KENNEBUNK – The Kennebunk girls’ lacrosse team got a chance to play a team it hadn’t played this season in the opening round of the Western Class A tournament Wednesday.

The fourth-seeded Rams made the most of it as they rolled to a 12-5 win against No. 5 South Portland in a regional quarterfinal.

The two Southern Maine Activities Association teams didn’t play each other during the regular season, but Kennebunk Coach Annie Barker knew just enough about the Red Riots to know how to beat them.

“We knew if we frazzled them they would drop the ball and the ball would come back to us,” she said.

The Rams, who will play the winner of today’s Bonny Eagle-Scarborough game in a regional semifinal Saturday, hounded the Riots for the entire game.

“I think what happened was they had a lot of pressure on us and our passing was off,” South Portland Coach Bill Fenton said. “If we could have done a lot better on our passing we could have given them a better game.”

Kennebunk used its speed to challenge South Portland all over the field.

“We definitely have been working on playing defense throughout the whole field, the midfield, even our offensive zone, riding their defense to really keep it in their zone,” middie Rose Bryant said.

“When we double or triple, we don’t really worry about it because we know someone is going to pick up our man. We communicate well.”

Kennebunk held a 6-2 lead at halftime.

It could have been greater as the Rams (8-5) held a 24-12 edge in shots.

Freshman goalie Lily SanGiovanni collected 12 of her 15 saves during the first half to help keep South Portland relatively close.

“My goalie was unbelievable,” Fenton said. “She probably kept it from being 24-5. She loves this game, and she’s getting better and better.”

Bryant put the game out of reach by scoring four of her seven goals during the first 16 minutes of the second half.

Kate Graydon scored three goals and had two assists for the Rams.

Allisa Fallon and Betsy Craig each added goals.

Lani Edwards scored four goals for the Riots (8-5). Ericka Lightner scored a goal.

Kennebunk held a decisive 37-18 in shots. It committed just nine turnovers while forcing the Riots to cough up the ball 18 times.

“They’ve got a good team, a real good team,” Fenton said. “We haven’t faced this type of competition since we played Scarborough at the beginning of the year.”

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

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