Greely senior Brooke Clement looks to set up senior Jayme Morrison for one of the Rangers’ 14 goals in Thursday’s 14-7 victory at North Yarmouth Academy.

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Greely 14 North Yarmouth Academy 7

NYA- 2 5- 7
G- 9 5- 14

First half
20:06 G Dean-Muncie (Bennert)
19:33 G Morrison (Clement)
14:57 G Goldburg (free position)
12:33 G Dean-Muncie (Bennert)
11:29 G Morrison (unassisted)
9:37 G Vaccarello (unassisted)
5:46 G Dean-Muncie (free position)
5:04 NYA Farrell (unassisted)
4:45 G Clement (Holt)
3:42 G Dean-Muncie (Clement)
1:47 NYA Sharp (Howard)

Second half
24:13 NYA Reid (unassisted)
23:51 G Morrison (Holt)
21:17 G Dean-Muncie (Vaccarello)
17:20 NYA Reid (Farrell)
14:25 G Morrison (Clement)
12:40 G Beaulieu (free position)
12:01 G Beaulieu (Clement)
7:11 NYA Holt (Reid)
3:33 NYA Reid (Sharp)
20.9 NYA Reid (unassisted)

NYA- Reid 4, Farrell, Holt, Sharp 1
G- Dean-Muncie 5, Morrison 4, Beaulieu 2, Clement, Goldburg, Vaccarello 1

NYA- Farrell, Howard, Reid, Sharp 1
G- Clement 4, Bennert, Holt 2, Vaccarello 1

NYA- 9
G- 14

NYA- 25
G- 25

Shots on cage:
NYA- 17
G- 22

NYA (White) 8
G (Perfetti) 10

YARMOUTH—Eager to get back to action after last year’s close call and sick of being pent up inside due to the weather and field conditions, Greely’s girls’ lacrosse team raced out of the gates Thursday afternoon at Lewis Field and built an insurmountable lead over North Yarmouth Academy in the teams’ regular season opener.

The Rangers scored the game’s first seven goals, took a 9-2 lead at halftime and never looked back en route to a 14-7 victory. 

Sophomore Elsa Dean-Muncie scored five times, senior Jayme Morrison added four and six different players tickled the twine in all as Greely got its season off to a rousing start.

“We came out strong,” said Rangers coach Becca Koelker. “The girls, I think, were just so ready to go. They’ve worked so hard. To have an opportunity to play on a real field was great. We said in pre-game that this sets the tone for the rest of the season, so we wanted to get off on the right foot.”

High hopes

Greely was very competitive a year ago, reaching the Class B state semifinals before dropping a one-goal decision to eventual champion Cape Elizabeth. With several key players returning, the Rangers believe they’ll be in the hunt for a title this season.

NYA also made the playoffs in 2018, losing to eventual champion Lake Region in the Class C quarterfinals, and also hope for big things this spring.

Last year, Greely opened with a 16-4 win at NYA.

The teams were supposed to open in Cumberland, but poor field conditions at Greely moved the contest to NYA’s turf. 

Under 52-degree skies, the Rangers quickly seized control and won their season opener for the fourth year in a row.

The Panthers had the first good scoring opportunity when freshman Alev Yilmaz earned a free position shot three minutes in, but Greely sophomore goalie Hannah Perfetti made the save.

The Rangers then went on top to stay with 20:06 to go in the first half, when Dean-Muncie finished a feed from junior Katie Bennert and beat NYA sophomore goalie Ally White for a 1-0 lead.

It took just 33 seconds for Greely’s second goal, as sophomore Sam Goldburg won the ensuing draw, the ball came to senior Brooke Clement and she fed Morrison for her first goal.

With 14:57 left in the half, Goldburg was awarded a free position and she found the net, forcing Panthers coach Molly Climo to call timeout.

It didn’t stem the tide.

With 12:33 to go, in transition, Bennert fed Dean-Muncie to make it 4-0.

Morrison added an unassisted goal 64 seconds later, sophomore Haley Vaccarello scored unassisted with 9:37 on the clock and with 5:46 remaining, Dean-Muncie capped the opening 7-0 surge with a free position goal.

