YARMOUTH – It’s not often a season opener feels like a postseason game, but that’s what happened Saturday when Yarmouth and North Yarmouth Academy met in a Western Maine Conference schoolboy lacrosse game.
Ian Edgecomb scored with 44.9 seconds remaining to lift Yarmouth to a 7-6 victory against the team that’s not only a crosstown rival, but defeated the Clippers in the Western Class B final last season.
“We’ve been going in to see our coach ever since tasting the bitterness of that loss last year and sitting on it for the past 10 months,” said Edgecomb.
“This was a statement game for us. We wanted to start out strong, and I think with this game we definitely accomplished that.”
The game featured occasional bumps and bobbles, but the fierce and familiar rivals shook off most of the rusty moments.
“You never really know how good you are until this game (against NYA) and how you match up against them,” said Yarmouth Coach David Pearl. “We know their guys and they know our guys, and there’s no surprises. There’s a lot of familiarity. It’s a family affair.”
It took nearly 11 minutes for Yarmouth to produce the game’s first goal, by Quinn Hathcock.
The Panthers tied it less than a minute into the second quarter on a goal by Eliott Wellenbach.
Yarmouth came back with four of the next five goals to build a 5-2 lead. Ethan Cyr led the surge with two of his three goals, and Joe Oliva added two to counter a goal by Jeremy Sylvain of the Panthers.
NYA gained some momentum heading into the second half when Oliver Silverson scored with 1:19 remaining to bring the Panthers within 5-3 at the break.
NYA then produced the only two goals of the third quarter, by Matt Hawkins and Jacob Scammon, to make it 5-5.
“I think we lost a little bit of focus in the third quarter,” said Pearl. “Guys were just trying a little too hard. We really had a hard time clearing in the third quarter, which gave them two or three chances to score.”
NYA grabbed its first lead one minute into the fourth quarter when Scammon scored his second of the game. Cyr responded less than two minutes later to tie it again.
“It ended up being our first (game that counts), which is crazy for such a pivotal game,” said NYA Coach Peter Gerrity. “We get them again (May 15 at Yarmouth), and hopefully a third time (in the playoffs). But for such a huge game to be our first real test that counts was fun.”