KENNEBUNK – Scarborough, the two-time defending state champion, nailed down home-field advantage for the Western Class A girls’ lacrosse tournament by turning back stubborn Kennebunk 9-8 on Thursday night.

It was just the kind of game the Red Storm (10-1) needed.

“Playoff season is coming, so to play a good game and get us into that mode is really important, and we stepped up to the challenge,” said Kelsey Howard, who scored three goals.

“It kept going back and forth but I think that drives us. We keep playing hard and never give up.”

The Red Storm didn’t clinch it until Howard and Laura Przybylowicz, who also had three goals, scored less than five minutes apart to make it 9-7 with less than four minutes left.

“It’s always a good game with Kennebunk,” Scarborough Coach Marcia Wood said. “It’s a great rivalry and they always play us very tight. It’s always an intense game.”

The Red Storm held a 10-9 edge in draws and 20-18 in shots. The Rams (6-5) never led but managed to tie four times.

“Our defense is getting stronger. We’re re-defending better,” Kennebunk Coach Annie Barker said. “Our attack is trying some new stuff and I think we’re still progressing, still building on this. We’re not done yet.”

Wood said the Red Storm appear to be peaking at just the perfect time.

“The past few games we’ve been picking it up and finally been playing our game,” she said.

“They’re starting to use everyone on the field and they’re starting to move the ball around. Everyone’s getting a piece of it. Everyone’s a part of it.”

Scarborough took a 3-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.

But the Rams made it 3-3 when Alyssa Fallon scored the second of her five goals with less than five minutes left in the first half.

Both goalies played extremely well.

Lizzie Stockbridge made six saves for Kennebunk and Meg Kirsh, who was celebrating her 17th birthday, came up with eight saves for Scarborough.

“I like (Kirsh’s) aggressive behavior coming out on them, stopping those hard shots,” Wood said.

“If she makes the first save in the game, it just builds her confidence.”

“We know if there’s a free position, we always have to go in hard, but we know Meg is there to back us up and we can depend on her,” said Sarah Martens of the Red Storm.

Mary Scott scored two goals and had an assist, and Maggie Smith a goal and an assist for Scarborough.

Delaney Murphy, Rose Bryan and Kate Graydon had goals for the Rams.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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