PORTLAND — In a matchup that could very well be duplicated in a few weeks, Kennebunk and Waynflete didn’t disappoint as they clashed in a girls lacrosse game on Thursday. The Flyers had to rally from a 5-1 halftime deficit and go to triple overtime to win 7-6 at Fore River Fields.

The game matched up the top two teams in the Western Class B Heal Points standings, as Kennebunk entered the game No. 1, with an 8-1 record, while Waynflete was right behind at No. 2 with a 6-2 mark.

Neither team had played in a week, and the rust showed early. The Flyers scored on their opening possession, as Leigh Fernandez caught a high pass from Cat Johnson and converted 38 seconds in, but Waynflete didn’t score again for the rest of the half.

Kennebunk looked out of sorts at the start, as passes were just off the mark, or in some cases way off the mark.

“I just think they needed to become a little more patient, and when they became patient, they could see the openings,” said Kennebunk head coach Annie Barker.

But Jenny Bush started to turn things around when she scored 6:40 in to tie the game.

Bush then won the next four draws, and the Rams dominated the rest of the half.

Bush scored two more goals in the first half, and Kristen Koch and Kyra Schwartzman also scored as Kennebunk opened up a 5-1 lead.

“We definitely needed to take a breath, and just relax,” said Bush. “Just taking a breath was the key to getting those first five goals.”

Waynflete made adjustments at halftime, and they proved to be the right ones, as the Flyers scored four goals in the first 10:28 to tie the game back up.

“The crease play ”¦ we didn’t react quick enough. And then when we figured it out, it was two goals in the cage already, and they were getting momentum and gaining momentum,” said Barker, talking about Hannah Thompson-Greaves scoring a pair of goals before Barker called a timeout seven minutes in.

The Flyers also made defensive adjustments, which stymied Kennebunk’s attack.

“In the second half, we needed to be moving the ball faster, and we needed to be making better cuts,” said Barker. “And when we’re taking direct shots, we needed to not hold the ball too long, because then they collapsed on you.”

Waynflete had all the momentum on its side as time winded down in the second half, but the go-ahead goal never came. The Flyers weren’t able to convert on two late free-position opportunities, and a shot by Ella Millard at the horn missed wide.

Both teams scored in the opening three-minute overtime period, with the Rams receiving a little luck on their goal. Schwartzman sent a pass in from outside the 12-meter arc that deflected off a stick and rolled past Waynflete goalie Charlotte Majercik and into the goal.

The Flyers tied the game back up with 23 seconds left in the period on a shot by Millard at the top of the eight-meter arc.

The Rams tried desperately to net the game-winner late in the second overtime, but shots by Schwartzman and Carly Sandler in the final 30 seconds either went wide or were blocked.

The Flyers got some luck of the draw to open the third overtime ”“ when the next goal would be the winning one. A Waynflete player left too soon for the faceoff, but wasn’t penalized, giving the Flyers the all-important first possession.

“She left way too early,” said Barker. “That should have been our ball on the last draw.”

“I didn’t see the false start, because my back was to them,” said Bush, who was 9/17 on draws for the game. “I just knew that I needed to win that draw, and I didn’t.”

The Rams never got the ball back, as Johnson connected with Fernandez again 46 seconds in to end the game.

“It gives us a lot of fire, because this is always a good game, so we always want to beat them,” said Bush. “If we play them again ”¦ we just really want to come back out and get revenge and beat them.”

The win wasn’t enough to push the Flyers (7-2) past the Rams (8-2) in the standings, but each team still has to play East-leading Yarmouth, which Kennebunk has already lost to once this season.

Barker said “it’s not really going to matter” who gets the top seed in the West, as each team can beat the other on the road, but that the Rams “absolutely” can beat the Flyers in a rematch.

“It was going to be anybody’s game; it always is when we play them,” Barker said of Thursday’s defeat. “I think it’s a very competitive game every time we play them.”

Staff Writer Wil Kramlich can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 323 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @WilTalkSports.

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