BOX SCORE

North Yarmouth Academy 10 Waynflete 9

W- 3 6 0- 9
NYA- 3 6 1- 10

First half
21:50 W Connors (free position)
21:11 W Connors (Millspaugh)
19:22 NYA Holt (unassisted)
10:08 NYA Yilmaz (Jackson)
6:48 W Dolan (unassisted)
4:28 NYA Holt (free position)

Second half
24:39 W Connors (free position)
21:45 W Kelly (unassisted)
19:51 NYA Sharp (Tran)
19:16 NYA Tran (Sharp)
19:02 W Connors (unassisted)
14:12 NYA Tran (unassisted)
11:19 W Kelly (free position)
10:18 W Connors (unassisted)
9:17 N Sharp (Holt)
7:07 W Connors (Dolan)
5:31 NYA Holt (Taylor)
4:54 NYA Yilmaz (Tran)

Overtime
1.9 NYA Holt (unassisted)

Goals:
W- Connors 6, Kelly 2, Dolan 1
NYA- Holt 4, Sharp, Tran, Yilmaz 2

Assists:
W- Dolan, Millspaugh 1
NYA- Tran 2, Holt, Jackson, Sharp, Taylor 1

Advertisement

Draws (NYA ,11-10)
W- Millspaugh 10 of 18, Connors 0 of 3
NYA- Tran 10 of 16, Holt 1 of 4, Sharp 0 of 1

Ground balls:
W- 32
NYA-47

Turnovers:
W- 21
NYA- 18

Shots:
W- 17
NYA- 29

Shots on cage:
W- 11
NYA- 19

Saves:
W (Girard) 9
NYA (Merrill) 2

Advertisement

YARMOUTH—What a debut!

What a finish!

What a season opener!

Defending Class C girls’ lacrosse champion Waynflete visited rival North Yarmouth Academy in the teams’ mutual lidlifter Thursday afternoon at Lewis Field and in a game that featured plenty of postseason intensity, 50 minutes weren’t enough to decide a winner.

And the Panthers proved that to win, you don’t have lead a game until the final goal is scored..

The Flyers picked right up where they left off, as senior standout Jesse Connors scored two quick goals, but NYA settled in and drew even behind goals from seniors Maggie Holt and Alev Yilmaz.

Advertisement

After Waynflete junior Keegan Dolan and Holt traded goals, the game went to the half deadlocked, 3-3.

Little changed in the second half, as the Flyers again started fast, getting goals from Connors and sophomore Tilsley Kelly, before the Panthers again rallied to draw even behind goals from senior Emma Sharp and junior Vy Tran.

After Connors put Waynflete in the lead, NYA tied the score again, as Tran scored on a free position.

When Kelly scored with just over 11 minutes to go and Connors scored in traffic a minute later, the Flyers appeared on the brink of victory, but the Panthers had other ideas.

Holt set up Sharp for a goal with a gorgeous feed and after Connors scored her sixth goal to put Waynflete up by two goals again, Holt scored with 5:31 to play, then Yilmaz tied it 37 seconds later.

The game would go to “sudden victory” overtime and just before the first three-minute session was about to expire, Holt pounced on a turnover, raced and in and scored and just like that, NYA had its first and only lead and a palpitating 10-9 victory.

Advertisement

Holt scored four times as the Panthers beat the Flyers for the first time in a dozen years and got their season off to an ideal start.

“That was a little too exciting, but it was a lot of fun,” said NYA’s first-year coach Molly Moss-Stokes. “This says a lot about our leadership and our ability to move the ball around and find the good look. There was a little panic, but we regrouped and it worked out.”

Fight to the finish

Waynflete enjoyed a dream season a year ago, returning to prominence and winning its first state in eight seasons, holding off Freeport in a thriller, 9-8, in the Class C Final. The Flyers return a lot of talent this spring, including Connors, who will play college lacrosse next year at Dominican University in California.

NYA got to the state quarterfinals a year ago before losing a one-goal decision to Lake Region. This spring, the Panthers are coached by Moss-Stokes, NYA Class of 2005, one of the great players in program history, who went on to play at Endicott College and spent last year as an assistant with the program. The Panthers also return a standout in Holt and have some nice additions to the roster.

Last year, Connors scored twice late to give Waynflete a 5-4 home win over NYA.

