Yarmouth girls overcome sluggish start, steamroll St. Dom's in semifinals

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Yarmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team celebrates one of its 16 goals during Saturday’s 16-6 home win over St. Dom’s in a Class B North semifinal. The Clippers will welcome Oceanside in the regional final Wednesday night.

Chris Lambert photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Class B North semifinal

Yarmouth 16 St. Dom’s 6

SD- 2 4- 6
Y- 8 8- 16

First half 
22:25 SD Gastonguay (unassisted)
18:44 SD Gastonguay (free position)
15:02 Y Lane (Then)
14:48 Y Wilson (Elder)
14:10 Y Then (Lane)
10:56 Y Langenbach (Antolini)
10:26 Y Elder (Lane)
9:38 Y Antolini (Langenbach)
7:17 Y Antolini (free position)
7.2 Y Then (free position)

Second half
24:29 Y Antolini (Wilson)
21:30 Y Waeldner (Lunt)
19:20 SD Gastonguay (unassisted)
17:33 Y Then (unassisted)
17:22 SD Lutryzkowski (Gastonguay)
15:44 SD Theriault (Gastonguay)
14:11 Y Lunt (free position)
4:14 Y Lunt (free position)
3:10 Y Groothoff (Wilson)
1:20 SD Gastonguay (free position)
1:11 Y Waeldner (Lane)
0.5 Y Then (Lane)

Goals:
SD- Gastonguay 4, Lutryzkowski, Theriault 1
Y- Then 4, Antolini 3, Lunt, Waeldner 2, Elder, Groothoff, Lane, Langenbach, Wilson 1

Assists:
SD- Gastonguay 2
Y- Lane 3, Lunt, Wilson 2, Antolini, Elder, Langenbach, Then 1

Draws (Yarmouth, 17-6)
SD- Gastonguay 3 of 15, Stebbins 2 of 4, Cornelio 1 of 4
Y- Lane 17 of 23

Ground balls (Yarmouth, 48-17)
SD- Gastonguay 11, Castonguay, Cornelio, Long, Lutryzkowski, Stebbins, Trottier-Brown 1
Y- Then 14, Lane 9, Elder 5, Antolini, Corey 4, Decker, Wilson 3, Lunt 2, Barbera, Groothoff, Langenbach, Waeldner 1

Turnovers:
SD- 16
Y- 15

Shots:
SD- 10
Y- 27

Shots on cage:
SD- 9
Y- 21

Saves:
SD (Long) 5
Y (Gunville) 3 

YARMOUTH—If you’re a visiting team trying to upset the undefeated Yarmouth girls’ lacrosse team, getting an early lead is paramount and if you can keep the prolific Clippers off the scoreboard for 10 minutes, even better.

The fifth-ranked Saints of St. Dominic Academy managed to control the early portion of its Class B North semifinal at top-ranked Yarmouth Saturday afternoon, as junior standout Caroline Gastonguay scored two goals and the Saints held a 2-0 lead, but a promising start was quickly wiped out by the Clippers Express, who turned a two-goal deficit into a commanding six-goal advantage by halftime.

After junior Meredith Lane broke the ice with 15:02 remaining in the first half, senior Molly Wilson and junior Eva Then followed with goals in rapid succession to put Yarmouth on top to stay.

By the end of the first half, seniors Cory Langenbach, Greta Elder and Ella Antolini (twice) added goals for an 8-2 lead.

While St. Dom’s refused to roll over in the second half, the Clippers gradually pulled away.

Yarmouth got early goals from Antolini and senior Katie Waeldner and after Gastonguay scored for a third time, Then finished after a dazzling individual move for an 11-3 advantage.

The Saints got the next two goals, but senior Eliza Lunt scored on successive free position shots and freshman Ehryn Groothoff added another tally.

Gastonguay’s final goal was countered by one each from Waeldner and Then and the Clippers advanced with a 16-6 decision.

Then paced a balanced attack with four goals, nine different players scored in all and Yarmouth won its 14th straight game this spring, ended St. Dom’s’ season at 8-6 and advanced to host No. 3 Oceanside (12-2) in the Class B North Final Wednesday at 6 p.m.

“We just had jitters, but that’s so good for us to overcome,” said Clippers coach Dorothy Holt. “I liked the pressure at the beginning. I was proud of the girls. This is the first time we’ve played in the sun and the girls showed at the end that they could have run for another hour. I can’t say enough about our team. We’re working really hard and I think it shows that we’re just getting more cohesive and this is the time to do it.”

Well oiled machine

Yarmouth has been simply dazzling from day one this spring and after a 12-0 regular season (see sidebar, below, for links to previous game stories), the Clippers rolled over No. 8 Winslow, 20-2, in Wednesday’s quarterfinal round.

St. Dom’s, which has made nice strides in its short time as a varsity program, went 7-5 in the regular season and advanced with a 15-5 quarterfinal round win at No. 4 Boothbay.

The teams didn’t play in the regular season.

In last year’s Class B North semifinal round, Yarmouth beat the Saints, 13-6, in the teams’ lone prior playoff meeting.

Saturday, on a very pleasant 70-degree afternoon, the Clippers had to dig out of a hole, but eventually hit their stride and rolled to victory.

Yarmouth almost took the lead just seconds into the game, as after Lane won the opening draw, Antolini had a good look, but Saints freshman goalie Simone Long made the save.

