Greely senior Madi Scott leaps into the arms of sophomore goalie Hannah Perfetti at the conclusion of the Rangers’ 15-7 home win over Freeport Wednesday afternoon.

Ben McCanna / Press Herald photos.

BOX SCORE

Greely 15 Freeport 7

F- 4 3- 7
G- 7 8- 15

First half
22:00 G Bennert (free position)
21:46 G Dean-Muncie (Bennert)
20:59 G Morrison (Clement)
16:50 F Perrotta (free position)
10:44 F Whlean (Rinaldi)
9:14 G Holt (unassisted)
8:56 G Beaulieu (Dean-Muncie)
6:58 G Dean-Muncie (Vaccarello)
5:02 F Whelan (Perrotta)
2:50 F Greuel (Whelan)
33.1 G Clement (unassisted)

Second half
20:50 G Dean-Muncie (Clement)
20:29 G Morrison (Clement)
18:56 G Dean-Muncie (Morrison)
17:58 G Bennert (free position)
17:05 G Zeirvogel (Clement)
13:26 G Zeirvogel (free position)
6:56 G Richards (free position)
5:25 F Perrotta (Jensen)
2:55 F Tracy (unassisted)
54.6 G Taylor (Dean-Muncie)
14.3 F Tracy (Whittier)

Goals:
F- Perrotta, Tracy, Whelan 2, Greuel 1
G- Dean-Muncie 4, Bennert, Morrison, Zeirvogel 2, Beaulieu, Clement, Holt, Richards, Taylor 1

Assists:
F- Jensen, Perrotta, Rinaldi, Whelan, Whittier 1
G- Clement 4, Dean-Muncie 2, Bennert, Morrison, Vaccarello 1

Draws (Greely, 15-9)
F- Greuel 4 of 11, Perrotta 1 of 7, Tracy 4 of 6
G- Goldburg 9 of 15, Bennert 6 of 9

Ground balls:
F- 32
G- 54

Turnovers:
F- 27
G- 20

Shots:
F- 15
G- 28

Shots on cage:
F- 10
G- 24

Saves:
F (Sherbert) 9
G (H. Perfetti) 3

CUMBERLAND—Opponents of Greely’s girls’ lacrosse team face a daunting dilemma every time they square off against the Rangers.

Which player do you attempt to stop?

The answer is, good luck.

That’s because there aren’t just one or two or three or even four players you can focus on.

Greely’s depth and offensive balance gave visiting Freeport nightmares in an interclass showdown Wednesday afternoon, as the Rangers put nine different girls in the scoring column and never trailed en route to a pivotal victory.

In the game’s first four minutes alone, junior Katie Bennert, sophomore Elsa Dean-Muncie and senior Jayme Morrison all tickled the twine for a quick 3-0 lead.

The Falcons attempted to rally behind goals from senior Margaret Perrotta and junior Molly Whelan, but junior Ellie Holt, junior Megan Beaulieu and Dean-Muncie countered for a four-goal lead.

Freeport appeared to get some momentum back when Whelan and senior Allison Greuel scored late in the first half, but with 33 seconds to go, senior Brooke Clement gave Greely a 7-4 halftime advantage.

The Rangers then pulled away quickly in the second half, scoring seven consecutive goals, as Dean-Muncie, Morrison, Dean-Muncie, Bennert, senior Lotti Zeirvogel (twice) and senior Kate Richards all did the honors, and Greely went on to a decisive 15-7 victory.

Dean-Muncie paced the attack with four goals, Bennert and sophomore Sam Goldburg were dominant in the draw circle and the Rangers improved to 6-2 on the season, dropping the Falcons to 6-2 in the process.

“Our team is very supportive of each other,” Bennert said. “We always back each other up. We kept our confidence up, came out strong and won the game.”

High hopes

Entering play Wednesday, since the start of the 2002 season, Greely had beaten Freeport in 15 of 18 meetings (see sidebar below).

Both teams are right near the top of their respective class this spring.

