Greely senior Sam Goldburg and Yarmouth junior Katelyn D’Appolonia take a draw during the Clippers’ 11-9 victory Monday afternoon. Hoffer photos.

BOX SCORE

Yarmouth 11 Greely 9

Y- 5 6- 11
G- 5 4- 9

First half
23:24 G Goldburg (unassisted)
21:32 Y Thornton (free position)
18:56 Y Solari (D’Appolonia)
11:51 Y Lowenstein (Powers)
9:42 G Dean-Muncie (Ferentz)
8:53 Y Powers (unassisted)
6:38 G Goldburg (free position)
5:58 Y Thornton (unassisted)
1:45 G Goldburg (unassisted)
36.4 G Dean-Muncie (Goldburg)

Second half
24:11 G C. Taylor (Goldburg)
20:53 Y D’Appolonia (Lowenstein)
20:02 Y Lowenstein (D’Appolonia)
18:34 Y Powers (unassisted)
17:02 Y Thornton (free position)
13:25 G Ferentz (Williams)
10:20 G Ferentz (Goldburg)
9:33 Y Lowenstein (free position)
8:43 Y Teare (unassisted)
3:51 G Ferentz (free position)

Goals:
Y- Lowenstein, Thornton 3, Powers 2, D’Appolonia, Solari, Teare 1
G- Ferentz, Goldburg 3, Dean-Muncie 2, C. Taylor 1

Assists:
Y- D’Appolonia 2, Lowenstein, Powers 1
G- Goldburg 3, Dean-Muncie, Williams 1

Draws (Greely, 13-10)
Y- D’Appolonia 10 of 19, Thornton 0 of 4
G- Goldburg 13 of 23

Ground balls:
Y- 29
G- 31

Turnovers:
Y- 10
G- 15

Shots:
Y- 19
G- 22

Shots on cage:
Y- 17
G- 17

Saves:
Y (Meas) 8
G (Perfetti) 6

CUMBERLAND—Greely’s girls’ lacrosse team has closed the gap, but the Rangers still can’t figure out a way to beat longtime nemesis Yarmouth.

Monday afternoon at Glen Hutchins Field, Greely made the Clippers sweat for 50 minutes before falling two goals short, but in the process, the Rangers might have just delivered the message that if the teams meet again next month in the playoffs, things could be different.

Senior Sam Goldburg, who had a superb game, gave Greely an early 1-0 lead, but seniors Anna Thornton, Bella Solari and Annie Lowenstein quickly answered for Yarmouth. After senior Elsa Dean-Muncie got a goal back for the Rangers, Clippers freshman sensation Aine Powers made it 4-2. Goldburg again made it a one-goal game on a free position, but Thornton answered to restore the two-goal lead. Greely then grabbed some halftime momentum by rallying to tie the score, as Goldburg scored unassisted, then Goldburg set up Dean-Muncie to make the score 5-5 at the break.

When sophomore Charlotte Taylor opened the second half with a goal, the Rangers held the lead and entertained hopes of their first win over Yarmouth since 2005, but the Clippers roared right back with four goals in under four minutes, as junior Katelyn D’Appolonia tied it, D’Appolonia set up Lowenstein to put Yarmouth ahead to stay with 20:02 remaining and Powers and Thornton added goals for a 9-6 advantage.

Greely didn’t quit, however, as junior Carley Ferentz scored twice in three minutes to cut the deficit to one.

Goals from Lowenstein and senior Natalie Teare put the Clippers back on top by three, but Ferentz scored once more on a free position with 3:51 remaining.

That’s as close as the Rangers would get, however, as Yarmouth was able to get possession and run out the clock on an 11-9 victory.

Lowenstein and Thornton each scored three goals and the Clippers improved to 7-1 on the season, dropping Greely to 7-3 in the process.

“This was a great test for us,” said longtime Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt. “It was a great game. I’ll take games like this any day. Two good teams.”

Playoff push

Yarmouth 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, then, last Tuesday, they held on for a thrilling 12-10 home victory over two-time reigning Class A champion Falmouth.