After Then shot wide on a free position, St. Dom’s transitioned to offense and Gastonguay got enough room to get past the defense and beat Clippers senior goalie Mary Kate Gunville for a 1-0 lead just 2:35 in.

When Gastonguay added a free position goal with 18:44 on the clock, the Saints were feeling confident and Lane and Then both missed free positions to keep the score 2-0.

Then, Yarmouth hit its stride.

With 15:02 left, Then set up Lane to cut the deficit in half.

Lane won the ensuing draw and in transition, Elder fed Wilson for a shot from the side that eluded Long, tying the score, a mere 14 seconds later.

With 14:10 to go in the half, again in transition, Lane set up Then and the Clippers were ahead and wouldn’t look back.

After a St. Dom’s timeout, Gastonguay had a chance to tie the score, but her free position shot was denied by Gunville.

At the other end, with 10:56 on the clock. Antolini threw a low pass to Langenbach, who made a nice catch before finishing for a 4-2 lead.

After Lane won the ensuing draw, she got the ball to Elder and Elder finished 30 seconds later.

After Langenbach set up Antolini for a goal with 9:38 to go, Antolini scored on a free position with 7:17 remaining.

Yarmouth’s final goal of the half came with just 7.2 seconds showing, as Then finished a free position for an 8-2 advantage.

In the first half, Lane won nine of 11 draws and the Clippers had a commanding edge in ground balls (20-7) and shots (14-5).

Yarmouth kept its intensity high in the second half and pulled away.

Just 31 seconds in, Wilson set up Antolini for a 9-2 lead.

With 21:30 to go, Lunt fed Waeldner to make it 10-2.

Gastonguay got a goal back for the Saints, unassisted, with 19:20 remaining, ending the Clippers’ 10-0 run and a 24-minute, 24-second scoring drought, but with 17:33 on the clock, Then eluded four different defenders en route to the goal and finished to make it 11-3.

St. Dom’s made things interesting, as with 17:22 to go, off a draw win, Gastonguay set up sophomore Avery Lutrzykowski for a goal and with 15:44 left, Gastonguay set up sophomore Emma Theriault to cut the deficit to 11-5, but that’s as close as the Saints would get.

With 14:11 on the clock, Lunt beat Long with a free position shot.

Yarmouth then ran down several minutes before Lunt earned another free position and scored again with 4:14 to go.

After Wilson set up Groothoff with 3:10 to play, the Clippers were on the verge of a mercy rule running clock, but with 1:20 to go, Gastonguay scored her final goal, on a free position, to make it 14-6.

Yarmouth wasn’t finished, as nine seconds later, off a draw win, Lane set up Waeldner for a goal.

Just before time expired, Lunt set up Then for the final goal in a 16-6 victory.

“Sometimes it takes us a few minutes to get going, but we picked it up,” Then said. “We communicated more on attack. We moved the ball around well. No one is in it for themselves. Everyone’s in it for the team. Everyone is scoring and is in it together. We go into every game whether we know our opponent or not and we give it 100 percent and that’s what’s winning us games.”

“The little things on this team are coming together and that’s what makes us so tough,” Holt said. “We adjust for every game. We played them last year. We knew who they were. We knew Caroline and the kind of defense they played. Everyone tries to run with us and we love that.”

Yarmouth’s nonpareil offensive balance was once again on display.

Then had a team-high four goals, but she was just the beginning. Antolini scored three times, Lunt and Waeldner had two goals apiece and Elder, Groothoff, Lane, Langenbach and Wilson all scored once.

If that’s not impressive enough, Lane had three assists, Lunt and Wilson added two each and Antolini, Elder, Langenbach and Then one apiece.

Gunville made three saves.

Lane won 17 of 23 draw opportunities.

“Meredith is so dominant on draw controls and Eva and Cory are backing them up,” Holt said. “They work so well together.”

The Clippers also dominated on ground balls, 48-17 (as Then had a game-high 14 and Lane collected nine). 

Yarmouth outshot St. Dom’s, 27-10 (21-9 on cage) and overcame 15 turnovers.

The Saints were paced by four goals, two assists and 11 ground balls from Gastonguay, who accounted for every score. Lutryzkowski and Theriault also scored.

Long made five saves.

St. Dom’s turned the ball over 16 times.

One more home game

Yarmouth and Oceanside didn’t meet this year. The teams have played once prior in the playoffs, a 20-1 Clippers’ victory in the 2015 Eastern B semifinals.

Yarmouth will get to play on its home turf one final time and will make the most of that opportunity before it hopes to take the field with a state title at stake next Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium against either Falmouth and Kennebunk.

“We have to keep doing the same things we’ve been doing, pushing and encouraging each other and working as hard as we can,” Then said.

“We still have to refine some things,” Holt said. “It’s fun to play at home right now. Last year, we weren’t home for the regional final. Net Saturday is the goal, but it’s one game at a time.”

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

Yarmouth junior Eva Then, who had a team-high four goals, fires a shot.

Yarmouth junior Meredith Lane scores a goal in traffic.

Yarmouth senior Molly Wilson scores on a shot from the side of the cage.

Yarmouth senior Ella Antolini possesses the ball.

Yarmouth senior Katie Waeldner gets a shot off while being closely defended.

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Yarmouth 20 Winslow 2

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