The Rangers started with a 14-7 victory at North Yarmouth Academy, then lost to Kennebunk, in a game played on NYA’s turf, 11-4. After enjoying a 16-4 home win over Morse and a 10-5 victory at Waynflete, Greely fell at Gorham, 11-6, but the Rangers bounced back to defeat host York (14-6) and Monday, defeat visiting Lake Region, the reigning Class C state champion, 13-7.

Freeport, meanwhile, had just one blemish entering play. The Falcons started with a  15-3 home win over Fryeburg Academy, then lost at Yarmouth, 14-7, but the month of May had been good to Freeport, as it handled visiting York (14-6), visiting Bonny Eagle (13-12), host Boothbay (19-9), visiting NYA (13-8) and host Oceanside (15-2).

Wednesday, on yet another cloudy, windy and chilly (54 degrees at the start) albeit dry afternoon, the Falcons sought their first win over the Rangers since a 14-13, triple-overtime triumph May 26, 2015, but Greely made it four straight in the series.

Goldburg won the game’s opening draw and the Rangers scored first three minutes in, as Bennert finished a free position opportunity, beating Freeport junior goalie Piper Sherbert.

Goldburg won the next draw too, to Bennert, and Bennert fed Dean-Muncie for a second goal.

“Sam’s incredible on the draw,” Bennert said. “I always just focus on the ball. Sam and I have great communication. She tells me where to go and she gets the ball to me.”

Greely kept the pressure on, as Clement fed Morrison for a third goal with 20:59 remaining in the half.

Freeport then came to life and got back in the game.

With 16:50 on the clock, Perrotta finished a free position, beating Rangers sophomore goalie Hannah Perfetti.

After Clement hit the post at one end, the Falcons drew within 3-2 at the other, as junior Paige Rinaldi passed to Whelan for a goal with 10:44 remaining in the half.

That’s as close as Freeport would get, however, as Holt scored unassisted 90 seconds later, Bennert won the ensuing draw to Dean-Muncie, who passed to Beaulieu for a goal with 8:56 on the clock and with 6:58 remaining, Dean-Muncie finished a feed from sophomore Haley Vaccarello for a 6-2 advantage.

The Falcons answered again, as after Sherbert denied Dean-Muncie on a free position, Perrotta set up Whelan for a goal with 5:02 on the clock and with 2:50 left, Greuel took a pass from Whelan and finished to make it 6-4.

But just when it appeared Freeport would take momentum to the break, Greely seized it back.

With 33.1 seconds on the clock, Clement managed to weave through the defense and finish and the Rangers took a 7-4 lead to the half.

In the first 25 minutes, Greely won eight of 12 draws, had a commanding 29-13 advantage on ground balls, forced 10 turnovers and enjoyed an 11-7 edge in shots on frame.

The Rangers were finally able to shake the Falcons for good in the second half.

With 20:50 to play, Clement set up Dean-Muncie for a goal.

A mere 21 seconds later, Clement delivered another perfect assist, to Morrison, and the lead was five.

With 18:56 on the clock, it was Morrison’s turn to assist a goal, setting up Dean-Muncie for a 10-4 lead.

Bennert (on a free position with 17:58 to play), Zeirvogel (from Clement 53 seconds later), Zeirvogel (on a free position with 13:26 remaining) and Richards (on a free position with 6:56 to go) extended the advantage to 14-4 and induced a mercy rule running clock.

It didn’t run for long, however, as Freeport finished strong.

With 5:25 left, Perrotta scored (from sophomore Myah Jensen).

With 2:55 remaining, freshman Savannah Tracy scored an unassisted goal.

Greely’s final goal came with 54.6 seconds left, when Dean-Muncie set up sophomore Abby Taylor and with 14.3 seconds to go, Tracy (from freshman Ellie Whittier) got the Falcons’ final tally, bringing the curtain down on the Rangers’ 15-7 triumph.

“We came out knowing Freeport is a great team,” Bennert said “In the second half, we rallied around each other and we came out stronger than I’ve seen us.”

