YARMOUTH — When Waynflete hosted North Yarmouth Academy in a field hockey game almost two weeks ago, the Flyers kept it relatively close, losing 5-1 to the powerhouse Panthers.

But now it is playoff time and NYA has shifted to another gear. The Panthers dominated Tuesday in their Western Class C quarterfinal, topping Waynflete 10-0.

Meg Fortier scored five goals and Katherine Millett tallied four times as the two-time defending regional champion Panthers (14-1) moved on to Saturday’s semifinals.

Waynflete, celebrating its first taste of the postseason in 17 years, is finished at 8-6-1.

“A very good season,” Flyers Coach Noelle Surette said.

With 3:17 left in the game, and NYA up 7-0, Surette called timeout to make a massive substitution.

“We are a very, very young team,” Surette said. “I wanted everyone to experience (the playoffs). We’ll build from this.”

Meanwhile, while Surette casually talked to her team during the timeout, NYA Coach Julia Sterling was issuing instructions in her huddle.

The Panthers may have clinched victory, but Sterling was coaching her team for the playoffs, not just one game.

NYA scored threw more times in the closing minutes.

“I don’t want to run up the score,” said Sterling, who is a Waynflete alumna. “But we want to work on good passes and good chances.”

For Sterling, Tuesday’s game was special for another reason. She had missed much of the season, recovering from surgery. She re-joined the team for Monday’s practice and was on the sideline again.

“It’s great,” Sterling said. “I love my team.”

As for their play, Sterling liked aspects, but allowed, “the kids could have worked a little harder.”

Waynflete was working hard at the start, with Jo Moore and Lindsey Sinicki moving the ball on the offensive end.

But once NYA got possession, Millett drove the ball along the left sideline, and NYA put the pressure on.

“We wanted to work the ball all around the field,” said Millett. “The key was endurance. We wanted to keep up the speed, moving the ball fast.”

The Panthers worked the ball well. Sasha McLean and Hannah Hearn passed through the Flyers defense. Frances Leslie was a force on both ends of the field.

NYA scored its first goal when Fortier passed the ball in. Hearn controlled it, and sent it on goal. Millett buried it, 3:06 into the half.

The Panthers ended up with a 33-3 shot advantage. NYA recorded zero saves, while Waynflete’s Kailina Mills made some outstanding stops, totaling 12 saves.

When the Flyers did work the ball back up the field, Renee Lamoreau was usually there on defense to squelch the threat.

Most of the time, she was watching her team at work on offense.

“Really good teamwork,” Lamoreau said. “Nice way to start the playoffs.”

The Panthers took a 6-0 lead at halftime, with three goals apiece by Millett and Fortier.


Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: [email protected]