Kennebunk sophomore Danielle Gassman is chased by Greely senior Maddy Perfetti, left, junior Katie Bennert and senior Jill Cass during the Rams’ 11-4 victory Saturday afternoon.

John Ewing / Press Herald photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Kennebunk 11 Greely 4

K- 8 3- 11
G-  2 2- 4

First half
23:23 K Banglmaier (free position)
22:42 G Dean-Muncie (Goldburg)
20:56 K Banglmaier (free position)
17:47 G Clement (Morrison)
16:10 K Gassman (unassisted)
15:06 K Schwartzman (free position)
14:30 K Schwartzman (free position)
11:24 K Connor (Wuerthner)
9:45 K Gassman (unassisted)
7:48 K Connor (York)

Second half
18:13 K Connor (unassisted)
14:57 K Schwartzman (Wuerthner)
13:09 G Bennert (Goldburg)
10:11 G Dean-Muncie (Bennert)
3:43 K York (free position)

Goals:
K- Connor, Schwartzman 3, Banglmaier, Gassman 2, York 1
G- Dean-Muncie 2, Bennert, Clement 1

K- Wuerthner 2, York 1
G- Goldburg 2, Bennert, Morrison 1

Draws (Kennebunk, 12-6)
K- Banglmaier 12 of 18
G- Goldburg 6 of 17, Bennert 0 of 1

Ground balls:
K- 38
G- 25

Turnovers:
K- 21
G- 26

Shots:
K- 19
G- 8

Shots on cage:
K- 14
G- 6

Saves:
K (Moody) 2
G (Perfetti) 3

YARMOUTH—Kennebunk’s girls’ lacrosse team has been eagerly awaiting its 2019 season opener since last June’s playoff ouster and one Ram has been waiting even longer to return to the field.

Saturday afternoon, a rainy and foggy Lewis Field on the campus of North Yarmouth Academy, Kennebunk began its new campaign in style, never trailing and stifling Greely in an 11-4 victory.

Junior Mia Banglmaier, who missed the 2018 season with an ACL and meniscus injury, returned with a vengeance, dominating in the draw circle and scoring the Rams’ first two goals.

The Rangers tied the score, 2-2, but the final six goals of the first half went to Kennebunk, as junior Tiernan Connor and sophomores Danielle Gassman and Lily Schwartzman all scored twice in that span.

The Rams added the first two goals of the second half as well and while Greely eventually snapped a nearly-30 minute scoring drought, Kennebunk closed it out to start its season with an impressive victory, while dropping the Rangers to 1-1 in the process.

“I think it’s really important to get off to a good start,” said Banglmaier. “Everyone was excited when we came here and we’re really excited now. We have to keep the momentum going,”

Big step

Greely and Kennebunk were each ousted one game shy of their respective state final a year ago.

The Rams were undefeated until losing to Massabesic in the Class A South Final to finish 13-1.

The Rangers lost to eventual champion Cape Elizabeth in the Class B state semifinals to wind up 9-5. Greely started the 2019 season with a 14-7 victory at North Yarmouth Academy.

Kennebunk had won 11 of the most recent 14 meetings, dating to the 2002 season, and each of the past five (see sidebar, below).

Saturday’s contest was scheduled to be played at Greely, but poor weather conditions forced the Rangers to play at NYA for the second time this spring.

Greely was seeking its first win over the Rams since May 31, 2014 (8-6 in Kennebunk) and its first at “home” since 2003, but the Rams had the better of play most of the way.

Banglmaier won the game’s opening draw and 97 seconds in, Banglmaier earned a free position and sent a shot past Greely sophomore Hannah Perfetti for a quick 1-0 lead.

The Rangers drew even on their first possession, as sophomore Sam Goldburg set up classmate Elsa Dean-Muncie for a one-timer which got past Kennebunk junior Haley Moody to tie it, 1-1, with 22:42 to go in the first half.

Banglmaier got the ball back and earned another free position, which she converted with 20:56 on the clock to put the Rams back on top.

“Once we figured out they were high pressure defense, we knew we had to take the 1-v-1s,” Banglmaier said. “That was pretty much our plan. As a team, we like to say, ‘OSS,’ off-stick-side. See what hand the goalie’s stick is in and shoot for the other side.”

With 17:47 to play in the half, senior Brooke Clement finished a feed from classmate Jayme Morrison to tie it, 2-2, but Greely wouldn’t score again until well into the second half.

After a Banglmaier draw win, Kennebunk went on top for good with 16:10 remaining before halftime, as Gassman scored unassisted.

The Rams got the ball back, Schwartzman earned a free position and Schwartzman finished to make it 4-2, forcing Rangers coach Becca Koelker to call timeout.

