Yarmouth 12 Falmouth 10

F- 3 7- 10
Y- 4 8- 12

First half
23:20 F Clement (free position)
8:58 Y Lowenstein (unassisted)
17:59 Y Bergeron (free position)
13:01 Y Powers (unassisted)
10:11 Y Teare (free position)
6:46 F Ginevan (free position)
45.4 F Clement (unassisted)

Second half
22:47 Y Powers (free position)
21:41 Y Teare (free position)
21:04 Y Lowenstein (unassisted)
18:05 Y D’Appolonia (Thornton)
17:09 Y Lowenstein (unassisted)
14:57 F Adams (Scribner)
14:41 F Clement (unassisted)
14:15 F Adams (unassisted)
13:21 F Clement (unassisted)
13:01 F Clement (unassisted)
11:01 Y Lowenstein (unassisted)
9:36 F Ginevan (unassisted)
8:05 Y Powers (free position)
7:14 F Ginevan (free position)
4:18 Y D’Appolonia (unassisted)

F- Clement 5, Ginevan 3, Adams 2
Y- Lowenstein 4, Powers 3, D’Appolonia, Teare 2, Bergeron 1

F- Scribner 1
Y- Thornton 1

Draws (Falmouth, 13-11)
F- Ginevan 8 of 11, Clement 5 of 11, Taylor 0 of 2
Y- D’Appolonia 9 of 15, Powers 2 of 6, Donahue 0 of 2, Thornton 0 of 1

Ground balls:
F- 35
Y- 32

F- 18
Y- 21

F- 18
Y- 21

Shots on cage:
F- 14
Y- 17

F (Riley) 5
Y (Meas) 4

YARMOUTH—It was almost a comeback for the ages.

It wound up being one of the best girls’ lacrosse games of this or any other year.

A showdown between championship-caliber squads that featured scoring runs, near-misses and high drama.

Fifty minutes’ worth.

Two-time reigning Class A champion Falmouth got off to a fast start at Yarmouth Tuesday evening when senior standout Eva Clement scored on a free position shot in the second minute, but the Clippers, displaying their offensive balance, rattled off four straight goals, as senior Annie Lowenstein, sophomore Annie Bergeron, freshman Aine Powers and senior Natalie Teare all tickled the twine for a 4-1 lead.

Falmouth’s offense reawakened late in the first half, as sophomore star Sloane Ginevan and Clement scored to cut Yarmouth’s advantage to 4-3 at halftime.

The Clippers then appeared primed to run away and hide early in the second half, when, in just over five minutes, Powers, Teare, Lowenstein, junior Katelyn D’Appolonia and Lowenstein again all scored for a seemingly comfortable 9-3 lead.

But with just under 15 minutes to go, Falmouth flipped the switch in breathtaking fashion, scoring five goals in less than two minutes to get right back in it.

Junior Whitney Adams sparked the comeback with a goal in transition and Clement added another. Out of a Yarmouth timeout, Adams scored for the second time, then Clement scored twice in a 20-second span and just like that, the score was 9-8.

Ginevan nearly completed the comeback with 11:20 to go, but her shot hit the post and the Clippers transitioned and went back up by two when Lowenstein scored at the other end.

After Ginevan brought Falmouth within one again, Powers scored on a free position for an 11-9 lead with 8:05 left.

Falmouth pulled within a goal for the third time when Ginevan scored on a free position 51 seconds later and Adams nearly tied it with 5:24 left, but her shot was just wide as that’s as close as the visitors would get.

With 4:18 remaining, D’Appolonia finished after a nice individual move and Yarmouth was able to run out the clock, exhale and celebrate a 12-10 victory.

Lowenstein scored four times, Powers added three goals and Teare and D’Appolonia, who was a force all over the field, finished with two apiece as the Clippers won their fifth game in a row, improved to 6-1 and in the process, dropped valiant Falmouth to 6-2.

“My face hurts from smiling,” Lowenstein said. “I always smile when I’m playing. Having our parents and friends here and knowing the Falmouth girls made it so fun. It’s fun playing in big games. This showed us what kind of team we are and what we can do when we come out strong.”

Elite teams

While Kennebunk can currently stake its claim as the top team in the state regardless of class, Yarmouth and Falmouth aren’t far behind and will be serious contenders for their respective class championships next month.

Falmouth opened with a 14-3 home win over Gorham and after a hard-fought 11-9 setback at Windham, responded by downing host Portland (17-2) and Massabesic (12-6) and visiting Greely (14-4), Thornton Academy (5-3) and Cape Elizabeth (10-5).

Yarmouth, meanwhile, began with three tough road games, which produced wins at Cape Elizabeth (9-3) and Waynflete (8-5) and a narrow 10-8 setback at Kennebunk. After downing visiting Greely (13-6), the Clippers won at Massabesic (13-8) and defeated visiting Brunswick, 16-1.

