Yarmouth rides offensive surge to win over Waynflete

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Yarmouth senior Ella Antolini (11) is congratulated by junior Greta Elder after scoring one of her five goals during the Clippers’ 12-4 home win over Waynflete Friday afternoon.

Joe Carpine / 365digitalphotography.com photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Yarmouth 12 Waynflete 4

W- 3 1- 4
Y- 9 3- 12

First half
18:19 Y Lunt (unassisted)
16:21 Y Antolini (free position)
15:31 Y Antolini (Waeldner)
14:15 W Stockford (free position)
11:58 W Stockford (Olney)
11:08 Y Antolini (Waeldner)
10:02 Y Lunt (Waeldner)
9:43 Y Waeldner (Elder)
7:35 Y Lunt (Wilson)
5:45 W Stockford (Canning)
3:02 Y Y Antolini (Wilson)
1:43 Y Lunt (Then)

Second half
16:57 W Olney (Canning)
14:31 Y Elder (Waeldner)
7:29 Y Lunt (Elder)
4:46 Y Antolini (Elder) 

Goals:
W- Stockford 3, Olney 1
Y- Antolini, Lunt 5, Elder, Waeldner 1

Assists:
W-Canning 2, Olney 1
Y- Waeldner 4, Elder 3, Wilson 2, Then 1

Draws (Yarmouth, 12-6)
W- Canning 4 of 9, Boedeker 2 of 9
Y- Lane 8 of 13, Then 3 of 4, Antolini 1 of 1

Ground balls (Yarmouth, 40-27)
W- Stockford 5, Pope 4, Boedeker, Canning 3, Akers, Baginski, Burdick, Sangster, Wagg 2, Aleshire, Wildes 1
Y- Lane, Then 7, Barbera 6, Antolini 5, Langenbach 4, Waeldner 3, Elder, Lunt 2, Decker, Grant, Gunville, Wilson 1

Turnovers:
W- 19
Y- 22

Shots:
W- 12
Y- 19

Shots on cage:
W-9
Y- 15

Saves:
W (Akers) 3
Y (Gunville) 5 

YARMOUTH—Yarmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team is just beginning to hit its stride.

And the Clippers are already looking like a team that will be very hard to beat in June.

Because they’ve been unstoppable so far in April.

Friday afternoon, Yarmouth welcomed perennial contender and rival Waynflete in an early season showdown of unbeatens and after a slow start, the Clippers’ experience and offensive balance proved to be too much.

Yarmouth took the lead for good when senior Eliza Lunt scored in the seventh minute and after senior Ella Antolini scored twice, the Flyers answered behind a pair of goals from junior Ya Stockford.

Clippers coach Dorothy Holt then took timeout and her team responded with aplomb.

Goals from Antolini, Lunt, senior Katie Waeldner and Lunt in a span of just over three minutes opened the game up and after Stockford scored for the third time, Antolini and Lunt both scored again to make it 9-3 at halftime.

Yarmouth cranked up the defense in the second half and got some key saves from senior goalie Mary Kate Gunville to keep Waynflete from making a serious run.

After Flyers sophomore LZ Olney opened the second half scoring, junior Greta Elder answered for the Clippers and Lunt and Antolini both tickled the twine one final time as Yarmouth went on to a 12-4 victory.

Antolini and Lunt both scored five goals as the Clippers improved to 3-0 and handed Waynflete its first loss in three games in the process.

“This was our big test,” said Antolini. “Everyone pulled together and we pulled through. We worked hard and knew what to do.”

Championship dreamers

Yarmouth has played in the past four Class B state finals, winning two of them, but last year, the Clippers fell short against Kennebunk, which dispatched Waynflete in the semifinal round.

As a result, neither the Clippers or Flyers are defending a crown for the first time since 2011, when North Yarmouth Academy was the reigning champion.

There’s a good chance, however, that one or both will be in the big game this spring if they continue to improve upon their early season promise.

Waynflete opened by scoring 15 unanswered goals in a 16-2 win at NYA, then Tuesday, the Flyers held off host Freeport, 11-7.

Yarmouth rolled in its opener as well, beating visiting Fryeburg Academy, 16-1. The Clippers then defeated visiting Cape Elizabeth, 13-6, Wednesday.

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 held off visiting Waynflete, 4-3, cutting the Flyers’ advantage to 16-11 in games played since 2002 (see sidebar below).

Friday, Waynflete slowed the Clippers for awhile, but could only hold them in check for so long.

The first goal came with 18:19 to go play in the first half, when Lunt got a step on a defender and raced in and beat Flyers freshman goalie Avis Akers. 

Antolini then got involved, scoring on a free position with 16:21 to go and 47 seconds later, taking a feed from Waeldner and finishing to make it 3-0.

“I used to go to Waynflete in middle school,” Antolini said. “It’s always my favorite game to play. Some of my best friends play for them. Waynflete’s defense is something we’ve encountered time after time and we know it well.”

