Falmouth senior goalie Mary Budri prepares to make one of her 16 saves in Tuesday’s 10-7 home win over York in a battle of undefeated teams.

Joe Carpine / 365digitalphotography.com photos.

More photos below.


Falmouth 10 York 7

Y- 3 4- 7
F- 6 4- 10

First half
24:47 F Camelio (unassisted)
24:18 F D. Sarazin (K. Sarazin)
21:45 Y Lawlor (unassisted)
21:12 F Bell (unassisted)
12:59 F D. Sarazin (Bell)
9:41 Y Reinertson (unassisted)
6:20 F Bell (unassisted)
4:16 F Bell (unassisted)
1:37 Y Lawlor (free position)

Second half
21:53 Y Reinertson (unassisted)
21:22 F Waite (Oakes)
14:03 F Stucker (K. Sarazin)
11:22 Y Reinertson (McCaddin)
10:43 Y McCaddin (unassisted)
4:03 F Stucker (K. Sarazin)
1:54 Y Reinertson (unassisted)
1.4 F D. Sarazin (Oakes)

Y- Reinertson 4, Lawlor 2, McCaddin 1
F- Bell, D. Sarazin 3, Stucker 2, Camelio, Waite 1

Y- McCaddin 1
F- Oakes, K. Sarazin 2, Bell, D. Sarazin 1

Draws (York, 12-8)
Y- Lawlor 12 of 20
F- Bell 8 of 20

Ground balls (Falmouth, 28-25)
Y- Lawlor 6, McCaddin 5, Ford, Kiklis, Tabora 3, Smith 2, Bouchard, Lauersen, Reinertson 1
F- Bell 8, Camelio, Stucker 4, Farrell, K. Sarazin 3, D. Sarazin 2, Budri, Mahoney, Oakes, Waite 1

Y- 10
F- 13

Y- 33
F- 23

Shots on cage:
Y- 23
F- 22

Y (Kiklis) 12
F (Budri) 16

FALMOUTH—York’s girls’ lacrosse team proved itself to be a legitimate title contender, but for one night at least, preseason favorite Falmouth remains the team to beat in Class B South.

Tuesday evening, in a highly anticipated battle of unbeatens, neither team disappointed in a game that got off to a fast start and wasn’t decided until the waning moments.

The Yachtsmen took the lead for good just 13 seconds in, when senior Sydney Bell won the opening draw to speedy sophomore Caityln Camelio, who raced in and scored the game’s first goal.

A mere 29 seconds later, senior Devon Sarazin doubled the lead.

The Wildcats got on the board behind a goal from senior Alex Lawlor, but Bell answered with an unassisted tally.

Falmouth senior goalie Mary Budri then took center stage and wouldn’t leave the spotlight until the final horn sounded.

Budri made eight saves in the first half, many on free positions, to preserve the lead and Sarazin extended the lead to three goals midway through the first half.

After talented York freshman Cassie Reinertson got a goal back, Bell twice scored unassisted, but late in the half, Lawlor scored to pull the visitors within 6-3 at the break.

The Wildcats would scratch and claw throughout the second half, but never got closer than two.

After Reinertson started the second half scoring, junior Amelia Waite and senior Olivia Stucker countered to make it 8-4 Yachtsmen, but the visitors got goals from Reinertson and sophomore Martha McCaddin to again make it a two-goal contest, 8-6, with 10:43 to play.

After Budri made multiple saves to keep Falmouth on top, Stucker added an insurance goal with 4:03 to play.

Reinertson scored for the final time with 1:54 left, but York could draw no closer and just before time expired, Sarazin added one final goal to send the Yachtsmen on to a pivotal 10-7 victory.

Bell and Sarazin both scored three times and Budri had a sensational game, making 16 saves as Falmouth improved to 7-0 and dropped the Wildcats to 7-1 in the process.

“It felt like a playoff game,” Bell said. “We were nervous because we knew they were undefeated and so were we. They’re a really fast team. They’re really athletic. They have a lot of young players stepping up into big role.”

Litmus test

The York program has been competitive in recent seasons, but the Wildcats have taken it to another level this spring.

