Windham’s girls’ lacrosse team celebrates Saturday’s 10-5 home win over Portland in a Class A North semifinal. The Eagles snapped the Bulldogs’ 11-game win streak and advanced to meet top-ranked Falmouth, the defending state champion, in Wednesday’s regional final.

Portland junior Annika More battles Windham senior Morgan Colangelo on a draw.


Class A North semifinal

Windham 10 Portland 5 

P- 2 3- 5
W- 9 1- 10

First half
19:32 W Skvorak (free position)
18:05 W Skvorak (Yale)
15:12 W Yale (Joyce)
14:15 W Skvorak (free position)
12:16 W O’Connell (Joyce)
10:06 W Yale (Beem)
3:48 W Skvorak (unassisted)
1:19 P Clifford (Kilbride)
54.4 P Kilbride (I. More)
16.4 W Skvorak (unassisted)
5.5 W Yale (Colangelo)

Second half
24:15 P Praught (unassisted)
21:51 W Joyce (free position)
19:58 P A. More (unassisted)
7:30 P Praught (I. More)

P- Praught 2, Clifford, Kilbride, A. More 1
W-Skvorak 5, Yale 3, Joyce, O’Connell 1

P- I. More 2, Kilbride 1
W- Joyce 2, Beem, Colangelo, Yale 1

Draws (Portland, 11-6)
P- A. More 6 of 9, I. More 5 of 8
W-Colangelo 6 of 17

Ground balls:
P- 40
W- 26

P- 19
W- 14

P- 27
W- 18

Shots on cage:
P- 19
W- 18

P (Doiran) 8
W (Gedicks) 14

WINDHAM—All good things must end.

And despite doing everything in its power to prevent it, Portland’s girls’ lacrosse team saw its program-record 11-game win streak come to a close Saturday morning.

The Bulldogs, seeded third in Class A North, went to No. 2 Windham for a semifinal and due in large part to a 9-2 halftime deficit and 14 saves from Eagles senior goalie Kaitlyn Gedicks, they suffered their first loss since April 24.

Windham shot to a 7-0 lead, as Gedicks turned aside multiple point blank Portland shots, while Eagles senior Belle Skvorak scored four times.

The Bulldogs showed some life late in the half, as junior Elena Clifford and senior Chloe Kilbride scored, but in a pivotal sequence just before the break, Skvorak and sophomore Emma Yale both beat Portland sophomore goalie Samira Doiran and Windham was firmly in control, up, 9-2.

The Eagles would score just once in the second half, but Gedicks made 10 saves, never allowing Portland to make a serious run, and Windham went on to a 10-5 victory.

Skvorak scored five times, Yale added three goals, Gedicks made 14 saves total and the Eagles improved to 12-1, ended the Bulldogs’ season at 11-3 and advanced to take on top-ranked, defending state champion Falmouth (12-1) in the Class A North Final Wednesday in Falmouth at 4 p.m.

“I think we’ve done a lot of things well all season, but today we couldn’t put it together and (Windham) had a good day,” said Portland coach Beth Broderick. “It’s not our home field and that changes things, but I’m proud of our heart and hustle.”

Hill too steep

Portland dropped its first two games this spring, 11-8 to visiting Windham and 9-5 at Gorham, but the Bulldogs had been an unstoppable force ever since.

Portland’s win streak began with a 15-9 home triumph over South Portland. After prevailing at Sanford (12-6), Brunswick (12-2) and Edward Little (15-3), the Bulldogs handled visiting Noble (14-7), Cony (19-2) and Westbrook (16-7), then eked out a 7-6 win at Cheverus, beat host Bonny Eagle, 16-11, and closed with a 16-3 home victory over rival Deering.

Portland earned the No. 3 seed in Class A North for the second year in a row and Wednesday in the quarterfinals, pulled away in the second half to eliminate No. 6 Lewiston, 15-5.

Windham, meanwhile, won its first 11 games, including victories at Portland, at home over Falmouth and defending Class C champion Lake Region, and at defending Class A South champion Massabesic. The Eagles dropped their finale, 8-7, at Kennebunk and with that, wound up second in the region, but still earned a bye into the semifinals.

Windham held off host Portland by three goals April 22.

The teams had no prior playoff history.

Saturday, on a beautiful 72 degree day, the Eagles never trailed and while the Bulldogs fought for 50 minutes, they simply didn’t have the answers.

Windham had the first good scoring chance, but Skvorak’s free position was denied by Doiran.

At the other end, Portland hoped to go ahead, but Clifford missed a shot in front.

The Eagles then went on top to stay with 19:32 left in the first half, as Skvorak scored on a free position.

Skvorak scored again with 18:05 to go, in transition, taking a pass from Yale and beating Doiran for a 2-0 advantage.

