Falmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team celebrates Saturday’s 11-10 overtime home win over Scarborough. Hoffer photos.

BOX SCORE

Falmouth 11 Scarborough 10 (OT)

S- 5 5 0- 10
F- 5 5 1- 11

First half
22:14 F Taylor (unassisted)
21:59 F Clement (Ginevan)
21:47 F Ginevan (Clement)
19:29 S Donovan (Sellinger)
18:01 S Stolz (Donovan)
16:41 S Henderson (Donovan)
13:55 S Stolz (unassisted)
12:41 S Stolz (unassisted)
9:12 F Ginevan (Taylor)
7:32 F Clement (free position)

Second half
20:39 F Ginevan (unassisted)
19:08 F Ginevan (Clement)
18:43 S Stolz (unassisted)
17:11 S Bilodeau (Spooner)
16:28 S Stolz (free position)
13:41 F Scribner (Blakeman)
11:11 S Bilodeau (Spooner)
9:00 S Bilodeau (unassisted)
5:15 F Clement (free position)
1:25 F Ginevan (Taylor)

Overtime
1:04 F Clement (unassisted)

Goals:
S- Stolz 5, Bilodeau 3, Donovan, Henderson 1
F- Ginevan 5, Clement 4, Scribner, Taylor 1

Assists:
S- Donovan, Spooner 2, Sellinger 1
F- Clement, Taylor 2, Blakeman, Ginevan 1

Draws (Falmouth, 12-11)
S- Stolz 11 of 23
F- 11 of 21, Ginevan 1 of 2

Ground balls:
S- 35
F- 40

Turnovers:
S- 19
F- 15

Shots:
S- 24
F- 32

Shots on cage:
S- 16
F- 26

Saves:
S (Murphy) 15
F (Abbott) 1 (Riley) 5

FALMOUTH—Saturday afternoon’s regular season finale between the Falmouth and Scarborough girls’ lacrosse teams had a playoff feel.

And based on how they performed on the Falmouth High turf, both squads have to believe that big things might be in store when the postseason begins next month.

Falmouth came out sizzling and appeared en route to an easy victory, as sophomore Lucy Taylor, senior Eva Clement and sophomore Sloane Ginevan scored early goals for a quick 3-0 advantage.

But Red Storm coach Emily Field called timeout and her team roared back, scoring five goals in less than five minutes, as junior Meagan Donovan, junior Darby Stolz and sophomore Molly Henderson scored to tie it, before Stolz scored twice more for a 5-3 lead.

Late in the first half, Ginevan and Clement responded and the first half ended deadlocked, 5-5.

The second half would be almost identical.

Again, Falmouth started fast, retaking the lead on successive Ginevan goals, but again, Scarborough rallied, as Stolz and junior Natalie Bilodeau scored to tie it before Stolz gave the Red Storm an 8-7 advantage.

Junior Molly Scribner answered for the hosts, but with 11:11 to play, Bilodeau scored to put Scarborough ahead, then Bilodeau scored again two minutes later for a 10-8 lead.

When Ginevan was sent off for two minutes with a yellow card, the Red Storm had a chance to pull away, but instead, they turned the ball over and Clement scored on a free position with 5:15 left and that set the stage for Ginevan to tie it with 1:25 on the clock, forcing overtime.

There, Scarborough had the first chance to end it as Henderson took a shot from the doorstep, but Falmouth sophomore goalie Patty Riley made the save of her life.

Falmouth then set up on offense and with 1:04 to go in the “sudden victory” session, Clement played the hero, beating talented, valiant Red Storm senior goalie Kathleen Murphy to give Falmouth a scintillating 11-10 victory.

Ginevan scored five times, Clement added four goals and Falmouth closed the regular season 9-3, ending Scarborough’s regular season at 9-3 in the process.

“This is what every coach would want going into the postseason,” said Falmouth coach Ashley Pullen. “You can’t ask for a better end to the regular season than this. Both in momentum and your team believing in itself to come back and win a close game in overtime.”

