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Yarmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team celebrates a goal during Thursday’s 13-4 home win over Greely in the teams’ season opener.
G- 3 1 0 0- 4
Y- 3 4 2 4- 13
9:58 Y Corey (Garrett)
7:12 Y Corey (unassisted)
3:41 G J. Williams (Schumacher)
2:38 Y Guertler (unassisted)
2:14 G Schumacher (unassisted)
1:15 G Clapp (Schumacher) (MAN-UP)
11:13 G Fraser (Schumacher) (MAN-UP)
9:53 Y Hamm (unassisted)
8:01 Y Hamm (unassisted)
7:22 Y Guertler (unassisted)
3:30 Y Corey (Hamm) (MAN-UP)
7:38 Y Hamm (unassisted)
4:44 Y Garrett (Corey)
9:07 Y Corey (Hamm) (MAN-UP)
4:39 Y Corey (Hamm) (MAN-UP)
2:42 Y Hamilton (unassisted) (MAN-DOWN)
22.4 Y Hamm (unassisted)
G- Clapp, Fraser, Schumacher, J. Williams 1
Y- Corey 5, Hamm 4, Guertler 2, Garrett, Hamilton 1
G- Schumacher 3
Y- Hamm 3, Corey, Garrett
G- J. Williams 6 of 15, C. Williams 4 of 5
Y- Primeau 9 of 19, Sullivan 1 of 1
Shots on cage:
G (Gagnon) 8
Y (King) 10
YARMOUTH—To suggest Yarmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team was anxiously awaiting Thursday evening’s rainy regular season opening game would be an understatement of epic proportions.
In fact, the Clippers have been waiting with bated breath to face Greely for over 10 months and when last Thursday’s originally scheduled contest was postponed due to snow on Yarmouth’s field, they had to wait even longer, but this wait was more than worth it.
Junior Anders Corey scored twice to propel the Clippers to a quick 3-1 lead, but the reigning Class B runner-up Rangers responded, tying the game, 3-3, after one quarter.
When junior Ethan Fraser scored with 11:13 to go in the second period, Greely had its first lead, 4-3.
But the Rangers never scored again and Yarmouth soared past them.
Consecutive unassisted tallies from junior Gavin Hamm gave the Clippers the lead for good and goals from senior Michael Guertler and Corey made it 7-4 at the half.
With Yarmouth’s defense locking Greely’s attack down, Hamm and senior Andrew Garrett scored in the third quarter and Corey scored twice more in the fourth period as the Clippers rolled to a 13-4 victory.
Corey scored five goals, Hamm added four and Yarmouth’s defense held the Rangers scoreless the final 35 minutes, 47 seconds, as the Clippers opened their new season in style.
“The guys have been chewing at the bit,” said Yarmouth coach David Pearl. “It’s been a cold, rainy April vacation and they’ve grinded out double sessions, then they had to wait until 6-o-clock tonight to play in the rain. It was worth the wait.”
Yarmouth has had the better of Greely over the years, winning 15 of 19 meetings dating back to the 2002 season (see sidebar, below).
The teams split two meetings in 2018, when Class B boys’ lacrosse featured three excellent squads, Brunswick, Greely and Yarmouth.
Ultimately, it was the Clippers who were left out of the state game party, losing, 14-13, in heartbreaking overtime fashion, at the Dragons in the state semifinals to finish 9-5.
The Rangers got to their first state final in the Maine Principals’ Association-sanctioned era, but suffered the same fate, dropping an agonizing 14-13 overtime decision to Brunswick to finish 11-4.
The same three squads figure to be jockeying for the top spot again this spring and Thursday’s contest served as both the season opener and an early litmus test.
The game was originally scheduled for last Thursday, but Yarmouth still had snow on its field, enough anyway to postpone the game.
“We were frustrated last week,” Pearl said. “We shoveled the field and we were ready to go, but the sidelines weren’t far enough back.”
As a result, the contest was pushed back a week, where on a raw 43-degree evening, with rain coming down, the Clippers had the better of play most of the game.
The hosts got the game’s first goal with 9:58 to play in the opening stanza, when Garrett set up Corey for his first tally, a shot which Greely junior goalie Sawyer Gagnon couldn’t stop.
After Fraser hit the post for the Rangers, Corey scored again, unassisted, with 7:12 on the clock, to double Yarmouth’s advantage.
Greely finally broke through with 3:47 remaining, as senior Jackson Williams took a pass from classmate Will Schumacher and finished, but with 2:38 left, Guertler weaved through the defense and beat Gagnon for a 3-1 lead.
Back came the Rangers, who got an unassisted goal from Schumacher 24 seconds later and after Clippers senior Griffin Primeau was sent off for slashing, the visitors tied the score with 1:15 to go in the frame, as Schumacher fed junior Henry Clapp for a shot that Yarmouth junior goalie goalie Spencer King couldn’t stop and after one quarter, the contest was deadlocked, 3-3.