Advertisement

Thursday, on a 46-degree, drizzly afternoon, the Flyers looked to make it 10 straight victories in the series, but instead, the Panthers beat them for the first time since a 7-3 victory in the 2010 Class B state title (see sidebar, below, for recent results).

Waynflete senior Lolie Millspaugh rushes upfield as NYA junior Charlotte Harper-Cunningham gives chase during the first half. Hoffer photos.

Connors, who scored 44 goals a year ago and tallied five goals in the state game, hinted at a monster senior campaign to come, when she finished a free position with 21:50 to go in the 25-minute opening half, beating NYA junior goalie Jessica Merrill.

After senior Lolie Millspaugh won the ensuing draw, Millspaugh set up Connors for another goal and Waynflete appeared to be on its way.

But the Panthers would settle in and rally.

First, after Flyers freshman Skylar Harris hit the post, Holt left the defense in her wake and with 19:22 on the clock, fired a shot past Waynflete senior goalie Emily Girard to cut the deficit in half.

After Girard preserved the lead by denying both Yilmaz and Tran, senior Lila Jackson set up Yilmaz for the tying tally with 10:08 remaining in the half.

Advertisement

Undaunted, the Flyers went right back on top with 6:48 to go, as Dolan raced past a defender, who stumbled to the ground in the process, then went one-on-one with Merrill and tickled the twine for a 3-2 advantage.

Again, NYA countered, this time on a free position from Holt with 4:28 showing.

Down the stretch in the first half, Merrill robbed Kelly, Connors shot high and Holt missed wide, sending the contest to the break tied, 3-3.

Then, just as it did to start the game, Waynflete started the second half strong and again opened up a quick two-goal lead.

Which again, didn’t last.

Just 21 seconds in, Connors earned a free position and finished to make it 4-3.

Advertisement

With 21:45 to go, Kelly scored for the first time, unassisted.

But the Panthers again responded, as Tran pounced on a turnover and set up Sharp for a goal with 19:51 on the clock and 35 seconds later, the tandem switched things up, as Sharp found Tran for the equalizer, making it 5-5.

Millspaugh then won the ensuing draw to Connors and Connors did the rest, showing off her speed and athleticism to get a look at the goal before beating Merrill far side for a 6-5 lead with 19:02 on the clock.

After a yellow card forced Kelly to sit for two minutes, NYA tied it up again, as Tran scored on a free position with 14:12 to go.

After Merrill robbed Connors, Kelly gave Waynflete the lead, 7-6, scoring on a free position with 11:19 remaining.

After Girard robbed Holt’s game-tying bid, Connors weaved through traffic and buried a shot from a tough angle to put the Flyers up two.

Advertisement

Moss-Stokes called timeout and the Panthers responded, as Holt threaded a beautiful pass to Sharp, who finished with 9:17 remaining, making the score 8-7.

But with 7:07 to go, Connors scored for the sixth time, from Dolan, and Waynflete crept closer to victory.

But that would be it for the Flyers’ offense.

NYA kept up its tenacity and was rewarded with 5:31 to go, as junior Clara Taylor got to a loose ball behind the goal and set up Holt in front for a goal which cut the deficit to one.

Just 37 seconds later, Tran found Yilmaz for a goal and the game was tied for the fifth and final time, 9-9.

The Panthers had a chance to win it in regulation, but Holt missed just high, then a late turnover sent the contest to overtime.

Advertisement

High school girls’ lacrosse consists of a three-minute “sudden victory” overtime period and if no one scores, a second OT is necessitated.

A second extra session almost happened Thursday, but NYA won it just before the horn ended the first overtime.

Millspaugh won the draw to start OT and Waynflete looked to end it, but the Flyers turned the ball over.

That gave the Panthers the opportunity they needed.

With 1:18 to go, Tran tried to win it, but her shot bounced high.

NYA kept possession, but gave the ball away as time wound down.

Advertisement

But Waynflete turned it right back over and Holt scooped up a loose ball on the right sideline and took off for the goal.

For one of the few times all day, she had room to work with and she raced in on Girard and beat her high with just 1.9 seconds left in overtime.

“I knew I had Vy coming down on the side, then the defender bit on Vy and I just had to shoot it,” Holt said. “I just went right corner. It feels great.”

