Despite the defensive efforts of Yarmouth sophomore Natalie Teare (4), junior Avery May (20) and senior goalie Izzy Serrano, Biddeford junior Megan Mourmouras scores a first-half goal. Mourmouras scored twice in Biddeford’s loss to Yarmouth. (Maureen Grandmaison Photography)

YARMOUTH — For the seventh straight season, the Yarmouth girls’ lacrosse team has a chance to win the Class B championship.

The Clippers were tested by Biddeford on Tuesday, and the 11-6 victory was their smallest margin since a three-goal win over Cape Elizabeth on May 8. And that tight competition might help in the state final.

Yarmouth (13-1) plays the Capers (12-2) for the Class B state championship at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

“I think it’s really going to help us,” said Yarmouth senior Abi Thornton, who scored three of her game-high four goals in the second half. “In previous years, we haven’t seen as much competition, especially in the semifinal and quarterfinal games. I think it’s good for us to get that jolt.”

Yarmouth’s Abi Thornton drives past Biddeford’s Grace Boisvert during the Clippers’ 11-6 win in a Class B semifinal on Tuesday in Yarmouth. (Maureen Grandmaison Photography)

Yarmouth, which won state titles in 2014 and 2015, entered Tuesday’s game against Biddeford (11-3) as the favorite, but that might not be the case against the Capers.

“We’re going in as the underdog (and) that’s a great place to be at,” said Yarmouth Coach Dorothy Holt. “You build and build to get your team (to a championship match). Now, it’s there.”

Against Biddeford, the Clippers snagged the lead less than two minutes in as Katelyn D’Appolonia scored off a Hannah Grant assist. Biddeford sophomore Abby Allen tied the score on a free-position shot at the 22:56 mark of the first half, and senior Brooke Reissfelder gave Biddeford its only lead off an assist by senior Paige Laverriere.

Megan Mourmouras later tied the score at 3-3 and reached 100 career points.

“She rises to every occasion,” said Biddeford Coach Caitlin Albert. “I’m so glad she’s just a junior.”

Each time the Tigers matched the Clippers in the first half, Yarmouth found a way to jump back in front. Thornton registered her first goal with 16:13 in the half to give Yarmouth a one-goal lead and D’Appolonia’s second score at the 5:46 mark did the same. Mourmouras’ second goal came with 41 seconds left and Yarmouth took a 6-5 edge into the intermission.

At the break, Holt told her team to slow down the offense and take care of the ball. Its first possession of the second half lasted more than a minute and goals by junior Ehryn Groothoff and Anna Thornton pushed the Clippers advantage to 8-5 and forced Albert to call a timeout.

“When we’re playing a really competitive team, it’s been really important that we have possessions throughout,” Abi Thornton said. “We saw the competition in the first half and we just wanted to match it.”

Abi Thornton’s second and third scores gave Yarmouth its ninth and 10th goals. She then answered Allen’s hat-trick with her fourth goal of the contest to create the 11-6 final.

Defensively, the tenacious play of senior Isabel Brennan and juniors Avery May and Jane Fulton in the second half gave Yarmouth’s offensive players confidence, Holt said. All those wind sprints throughout the season came in handy, too.

“In the end, conditioning paid off. These girls, they can run all day long,” Holt said. “We had to beat them at something. Running was the name of the game today.”

Yarmouth put 25 shots on goal to Biddeford’s 15.

Yarmouth junior Ehryn Groothoff races up the field as Biddeford senior Paige Laverriere gives chase. (Maureen Grandmaison Photography)

Abi Thornton finished with a game-high four goals. Anna Thornton, Groothoff and D’Appolonia each had two and Grant chipped in with one. Allen led Biddeford with three scores. Mourmouras finished with a pair and Reissfelder had one. 

“We’ve accomplished a lot,” said Albert, who guided the Tigers to their winningest season and their first playoff win in program history in the previous round against Gardiner/Hall-Dale. “Our seniors have been such good leaders. As coaches, we’re really grateful and lucky … Hopefully, the girls remember what it felt like to be here right now and be this close.”

Now the game plan for the Clippers – take care of the ball, stay calm, be patient and communicate – sounds simple, but the challenge against Cape Elizabeth is not

“We really needed a good game, and (Biddeford) just took us to the next level,” Holt said. “That’s what we needed.”

Yarmouth senior Hannah Grant is chased by Biddeford sophomore Ashjan Abdulsalam. (Maureen Grandmaison Photography)

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