“We just wanted to come out strong,” said Dean-Muncie. “We’ve worked hard all week and came out with a positive mindset, ready to go hard. I owe it all to my teammates. They set me up. We have a lot of girls who can put it in the net. We have a really deep team.”

NYA broke its scoring ice with 5:04 remaining in the first half, as sophomore Natalie Farrell scored unassisted, but 19 seconds later, after another Goldburg draw win, Clement took a pass from junior Ellie Holt and finished to make it 8-1.

“Our draw team is phenomenal,” Dean-Muncie said. “They work so well together.”

“The draw team gave us momentum for the first half,” Koelker said. “Credit to Sam and Jayme and Ellie and all of them.”

With 3:42 on the clock, Clement threw a high pass which Dean-Muncie caught, then fired past White in one motion for Greely’s final goal of the half.

“We’re starting to connect really well,” said Koelker. “Brooke had some nice passes to them and they worked hard to get open. They’re fun to watch.”

With 1:47 remaining in the half, senior Livvy Howard passed to freshman Emma Sharp, who beat Perfetti to pull the Panthers within 9-2 at the break.

In the first 25 minutes, Greely won nine of 12 draws, forced 14 turnovers and enjoyed a 19-6 shots advantage. Eight saves from White kept NYA within hailing distance.

The Panthers were far more competitive in the second half and came out strong, getting an unassisted goal from senior Catherine Reid just 47 seconds in.

The Rangers then returned to their scoring ways with 23:51 on the clock, as Holt set up Morrison for a goal and with 21:17 remaining, Vaccarello set up Dean-Muncie for a goal to make it 11-3.

Reid (from Farrell) got a goal back at 17:20, but Morrison (from Clement at 14:25), junior Megan Beaulieu (on a free position at 12:40) and Beaulieu (from Clement at 12:01) stretched the lead to 10 and induced a mercy rule running clock.

NYA stopped the running clock with 7:11 to go, when after forcing a turnover, Reid got the ball and passed to freshman Maggie Holt for a goal.

Reid (from Sharp) then scored with 3:33 left and with 20.9 seconds to go, Reid scored one final goal, unassisted, to bring the curtain down on Greely’s 14-7 victory.

The Rangers were led by Dean-Muncie (five goals) and Morrison (four goals), but that wasn’t all. Greely also got two goals from Beaulieu and one apiece from Clement, Goldburg and Vaccarello.

Clement also had four assists, while Bennert and Holt had two apiece and Vaccarello one.

Greely had a 14-9 advantage in draws (Goldburg won 10 of 15), got a team-high 10 ground balls from Morrison, had a 22-17 edge in shots on frame, overcame 21 turnovers and got 10 saves from Perfetti.

NYA was led by Reid’s four goals, one assist and 11 ground balls.

“Catherine kind of came out of nowhere,” said Climo. “She really stepped up in the second half.”

Farrell, Holt and Sharp all had one goal and Farrell, Howard and Sharp added one assist apiece. 

The Panthers turned the ball over 23 times and got eight saves from White.

“We have a lot of kinks to work out at the beginning of the season,” said Climo. “Playing a first real game, there are going to be challenges. I think our downfall was our midfield transition. They swarmed us when we had the ball and capitalized on that.”

Back to work

NYA is idle until Wednesday, April 24 when it hosts Lake Region.

The Panthers will win some games in the weeks to come.

“This is a huge learning experience for us,” Climo said. “We have a lot of opportunity the rest of the season.”

Greely will prepare for a huge test a week from Saturday, when perennial powerhouse Kennebunk pays a visit.

“We really want it this year,” said Dean-Muncie. “We’ve been working since before the season to make sure we’re ready. We have so much team atmosphere. This is good for our confidence going into the rest of the season. We really like the competitive games.”

“We have to be more consistent,” Koelker said. “Transitions both ways could use some work. (Kennebunk) will be a great test. It’s the first time we’ve played them at home in awhile. We’re excited to play them. They’re the caliber team we want to be.”

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

Greely sophomore Sam Goldburg and NYA senior Helen Hamblett take a draw control.

Greely junior Ellie Holt carries the ball.

Greely sophomore Elsa Dean-Muncie, who scored a game-high five goals, looks to distribute the ball.

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