YARMOUTH — Strong starts are no problem for the Kennebunk girls’ lacrosse team.

In its opener Saturday, the Rams avenged last year’s anguishing loss to Massabesic in the Western Class A final.

The satisfaction of that win had barely subsided when the Rams scored four goals in the first six minutes against Greely on Wednesday.

Things bogged down a little from there, but Kennebunk controlled play enough to win 8-3 in a game played at North Yarmouth Academy.

The Rams (2-0) got goals from six players to take a 7-2 halftime lead. But in the second half they appeared to be coasting and Coach Annie Barker called a timeout to admonish them.

“In the second half they were really turning the ball over by themselves. Thank God the defense was there for us to bring it back again,” Barker said. “I think they needed to stay more composed than they were and take their time. The clock was on our side and they were making bad passes.”

Kennebunk got a goal from Kyra Schwartzman, her second of the game, with 1:53 left.

Greely (0-1) got goals from Gabby Bouchard, Cameron Keefe and Eliza McKenney but paid for a slow start. Krystyna Rybka made eight saves.

Kennebunk senior Sam Bell said her team’s torrid beginning set the tone.

“It’s definitely helpful to get a lead early,” she said. “It gets in their head and it helps our confidence, too.

“Then we needed to control the clock, but at the same time you don’t want to let up or slow down at all. Because they’re a team that could come right back.”

Barker said her team’s balanced scoring is by design. Carly Sandler also scored two goals, while Jenny Bush, Olivia Sandford, Ali Truman and Haley Fecko had one apiece.

“Our focus is to play as a whole team. We don’t have any superstars,” Barker said. “We probably have nine people who can go to the goal. We’re trying to develop everybody.”

But it was Bush’s ability to win draws that enabled the Rams to control play, Barker said.

Bush said faceoffs have been her specialty for years, partly because of her height.

“You kind of feel like you have a lot of control when you take the draw. I feel like when I win it, I’m doing a lot for my team and helping them out,” said Bush, who is 5-foot-9.

Kennebunk fell 7-6 to Massabesic in that Western A final a year ago. The Rams are competing in Class B this season, but the chance to get redemption against Massabesic out of the gate was gratifying, Bush said. Kennebunk won, 10-7.

That, coupled with Wednesday’s victory, is a nice confidence boost, Bush said. But the larger goal is to get to the state final. Bush hopes this year’s team is built to do that.

“We know that we can really push through any game. We can come out strong but we have to remember to keep going and not let up when we have a lead. We need to keep fighting through every game,” Bush said. “Our team is just a little more well-rounded this year but it’s pretty equal to last year, I think. I think we can keep going and hopefully make it to states.” 

Mark Emmert can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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