It didn’t help, as Schwartzman scored on a free position with 14:30 left and after Gassman hit the post, Connor scored her first goal (from junior Allison Wuerthner) with 11:24 remaining in the half for a 6-2 lead.

Gassman then scored unassisted with 9:45 on the clock and with 7:48 left, York fed Connor and an 8-2 advantage at the break.

In the first half, Banglmaier, who is replacing Emily Archibald, who isn’t playing this spring, in the draw circle, won nine of 12 opportunities.

“I’m really excited to be back,” said Banglmaier. “This was a good way to get back to it. I was nervous about taking draws because I hadn’t done it in two years. I’m excited to step up and fill the role.”

“Mia was very comfortable,” said Kennebunk coach Annie Barker. “It means a lot to have her back. She’s smart, consistent, steady. She’s a gamer and a great kid. We won the majority of draws and that was a big question mark for us when Emily decided not to play.”

The Rams had a 23-12 advantage in ground balls, forcing 13 Greely turnovers, and held a 13-4 edge in shots, while converting four of five free position shots.

“The girls were psyched and ready to go,” Barker said. “I’m very pleased with the first half.”

“I think we came out a little nervous, which led to some unforced errors,” said Koelker. “We have to get our passing and catching on to be able to execute. That was our Achilles’ heel today and the girls know that. Because we were playing tentative, we were one step behind.”

Kennebunk started the second half where it left off in the first, as Connor weaved through the defense and finished with 18:13 remaining and with 14:57 to go, Wuerthner fed Schwartzman for a 10-2 lead.

Greely’s offense finally reawakened with 13:09 to go, as Goldburg set up junior Katie Bennert for a goal, snapping the Rams’ 8-0 run and a 29-minute, 38-second drought.

Dean-Muncie then finished a Bennert feed with 10:11 remaining, but that’s as close as the Rangers would get and after Barker called timeout, York scored on a free position with 3:43 on the clock and Kennebunk went on to an 11-4 victory.

“We’re young and we’re getting everyone on the same page,” said Barker. “We didn’t finish the little things and they came out aggressive in the second half and that rattled us. It’s early and we’ll work on it.”

Connor and Schwartzman led the way with three goals apiece, while Banglmaier and Gassman each had two. York’s one goal rounded out the scoring.

Wuerthner had two assists and York finished with one.

“We want to spread out the scoring,” Barker said. “We don’t have a star. We’ve talked about playing as a team.”

Moody made two saves.

Banglmaier won 12 of 18 draws, Kennebunk had a 38-25 advantage in ground balls (Connor collected 10 and Banglmaier had nine) and enjoyed a 19-8 shots advantage (14-6 on frame) while overcoming 21 turnovers.

Greely got three saves from Perfetti and four ground balls from junior Ellie Holt, but were done in by 26 turnovers.

“We’re getting our confidence and our feet underneath us,” Koelker said. “Once we do that, we’ll be fine. The pressure was off in the second half. We had dug a hole and we just went for it. The pressure being off let them play the way they can play.”

Challenges await

Kennebunk returns to action Wednesday with another tough test at reigning Class A champion Falmouth. The Rams’ home opener is Friday when defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth pays a visit.

“There are things we have to fix, but I feel we can be really good,” said Banglmaier. “We have to keep pushing it. We have a lot of potential we can un-tap. Next week will be a good test.”

“The potential is there,” Barker said. “We’re growing. We have two big tests next week. We’ll keep working and building.”

Greely is idle until next Saturday when it hosts Morse.

“We have another week off, which is good since we have a lot to work on,” Koelker said. “It will be nice to have an actual home game. We just have to tweak some of the different pieces.”

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

Greely sophomore Abby Taylor handles the ball.

Kennebunk junior Mia Banglmaier, who scored twice, is defended by Greely sophomore Haley Vaccarello (1) and sophomore Sam Goldburg.

Kennebunk sophomore Lily Schwartzman possesses the ball as Greely senior Jill Cass defends.

Recent Greely-Kennebunk results

2018
@ Kennebunk 13 Greely 5

2017
Kennebunk 10 @ Greely 6

2016
@ Kennebunk 11 Greely 8

2015
@ Kennebunk 15 Greely 10
Western B quarterfinals
@ Kennebunk 14 Greely 8

2014
Kennebunk 8 @ Greely 3
Greely 8 @ Kennebunk 6

2011
@ Kennebunk 10 Greely 7

2010
Kennebunk 14 @ Greely 4

2009
@ Kennebunk 15 Greely 5

2003
@ Greely 9 Kennebunk 7
West Division semifinals
Greely 8 @ Kennebunk 7

2002
@ Kennebunk 13 Greely 5
Kennebunk 14 @ Greely 10