PORTLAND – The Falmouth boys’ lacrosse team fulfilled expectations Saturday, but had to beat an extremely resilient North Yarmouth Academy squad to do it.

Falmouth, adapting to the Panthers’ patient style, squeezed out a 7-4 victory to capture its second consecutive Class B state championship at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

“This is the best feeling, winning a second straight championship with this team,” said Falmouth junior Charlie Fay, who had three goals. “All the seniors going off, there’s no better way to end it for them.”

When the season began, the Yachtsmen figured to be in this position.

“With all the kids coming back — we had more talent coming back than any other team out there — I think we were by far the favorite, but we had more trouble than I thought getting here,” Falmouth Coach Mike LeBel said. “We had to earn it. We had to play against the best teams in the state two, three times, so we’re battled-tested and withstood all the challenges.”

It was the Yachtsmen’s third win of the season over the Panthers, who were also playing in the state final for the second consecutive year.

“I think we kind of overlooked them,” said Mitch Tapley, who scored twice for Falmouth. “They definitely came out hard. Our offense wasn’t really clicking. Our defense wasn’t clicking in the beginning, but then they pulled it together.”

NYA’s plan was to maintain possession as long as it could.

“The idea is if the ball is on our stick they can’t score, just hold onto it as long as we can,” NYA Coach Peter Gerrity said. “We executed very well, and that was what we needed to do to be competitive in this game against that team.”

In the regular season, the Yachtsmen beat the Panthers 11-7 and 14-2.

“They had a great game plan and they executed well,” LeBel said. “They were relentless on ground balls and were very aggressive. They played a very, very good game. In the end, it probably came down to who had more top-end talent, and we got it done.

“They gave us a big scare.”

Tapley and Fay scored in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter to break it open.

“We like to push it,” Tapley said. “They slowed it down and we adapted. We started playing slow, too, and it came down to who had the good possessions and who had the good shots at the end.”

Weston Nolan made seven of his 16 saves to hold the Yachtsmen scoreless in the third quarter, which ended with Falmouth clinging to a 5-4 lead. It was only the second time this season the Yachtsmen (14-1) went through a quarter without scoring.

Willy Sipperly and Hunter LaFond also scored for Falmouth. Abyn Reabe-Gerwig, who won 11 of 15 draws, had an assist.

Forrest Milburn scored two goals for NYA (9-7). Jacob Scammon and Oliver Silverson also scored.

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

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