The Wildcats started with a 15-7 home win over Freeport, then upset visiting, defending Class B champion Kennebunk, 8-5. After holding off host Marshwood, a top Class A South contender, 9-7, York eked out a 7-6 win at Cape Elizabeth. After handling visiting South Portland, 20-5, in a crossover, the Wildcats downed visiting Waynflete, the state’s most successful program, for the first time, 10-4. Friday, York went to St. Dom’s and prevailed, 15-9.

Falmouth entered the season as the favorite and while the Yachtsmen had passed every test to date, they had gotten pushed to the wire on a couple occasions. Falmouth started by winning at Gorham (11-5) and at home over Greely (18-8). The Yachtsmen then rallied late to stun visiting Thornton Academy, 7-6, on Stucker’s goal with 13 seconds to play. After a 14-2 victory at Wells, Falmouth edged visiting Cape Elizabeth, 9-8, on Stucker’s overtime goal. Last Wednesday, the Yachtsmen rolled at Fryeburg Academy, 18-10.

Last spring, Falmouth won, 13-7, at York.

Tuesday, on a welcome and pleasant 76-degree evening, the Wildcats sought their first win over the Yachtsmen since May 14, 2013 (9-6 in York), but Falmouth made it four straight in the series.

Not that it came easily.

The Yachtsmen couldn’t have asked for a better start, as Bell won the draw, Camelio scooped up the ground ball, then raced all the way down the field and through the Wildcats’ defense before beating York sophomore goalie Julianna Kiklis for a 1-0 lead just 13 seconds in.

“A fast start was very important,” Bell said. “I feel like the first goal sets the pace for the rest of the game.”

“We knew coming in that they were number one and it would be a tough game,” said Falmouth coach Kait Johnson. “The girls wanted it. We had a great practice yesterday and a great warmup and Caitlyn scored.”

Falmouth got a second goal 29 seconds later, as sophomore Kayla Sarazin threw a quick pass to her sister, Devon Sarazin, who fired a shot into the net to make it 2-0 before the game was even a minute old.

The Wildcats then started to possess the ball and first put Budri to the test with 22:16 to play in the first half, when Reinertson earned a free position and was frustrated.

With 21:45 left, York got its first goal, as Lawlor got a step on a defender before beating Budri to cut the deficit in half.

Bell got possession again, however, and this time, with 21:12 to go before halftime, Bell scored unassisted for a 3-1 advantage.

The visitors then went back on the attack, but Budri denied McCaddin on a pair of free positions.

With 12:49 to play before halftime, Bell set up Devon Sarazin for a goal and a 4-1 lead.

After Kiklis denied Bell on a free position, the Wildcats pulled within 4-2 with 9:41 to go in the half, as Reinertson scored for the first time, unassisted.

Johnson called timeout and Falmouth responded, as after Budri made a save at one end, Bell went coast to coast before finishing with 6:20 on the clock.

Bell scored again, unassisted, with 4:16 left in the half, making it 6-2 and forcing York coach Jodie Lawlor to call timeout.

It paid dividends, as after Budri robbed Alex Lawlor, Lawlor scored on a free position with 1:37 to go.

Reinertson could have cut the deficit to two with 14.7 seconds on the clock, but Budri made the save and the Yachtsmen took a 6-3 lead to halftime.

In the first 25 minutes, Bell won 6 of 10 draws, but York had a 16-12 shots advantage. Eight saves from Budri kept Falmouth on top.

Little would change in the second half.

After the Wildcats cut the deficit to 6-4 with 21:53 to play, as Reinertson collected a ground ball and front and tickled the twine, Budri robbed Lawlor and in transition, Falmouth sophomore Christina Oakes set up Waite for a 7-4 lead.

After Budri denied McCaddin point blank, the Yachtsmen went on top, 8-4, with 14:03 to play, as in transition, Kayla Sarazin set up Stucker.

Falmouth appeared to have the game in hand, but York would not go quietly.

After Budri denied Lawlor on a free position, McCaddin set up Reinertson in transition to make it 8-5 with 11:22 to play and 39 seconds later, McCaddin pounced on a loose ball in front and finished to cut the deficit to two.

The Yachtsmen wouldn’t buckle, however, thanks in large part to their goalie.

After Kiklis made a save on a Stucker free position, the Wildcats had three chances to make it a one-goal game, but a Reinertson free position never resulted in a shot thanks to a nice defensive collapse, a McCaddin free position was knocked away before it reached the goal and with 5;45 showing, Budri robbed senior Emma Ford on the doorstep.

