GORHAM – Where Gorham center Mia Rapolla went on Saturday, Kennebunk defender Emily Kessel followed.

Like an in-your-face, unwelcome, but highly effective shadow, she was never more than a foot or two away.

The simple formula led the No. 3 seed Kennebunk girls’ lacrosse team to an impressive 15-8 win over rival Gorham, the No. 2 seed, in a Western Class A semifinal. Kennebunk will face No. 1 Scarborough for the regional title on Wednesday.

Kessel and Kennebunk held Gorham’s prolific star to just three shots and one goal, effectively shutting down the offense until a second-half rally.

“I just knew she had to be in my sight,” said Kessel. “We came to win it. We brought our hearts and we knew she was our main competition and had to take her out of the game.”

Rapolla, who regularly scores multiple goals per game, didn’t get off her first shot until there was 6:54 left in the first half. She scored her lone goal with 6:09 to play in the game.

“I could not get free,” said Rapolla. “She was really good. She stayed with me the whole time.”

Her teammates rallied hard in the second half after trailing by a whopping 10-2 at the half.

Sophomore Kali St. Germain reeled off a pair of goals and assisted on a third to make it 11-5 by 18:34 to go.

Shannon Wilcox also scored a pair and assisted on a third in the rally.

Gorham made it as close as a five-goal game — rallying to 12-7 with 11:06 to play – but Kennebunk had built such a lead, the return proved too difficult.

“That’s a tough game,” said Gorham Coach Ashley Dyer. “They definitely outplayed us. No. 6 did a great job marking Mia. A great job. In situations like that we have to step up and play harder.”

Gorham’s Chelsea Black scored first to make it 1-0 at the 21:48 mark.

But Kennebunk stormed to a 10-2 halftime lead using its speed and transition game to catch Gorham off guard.

Rose Bryant finished with a game-high five goals, and Kennebunk had seven scorers: Camille Auger (three), Molly Centore (two goals), Lauren Errico (two), Taylor Crowley (one), Alissa Fallon (one) and Allie Bush (one). 

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

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