A great, late test

Falmouth is the two-time defending Class A champion and Scarborough, a four-time state champion between 2006-12, has returned to form as a top contender this spring.

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). Falmouth then nearly erased a six-goal deficit before losing at Yarmouth, 12-10, then bounced back for a 15-3 win at Lewiston. After falling at home to undefeated, powerhouse Kennebunk in a slugfest Tuesday, 17-11, Falmouth rolled at Cheverus Thursday, 15-2.

The Red Storm, meanwhile, started the year with four straight victories, over Gorham (14-5), Thornton Academy (12-7), Cheverus (14-4) and Bonny Eagle (14-3). Then, after dropping a close 8-7 home decision to Massabesic, Scarborough bounced back and knocked off visiting Portland (13-4) and Westbrook (16-0). After a 7-1 setback at Greely, the Red Storm defeated visiting South Portland (15-5), host Windham (12-9) and host Berwick Academy (16-13).

The teams last played May 8, 2019, a 14-3 home win for Falmouth.

Saturday, on a day that felt more like early April (46 degrees with a chilly wind) than late May, Scarborough looked for its first victory over Falmouth since May 19, 2009 (14-9 at home), but instead, Falmouth found a way to prevail.

Murphy stood tall early, denying Taylor and Ginevan, but with 22:14 to go in the first half, Taylor scooped up a ground ball in front, then shot past Murphy to break the ice.

The second goal came 15 seconds later, as after Clement won the draw to Ginevan, Ginevan got the ball back to Clement, who finished to make it 2-0.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, it took Falmouth just 12 seconds to take a 3-0 lead, as again Clement won the draw and this time set up the fastbreak goal, which Ginevan finished and with 21:47 still to play in the first half, the Red Storm were on the ropes and Field called timeout.

And it worked wonders.

With 19:19 left in the first half, Scarborough’s first shot resulted in its first goal, as junior Maya Sellinger set up Donovan for a shot that sophomore starting goalie Victoria Abbott couldn’t stop.

After Murphy robbed senior Abby Blakeman at the other end, the Red Storm pulled within 3-2 with 18:01 remaining, as Donovan set up Stolz for her first goal.

After Clement hit the post for Falmouth, Scarborough tied the game with 16:41 showing, as in transition, Donovan passed to Henderson, who finished to make it 3-3.

The Red Storm weren’t done, as with 13:55 left, Stolz scored unassisted, then, with 12:41 to go, Stolz finished unassisted again for a 5-3 advantage.

This time, Pullen called timeout and that settled Falmouth down.

First, Abbott made a huge stop on Scarborough sophomore Stella Grondin.

Then, with 9:12 to go before halftime, Ginevan, from Taylor in transition, snapped the 5-0 run and a 12-minute, 35-second scoring drought to cut the deficit to one.

Falmouth sophomore Sloane Ginevan gets some room as Scarborough Maya Sellinger tries to keep up.

Clement then finished a free position shot with 7:32 remaining and the contest was tied for the second time, 5-5.

Late in the half, Murphy robbed both Scribner and Clement and the game remained even at the break.

In the first 25 minutes, Falmouth won 7 of 11 draws and had a 14-9 shots advantage, but Murphy’s seven saves ensured there would be no separation.

The fun continued in the second half, which like the first, ended with the teams still tied.

Riley, who came into the game after halftime, was immediately tested by both Donovan and Bilodeau, but she made saves on each shot.

Then, with 20:39 left in regulation, Ginevan weaved through the defense to give Falmouth the lead back, 6-5.

Ginevan then finished a feed from Clement with 19:08 to go.

But Scarborough answered right back, as Stolz scored unassisted 25 seconds later and after Murphy robbed Falmouth senior Avi Fishman, Bilodeau scored her first goal, from senior Paige Spooner, and the game was tied anew, 7-7, with 17:11 to play.

A mere 43 seconds later, Stolz earned a free position shot and after a nice start-and-stop move, she scored to put the Red Storm back in the lead.