Falmouth got an all-important insurance goal with 4:03 left, as Devon Sarazin fed Stucker for a goal in transition, but York’s final gasp resulted in Reinertson’s fourth goal, scored unassisted with 1:54 to play, cutting the deficit to 9-7.

When Lawlor won the ensuing draw, the Wildcats hoped to really make things interesting, but twice more, Budri sparkled, denying both senior Renee Abruzzese and Lawlor.

The Yachtsmen got the ball back and instead of running out the clock, Oakes passed to Devon Sarazin, who delivered the dagger with just 1.4 seconds on the clock and Falmouth was able to celebrate its 10-7 victory.

“It felt like the score was a lot closer,” Bell said. “I was happy not to go to overtime. We just had to remain composed. Having those close games earlier and knowing what it’s like to have pressure on you was important. We had to take care of the ball.”

“We were very hyped pregame and we came out strong and kept it up,” said Budri. “Every game, we try to get better. This game we proved we could take the next step.”

“It was a team win,” Johnson added. “A fun game to watch.”

Bell and Devon Sarazin paced the offense with three goals apiece. Stucker had two goals and Camelio and Waite each scored once.

Oakes and Kayla Sarazin had two assists each, while Bell and Devon Sarazin each set up one goal.

“We’ve worked on quick ball movement and we have a lot of veteran players,” Bell said. “We can anticipate each other’s cuts. We work well together.”

“The captains are such great leaders and such good kids, then you have kids like Christina Oakes and Amelia Waite setting them up,” Johnson said.

Budri was the show-stealer, making 16 saves, many of them of the highlight reel variety.

“Having early saves gets my mind where it needs to be,” Budri said. “I just had to line up, keep my eye on the ball and step to the shot. I wanted to do it for my team. We worked so hard. We had fun.”

“She was amazing,” Bell said. “We couldn’t have won the game without Mary. It would have been a completely different score. She came up huge.”

“(Mary) was great,” Johnson said. “I have nothing but great things to say about her. She had the sun in her eyes in the second half and she still made big saves. We call her ‘Brick Wall Budri’ now.”

The Yachtsmen had a 28-25 edge in ground balls (Bell had a game-high eight) and overcame a respectable 13 turnovers.

York was paced by four goals from Reinertson. Lawlor scored twice and McCaddin had one goal and one assist. Lawlor won 12 of 20 draws and had a team-high six ground balls (McCaddin collected five). Kiklis made 12 saves.

The Wildcats only turned the ball over 10 times and had a 33-23 shots advantage (23-22 on cage).

Nothing is settled

With a little over two weeks left in the regular season, several teams in Class B South still have a shot at the top spot in the region.

York, which remains atop the Class B South Heal Points standings at press time, will look to bounce back Thursday, but it won’t be easy, as the Wildcats play at dangerous Greely. After hosting North Yarmouth Academy next Tuesday, York is at powerhouse Yarmouth and closes at home versus Lake Region.

Falmouth, second in the region, is back in action Friday at Freeport. Next Tuesday brings a home showdown against Kennebunk, the team which has eliminated the Yachtsmen in each of the past two regional finals. After playing at Lake Region and Waynflete, Falmouth closes at home against Yarmouth in a possible state final preview.

“We need challenges so we know we can overcome against the tougher teams like we did today,” Budri said. “We have to keep our energy up and stay positive.”

“We have to keep our level of play up,” Bell said. “We have a lot of potential this year. Some of it is still untapped. We have to work on the little things and eventually we can get to where we want to go.”

“The girls have had to grind every single game,” Johnson added. “I know we were slotted to do really well in the preseason, but everyone is very talented this year. There is no team that’s above the other. It’s nice to have healthy competition.

“Every game is a stressful game. We need to stop self-sabotaging. We do well, then we stop. We have seniors, but we also have young players. We need to play a full game. That’s the goal.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Falmouth senior Sydney Bell and York senior Alex Lawlor battle for possession in the draw circle.

Falmouth sophomore Kayla Sarazin passes the ball up the field.

Falmouth senior Sydney Bell shoots the ball past York sophomore Emlyn Patry. Bell scored three times in the victory.

Falmouth celebrates a second half goal.

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