It looked like the back-and-forth would continue, as after another Clippers’ penalty 17 seconds into the second period, Fraser took a pass from Schumacher and scored man-up with 11:13 left in the half, but that would prove to be Greely’s highwater mark.
The Clippers drew even with 9:53 left in the half, as Hamm scored his first goal, fighting through the defense before finishing.
Hamm then did it again unassisted with 8:01 remaining and Yarmouth had the lead for good, 5-4.
Thirty-nine seconds later, it was Guertler’s turn to score unassisted and after the goal Rangers coach Mike Storey took timeout, hoping to turn the tide.
It didn’t help, as Greely senior Duncan Birkbeck was called for slashing and on the ensuing man-up opportunity, Hamm fed Corey for a goal and a 7-4 advantage with 3:30 on the first half clock.
Neither team scored again before the break.
The Clippers then pulled away in the second half.
With 7:38 left in the third quarter, Hamm scored unassisted and with 4:44 to go, Corey set up Garrett for a goal and a 9-4 lead.
With 2:10 remaining in the frame, Clapp left the game with an apparent knee injury and Greely, which was already playing without junior standout Schuyler Wetmore, who was unavailable, couldn’t respond.
Just under three minutes into a penalty-plagued fourth period, Yarmouth made it 10-4, when Hamm set up Corey for a man-up goal.
The tandem connected for another man-up goal with 4:39 remaining.
“We’ve worked on our rotations in practice,” said Corey. “We’ve focused on our man-up plays. We keep practicing and practicing and it becomes default for us.”
“We’ve really worked on shooting percentage because (Gagnon) really frustrated us last time,” said Pearl. “We focused on getting our hands free and getting good, quality shots.”
With 2:42 to play, junior Ben Hamilton scored unassisted and man-down and finally, with 22.4 seconds on the clock, Hamm’s unassisted goal brought the curtain down on the Clippers’ 13-4 victory.
“We were so fired up,” Corey said. “It was one of our biggest games because of last year. We hated their overtime win last year they had, so we’re so glad to come out on top. Since the day last season ended, we’ve just been waiting for this day.”
“It’s a good beginning,” said Pearl. “We played really well at times. We’re pretty excited. Greely’s such a gritty team. They play wire to wire. We were pushed, but we had a great outcome. You can see this is a rivalry.”
Corey paced an explosive offensive attack with five goals and one assist. Hamm had four goals and three assists. Guertler added two goals, while Garrett (one assist) and Hamilton both scored once.
King made 10 saves, never allowing the Rangers to get back in the game, and he and his defense held Greely scoreless for nearly three quarters.
“I have to give credit to the defense,” Corey said. “They shut it down. We knew what Greely wanted, they’d feed that back cut, but we practiced it and our defense locked down on hands.”
“We made some defensive adjustments,” Pearl said. “Hats off to our players. They have a really good lacrosse IQ. They’ve really developed and come along. Our veteran defenders really know the game well and we stifled them. We knew they were undermanned without their best player, but we played physically and with determination.”
Yarmouth had a 30-26 advantage in ground balls (Primeau and senior defenseman Jake Rogers each collected five), overcame 16 turnovers and had a 21-14 advantage in shots on frame.
Greely got one goal apiece from Clapp, Fraser, Schumacher and Williams. Schumacher also had three assists.
Gagnon made eight saves and Williams had a game-high nine ground balls.
“It started out well, but give Yarmouth all the credit for their defense,” Storey said. “We fell apart offensively. We weren’t being true to what we do. We let their pressure get to us. It’s the first game of the season. We hit some hurdles and didn’t respond well.”
The teams meet again May 27 in Cumberland, but both face multiple challenges in the interim.
Greely is right back in action Saturday morning at North Yarmouth Academy. The Rangers play their home opener Tuesday when defending Class C state champion Waynflete pays a visit.
“Yarmouth’s a great team and we’ll see them again later in the year, but we move on to the next challenge,” Storey said. “We have a lot of work to do.”
Yarmouth has a tall task ahead of it Tuesday when it plays at perennial powerhouse Cape Elizabeth. The Clippers host Kennebunk next Friday.
“I see a lot of potential this year,” Corey said. “We just have to focus on what we can control and our skills.”
“We have big tests one after the other,” Pearl said. “We won’t take any time off. The guys feel good about what they did tonight, but they’ll get right back to work tomorrow.”
Yarmouth 8 @ Greely 4
Greely 8 @ Yarmouth 7 (OT)
Yarmouth 16 @ Greely 10
@ Yarmouth 11 Greely 6
Yarmouth 9 @ Greely 5
@ Greely 13 Yarmouth 12
@ Yarmouth 17 Greely 4
Yarmouth 15 @ Greely 2
Yarmouth 16 @ Greely 1
Yarmouth 15 @ Greely 7
@ Yarmouth 16 Greely 0
@ Yarmouth 14 Greely 3
Yarmouth 11 @ Greely 3
Yarmouth 15 @ Greely 2
@ Yarmouth 15 Greely 3
@ Yarmouth 12 Greely 9
@ Greely 9 Yarmouth 8
@ Greely 10 Yarmouth 6