YARMOUTH — Patience. That’s what Hallie Schwartzman and her Kennebunk High girls’ lacrosse teammates wrote on their arms Thursday before a rematch of last year’s Class B state final against Yarmouth.

“It was our word of the day,” said Schwartzman, who finished with four goals. “We knew Yarmouth was a super talented team and that we needed to be patient with the ball, and that’s what we did the first half.”

Kennebunk’s Tiernan Connor makes a cut as she is guarded by Eva Then of Yarmouth. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

In a game where composure was key, the Rams (5-0), who moved up to Class A this season, opened a 9-1 halftime lead before hanging on to win, 12-5. While Schwartzman and Erin Gorton (three goals) led the offense, goalkeeper Haley Moody stopped 12 shots to keep Yarmouth (3-2) from closing in.

“We have an awesome defense and an insane goalie. She made some huge saves for us,” Schwartzman said. “We knew that once we got it into our offensive half, we had time on our side.”

While Kennebunk executed patience, Yarmouth Coach Dorothy Holt said the Clippers were frazzled in the first half – a result of trying to rectify two state final losses to the Rams.

“When you have eight seniors, it’s hard for them … they’ve wanted it so bad for the past two years,” Holt said. “I think anticipation and nerves can get the best of you.”

Yarmouth’s Eva Then passes the ball over the stick of Kennebunk’s Erin Gorton and moving in on defense to the right is Kennebunk’s Hallie Schwartzman . Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

From the free position, Schwartzman and Emily Archibald scored in the first five minutes to give Kennebunk a 2-0 lead. Yarmouth (3-2) tried to answer but Moody came up with four big saves over the next seven minutes before Schwartzman scored with 12:42 left in the half.

Two minutes later, Greta Elder scored from Eva Then for Yarmouth before Kennebunk added six unanswered goals. Gorton and Schwartzman scored the first two of the run from the free position before Brie Beaudette scored from Archibald, who just won the faceoff. Hallie Schwartzman then scored her fourth goal with 2:52 left before Lily Schwartzman bounced in a shot and Gorton found the back of the net with five seconds left.

“We need to learn how to play the game smarter and we need to keep working,” Holt said. “When we do that, stuff happens, and that’s what you saw in the second half.”

In a much more evenly matched second half, Yarmouth outscored Kennebunk, 4-3. Annie Lowenstein scored for the Clippers from the free position five minutes into the half before Emma Marston scored off a rebound to cut Kennebunk’s lead to 9-3 with 16 minutes left.

After Gorton scored her third goal for Kennebunk, Ehryn Groothoff gave the Clippers a spark with a pair of goals just 16 seconds apart to pull Yarmouth within five with 10:35 left.

Yarmouth’s Ehryn Groothoff drives with the ball while being guarded by Kennebunk’s Mia Murray. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

“We hurt ourselves because we didn’t possess the ball when we had it,” Kennebunk Coach Annie Barker said. “We weren’t waiting for the perfect shot and we didn’t need to shoot the ball.”

It was a short-lived momentum shift. Lily Schwartzman ended the Kennebunk scoring with a goal from the free position.

“Although we’re young, we do have a lot of experience,” Hallie Schwartzman said. “With Gorton and I and some of our other seniors, that’s where our leadership comes into play. We needed to settle the younger girls down and say, ‘Look, it’s just a lacrosse game.’ ”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or

[email protected]

Twitter: TaylorVortherms