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Forecaster Sports
Posted
Updated April 28
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Yarmouth girls finally open season, earn revenge win over Cape

Clippers get balanced attack and a strong goalkeeping effort in a 9-3 victory.

Yarmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team congratulates junior goalie Juliet Meas at the conclusion of Wednesday’s 9-3 victory at Cape Elizabeth. Hoffer photo

BOX SCORE

Yarmouth 9 Cape Elizabeth 3

Y- 4 5- 9
CE- 2 1- 3

First half
21:41 Y Lowenstein (unassisted)
20:34 Y Lowenstein (free position)
16:53 CE Graham (unassisted)
12:42 CE Ryer (Graham)
7:27 Y Bergeron (Powers)
4:20 Y D’Appolonia (free position)

Second half
23:34 Y Teare (Powers)
22:51 CE Ryer (unassisted)
19:54 Y Lowenstein (Marston)
19:12 Y Powers (unassisted)
6:58 Y Teare (free position)
5:32 Y Powers (Thornton)

Goals:
Y- Lowenstein 3, Powers, Teare 2, Bergeron, D’Appolonia 1
CE- Ryer 2, Graham 1

Assists:
Y- Powers 2, Marston, Thornton 1
CE- Graham 1

Draws (Cape Elizabeth, 10-4)
Y- Teare 4 of 8, Thornton 0 of 5, Keaney 0 of 1
CE- Ryer 6 of 9, McDonald 4 of 5

Ground balls:
Y- 31
CE- 34
Turnovers:
Y- 18
CE- 17
Shots:
Y- 18
CE- 19
Shots on cage:
Y- 12
CE- 14
Saves:
Y (Meas) 11
CE (Branch) 3

CAPE ELIZABETH—After an interminable wait, Yarmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team ignited its season in style Wednesday afternoon in its season opener.

Against the team that dashed the Clippers’ championship hopes in both 2018 and 2019.

Facing Cape Elizabeth at Hannaford Field, Yarmouth took a quick 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of goals from senior Annie Lowenstein.

As they so often do, however, the Capers rallied, and drew even on goals from seniors Charlotte Graham and Laura Ryer.

The Clippers then retook the lead for good when sophomore Annie Bergeron and junior Katelyn D’Appolonia scored late in the first half for a 4-2 advantage.

Senior Natalie Teare started the second half with a goal for Yarmouth, but Ryer answered and Cape Elizabeth had some great chances to draw even closer, but Clippers junior goalie Juliet Meas stood tall and never allowed the Capers to score again.

Lowenstein then scored for the third time, freshman sensation Aine Powers added a pair of goals and Teare tacked on one more to allow Yarmouth to go on to a 9-3 victory.

Lowenstein paced the offense with three goals and Meas made 11 saves as the Clippers opened with a victory and in the process, dropped Cape Elizabeth to 0-4.

“Last year was so tough, but we stayed close-knit and it strengthened us,” said Lowenstein. “We always have a team word and this year, it’s ‘Ignite.’ We’ve been building this fire for two seasons. We’ve built it up and now we’re igniting that fire.”

A long, long wait

On June 14, 2019, for the second straight season, Cape Elizabeth frustrated Yarmouth in the Class B state final, this time, 12-11, in triple-overtime, when then-junior Karli Chapin scored the decisive goal.

Neither team had a minute of organized activity in 2020 and the Clippers had to watch this month as most of the other teams in the state played one, two or even three games before they had a chance to open.

Cape Elizabeth had already played a quarter of its schedule, as the Capers started with a 12-11 loss at York, then fell at home to Kennebunk (13-2) and Windham (13-3).

While Yarmouth has struggled to beat Cape Elizabeth in the playoffs, the Clippers did down the Capers in the 2019 regular season, 14-11, at home.

Wednesday, Yarmouth never trailed, but the game was closer than the final score would indicate.

After waiting 683 days for the opportunity to play, then squaring off with the team that left them in agony the last time they took the field, the Clippers might have been overcome by nerves at the start and while those involved admitted there were some, it was hard to tell, as with 21:41 to go in the first half, Lowenstein scored with a pretty low shot and after Meas robbed Cape Elizabeth senior Hannah Johnson at one end, Lowenstein scored again, beating Capers junior goalie Elise Branch with a free position with 20:34 on the clock for a 2-0 lead.

“I always feel nervous before a game with jitters and excitement,” said Lowenstein. “To score felt good, but any of us could have scored those goals.”

Cape Elizabeth would answer, as with 16:53 to go, Graham scored unassisted and after Johnson was just off target, Graham had a shot saved by Meas and Teare hit the post at the other end, Graham set up Ryer for the tying goal with 12;42 remaining before halftime.

Senior Greta Frankwicz then had a chance to put the Capers on top, but she missed wide with her free position.

Meas then saved a shot from junior Claire McDonald.

After Branch saved a shot from Clippers senior Bella Solari, Yarmouth forced a turnover and Powers set up Bergeron for a goal with 7:27 left in the half to put Yarmouth on top for good.

Meas denied senior Sami Olsen’s game-tying bid on a free position, then with 4:20 showing, D’Appolonia converted a free position to make it 4-2.

Meas then stopped another free position, this one by Ryer, and the Clippers took a two-goal lead to the break.