As for Greely, it started with decisive wins at North Yarmouth Academy (15-6) and at home over Gray-New Gloucester (21-2), then lost at Falmouth, 14-4, and at Yarmouth (13-6), before bouncing back with a vengeance with wins at Brunswick (19-1), at home over Scarborough (7-1), at Lake Region (8-7), at York (15-7) and at home over Gorham (11-3).

In the teams’ first meeting May 5, the Clippers got four goals from D’Appolonia and three apiece from Lowenstein and Powers, while Thornton won 13 of 14 draws.

That victory made it 16 straight for Yarmouth in the series.

Monday, on a 61 degree afternoon, which felt chillier with a strong breeze factored in, the Rangers hoped to finally solve Yarmouth for the first time since May 23, 2005 (8-7 at home), but the Clippers wouldn’t be denied.

Greely came out strong and struck first, as after Dean-Muncie missed just wide, Godlburg beat Yarmouth junior goalie Juliet Meas for an unassisted goal just 96 seconds into the contest.

But the Clippers quickly responded, as Thornton scored her first goal on a free position with 21:32 to play in the first half.

After Meas denied Dean-Muncie at one end, Yarmouth went on top with 18:56 remaining, as in transition, D’Appolonia fed Solari, who beat Rangers senior goalie Hannah Perfetti.

Taylor tried to answer for Greely, but Meas made the save, and the Clippers extended their lead to 3-1, as Powers got the ball to Lowenstein, who faked a shot before firing past Perfetti with 11:51 to go before halftime.

Rangers coach Becca Koelker called timeout to keep the game in hand and it worked, as Ferentz set up Dean-Muncie for a goal with 9:42 on the clock.

After Perfetti robbed D’Appolonia on the doorstep, Yarmouth went back up by two, when Powers pounced on a turnover, raced in and finished with 8:53 to go.

Greely stayed close, as Goldburg finished a free position shot with 6:38 remaining, but 40 seconds later, Thornton had a free position shot saved by Perfetti, but she got the rebound and buried it to make it 5-3.

The Rangers then finished the half strongly, as after Dean-Muncie had a shot saved, Goldburg scored unassisted with 1:45 to go and after Perfetti denied Clippers sophomore Annie Bergeron on a free position, Greely went back on offense and with 36.4 seconds left, Goldburg set up Dean-Muncie to tie the score.

The Rangers had a chance to go ahead with 7.2 seconds remaining, but Meas denied Taylor on a free position to keep the game tied, 5-5, at halftime.

In the first half, Goldburg won 7 of 11 draws and Greely had a slim 11-10 edge in shots.

Yarmouth junior Katelyn D’Appolonia takes off up the field as Greely sophomore Charlotte Taylor gives chase.

As it did to start the game, Greely started fast in the second half, as senior Katherine Dennen had a good look saved by Meas just 35 seconds in, before Goldburg set up Taylor for a 6-5 advantage with 24:11 to play.

But Yarmouth wasn’t the least bit flustered by facing a second half deficit and a quick offensive explosion restored momentum to its sideline.

After Meas kept the deficit at one by denying Goldburg, the Clippers drew even with 20:53 remaining, as Lowenstein got the ball in front to D’Appolonia, who flicked the ball past Perfetti.

A mere 51 seconds later, the tandem connected again, as this time D’Appolonia found Lowenstein, who scored to give Yarmouth the lead for good.

The Clippers weren’t done, as Powers slipped through the defense and scored unassisted with 18:34 left and with 17:02 on the clock, Thornton converted a free position for a 9-6 advantage.

Perfetti kept things from getting worse by saving a D’Appolonia free position shot, then with 13:25 remaining, Ferentz scored her first goal, assisted by freshman Eva Williams, to cut the deficit to two.

After Perfetti denied Thornton, Goldburg set up Ferentz for another goal with 10:20 left and just like that, Greely was only down by one, 9-8.

But the Rangers couldn’t get a possession to draw even and with 9:33 to go, Lowenstein earned a free position, ran all the way through the defensive zone, then at the last second, beat Perfetti to the upper corner for a two-goal advantage.

Fifty seconds later, Teare scored unassisted and the Clippers had a three-goal lead again, 11-8.

