May 19, 2013

Girls' lacrosse: York rides differing tacks to win

The Wildcats have a little patience, a little power and a whole lot of momentum.

By GREG REID Special to the Press Herald

This story and cutline was changed to correct the name of the York goaltender at 1:20 p.m. 05/19

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Lizzy Wagner of York watches as her shot is about to go past Yarmouth goalie Nicki Hickey in the first half Thursday. Wagner scored four goals as York took a 12-9 win.

Photos by Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

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York goalie Livvy Golini blocks the shot of Ali Merrill of Yarmouth in the first half Thursday.

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YARMOUTH - At times, you'll win with power. Other times, you'll win with persistence and patience. Courtney Cole and her York teammates demonstrated all three elements in a 12-9 victory over Yarmouth in a Western Maine Conference girls' lacrosse game Thursday at Yarmouth High.

Cole, a junior midfielder, brought the power, breaking in for four goals, including what proved to be the winner with 12 minutes left. The Wildcats (6-3) held a two-goal lead -- and the ball -- for nearly all of the closing 10 minutes for a fifth win in six games.

"This is a huge win for us," said York Coach Jodie Lawlor. "We had a big (9-6) win against Falmouth on Tuesday, and we came in here just hoping to keep things going."

That they did. Lizzy Wagner added four goals for York. Rubby Cribby had three, and Taylor Simpson had a goal and an assist. Livy Golini made eight saves.

Olivia Conrad led the Clippers with three goals. Alex Lucas and Grace O'Donnell each had two goals and an assist. Senior keeper Nicki Hickey had six saves.

"Both teams played really well," Yarmouth Coach Dorothy Holt said. "We panicked at the end and we just couldn't get the ball back. The girls worked hard until the very end. We're heading in the right direction."

York's defense came up with persistence, as Colleen Keenan, Olivia Drew and Erin McKenna worked with Golini to get a handle on Yarmouth's cutters that scored twice in two minutes for an early 2-1 lead.

York then took control with four straight goals over a six-minute stretch to build a 5-2 lead with 13:28 to play in the first half. Yarmouth closed the margin to 8-6 at halftime. Finally, the Wildcats showed patience in the second half. After building a two-goal lead, they worked their stall offense to perfection.

"Both goalies had a few key saves," Holt said. "It just came down to possession."

When they had the ball, the Clippers were tough to stop. Connecting long, cross-field passes, Yarmouth sliced through York's defense in transition to score three goals in six minutes to tie the game at 9 with 14:43 to play.

"They won three draws in a row and were executing some beautiful transitions," Lawlor said. "Once we got (a two-goal lead), we wanted to pull (the ball) out, see how they react. Luckily we were able to execute our stall."

With the score tied at 9, York drove to the net, only to be repelled. Yarmouth defenders Sydney Pellerin, Julia Primeau, Sarah Myers and Abby Belisle-Hayley repeatedly pushed the ball wide.

When she saw an opening, Cole drove to the cage. "For me, it was just about drawing the double-team, backing off, then pushing back through," she said. "I found a lot of openings that way."

"She's really strong and she's become a leader all over the field, really," Lawlor said. "But all of the girls are coming together to make this work."

Cole crashed the cage for her fourth goal to make it 10-9 at 12:00, Wagner cut through a minute later to make it 11-9.

"This (win) definitely boosts our morale," Cole said. "It gives us the confidence to keep going for the rest of our games."


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Grace O’Donnell of Yarmouth reaches up for the ball during York’s 12-9 win Thursday.


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