“It’s kind of weird having a bye week,” Skvorak said. “I’d rather just play. We just took a minute there to reset and pull it together.”

“A lead was important,” Gedicks said. “We got in the game and we felt more comfortable. We didn’t feel stressed.”

After Bulldogs junior Hazel Praught missed just wide, Yale scored for the first time, from senior Alanna Joyce, with 15:12 left in the half.

A mere 57 seconds later, Skvorak converted another free position and after Gedicks denied freshman Chelsea Dana at one end, Windham made it 5-0 with 12;16 to go, as Joyce set up sophomore Carissa O’Connell.

Broderick called timeout and Portland came out on the attack, but Gedicks denied both junior Annika More and junior Isabella More.

Then, in transition, sophomore Riley Beem fed Yale for a 6-0 lead with 10:06 on the clock and with 3:48 to go, Skvorak weaved through the defense and finished to extend the advantage even further.

“It wasn’t really me,” Skvorak said. “We were connecting passes and I was just finishing.”

After Gedicks robbed Clifford, Clifford finally got the Bulldogs on the board with 1:19 remaining in the half, from Kilbride, and 25 seconds later, Kilbride finished a feed from Isabella More to cut the deficit to five.

If Portland had gone into the break that close, things might have been different, but Windham coach Matt Perkins called timeout and his team would respond with not one, but two critical goals.

With 16.4 seconds left, Skvorak found a seam in the defense and ran in and scored.

Then, with just 5.5 seconds remaining, off the draw, senior Morgan Colangelo collected the ball and fed Yale for a backbreaking goal and a 9-2 halftime advantage.

“(The timeout) was a good time to catch our breath and settle down,” Perkins said. “These guys are so focused and they adapt so well to whatever the situation is. We talked about the situation. They’re a dream to coach. They get it. Their lacrosse IQ is the best I’ve seen.”

Portland tried to rally in the second half, as Praught scored unassisted just 45 seconds in, but with 21:51 to play, Joyce’s free position restored a seven-goal lead.

The Eagles wouldn’t score the rest of the way, but they didn’t have to.

After Gedicks stopped a free position shot by Isabella More, Annika More scored unassisted with 19:58 on the clock, but Gedicks robbed Isabella More once and Annika More twice before Praught (from Isabella More) cut the deficit to 10-5 with 7:30 to go.

That’s as close as the Bulldogs would get, as Gedicks made one final save on Dana and Windham closed out and celebrated its 10-5 victory.

“Portland’s a good team with some great players,” said Perkins. “We had to get our feet underneath us.”

Skvorak led the way for the Eagles with five goals, while Yale had three and Joyce and O’Connell each tickled the twine once.

Joyce had a pair of assists, while Beem, Colangelo and Yale finished with one apiece.

Gedicks turned heads with her 14 saves.

“I don’t really think it’s anything I do,” Gedicks said. “The whole team works so hard.”

“(Kaitlyn’s) amazing,” said Skvorak. “She does everything we can for us. We wouldn’t be here without her.”

“She was phenomenal,” Perkins added. “We knew all along she’d be a great goalie and she’s taken full advantage of it. She’s one of the best, I think, there is in the state.” 

Colangelo and Joyce tied for team-high honors in ground balls with five apiece.

The Eagles only committed 14 turnovers.

Falmouth awaits

Windham was the only team to beat the defending Class A champs this year, 7-6 at home May 2.

In the teams’ lone prior playoff meeting, Falmouth prevailed, 10-5, in last year’s semifinal round.

This time around, the Eagles are confident they can punch their ticket to the program’s first state final.

“We have to forget about the (previous) win and treat it like we’re playing any other team and play with all of our heart,” said Skvorak.

“I’m excited,” Gedicks said. “Both teams are so good. It will be a fun game to be in.”

“We’re not disappointed not finishing first,” Perkins added. “I’m happy to go to (Falmouth). We love turf and we look forward to Wednesday. (Falmouth’s) a great team. We have great leadership and our kids are all-in. We look forward to a good game.”

What a ride

For Portland, Praught had two goals, while Clifford, Kilbride and Annika More each scored once.

Isabella More had two assists, while Kilbride assisted on one goal.

Doiran made eight saves.

The Bulldogs had an edge in several statistical categories, winning 11 of 17 draws, holding a 40-26 advantage in ground balls (Isabella More had a game-high 10) and a 27-18 edge in shots (19-18 on cage).

Portland committed 19 turnovers.

“We made some mistakes today,’ Broderick said. “We’re still a young team. As coaches, we respect that the girls played until the final whistle.

“We have a lot to be proud of. I’m proud of how the girls were willing to learn every day and how they worked together.”

The Bulldogs expect to remain a top contender in 2020.

“We graduate six and we’ll miss the seniors for their leadership and their play, but have a strong rising senior class and strong underclassmen, so the future looks bright,” Broderick said.

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