YARMOUTH — The North Yarmouth Academy boys’ lacrosse team avenged last season’s loss to Waynflete in a Class C semifinal with Wednesday’s gritty, come-from-behind 9-7 victory, holding the defending champion Flyers to one second-half goal.

“We had the same situation last year, semifinals at home against Waynflete, and it was a different result. That feeling really stuck with the returning players,” said senior midfielder Xander Kostelnik. “We knew how it felt to be on the other side of that game so being on this side just made it so much better.”

The No. 2 Panthers (10-4) advance to their first state final since 2012. They will go for their first state title since 2007 on Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium against No. 8 Maranacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain.

Kostelnik scored two goals and was a critical factor in transition with his speed. Ryan Baker (3 goals, 1 assist) led NYA in scoring. Harry Millspaugh, Miles Lipton and Mitchell Adams each scored two goals for No. 3 Waynflete (10-4).

Adams and Lipton scored in the final 28 seconds of the first half to give the Flyers a 6-3 halftime lead. Goals by Kostelnik, Mason Parks (two) and Baker gave NYA a 7-6 lead after a penalty-filled third quarter. Cameron Goodrick upped the margin to 8-6 early in the fourth. Waynflete’s Adams broke the Flyers’ 20:34 scoreless drought with 3:26 to play.

Millspaugh nearly tied the game with about 25 seconds to play. His hard shot handcuffed NYA goalie Jared Buckner. With the ball near his feet and the goal line, Buckner used his hand to sweep the ball away from the goal line. Goalies can use their hand to make a save, but cannot grab the ball. Officials on the spot called neither goal nor foul. While Waynflete pleaded, Buckner flung the ball to the opposite end, right to Baker who scored the clincher with seven seconds left.


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