The teams last met June 2, 2017, when the Clippers scored the final three goals of the game to rally for a 9-8 win at Falmouth to cap an undefeated regular season.

Entering play Tuesday, Yarmouth had won 12 of 18 all-time meetings (see sidebar, below).

On a beautiful evening (77 degrees at the onset), Falmouth sought its first win in Yarmouth since April 16, 2015 (14-9), but the Clippers built a big lead and held on to it by the skin of their teeth.

Clement won the game’s opening draw and opened the scoring as well, 100 seconds in, as she beat Yarmouth junior goalie Juliet Meas on a free position.

Meas then turned momentum by robbing Ginevan on a free position and Falmouth wouldn’t score again until late in the half.

The Clippers got their first goal with 18:58 to play in the first half when Lowenstein fought through the defense and beat Falmouth sophomore goalie Patty Riley to make it 1-1.

A mere 59 seconds later, Yarmouth went on top to stay, as Bergeron converted a free position.

After Riley robbed Lowenstein, Powers got the ball in transition, ran in and finished.

Then, with 10:11 on the clock, Teare scored on a free position shot for a 4-1 lead and Falmouth coach Ashley Pullen called timeout.

It helped, as the Clippers wouldn’t score again before halftime and Falmouth was able to answer right back.

After Meas made a save on a Ginevan free position, Ginevan got another look at one with 6:46 to go before halftime and she converted to snap a 16-minute, 34-second drought.

Then, after Riley saved shots from senior Emma Moll and D’Appolonia, Falmouth pulled within one at halftime, as Clement scored an unassisted goal with 45.5 seconds to go.

Both offenses then demonstrated just how explosive they can be with dizzying second half runs.

After D’Appolonia missed wide on an early free position, Yarmouth took a 5-3 lead with 22:47 remaining, as Powers scored on a free position shot.

A little over a minute later, with 21:41 showing, it was Teare’s turn, as she scored on a free position too.

A mere 37 seconds later, Lowenstein scored unassisted and the lead was four.

With 18:05 left, senior Anna Thornton set up D’Appolonia for her first goal and after Powers hit the post, Lowenstein scored an unassisted goal with 17:09 remaining and the Clippers were seemingly in command, up, 9-3.

When D’Appolonia followed by winning her sixth straight draw to start the second half, Yarmouth was poised to end all doubt, but an interception from Falmouth senior defensive standout C.C. Cohen sparked a beautiful transition goal the other way and junior Molly Scribner found Adams with 14:57 left to turn momentum back to the visitors.

Ginevan then won the ensuing draw to Clement and Clement raced in and scored unassisted 16 seconds later and just like that, a six-goal deficit was just four, 9-5.

Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt called timeout, but Falmouth was just getting started.

After Ginevan won another draw, Adams got the ball with 14:15 remaining and after a nice fake, beat Meas to make it a three-goal game.

“I’m so proud of Whitney to come in and be that spark and score big goals today,” Pullen said.

Ginevan won possession again and 54 seconds later, Clement scored unassisted to cut the deficit to two.

Then, with 13:01 to go, fortune shone on Falmouth, as after another Ginevan draw win, Clement got the ball up top and looked to pass in front to Adams, but the pass was errant, which was the bad news. The good news is that the ball eluded not only Adams, but a defender and Meas as well and it bounced into the net to improbably make the score 9-8.

“It was teetering on that line (of taking a timeout when we were down, 9-3), but I knew that if we could just get a spark I thought we had a chance of coming back and that’s exactly what happened,” Pullen said. “I wanted to ride the momentum. After their timeout, we kept the momentum and got three quick goals.”

Ginevan won another draw and Falmouth looked to tie it.

With 11:55 to play, Ginevan shot just wide.

Then, in a momentum-turning sequence, Ginevan got a great look with 11:20 on the clock, but her shot hit the past.

“It’s a game of inches,” Pullen lamented.

And then good fortune beamed down on the Clippers, who scooped up the loose ball and got it ahead to Lowenstein, who wouldn’t be denied, racing in and beating Riley to end Falmouth’s run and momentarily restore a little order with a 10-8 lead.

Falmouth hadn’t come that far just to come that far, however, and with 9:36 to go, Ginevan scored unassisted and it was a one-goal contest again.

Yarmouth wouldn’t let the visitors get a look at tying it and after Lowenstein had a free position shot saved by Riley, Powers earned a free position and with 8:05 left, she scored for an 11-9 lead.

But Falmouth kept fighting and with 7:14 to go, Ginevan scored on a free position shot to pull her team within one once more.

With 5:24 remaining, Falmouth had a great chance to tie it, but Adams’ shot was just wide of the target and the Clippers got possession.

The hosts then got the ball into the offensive zone, got it to D’Appolonia and D’Appolonia spotted the little room she needed and she raced in and scored for a 12-10 advantage.

“I saw my teammates cutting through and making space for me,” D’Appolonia said. “It was a whole team effort to get that goal.”

