YARMOUTH—Short-handed and on its heels, the North Yarmouth Academy/Waynflete co-op field hockey team was able to hold on for dear life for a half Thursday afternoon against Lisbon in a Class C South quarterfinal at Lewis Field.

But buoyed by a goal after time expired in the first half, the sixth-ranked Greyhounds roared to life in the second half and put a quick end to No. 3 NYA/Waynflete’s playoff hopes.

NYA/Waynflete struck first, on a goal from freshman Greta Tod midway through the first period, but senior standout Emilia McKenney had to leave the game with a leg injury and the offense soon dried up.

Lisbon, on the other end, set up in NYA/Waynflete’s end, but couldn’t solve senior goalie Elli Howerton-Lynch.

Until the Greyhounds earned a penalty corner as time expired in the first half and by rule, they got to play it out and were rewarded when junior Laura Mockler scored to tie the game and completely turn momentum.

As a rule, Lisbon isn’t a strong third quarter team, but it was on Thursday, as junior Kayla Cooper scored to put the Greyhounds ahead to stay, then senior Amelia Mooney scored twice, Mockler added a second goal and in the waning seconds, on a rush, junior Haley Tuplin rattled the cage as well and the competitive phase of the contest was over.

Advertisement

NYA/Waynflete tried to respond in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t do so and Lisbon closed out its 6-1 victory.

The Greyhounds improved to 6-8-1, set up a semifinal round date at No. 2 St. Dom’s (12-1) Saturday and in the process, brought an end to NYA/Waynflete’s seven-game win streak and its stellar 10-5 campaign, its first as a co-op.

“This group has been phenomenal to work with,” said NYA/Waynflete coach Annika King. “They’ve worked so hard to get to this point. We have a strong senior class and we’re fortunate to have their talent and their skill and their overall strength in so many ways. It will be hard to lose that, but we’re grateful for what we had.”

Vast improvement

NYA/Waynflete was up-and-down in the first half of its schedule, but has certainly roared to life down the stretch.

NYA/Waynflete dropped its first two outings, 3-1 to visiting St. Dom’s and 2-1 to visiting Greely, before downing host Wells and Sacopee Valley by 3-1 scores and beating visiting Traip Academy, 5-0, before falling at St. Dom’s, 4-1. After a 4-1 home loss to Class B South semifinalist Yarmouth, NYA/Waynflete hit its stride, beating host Sacopee Valley (2-1), visiting Traip Academy (7-0), Wells (3-1) and Sacopee Valley (5-0) and host St. Dom’s (1-0), Wells (4-1) and Traip Academy (2-1).

Advertisement

NYA/Waynflete then earned a bye into Thursday’s quarterfinals, the team’s first game in 10 days.

Lisbon, meanwhile, went 5-8-1 in the regular season and also earned a bye into the quarterfinals.

The teams didn’t meet this year.

Thursday, on a dry but chilly (54 degree) afternoon, NYA/Waynflete got off to a promising start, but the Greyhounds soon took over.

NYA/Waynflete senior Larkin Kern battles Lisbon’s Laura Mockler for possession during the first quarter of the Greyhounds’ 6-1 win in Thursday’s Class C South quarterfinal. Hoffer photo.

In the second minute, Lisbon nearly took the lead, when Tuplin fired a rocket on a corner, but it went wide.

NYA/Waynflete then got the jump with 7:27 left in the opening stanza, when Tod took a pass from senior Joely Kassel and beat Greyhounds junior goalie Maria Levesque.

Advertisement

Late in the first period, Howerton-Lynch (16 saves) denied Tuplin twice, while at the other end, Levesque kept the deficit at one by denying McKenney.

McKenney then left the game with a leg injury and NYA/Waynflete soon went on the defensive.

“Emilia is a very talented player,” King said. “She brings a lot of energy and skill to the field. I was impressed that even with her off the field, other girls stepped up.”

Early in the second quarter, Tuplin made a nice move around a defender but was stymied by Howerton-Lynch. The Greyhounds also failed to convert a couple corner opportunities.

Then, as time wound down, Lisbon earned a corner and after an initial attempt saw two shots from Mockler saved, another NYA/Waynflete transgression gave the Greyhounds their eighth corner of the half and it proved to be the charm, as Mockler buried a shot from up top to make it a brand new game, 1-1, at the half.

“It was a great momentum shift,” said Lisbon coach Julie Petrie. “We’ve had a couple opportunities for time out corners and we like our corners. We felt like we dominated a little bit on the offense end and we needed to finish. We got that adrenaline rush.”

Advertisement

The Greyhounds then completely dominated the third quarter.

After Tuplin was wide on a rush, Lisbon earned another corner and with 10:32 to go in the frame, went on top to stay, as Tuplin had a shot saved, but Cooper sent home the rebound.

The Greyhounds then continued their onslaught with 8:02 on the clock, as Tuplin had a blast from the side saved, but Mooney scored on the rebound.

With 5:05 left, off another corner, Mooney scored again to make it 4-1.

Lisbon continued its brilliance on corners with 1:13 remaining, as after Howerton-Lynch robbed Tuplin, Mockler scored on the rebound.

Tuplin then finally was rewarded for her hard work with 19.6 seconds to go, finishing on a rush, and the Greyhounds stunningly had scored five times in 10 minutes for a 6-1 lead after three periods.

Advertisement

“To be honest, we don’t play good third quarters, so our goal today was to make it our best third quarter of the season and the girls blew my expectations out of the water,” Petrie said. “I’m so proud of them.”

“That tying goal set a tone,” lamented King. “Lisbon came ready to play and they showed that. It was tough to bounce back. We had to re-arrange our lineup. You have to move on with what you have and make the best of it.”

McKenney returned to action in the fourth quarter and NYA/Waynflete played inspired to the final horn, but couldn’t score again, despite good looks from senior Emily Kalinich (who tipped a McKenney feed just wide), McKenney (who missed just wide) and McKenney and Tod, who had shots saved by Levesque, as the Greyhounds closed out their 6-1 victory.

“We’re a grass team, but we love turf,” Petrie said. “We preached teamwork and playing together. I thought our passing game was beautiful. We were unselfish, played hard and had fun.”

Lisbon finished with a 22-6 shots advantage, got five saves from Levesque and had a 14-1 edge in corners.

Lisbon did not play St. Dom’s this year and hopes its good fortune continues in the semifinals.

Advertisement

“We have a bunch of juniors, a senior and a slew of freshmen, so it’s great to get back to playoffs again,” Petrie said. “To move on to the next round is awesome.”

Back for more in 2022

As for NYA/Waynflete, considering it didn’t even compete a year ago during the COVID season and had to incorporate players from two schools on the fly this fall, its season was an overwhelming success.

The future is bright as well.

“I’m excited to keep moving forward and excited about our eighth grade class coming up,” King said. “We’ll be ready to work hard.”

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

Comments are not available on this story.