The Flyers bounced right back, as Stockford scored on a free position and Stockford finished a pass from Olney to cut the deficit to 3-2 with 11:58 remaining before halftime.

Holt then called timeout and her charges answered with a surge that produced some breathing room.

With 11:08 left in the half, Waeldner, from behind the goal, set up Antolini for a 4-2 lead.

“After our timeout, we picked up our intensity and communicated better,” Antolini said. “That feed from the top is something that I love. Our low attackers are so strong, they know how to work the defense down low and get open. I was streaking down the midfield and I got great feeds.”

A little over a minute later, Waeldner set up another goal, this one by Lunt, to make it 5-2.

“Katie was the unsung hero today,” Holt said. “She gets back there and is a playmaker.”

The onslaught continued, as Waeldner got to receive instead of give, and finished a pass from Elder with 9:43 left in the half and senior Molly Wilson set up Lunt’s third goal for a 7-2 lead with 7:35 to go, forcing Waynflete coach Cathie Connors to call timeout.

It did help initially, as senior Isabel Canning set up Stockford for her third goal, but after Olney sot wide on a free position, the Clippers got late goals from Antolini (set up by Wilson) and Lunt (set up by junior Eva Then) for a 9-3 lead at halftime.

In the first 25 minutes, Yarmouth won nine of 13 draws, had a 24-12 ground ball advantage and a 12-4 edge in shots.

“We struggled with turnovers early,” said Holt. “Waynflete is always a challenge for us. I respect Cathie so much. Her team always plays good defense. The girls are getting used to playing with each other. They worked it out and did a good job. We can move the ball around to a bunch of players. That’s a nice thing. We did a really good job controlling the midfield.” 

Early in the second half, the Flyers tried to rally, but Gunville twice denied senior Ali Pope.

Waynflete did break through with 16:57 remaining, as Canning set up Olney, but the visitors wouldn’t score again.

With 14:31 to go, in transition, Waeldner fed Elder for a goal and a 10-4 lead.

After Gunville denied Stockford on a free position, Elder set up Lunt for her final goal with 7:29 to play and with 4:46 showing, Elder fed Antolini for her final tally and Yarmouth went on to a 12-4 victory.

“Everyone’s really stepped up and has filled the roles they needed to fill,” Antolini said. “We have two freshmen and we don’t usually take freshmen on varsity, but Caroline (Grant) and Ehryn (Groothoff) are incredible. They make us better. They push us in practice. Dorothy’s confident putting them on the field.”

The Clippers got five goals from Lunt and five more from Antolini in the former defender’s most prolific offensive showing to date.

“(Ella’s) more confident this year,” Holt said. ‘Being a senior, she moved into that role. She’s a leader on the field. She’s come into her own.”

Elder and Waeldner also scored.

Waeldner had four assists, Elder added three, Wilson had two and Then one as 10 of Yarmouth’s 12 goals came with assists.

The Clippers’ had a 12-6 advantage in draws, a 40-27 edge in ground balls (Then and junior Meredith Lane had a game-high seven, senior Gretchen Barbera had six and Antolini collected five) and a 19-12 shots advantage (15-9 on cage). Gunville made five saves. Yarmouth overcame 22 turnovers, many of which came early in the game.

Waynflete got three goals from Stockford and one from Olney. Canning had two assists and Olney added one. Akers made three saves. Stockford had a team-high five ground balls and Pope finished with four. The Flyers committed 19 turnovers.

“We figured out a lot of things today,” Connors said. “Yarmouth’s an excellent team. They’re athletic and experienced. I’m not discouraged at all. I’m super excited. We have things to work on and I can’t wait to get back on the field and work on them.”

May brings challenges

Waynflete and Yarmouth won’t play again unless it’s in the state final June 17.

The Flyers are back in action Saturday afternoon at Scarborough, then they will finally play at home Wednesday when Greely pays a visit.

“I’d rather have a day (of practice) in between, but it’s nice to come right back and play,” Connors said.

The Clippers go to NYA Wednesday and are back home May 6 to face Freeport.

“We still have some big tests coming up,” said Antolini.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Holt said. “It’s still early in the season.”

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

Yarmouth senior goalie Mary Kate Gunville makes a save.

Yarmouth junior Greta Elder races up the field.

Yarmouth senior Ella Antolini shoots past Waynflete sophomore Sophie Sangster.

Yarmouth senior Eliza Lunt fires a shot as Waynflete senior Isabel Canning defends.

Waynflete freshman Emily Wagg possesses the ball as Yarmouth junior Hannah Corey defends.

Waynflete sophomore LZ Olney shoots as Yarmouth senior Gretchen Barbera defends.

Waynflete junior Ya Stockford fires a shot for one of her team-high three goals.

Recent Waynflete-Yarmouth results

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.