Greely then went back on the attack, but Dean-Muncie sent a free position shot wide, Dean-Muncie hit the post and senior Abby Taylor had a shot saved by Meas.

Then, with 3:51 remaining, Ferentz converted a free position to cut the deficit to two.

Holt called timeout and Yarmouth would do what it needed to do to hold on down the stretch.

Goldburg won the ensuing draw, but Clippers senior Maddie Marston intercepted a pass and Yarmouth was able to set up in the offensive zone and eventually run out the clock on its 11-9 victory.

“I saw that pass coming, so I went for it,” Marston said. “Then, we just needed to stall. We’ve practiced really hard on transitions in practice. There was some panic, but we picked each other up and stayed composed.”

“Greely’s a really strong team and you can never underestimate them,” said Thornton. “They have a lot of grit.”

“We weren’t walking into this not expecting a close game,” Holt added. “Hannah made some key saves for them. Sometimes we get up by three or four goals and we can’t sustain it, but I thought our defense started to step up. Maddie, (senior) Lizzie (Guertler), (senior) Kathryn (Keaney), they played really well today.”

Six different players tickled the twine for the Clippers, as Lowenstein and Thornton led the way with three goals apiece.

“We share the ball and there’s no better feeling then scoring a goal,” said Thornton.

“Anna’s a leader by example,” said Holt. “She can make it happen. She’s incredibly unselfish, just like her sister (2019 Yarmouth Spring Female Athlete of the Year Abi) was. She kept us in the game today.”

Powers added two goals and D’Appolonia, Solari and Teare scored one each.

D’Appolonia had two assists, while Lowenstein and Powers each had one.

Meas made eight critical saves.

Keaney led Yarmouth with seven ground balls.

The Clippers only committed 10 turnovers, in a close game, on the road, on grass.

Creeping closer

Greely’s offense featured three goals apiece from Ferentz and Goldburg, two from Dean-Muncie and one from Charlotte Taylor.

Goldburg also had three assists, collected six ground balls and won 13 of 23 draws.

“Sam is so strong,” Koelker said. “She does so many things that aren’t even in the scorebook. She’s a leader out there vocally. She deserves the credit for leading us. Abby Taylor does the same thing for us on defense.”

Dean-Muncie and Williams also had an assist.

The Rangers had a 31-29 edge on ground balls (Charlotte Taylor had a game-high 10) and out-shot the Clippers, 22-19. Greely turned the ball over 15 times.

“I’m really proud of this group and how much they’ve improved and how hard they fought today for 50 minutes,” Koelker said. “We played so well. It’s very encouraging. We talked before the game about how it comes down to little things like ground balls and draws and we focused on those things. They move the ball so well and find each other, but I thought we fought hard enough to be in position at the end and against a team like Yarmouth, I’ll take that. We just needed better possessions on attack. Sometimes, we forced it when we didn’t need too, but their high pressure is so good and it makes you turn the ball over. We can learn from that.”

Postseason nears

Greely (now second in the Class B state Heal Points standings) has two games remaining, both at home. The Rangers host Class C contender Freeport on Friday, then close at home against Cape Elizabeth June 1, in what could be a playoff preview.

“We have two more really good teams to play,” Koelker said. “We want to keep our momentum going into playoffs. I’d love to see Yarmouth again.”

As for Yarmouth (ranked first in Class B), it sees a lot of action in a short time, as NYA pays a visit Wednesday, Cape Elizabeth comes to town Friday and after going to Freeport June 1, the Clippers finish at home versus York June 3.

“Our stick skills are super-important,” said Thornton. “That’s key for us to keep working on and hopefully we can keep succeeding on that the rest of the season. We need to keep working as a team. I think our team chemistry is very present. I think it’s going to keep making us stronger for the playoffs.”

“This season means a lot to us,” Marston said. “We’ve waited for this opportunity for so long. Our team word is ‘ignite’ and we just want to finish the job very badly. Playing against good teams only makes us stronger.”

“We’re showing a lot of growth,” Holt added. “I love playing good teams at the end. It’s great for us and the girls love it. They’re such competitors. We just have to work on not turning the ball over and on some shot selection.”

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

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