“Maggie’s our quarterback,” Moss-Stokes said. “We want the ball in her stick and it worked out. I just saw the clock and saw her go in and hoped for the best.”

NYA 10 Waynflete 9.

NYA senior Maggie Holt is mobbed by her teammates after her overtime goal beat defending Class C champion Waynflete, 10-9, in overtime, in the teams’ season opener Thursday.

At 5 p.m., the Panthers celebrated their victory 12 years in the making.

Advertisement

“It was thrilling,” said Holt. “I think we just put in the effort. We all just wanted to win. We were confident in overtime. We believe in each other and trust each other.”

“It’s easier to come from behind than stay ahead sometimes,” Moss-Stokes said. “It’s not easy to beat (Waynflete coach) Cathie Connors. Waynflete’s a great team to play.”

“We couldn’t get it going (in overtime),” lamented Cathie Connors. “Middle of the season, that’s probably a different story. Maggie’s awesome, really strong. She’s a good shooter.”

Holt scored four goals and assisted on another. She also had a game-high 14 ground balls.

Sharp, Tran and Yilmaz each contributed two goals.

Tran had two assists, while Sharp and Taylor each added one.

Advertisement

Merrill made two saves.

NYA had an 11-10 edge in draws, a 47-32 advantage in ground balls, a 29-17 edge in shots (19-11 on cage) and overcame 18 turnovers.

“It was just a team effort,” Holt said. “It started with our defense and our goalie. She made some amazing saves.”

For Waynflete, Jesse Connors excelled with six goals and a team-high 10 ground balls.

“Jesse’s worked out and has worked hard,” Cathie Connors said. “I’m proud of her.”

“(Jesse’s) just a great kid and a great player,” said Moss-Stokes. “My girls couldn’t say enough good things about her. It’s always fun to play a competitor like that.”

Advertisement

Kelly added two goals and D0lan had one.

Dolan and Millspaugh had one assist apiece.

Girard made nine saves.

The Flyers turned the ball over 21 times.

“We learned a lot today,” said Cathie Connors. “We just couldn’t hold on at the end. I’m super-proud of how the defense played. Emily was amazing. We struggled in our transition, but there’s a lot of time to work on that.”

Long season ahead

Advertisement

Waynflete will look to even its record April 26, when it goes to Lake Region.

“I’m OK with where we are,” Cathie Connors said. “We’ll focus on transition and clearing. Our defense is working. We haven’t even put in plays yet.”

NYA is back in action next Thursday, when it faces the other team to reach the Class C state final a year ago, Freeport.

“I think we have a lot of potential and we can only go up from here,” Holt said.

“This really sets the tone and gives us a lot of confidence,” Moss-Stokes said. “We just need to come out of the gate a little stronger. We had some nerves today and we had to get it out of our system.”

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

Recent Waynflete-NYA results

2021
@ Waynflete 5 NYA 4

Advertisement

2017
Waynflete 16 @ NYA 2

2016
Waynflete 11 @ NYA 1

2015
Waynflete 13 @ NYA 4 

2014
Waynflete 6 @ NYA 5

2012
@ Waynflete 15 NYA 5
Waynflete 16 @ NYA 7

2011
@ Waynflete 12 NYA 10
Waynflete 17 @ NYA 4

Advertisement

2010
@ NYA 7 Waynflete 6
NYA 8 @ Waynflete 7
Class B Final
NYA 7 Waynflete 3

2009
@ Waynflete 12 NYA 3
Class B Final
Waynflete 9 NYA 5

2008
@ Waynflete 18 NYA 6
@ NYA 10 Waynflete 8
Class B Final
Waynflete 12 NYA 8

2007
@ Waynflete 8 NYA 5
Waynflete 10 NYA 9 (4 OT)

2006
Waynflete 6 @ NYA 1
@ Waynflete 5 NYA 4

2005
@ Waynflete 8 NYA 4
State Final
Waynflete 5 NYA 4 (OT)

Advertisement

2004
NYA 10 @ Waynflete 9
State Final
Waynflete 9 NYA 6

2003
Waynflete 5 @ NYA 4

2002
NYA 8 @ Waynflete 6
Waynflete 7 @ NYA 4

2001
State Final
Waynflete 9 NYA 5

Comments are not available on this story.