BOX SCORE

Falmouth 10 Yarmouth 8

Y- 4 4- 8
F- 8 2- 10

First half
24:28 F Scribner (Adams)
15:47 F Adams (Scribner)
14:38 Y Powers (unassisted)
14:00 Y D’Appolonia (Powers)
13:19 F Ginevan (unassisted)
13:06 F Ginevan (K. Barry)
10:53 F Clement (unassisted)
5:29 F Adams (unassisted)
2:58 F Clement (unassisted)
2:02 F Ginevan (Adams)
18.1 Y Keaney (Kendeigh)
4.7 Y Powers (unassisted)

Second half
18:23 Y Panozzo (D’Appolonia)
17:19 F K. Barry (Scribner)
12:11 Y Kendeigh (D’Appolonia)
1:12 F Adams (unassisted)
30.1 Y D’Appolonia (unassisted)
15.o Y Powers (unassisted)

Goals:
Y- Powers 3, D’Appolonia 2, Keaney, Kendeigh, Panozzo 1
F- Adams, Ginevan 3, Clement 2, K. Barry, Scribner 1

Assists:
Y- D’Appolonia 2, Kendeigh, Powers 1
F- Adams, Scribner 2, K. Barry 1

Draws (10-10)
Y- Powers 10 of 20
F- Ginevan 9 of 19, K. Barry 1 of 1

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Ground balls:
Y- 30
F- 29

Turnovers:
Y- 15
F- 13

Shots:
Y- 20
F- 20

Shots on cage:
Y- 15
F- 15

Saves:
Y (Meas) 5
F (Riley) 7

FALMOUTH—Friday evening’s girls’ lacrosse showdown between Falmouth and Yarmouth wasn’t a playoff game.

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It just felt like one.

And it’s quite likely that the Navigators and Clippers will see each other again come June, which based on this first meeting, would be a treat for local fans.

Host Falmouth, a Class A state finalist last spring, playing its regular season opener, shot to a 2-0 lead over Yarmouth, the reigning Class B champion, which has moved up to Class A this spring, as seniors Molly Scribner and Whitney Adams scored early goals, but the Clippers, despite having an abundance of new faces in new places, rallied to tie behind goals from sophomore star Aine Powers and senior standout Katelyn D’Appolonia.

The Navigators, sparked by the dominance all over the field from transcendent junior Sloane Ginevan, then went on a 6-0 run to seemingly break the game open, as Ginevan scored three times, promising freshman Maisy Clement added a pair of goals and Adams scored as well.

But in the waning seconds of the first half, Yarmouth got a little life and confidence behind goals from sophomore Lauren Keaney and Powers.

The Clippers started the second half with a goal from sophomore Neena Panozzo, but couldn’t get any closer, as senior Kinsey Barry answered.

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With 12 minutes to play, senior Tori Kendeigh again drew Yarmouth within three, but after milking several minutes off the clock, then forcing a couple turnovers, Falmouth got an all-important insurance goal from Adams with just over a minute left.

That loomed large, as D’Appolonia and Powers scored quick goals, but that’s as close as the Clippers would get and the Navigators held on for a 10-8 victory.

Adams and Ginevan both scored three goals to lead the way as Falmouth won its opener for the seventh consecutive season and dropped Yarmouth to 1-1 in the process.

“Yarmouth has some excellent players and we knew they’d be tough,” said Ginevan, who has already committed to playing lacrosse at Notre Dame in two years time. “We knew to beat them, we had to work as a team and we did that. We treated this like a potential playoff game and that’s what it shaped up to be.”

A new twist

For years, Falmouth and Yarmouth did battle in Class B.

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That changed in 2018 when lacrosse went to three classes and Falmouth moved up to Class A.

This spring, the Clippers have joined the Navigators in Class A North, meaning the teams could be on a collision course come June.

Yarmouth was close to unstoppable in 2021, but lost much of its production to graduation.

Falmouth was also hurt by graduation, but after losing to Kennebunk by a goal in the Class A state final, remains a powerhouse.

Last year, the Clippers built a big lead and held off visiting Falmouth in a 12-10 thriller.

Entering play, Yarmouth had won 13 of 19 all-time meetings (see sidebar).

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Friday, on a 55-degree evening, with the wind howling and a few sprinkles making their presence felt, the Navigators led almost the whole way, but the Clippers fought hard to the final horn.

Falmouth junior Sloane Ginevan and Yarmouth sophomore Aine Powers send the ball skyward on a draw. Hoffer photos.

