July 8, 2012

Girls' lacrosse: Coming through in pressure situations

Martha Veroneau was at her best during the playoffs, leading Waynflete to a state title.

By Paul Betit pbetit@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - Lacrosse may not be Martha Veroneau's favorite sport, but don't tell her opponents.

click image to enlarge

Martha Veroneau had 46 goals and 43 assists for the Flyers. During the playoffs, she had a hand in 25 of her team’s 36 goals.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer


Alex Bernier, Falmouth, junior: Bernier, an All-American who has verbally committed to the University of Vermont, had 33 goals and a team-high 37 assists to lead the Yachtsmen to the Western Class B semifinals for the second consecutive year.

Drew Berry, Portland, junior: Berry scored a team-high 47 goals and won 67 of 79 draws to lead the Bulldogs into the Eastern Class A quarterfinals.

Rose Bryant, Kennebunk, junior: Bryant scored a team-high 51 goals and led Western Class A with 58 ground balls to help the Rams advance to the regional semifinals.

Sadie Cole, Waynflete, junior: Cole scored a team-high 58 goals and had 24 assists to help the Flyers claim their ninth state championship since 1998.

Dakota Foster, Brunswick, junior: A three-year starter, Foster scored 71 goals, tops in the state, and had 30 assists to lead the Dragons to their sixth trip to the Class A championship game in seven seasons.

Molly Herman, Brunswick, senior: A three-year starter in goal, Herman, who will go to St. Lawrence University in New York, compiled a .549 save percentage while facing a total of 217 shots in 15 games,

Kelsey Howard, Scarborough, senior: An honorable-mention All-American who will go to Bentley University, Howard had a team-high 27 assists and 43 ground balls to help the Red Storm capture their fourth Class A state championship in seven years.

Talley Perkins, Cape Elizabeth, junior: Perkins, who has verbally committed to go to Boston University, scored 50 goals and had a team-high 79 ground balls to lead the Capers to the Western Class B final.

Mary Scott, Scarborough, senior: An honorable-mention All-American who will go to the University of New Hampshire, Scott scored a team-high 56 goals to help the Red Storm capture a third consecutive Class A state championship.

Lauren Steidl, Cape Elizabeth, junior: Steidl, an All-American who has verbally committed to go to Princeton, scored a team-high 58 goals and had 26 assists to help the Capers reach the Western Class B final for the third time in four years.

Martha Veroneau, Waynflete, junior: An honorable mention All-American, Veroneau scored 46 goals and had a team-high 43 assists.

Coach of the Year

Cathie Connors, Waynflete

After losing eight players from last season's squad, Connors guided the Flyers to their first Class B state title since 2009. The Flyers have won nine state championships since the Maine Principals' Association began sanctioning the sport in 1998. "We weren't sure what we were going to look like, really," said Connors, who finished her 20th season at Waynflete. "We just took it game-by-game and day-by-day, and they clicked ... This is a very close team, and I think that's huge, I really do."

This spring, Veroneau scored 46 goals and had a team-high 43 assists to lead Waynflete to its first Class B state championship since 2009 to become the Maine Sunday Telegram's player of the year for girls' lacrosse.

"When you think she's at her fastest, she has another level, another gear, and she kicks it in," Waynflete Coach Cathie Connors said.

Veroneau, a junior, seemed to be at her best during the postseason. The Flyers scored 36 goals in their three tournament games, and she scored or assisted on 25 of them.

"The girl just responds because she is so competitive," Connors said. "She's in tremendous shape, but she also has this really huge drive. She's a tremendous athlete, through in through, from head to toe."

Veroneau has been a big-game performer in high school.

In February, she scored a tournament-record 47 points to lead the Flyers to a 78-61 win against Boothbay in a Western Class C basketball semifinal. She made nine 3-point shots to tie a tournament record for all classes.

As a freshman, Veroneau finished first in the Class C state cross country meet as the Flyers captured the third of four consecutive team titles.

Veroneau said basketball remains her favorite athletic endeavor, but lacrosse comes in a close second.

"I shoot around and pass around with my siblings, and play wall ball during the offseason and during the summer," she said.

Veroneau's twin sister, Catherine, also plays lacrosse but missed this season because of a knee injury.

One of eight children, Veroneau seldom has difficulty finding someone to play pass and catch.

"My younger brothers have been really playing lacrosse a lot," she said. "I've been passing around with them a lot."

According to Veroneau, her brothers John, 12, and Michael, 9, are both lacrosse fanatics.

"It's great to have so many siblings around to play with and just hang out with," she said. "I have fun. It's not like a drag to go out and play and hone my skills."

Veroneau always is in tiptop condition.

"I always have that base from cross country," she said. "I work on being able to make it up and down the field, or the court, the whole game because I know with the position I play I'm going to have to do that.

"I hate games when I'm dead at the end. I really try hard to not reach that point in games so I can't do what I have to do for the team."

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


Twitter: PaulBetitPPH


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