Falmouth sophomore Sloane Ginevan scoops up a ground ball as Portland junior Isabelle Moran gives chase early in Thursday’s contest. Ginevan scored four goals to help the Yachtsmen to a 17-2 victory. Hoffer photo

BOX SCORE

Falmouth 17 Portland 2

F- 14 3- 17
P- 2 0- 2

First half
23:40 F Ginevan (Taylor)
22:12 P Littel (unassisted)
21:18 F Ginevan (Taylor)
14:53 P Littel (Howe)
13:51 F Scribner (Taylor)
13:40 F Fishman (Ginevan)
13:11 F Ginevan (unassisted)
12:39 F Clement (unassisted)
12:18 F Scribner (Fishman)
11:50 F Scribner (free position)
10:12 F Fishman (Scribner)
6:55 F Clement (free position)
6:42 F Ginevan (unassisted)
5:13 F Fishman (Clement)
3:01 F Clement (free position)
2.7 F Clement (unassisted)

Second half
23:02 F Stucker (Clement)
22:02 F Taylor (Clement)
10:17 F Barry (Adams)

Goals:
F- Clement, Ginevan 4, Fishman, Scribner 3, Barry, Stucker, Taylor 1
P- Littel 2

Assists:
F- Clement, Taylor 3, Adams, Fishman, Ginevan, Scribner 1
P- Howe 1

Draws (Falmouth, 17-3)
F- Clement 17 of 20
P- Littel 2 of 14, Marvin 1 of 4, Farmer 0 of 2

Ground balls:
F- 46
P- 19

Turnovers:
F- 15
P- 22

Shots:
F- 27
P- 7

Shots on cage:
F- 24
P- 4

Saves:
F (Abbott) 2
P (Doiron) 7

PORTLAND—Eleven minutes into the first half of Thursday’s girls’ lacrosse game at Fitzpatrick Stadium, host Portland had to feel good about its chances.

The young Bulldogs were hanging tough against two-time reigning Class A champion Falmouth and thanks to a pair of goals from sophomore Elizabeth Littel and some key saves from senior goalie Samira Doiron, found themselves in a 2-2 game.

And then, the Yachtsmen found another gear and quickly ended the competitive phase of the contest.

Junior Molly Scribner scored to put Falmouth ahead to stay and the Yachtsmen began to tickle the twine with dazzling regularity, scoring six goals in a two-minute stretch to break it open and a dozen unanswered before the first half ended with Falmouth firmly in command, up, 14-2.

With a mercy rule running clock in effect for the second half, the Yachtsmen, three days after a loss at Windham, tacked on three more goals and they rolled to a 17-2 victory.

Senior Eva Clement and sophomore Sloane Ginevan led a balanced and prolific offensive attack with four goals apiece and Falmouth improved to 2-1 on the young season, dropping Portland to 1-1 in the process.

“Momentum is so powerful in this game,” said Yachtsmen coach Ashley Pullen. “Once a few goals fall, it’s amazing to see what it can do for a team’s confidence.”

Explosive

Falmouth dominated in its first game, beating visiting Gorham, 14-3, but Monday, the Yachtsmen trailed almost the whole way and lost at Windham, 11-9.

That setback proved to be a valuable learning tool.

“That was a tough loss, but I had full faith in our team that we could bounce back,” Clement said.

“That loss was very much a learning experience and fuel for the fire,” Pullen said.

Portland, meanwhile, opened with a 16-1 home victory over Westbrook.

Thursday’s contest was the first countable game between the schools and Falmouth left no doubt just how special it can be when its offense is clicking on all cylinders.

Clement set the tone by winning the opening draw and the Yachtsmen almost went on top 20 seconds in, but sophomore Lucy Taylor’s bid was denied by Doiron.

Falmouth kept the ball and with 23:40 to go in the first half, Taylor fed Ginevan for a goal to break the ice.

After Doiron denied Fishman, the Bulldogs got their offense going and with 22:12 left in the half, Littel scored the first time, beating Falmouth sophomore goalie Victoria Abbott with an unassisted goal to tie the game, 1-1.

The Yachtsmen retook the lead 54 seconds later, as Taylor again set up Ginevan for a goal.

After Doiron kept the deficit at one by denying Clement on the doorstep, Portland tied it up again with 14:53 showing, as Littel took a pass from senior Lucy Howe to make it 2-2.

But that proved to be the Bulldogs’ highwater mark.

After Doiron momentarily held the fort by saving a shot from Taylor, Taylor set up Scribner for a goal with 13;51 left in the half and Falmouth had the lead for good.

And it was just getting started.

Eleven seconds later, after Clement won the draw to Ginevan, Ginevan set up Fishman for a goal and a 4-2 lead.

Clement won the next draw too and with 13:11 remaining, Ginevan weaved through the defense and finished unassisted for her team’s third goal in a 40 second span.