Cape Elizabeth won all seven first half draws and had a 10-9 edge in shots in the first half, but Meas’ five saves kept Yarmouth in the lead.

The Capers had their chances to catch up in the second half, but eventually, the Clippers pulled away.

Cape Elizabeth senior Annie Guimond knocks the ball away from Yarmouth senior Bella Solari. Hoffer photo

After Branch denied a free position shot from Powers a minute into the second half, Yarmouth went up, 5-2, when Teare finished a feed from Powers with 23:34 to go.

Cape Elizabeth answered 37 seconds later, when Ryer scored unassisted, but despite ample opportunities, the Capers wouldn’t score again.

First, Meas saved a shot from senior Sami Olsen.

Next, she denied Ryer’s free position bid.

“For free positions, I just get in my position and try to get right in front of the ball.,” Meas said.

“We worked a lot on getting off the line on free positions at practice and we got where we wanted to go to take a shot and now, we need to work on placement,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Alex Spark. “We had opportunities. Now we have to work on capitalizing on those.”

With 19:54 left, the Clippers got some breathing room, as after senior Maddie Marston soared from nowhere to force a turnover in the defensive end, Marston got the ball to Lowenstein, who finished for the third time, making it 6-3.

A mere 42 seconds later, Powers scored for the first time, unassisted.

“The first half wasn’t pretty and we had a ton of turnovers,” said longtime Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt. “A lot of these girls wanted to win badly, but we were nervous. We hadn’t played a game in almost two years and we had to work our kinks out. At halftime, I told them to settle in and trust each other.”

Cape Elizabeth again tried to rally, but Olsen hit the post, then Meas saved Ryer’s free position before Meas robbed Olsen again.

“Juliet came in and she honestly, before my eyes, turned into this monster presence on the field,” Lowenstein said. “She’s small, but she’s feisty.”

With 6:58 to play, Teare added a goal on a free position and with 5:32 remaining, Powers took a pass from senior Anna Thornton and scored to account for the 9-3 final score.

“We played like a team and that was our goal today,” said Lowenstein. “There were a lot of nerves around playing Cape after two state championship games, but we came to play as a team. Everyone on the team feels so elated right now. Even with the new faces, everyone brought their ‘A’ game and worked hard.”

“Getting this first win is huge,” Holt said. “We just wanted to get past today. Cape’s always a good team and they rise to us every single time. To get this first game out of the way, we can move on and focus.

“I’m so grateful to be back out here and walk to the turf every day. We’re here for each other and to have fun and to embrace every game. It’s a different season to coach because I don’t know what might happen next week.”

Five different Clippers scored goals, as Lowenstein had three, Powers and Teare two apiece and Bergeron and D’Appolonia one each.

“We have a lot of depth,” Lowenstein said. “Anyone is a threat when they have the ball. We had so many people interacting on every play.”

Powers also had two assists, while Marston and Thurston added one apiece.

Yarmouth got eight ground balls from Powers.

Meas stole the show with 11 saves and she had plenty of help.

“I have an amazing defense in front of me to help me along,” Meas said. “After having a freshman season where I played JV and varsity, I jumped right into the goal. We’ve practiced really hard and it showed in this game. We all saw the ball well and it was a good game overall.”

“Juliet was on fire,” Holt said. “She made so many saves because the defense played so well to cut down angles. She did great on free positions. She was a wall and the defense played amazing. We have people playing defense who haven’t played on varsity at all or in years, but they worked well together.”

The Clippers overcame 18 turnovers.

Cape Elizabeth’s offense consisted of two goals from Ryer and a goal and an assist from Graham.

Branch made three saves.

The Capers had a 10-4 advantage in draws, a 34-31 edge in ground balls (junior Claire McDonald had a game-high 10) and a 19-18 shots advantage (14-12 on cage), while committing 17 turnovers.

“We turned the ball over when we shouldn’t and that allowed Yarmouth to get the lead on us,” said Spark. “But we’re so proud as coaches. What a difference from our last game. I thought our defense played awesome. We had great slides and great help on Yarmouth’s players who love to drive. There were so many great moments on defense.

“We see Yarmouth again at the end of the season. They’re always a fun team to play. We use them to measure our success because we see them early, then we see them late. We’ll both be getting better.”

No let-up

The rivals meet again May 28 in Yarmouth, but both squads have several hurdles to clear first.

Cape Elizabeth continues to run its season opening gauntlet Saturday at a team the Capers don’t know at all, Berwick Academy. Games at two-time Class A champion Falmouth and Class C favorite Freeport follow.

“You have to play the best to be the best,” Spark said. “We want to be playing Yarmouth and Kennebunk and Windham. It’s still early and we’re at a great point to keep moving forward.

“We’ve never played (Berwick). They’ll be a nice game to play, then we get some time off before we play another game. This is a good game to build on.”

Yarmouth has a huge test awaiting it Friday, when the Clippers go to Kennebunk, arguably the state’s finest team regardless of class. After playing at Waynflete Monday, Yarmouth finally plays on its home turf next Wednesday versus Greely.

“We’re so excited,” Lowenstein said. “We’ll keep working hard. We all push each other. We just need to work on muscle memory and continue to play as a team. I don’t want (the schedule to) get easier. The seniors are starving.”

“It doesn’t get any easier, but we’re looking forward to it,” Holt said. “We’ll only get better. We need good competition.”

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

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