Murphy preserved the lead by robbing Taylor and junior Whitney Adams, but with 13:41 to play, Scribner (from Blakeman) found the net and the score was deadlocked again, 8-8.

Fishman tried to put Falmouth in the lead, but Murphy made the save.

Then, with 11:11 to go, Bilodeau scored for the second time, again from Spooner, and Scarborough inched ahead.

After Murphy denied a free position shot from Falmouth senior defensive standout C.C. Cohen, who had raced into the offensive zone before a shooting space call, the Red Storm took a 10-8 lead with exactly 9 minutes to play, as Bilodeau scored unassisted.

With time getting short, Falmouth didn’t panic and Fishman had a great look, but again, Murphy came huge making the save.

After Riley denied a Bilodeau free position which could have given Scarborough a three-goal cushion, Ginevan was sent off with a yellow card with 6:54 remaining.

While the Red Storm seemingly had a chance to open the game up even further and worse case scenario, run two minutes off the clock, instead, fortune smiled on Falmouth, as it forced a turnover and Clement earned a free position with 5:15 to go.

She buried it and just like that, Falmouth only trailed by one.

“That was a huge turning point,” said Pullen. “To get that goal at that point of the game, momentum was huge and to get that spark was great.”

“We had a couple mental errors along the way and we’ll talk about that going into the postseason,” Field said. “We look to pass sometimes when it’s safer to keep the ball in our sticks.”

From there, Scarborough just tried to hang on, as Clement hit the post again on a free position, Ginevan missed just wide and Clement, on the doorstep, shot just wide.

Finally, with just 1:25 to play, Taylor got the ball in front to Ginevan and Murphy couldn’t stop her as Ginevan tickled the twine to tie the game for the fifth and final time, 10-10.

Both teams would have chances to win it in regulation, but Murphy denied Clement, the Red Storm twice turned the ball over, then with just 3.4 seconds remaining, Ginevan had a good look, but shot just wide and it was on to overtime.

In high school girls’ lacrosse, teams play three-minute, “sudden victory” sessions until someone scores.

That someone would be Falmouth.

But Scarborough had a chance to win it first.

Stolz won the opening draw and after Sellinger kept possession alive with a ground ball, the Red Storm got the ball in front to Henderson, who one-timed a shot that appeared ticketed for victory, but somehow, Riley stopped her cold.

“I saw the ball coming and I just went with my instincts,” Riley said. “Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re not, but luckily that one was. I knew there was a lot of pressure on me, but I used that as fuel to play my best.”

“She just has crazy instincts,” Clement said. “She made that save and I just screamed, ‘Patty!'”

Falmouth then went on the attack and settled in on offense.

Ginevan had the ball for quite awhile up top and was closely watched. Then, she passed to Clement, to the goalie’s right, and Clement made a fake, then got around a defender and raced in on Murphy.

Falmouth senior Eva Clement fakes out a defender en route to scoring the winning goal.

Clement drew the goalie off her line, then shot high into the net with 1:04 on the clock and at 2:35 p.m., after 93 riveting real-time minutes of lacrosse, Falmouth was able to celebrate an epic 11-10 victory.

“Sloane passed me the ball, then she cleared through, then someone else cleared through to make some space and I saw the lane,” Clement said. “I was trying to place the ball up top. I was happy where it ended up. I hit the post like three times and I was frustrated earlier, so I was happy it didn’t hit the post. I really wanted it.

“What a game! We’ve had a few games like this recently and it’s good to come out on top. We were confident going into overtime. Having Sloane and Lucy, I was super-confident with our draws and I trust the attack to do what we do.”

“I was so happy when we scored,” Riley said. “Eva’s always amazing. That goal was so beautiful. This shows we work really well together. We connected and the energy flowed.”

“We have some tricks up our sleeve,” Pullen added. “When you see the ball in Eva’s hands with some space around her to move, we feel pretty good on our sideline, but she still had to get the ball Kathleen.