Portland coach Beth Broderick called timeout to attempt to slow the onlsaught, but it didn’t work.

With 12:39 on the clock, Clement finished unassisted.

With 12:18 remaining, again off a Clement draw win, Fishman set up Scribner for a goal.

Then, 28 seconds after that, after another draw win by Clement, Scribner scored on a free position to make it 8-2.

The Yachtsmen had scored six times in a 2-minute, 1-second span.

“We had to shake off those few saves their keeper made early,” said Pullen. “We had to have the persistence to know if we kept shooting and if we had the discipline to move her or fake, the shots would fall.”

The ninth goal came with 10:12 on the clock, as Scribner set up Fishman.

Falmouth then went a veritable eternity, over three minutes, before getting to 10 with 6:55 remaining, as Clement converted a free position shot.

Thirteen seconds later, Ginevan caught Clement’s draw, raced in and scored unassisted.

“Sloane’s an amazing player,” Clement said. “We’re so lucky to have her. She has great speed and overall scrappiness. I couldn’t ask for a better midfield partner. She’s got the height and size to get draws.”

With 5:13 still to go in the first half, Clement set up Fishman for a goal and a 12-2 lead, which induced the mercy rule running clock.

Falmouth’s dazzling half wasn’t quite over, as with 3:01 left, Clement converted a free position, then with 2.7 seconds to go, Clement scored unassisted and the Yachtsmen took a 14-2 advantage to the half.

“We had a little huddle and we were like, ‘Alright. Time to step it up. Let’s go,'” said Clement. “I think everyone kind of jelled together and we worked well as a unit. We were patient, working the ball around.”

In the first half, Clement won 15 of 17 draws and Falmouth had a 24-5 advantage in shots.

The Yachtsmen were content to pass the ball around and use up the clock in the second half, but they did manage to score three more times while continuing to shut down the Bulldogs’ offense.

With 23:02 left, Clement fed freshman Heather “Peaches” Stucker for Falmouth’s 15th goal.

Taylor, who had set up multiple goals in the first half, got to score one of her own, from Clement, one minute later.

The last goal came with 10:17 to play, as junior Whitney Adams set up classmate Kinsey Barry to account for the 17-2 final score.

“Today brings our morale up for sure,” Clement said. “It’s amazing to be back playing. I’m so grateful every practice and game to be back out on the field.”

Six different Yachtsmen wound up scoring goals.

Clement and Ginevan both had four, Fishman and Scribner each added three and Barry, Stucker and Taylor scored one apiece.

“We’re fortunate to have a lot of talent and threats on offense,” Pullen said. “That was a goal of ours, to have a balanced attack today.”

Clement and Taylor also had three assists each, while Adams, Fishman, Ginevan and Scribner all added one.

Abbott made two saves.

If Clement’s scoring and passing weren’t impressive enough, her work in the draw circle was sensational as well, as she won 17 of 20 opportunities.

“It’s so big to be able to have possession,” Pullen said. “How many sports can you go out there and get the ball the vast majority of the time? That’s such an advantage for us to have those possessions. Having a weapon like Eva in the draw circle and Sloane and Lucy and Company. They’re a great unit.”

Falmouth had a 46-19 edge in ground balls (Ginevan had a game-high 10, while Clement and Stucker each collected six), a 27-7 shots advantage (24-4 on cage) and overcame 15 turnovers.

Portland’s offense came from Littel, who scored both goals, and Howe, who had one assist.

Littel also had a team-high eight ground balls and Doiron made seven saves.

The Bulldogs committed 22 turnovers.

“I think we did some things really well to start the game,” Broderick said. “I liked the defense we came out with and I liked the way we competed for the ball on the transition. (Falmouth) made some adjustments and we need to learn to meet those adjustments throughout the game. We’re missing some folks because it’s spring break and we’re a little injured, so we don’t have all the options that I think we’ll have later on, but a lot of it is lacrosse IQ and Falmouth has a lot of kids play out of season and they’re a smart team, not just a good team. Lacrosse is a fast-paced game. I think teams have big runs and you have to be able to answer. We made some nice defensive stops, but it didn’t translate to the offensive end and that hurt us.”

Idle stretch

Portland doesn’t play again until next Saturday, when it hosts South Portland. Juggernaut Kennebunk then pays a visit.

“We’re young, but we’re learning the basics,” Broderick said. “We’re pretty excited to be out here. I love watching us play lacrosse.”

Falmouth will have a showdown at Massabesic next Friday.

“I think we definitely have potential,” Clement said. “I don’t want to speak too soon, but I have faith that we’ll pull it together and hopefully go far. As a young team, we still have to work on patience and composure. Field IQ. That will come. I’ve seen such improvement since tryouts from everyone on the team.”

“We have a long break, then at Massabesic and that will be a good test,” Pullen said. “It’s nice to have some time to prepare for them.”

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

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