After playing a nearly flawless first half, Yarmouth survived Cape Elizabeth’s rally late in the game to capture its first Class B girls’ lacrosse state championship in four seasons Saturday.
Grace O’Donnell scored six goals to lead the Clippers to a 13-10 victory at Fitzpatrick Stadium.
“The first half set the tone,” Yarmouth Coach Dorothy Holt said. “We knew we needed to come out strong and we’ve been working really hard at it in practice. We knew what we were (facing); Cape is a real good team and we needed to work hard.”
Yarmouth (13-2) held a 9-3 advantage after the first 25 minutes.
“That was a beautiful display of lacrosse in that first half,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Jeff Perkins said. “They were moving the ball. They were open. They were so athletic, you know, you have to hold on for dear life sometimes, and that’s exactly what we did in the first half.”
It was the Clippers’ second win of the season over the Capers, making their first appearance in a state final since the Maine Principals’ Association began sanctioning tournament play in 1998. On May 20, Yarmouth beat the Capers 10-9 at Hannaford Field in Cape Elizabeth.
“We had a real close game (against Cape) in the regular season so we knew it was going to be a battle. We just had to come out really hard,” O’Donnell said. “We’ve been struggling with first halves this season. Even in our two previous (tournament) games, we came out and got down a little bit. We just came out hard here and didn’t look back.”
“(The players) knew it was going to take everything they got and they had to work as a team, and they really showed it in the first half,” Holt said.
Yarmouth opened a 12-3 lead less than 10 minutes into the second half before Cape Elizabeth (11-5) rallied.
The Capers went more than 23 minutes without scoring until Kirsten Rudberg finally connected nearly 13 minutes into the second half.
Abigail McInerney, who won six consecutive midfield draws during one stretch, scored six of her eight goals during the final seven minutes to close the gap, but it was too much of a deficit for Cape to overcome.
“(Yarmouth) played a phenomenal first half,” Perkins said. “They put us back on our heels and we had to play catch-up the whole game, and that was hard for us to do.
“In the second half they were stalling and trying to take time off the clock. The score is great that it was that close, but it was two different halves for sure.”
Holt admitted it was a dificult situation, holding the lead with a quality team like Cape Elizabeth pressing.
“We lost our composure a little bit in the second half but that’s normal in a high-pressure game,” Holt said. “We knew Cape Elizabeth could come back but we did what we had to do.”
Emma Torres scored two goals for the Clippers, who lost to Waynflete in last year’s state championship game. Molly Maguire had four assists. Emma Torres and Caitlin Teare each scored a goal.
For Cape Elizabeth, Sophie Hewitt had a goal and Elizabeth Robinson had an assist to round out the scoring.