“Our girls knew this would be a tough game, so we came in ready to work and we connected really well,” Greely coach Becca Koelker said. “In the second half, we slowed it down and kept possession of the ball and we were smarter with our feeds on offense, and our defense and Hannah really stepped up to shut them down.”

Dean-Muncie was the game’s top scorer with four goals and two assists. Bennert and Morrison both had two goals and one assist and Zeirvogel also scored twice. Beaulieu, Clement, Holt, Richards and Taylor also scored.

“We have an incredible variety of players,” Bennert said. “I know I can rely on every girl on the field. We have such a talented attack.”

“We’ve got quite a bit of depth as far as who can put the ball in the net,” said Koelker. “I love that we don’t have to rely on one person to get it done.”

Clement added four assists for Greely, while Vaccarello had one.

Perfetti made three saves for the Rangers.

Greely won 15 of 24 draws.

“Sam and Katie got us draws that we put away,” said Koelker. “They’ve been crucial and dependable all season.”

The Rangers had a huge edge in ground balls, 54-32 (senior Maddy Perfetti had a game-high 10 and Bennert collected eight), outshot Freeport, 28-15 (24-10 on cage) and overcame 20 turnovers.

The Falcons got two goals apiece from Perrotta, Tracy and Whelan and Greuel added one.

Jensen, Perrotta, Rinaldi, Whelan and Whittier all had one assist.

Sherbert made nine saves.

Whittier had a team-high seven ground balls.

Freeport committed an uncharacteristic 27 turnovers.

“I’m not really sure what happened today,” said Falcons coach Marcia Wood. “We made too many mistakes and when you do, you’re not going to win. Kudos to Greely. They played a great game. They outhustled us. They won the ground balls. We stayed with them in the first half. I was hoping for a close game all the way, but it got out of hand. Not really reflective of my team, but we have a lot to work on.”

Playoff push

Freeport (now third behind Winslow and St. Dom’s in the Class C Heal Points standings) has a key home test against Gorham Friday, then plays at St. Dom’s Monday and goes to Waynflete next Thursday, games that will be pivotal for playoff positioning, before closing at home versus Wells May 29.

“We have to refocus and hopefully learn from the multiple mistakes we made today,” Wood said. “We’ve got to focus on Gorham. Then, we’ll focus on St. Dom’s next.”

Greely (second behind Yarmouth in Class B) has interclass games at Scarborough Friday and St. Dom’s Wednesday of next week, then hosts Yarmouth May 28 and finishes at defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth two days later.

“We’re really looking forward to the rest of the season,” Bennert said. “We have some incredible teams in our class. We know we have to rally around each other and be ourselves and if we do, we can beat any team. We’re ready.”

“We’re getting there,” Koelker said. “We’ve had some injuries and sickness, so it feels good to have everyone back practicing together. Every day, we have to get better. We have to keep working hard. There are no easy games the rest of the season for us. We’ll have to elevate our game every time. The girls are excited. They’re ready for the rest of the season.”

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

Freeport sophomore Rianna Tomm and Greely sophomore Abby Taylor fight for the ball.

Greely junior Katie Bennert prepares to shoot.

Greely sophomore Elsa Dean-Muncie races up the field.

Recent Greely-Freeport results

2018
Greely 13 @ Freeport 10

2017
@ Greely 12 Freeport 11

2016
Greely 13 @ Freeport 9

2015
Freeport 14 @ Greely 13 (3 OT)

2014
@ Freeport 7 Greely 6

2013
@ Greely 10 Freeport 8
Greely 13 @ Freeport 6

2012
Freeport 12 @ Greely 11
Greely 15 @ Freeport 10

2011
@ Greely 7 Freeport 6

2010
@ Greely 16 Freeport 7

2008
Greely 14 @ Freeport 7

2006
@ Greely 18 Freeport 2

2005
Greely 14 @ Freeport 1
@ Greely 15 Freeport 5

2004
@ Greely 13 Freeport 2

2003
@ Greely 13 Freeport 3

2002
@ Greely 10 Freeport 5