“It could have been anyone’s game. We made some mistakes and that cost us. Then, it was back-and-forth from that point on. I expected a tight contest. I was cautiously optimistic going into overtime. The energy, the fire and desire were all there. Coming from behind going into overtime is what you want. Having homefield is a nice advantage too.”

Falmouth’s terrific tandem of Ginevan (five) and Clement (four) accounted for nine goals, including the final three. Scribner and Taylor also had one goal.

Clement and Taylor assisted two goals, while Blakeman and Ginevan each set up one.

Abbott made one save, while Riley stopped five shots, including the save of her career to date.

“It’s my first year as a goalie and I’ve been really lucky to play with these girls,” Riley said. “I trust my life to them. They’re always there for me and I never had any doubt.”

“I’m super-proud of the effort from both of my keepers today,” Pullen said. “They both came in this year with no high school experience and played great.”

Falmouth wound up with a 12-11 edge in draws, a 40-35 advantage in ground balls (not surprisingly, Clement and Ginevan shared game-high honors with 11 apiece), a 32-24 edge in shots (26-16 on cage) and only turned the ball over 15 times.

So, so close

Scarborough was led by Stolz, who scored five times and was solid in the draw circle as well. Bilodeau scored three times, while Donovan and Henderson also found the net.

Donovan and Spooner each had two assists, while Sellinger finished with one.

Bilodeau, Grondin and Sellinger shared team-high honors with five ground balls apiece.

Then, there was Murphy, who dazzled with 15 saves.

“Kathleen is phenomenal,” Field said. “She comes up biggest against the best teams. She gives us so much inspiration.”

Falmouth agreed.

“She’s one of the best goalies in the state,” said Clement. “She was phenomenal.”

“Anytime you have a goalkeeper as talented as their keeper, it’s going to be a hard-fought battle and that held true today,” Pullen said.

Scarborough turned the ball over 19 times.

“I’m so proud of our effort,” Field said. “We were really looking forward to this game. At the beginning of the season, seeing Falmouth would be our season-ender, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s going to be rough,’ but we’ve worked so hard this season and to come out and take them to overtime is huge. I think the girls know they can win now. We’ve learned little things in our losses. We’ve talked about what it’s like to be down and today, that helped us come back from three goals down, take the lead and go into overtime.”

On to the tournament

Scarborough will likely finish second behind undefeated Kennebunk in the Class A South Heal Points standings.

The Red Storm came into the season hoping to return to competitiveness, but they’ve done so much more.

And they’re not done.

“We have confidence we can play with anyone,” Field said. “This season’s been so much fun. The girls are loving it. We’re not nervous going into these big games anymore because we know we can compete with anyone. I think we’ve got to just keep putting the pieces together. We’ve got to practice hard and work on our mental focus. Now’s the time to dial it in mentally and win.”

Falmouth is trying to hold off Windham and Oxford Hills for the top spot in Class A North.

Having homefield advantage would be huge in the quest for a return trip to the state final, as evidenced by Pullen kissing the turf for luck following Saturday’s win.

“That was in hopes that we’ll stay here through the playoffs,” Pullen said. “I’m grateful to have as much as time on turf as we can and I hope the Heal Points Gods will be in our favor.”

Regardless, Falmouth will be difficult to eliminate in a one-and-done format.

“From what I’ve seen this year, you can feel our energy,” Riley said. “I know we have what it takes.”

“This brings our mojo back,” Clement said. “Having this close game and getting the upper hand will be awesome for us going into playoffs. We want another (championship). That would be an awesome way to cap off (senior year).”

“I feel really good about how the season has gone and I think the team has too,” Pullen added. “Because of COVID, we came out just being grateful to play at all. We tried to keep things simple and just have fun. We’ve done a good job with that.

“Now, we just need to take it one game at a time and make sure we don’t get ahead of ourselves. We’re grateful to get some much-needed rest next week. That will be helpful. We have a ton of heart and that’s the X-factor. We have a lot of athleticism and skill too.”

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

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