Waynflete boys’ lacrosse coach Andrew Leach admits there are times when Sam Whipple makes him shake his head. Whipple, however, endeared himself to his coach and his teammates by scoring the biggest goal of his undefeated team’s season Friday afternoon at Fore River Fields.

The Flyers erased a pair of four-goal deficits against North Yarmouth Academy in a battle of the last two Class C state champions. Then, with 1:27 left, Whipple fired a long shot that found the net, giving the Flyers an 8-7 win.

It was Whipple’s third goal of the game.

“Sam is one of my favorite guys on the team even though he drives me crazy sometimes,” said Leach. “He shoots from distance. That time, it was, ‘No, no, no, yes!’”

Whipple set up Ned Lane a minute in for the game’s first goal, but Waynflete (8-0) wouldn’t lead again until late.

NYA (6-4) got goals from Wyatt Thomas, Chas Rohde and Caleb Waterman in a 46-second span to seize control. The Panthers stretched the lead to four on goals by Waterman and Nat Peretz.

The Flyers got a little momentum at the end of the first quarter on a goal by Nils Burton-Johanson, but NYA’s Brayden Warde scored early in the second to make it 6-2.

NYA penalties then allowed Waynflete to rally, as Whipple scored his first goal, man-up, and Lane did the same.

With 7:24 to play in the first half, Warde scored for the second time, but the Panthers were shut out from there.

Waynflete drew within 7-6 at halftime behind goals from Nico Kirby and Harry Millspaugh, who finished with a behind-the-back shot.

Offense then dried up in the third quarter. Finally, with 10:03 remaining in the game, Whipple tied it up with an assist from Roan Hopkins.

Both Waynflete goalie Alex Vest (eight saves) and NYA goalie Jack Curtis (seven saves) stood tall for several minutes before Whipple got the ball from Hopkins and, despite being well beyond the high percentage shot area, let it rip to put the Flyers on top for good.

“I saw a lane open and I just shot it,” said Whipple. “It just felt good. I knew it would be a tough shot to save.”

Ilo Holdridge then won the ensuing faceoff and Waynflete was able to run out the rest of the clock.

“That was just a crazy game, the kind of games we look for,” said Holdridge. “This will get us ready for playoffs.”

The Panthers left the field with one fervent wish.

“I can’t wait to play (Waynflete) again,” said NYA Coach Peter Gerrity. “We know we can play with them. We don’t think they’re unbeatable.

“We came out hot and that felt good, but Waynflete just started to figure us out. They made some adjustments and they worked.”


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