12 in games played since 2002 (see sidebar below).

Friday, on a sweltering afternoon, which featured 76 degree temperatures and high humidity, the Clippers took control early and never looked back.

Lane won the opening draw of the game and with 24:05 to play in the first half, set up Elder to put Yarmouth on top for good.

Just 36 seconds later, Then earned a free position shot and beat Akers for a 2-0 advantage.

“Something we’ve worked on is clicking right from the very start,” Then said.

The Flyers cut the deficit in half with 18:50 remaining in the half, as Burdick scored for the first time, on a free position, but Lane won possession again and with 16:49 on the clock, Then scored on a free position.

“When I have a shot like that, I just take a step in and fire it off,” Then said.

Thirty-three seconds later, Lane set up Elder for another goal to make it 4-1.

Waynflete coach Cathie Connors called timeout and the Flyers settled down and stayed within hailing distance the rest of the half.

After Akers denied Groothoff, Burdick took a pass from Stockford and bounced a shot past Clippers junior Izzy Serrano to make it 4-2 with 15:09 left before halftime.

Waynflete couldn’t draw any closer, however, and with 6:32 on the first half clock, Lowenstein, Yarmouth’s very promising freshman, converted a free position.

Down the stretch, Akers denied Groothoff, Marston, Elder and Then, but after Serrano robbed Burdick, the Clippers struck with just two seconds showing, as Elder set up Groothoff for a 6-2 halftime advantage.

In the first 25 minutes, Lane won seven of nine draws, Yarmouth had a 22-11 edge in ground balls and a commanding 17-3 advantage in shots, but eight Akers saves kept the Flyers’ hopes alive.

Those hopes were quickly dashed when the second half commenced.

Lane won the draw right to Elder to start the half and Elder set up Marston for a goal just 12 seconds in to make it 7-2.

“This year, Meredith is winning the draw and controlling where the ball is going,” Then said. “That’s super-helpful.”

With 20:20 to play, Then scored unassisted for a six-goal lead.

With 19:08 remaining, Waynflete ended a 21-minute, 1-second drought, as Stockford finished a feed from senior LZ Olney, but with 13:27 to play, Groothoff scored (from Lane).

The Flyers pulled within 9-4 on Burdick’s tally (from Olney) with 11:35 showing, but the Clippers answered and got an unassisted goal from Then with 9:08 left, a free position goal from Lowenstein 36 seconds later, a rebound tally from Groothoff with 5:28 on the clock and with 1:23 remaining, Groothoff scored for the final time (assisted by senior Hannah Corey) to stretch the lead to nine.

To Waynflete’s credit, it fought hard to the end and was rewarded twice in the final minute, as Burdick scored for the final time (assisted by Olney) with 41 seconds to go and Burdick set up Baginski with 18 seconds remaining to account for the 13-6 final score.

“We’ve done really well,” Then said. “We lost some great players, but at the same time, we have players to fill holes.”

“We started off strong today,” said Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt. “I’m so proud of my team. We didn’t miss ground balls. We didn’t have many turnovers. We hadn’t played in the heat a lot, but they could play another game. I’m really impressed. I feel like we did a good job controlling the pace of the game. They did a great job.

“It’s interesting to watch the seniors come into their own at this stage. I say we’re only as good as our senior leadership. The underclassmen who came into the game stepped up too. In the beginning of the season, we tried to put people in the right positions. It was like a chess match. We’ve moved people around and I think it’s working. The best part is that we have a lot of girls who can step in on attack or on defense and we can change our look, which is big.”

Groothoff and Then paced the potent Yarmouth offense with four goals apiece. Elder and Lowenstein both scored twice and Marston added one goal.

Lane didn’t score, but had three assists, and more importantly, won 14 of her 18 draw opportunities, most of them right on to the stick of Elder or Then, jump-starting a fastbreak.

“Meredith is just getting better and better,” said Holt.

Elder assisted on two goals and Corey had one assist.

Serrano made two saves.

The Clippers won 14 of 21 total draws, had a 35-25 advantage in ground balls (Then had a game-high nine, while Corey, Elder and Groothoff each collected five), enjoyed a commanding 29-8 edge in shots (24-8 on cage) and only turned the ball over nine times.

Waynflete was paced by Burdick, who had four goals and one assist in her final home game. Baginski and Stockford both added a goal. 

Olney had three assists, while Stockford added one..

Akers stopped 11 shots.

Sophomore Emily Wagg was a bright spot, leading the team with seven ground balls.

The Flyers committed 15 turnovers, but ultimately, just couldn’t possess the ball enough to stay close.

“We played hard and we had opportunities, but we just couldn’t finish today,” Connors said. “We played to the end. Yarmouth is good. It’s a great game to go into playoffs with.”

Conclusion

Waynflete will likely be the number six seed in Class B and that would mean a road quarterfinal next Saturday, possibly at Messalonskee or Greely.

The Flyers believe they can make some noise once the postseason begins.

“We have it in us, we really do,” Connors said. “Anything can happen.”

Yarmouth will be the top seed in Class B and will host a quarterfinal Saturday, June 9. Cony or Brunswick are the likely foes.

“This game showed us we can take on any team,” Then said. “There will be some really tough opponents. We really want it badly. Meredith and I were freshmen when we beat Kennebunk (in the 2015 Class B state final). We didn’t play, but we saw it all happen. That’s really fueled us. We have to just keep doing what we’ve doing and playing as a team.”

“We just have to keep our conditioning up,” Holt said. “We take one game at a time. We’ll worry about winning (next) Saturday. It’s fun that it’s playoff-time. It’s our favorite time of the year.”

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

Yarmouth freshman Annie Lowenstein shields the ball from Waynflete junior Sophie Sangster.

Waynflete senior LZ Olney runs past Yarmouth sophomore Jane Fulton.

Waynflete sophomore Emily Wagg protects the ball from Yarmouth senior Greta Elder.

Waynflete senior Clara Sandberg tries to knock the ball away from Yarmouth senior Meredith Lane.

Yarmouth sophomore Ehryn Groothoff fires a free position shot as Waynflete senior Claire Dubois defends.

Yarmouth senior Eva Then is defended by Waynflete freshman Kilee Sherry.

Waynflete junior Sophie Sangster races up the field with Yarmouth junior Abi Thornton (8) and junior Kyaira Grondin in pursuit.

Waynflete senior Izzy Burdick is congratulated by her teammates after scoring one of her four goals.

Recent Waynflete-Yarmouth results

2017
@ Yarmouth 12 Waynflete 4

2016
@ Yarmouth 4 Waynflete 3 

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.