It took most of the game, but eventually the never-ending pressure applied by defending champion Yarmouth High paid championship dividends Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

The sixth-seeded Clippers (10-6), a program used to playing for state titles, never trailed but couldn’t shake first-time finalist and fourth-seeded Marshwood (12-4) until a five-goal spree midway through the second half led to a 13-10 victory in the Class B final.

“We were treating it 0-0 the whole time and that’s why I think we had the determination and the grit to come through in the end,” said senior defender and captain Nate Henninger. “I think we did (wear them down). I think we have some of the most athletic midfielders and players overall in the state.”

Marshwood scored the first two goals of the second half, from Sean Maguire and Kevin Couglar, to forge the game’s third tie at 7-7.

But Yarmouth faceoff specialist Wyatt Sullivan won 24 of 27 restarts. Sullivan credited the work of his wings, Steve Fulton and Colin Senger, and Sullivan often quickly pulled the ball into space, trusting Fulton or Senger to win the next battle. Whether a teamwork approach or a solo win by Sullivan, the effect was the same.

Yarmouth was continually on the offensive. And the dam eventually burst, despite the best effort of Marshwood goalie Silas Hamblett (16 saves).

Peter Psyhogoes (five goals, one assist) scored on a strong individual dodge to break the tie. Marshwood didn’t generate another shot in the quarter. Goals by Fulton (with 24.3 seconds left in the third), Max Then, Aksel Yeo and Psyhogeos pushed the lead to 12-7 with 6:56 remaining.

“The kids gave it everything they had, and unfortunately we didn’t have the horses to compete with these guys all the way through for the whole game,” said Marshwood Coach Ralph Ruocco, who is retiring from coaching. “They have some great players on that side and we just tired out.”

Marshwood, which rolled past No. 1 Messalonskee in the semifinals, did score three of the last four goals, with Maguire getting two of his three goals and sophomore Declan Fitzgerald notching his fourth of the game. Marshwood will return eight of its 10 starters, including sophomores Kevin Couglar and Sam Degrappo at attack and dynamic defender Ty Couglar, each of whom had a goal and an assist.

“I think since we’re not in the Portland area, everyone looks at us as this little lacrosse program that doesn’t really do too much. We went through some great teams. Beat Kennebunk (10-5 in the quarterfinal). Went up to Messalonskee and took care of business, and treated every team like they’re the best team in the world,” Maguire said.

Yarmouth, which edged Greely by a goal in the 2019 state final, won its sixth state title in its 14th championship game appearance. First-year head coach Jon Miller was a midfielder on the Clippers’ first title team in 2004. Either he or his brother, assistant coach Sam Miller, has been a part of each title team.

Another title didn’t seem likely when Yarmouth started the season 4-6 and failed to score more than five goals in five of the losses.

“We had a few games we lost that we felt we should have won in the middle of the season,” Miller said. “We felt like we weren’t the team we were supposed to be. But give the boys credit; they got better every day.”


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