Ginevan won the ensuing draw, but Falmouth turned the ball over and Yarmouth was able to milk three minutes off the clock before turning the ball over.

Falmouth still had time to rally, but with 1:02 to go, D’Appolonia forced a turnover, gained possession and that did it.

“Communication on defense was a big factor,” said D’Appolonia. “We knew they had a lot of talented players. We had to watch the (isolations) and work together and crash. I knew that I had help on the side.”

“Katelyn stepped up when we needed her to,” Holt said. “She won draws and that allowed us to open up a lead. She’s an all-around player, but she has a great supporting cast.”

The Clippers ran out the clock from there and were able to escape with a palpitating 12-10 victory.

“It was a fun game to play,” Lowenstein said. “I think both teams came to play. We had a great game, all-around, back-and-forth. I don’t think we ever felt completely comfortable. They showed us how hard we had to work to come out on top. That made us work together and made us stronger as a team. It was all about trusting each other at the end. Through all our practices and the things we do together off the field, that really helps us,”

“We had to settle the ball,” D’Appolonia said. “We knew we were forcing a lot of passes and were turning the ball over and it wasn’t benefiting us. We just held the ball, had composure, won our draws and won our 50-50 (balls) and it worked out.”

“It was a great game, two great teams,” Holt added. “You can’t ask for anything better. A game like this makes both of us better. We should play every year. I really feel like competitive games and the energy around them are super-fun.

“Good teams come back and Falmouth’s good. I think we were caught on our heels a little bit. We got a little nervous. We need to work on keeping composure when we get up. We’re still making mistakes, but I thought it was a great team win. We capitalized when we needed to. I like to play team defense. When you have a strong defense you stay with your team defense and we held on tight. You’re only as good as your senior leadership and that’s what showed today.”

Yarmouth’s offense was paced by Lowenstein, who scored four goals. Powers added three goals, Teare and D’Appolonia (who won 9 of 15 draws and had a game-high 11 ground balls) had two apiece and Bergeron finished with one.

Thornton had the Clippers’ lone assist.

Meas made four saves.

The Clippers had a 21-18 advantage in shots (17-14 on cage) and overcame 21 turnovers.

Falmouth got five goals from Clement, three from Ginevan and two from Adams.

Scribner had the lone assist.

Clement and Ginevan each had a team-high eight ground balls.

Riley made five saves.

Falmouth had a 13-11 edge in draws, a 35-32 advantage in ground balls and turned the ball over 18 times.

“It was a great effort, a great learning experience,” Pullen said. “I think it shows a lot that when a lot of teams would roll over down six goals there was never a question about this team playing hard. That showed a lot of character and a lot of grit and I think it bodes well for us to come back in the future if we need to. This gives us fire for next time to put together a full game. We didn’t play to our full potential for 50 minutes today. When we do, I have faith we’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”

Rest of the way

Falmouth has four games left, at Lewiston Thursday, followed by critical home tests against Kennebunk in a possible state game preview May 25 and at home against resurgent Scarborough May 29, as well as a makeup game at Cheverus at a date yet to be announced.

“Even though this game goes in the loss column, I think we showed a lot of growth and improvement,” Pullen said. “The team we were in the second half was the best we’ve been all season. If we can hold on that and only improve from there, that’s pretty exciting to think about.”

Yarmouth goes to red-hot Greely Monday, then has home games against North Yarmouth Academy (May 26) and Cape Elizabeth (May 28), a trip to Class C contender Freeport (June 1) and a home game against York (June 3) to finish its regular season schedule.

“I feel like if we keep playing the way we’re playing, we’re going to go as far as we want to go,” Lowenstein said. “When we trust each other as much as we do and we keep playing so hard and not letting up in practice, it translates to the games well. If we keep our mind set on what we want, I think we’ll get there.”

“We keep improving every day,” D’Appolonia said. “How we practice is how we play and it shows up on the field. We know we have time to improve. We have to keep working our hardest.”

“We have some tough games to come,” Holt added. “We’re just ramping up. Games like this are good for us. We’re heading in the right direction.”

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

Previous Falmouth-Yarmouth results

Yarmouth 9 @ Falmouth 8

@ Falmouth 14 Yarmouth 7

Falmouth 14 @ Yarmouth 9 

@ Yarmouth 17 Falmouth 9

@ Falmouth 16 Yarmouth 7
Falmouth 11 @ Yarmouth 8

Falmouth 12 @ Yarmouth 2
@ Falmouth 19 Yarmouth 7

@ Yarmouth 13 Falmouth 12
Yarmouth 13 @ Falmouth 8

@ Yarmouth 19 Falmouth 10

Yarmouth 14 @ Falmouth 9

Yarmouth 12 @ Falmouth 1

Yarmouth 11 @ Falmouth 2
@ Yarmouth 9 Falmouth 2

@ Yarmouth 13 Falmouth 2

@ Yarmouth 16 Falmouth 5

@ Yarmouth 14 Falmouth 1

Comments are not available on this story.