The visitors found themselves down a player just 15 seconds in, when Keaney received a yellow card and 17 seconds later, Falmouth struck first, as Adams found Scribner for a shot Yarmouth senior goalie Juliet Meas couldn’t stop.

The Clippers hoped to answer, but they couldn’t solve the Navigators’ defense and with 15:47 to go in the first half, Scribner returned the favor and fed Adams for a 2-0 advantage.

After Meas robbed Adams, Yarmouth’s offense came to life with 14:38 on the clock, as Powers, who had a fabulous freshman season, raced in and ripped a shot past Falmouth junior goalie Patty Riley.

A mere 38 seconds later, Powers set up D’Appolonia for a shot which tickled the twine and tied the score, 2-2.

D’Appolonia, who will play at the University of Colorado next year, was seeing her first action since being injured during basketball season.

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“(Katelyn’s) been practicing on and off and today, I checked in with her after warmups and she said she was good to go,” said longtime Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt. “It makes a big difference to have her out there, not only for her ability, but also her leadership on and off the field.”

It would take the Navigators only 41 seconds to regain the lead for good, as with 13:19 on the clock, Ginevan fought her way in and fired a shot past Meas.

“There was so much intensity at the beginning,” said Falmouth coach Ashley Pullen. “It felt almost like a playoff game.”

Ginevan then won the ensuing draw to Barry, who raced in, then passed to Ginevan, who scored again to make it 4-2 with 13:06 to go.

Ginevan suffered a shoulder injury early in the preseason and there was some doubt she would be available at the start of the season, but thankfully for her and her team, she made it back and it was as if she hadn’t missed a beat.

“My plan was to get back for this game,” said Ginevan. “It wasn’t looking so good at the beginning, but I was doing a lot of at-home exercises, so I’m just glad to get back. Obviously, basketball is fun, but lacrosse is really fun too and it’s great to be building chemistry with this team.”

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The good times continued for Falmouth’s offense, as with 10:53 left in the half, Clement scored her first varsity goal, beating Meas to the far corner.

Clement, the younger sister of former program standout Eva Clement, who is now at Colby College, bears a striking resemblance to her older sibling when she’s on the field and even wears the same uniform number (6).

“She plays a lot like (Eva) and I definitely see a lot of Eva in Maisy,” said Ginevan, who also has a younger freshman sister on the team this year, Maeve, a midfielder. “It’s hard to compare siblings, but when I see some of the stuff Maisy does, I can’t help but think of Eva and the great connection that we had.”

“I’m so proud of Maisy and Maeve today,” Pullen said. “For both of them, it was their first varsity game and at various points, they had a lot of pressure on them today. They maintained their composure and looked like seasoned veterans out there.”

With 5:29 remaining in the half, Adams scored for the second time, unassisted.

After Riley preserved the lead by robbing Yarmouth senior Clancy Walsh, the Navigators took off in transition and Clement scored for the second time, unassisted, with 2:58 on the clock.

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Fifty-six seconds later, Adams set up Ginevan to cap the six-goal surge.

“Something we really pride ourselves on is keeping our heads up and playing as a team,” Ginevan said. “We came out fast, then they came back, but we kept at it. When we share the ball and move it to everyone, I think we’re unstoppable.”

But just when it appeared Falmouth would run away and hide, the Clippers got a break in the final minute, as junior Sydney Shiben received a yellow card and had to sit and after Keaney scored unassisted with 18.1 seconds left, snapping a 13 minute, 42 second scoring drought, Powers won the ensuing draw and raced in and beat Riley with 4.7 seconds on the clock, pulling Yarmouth within hailing distance, 8-4, at the half.

Yarmouth senior Katelyn D’Appolonia (3) throws a pass to sophomore teammate Aine Powers.

In the first 25 minutes, the Navigators had a slight edge in draws, ground balls and shots, but they hadn’t put the Clippers away.

And Yarmouth started the second half strong, again benefitting from a Falmouth yellow card, this one to Adams.

With 18:23 to play, D’Appolonia found Panozzo for a goal and suddenly a six-goal deficit had been cut in half.

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But the Navigators would answer just a minute later, as Scribner set up Barry for a 9-5 lead.

Again, the Clippers drew within three with 12:11 left, as D’Appolonia found Kendeigh for a goal.

Yarmouth had a chance to get even closer, but Panozzo missed wide and Riley robbed Powers on a low shot.

Falmouth then milked several minutes off the clock and even when the Clippers got possession, Ginevan stole it right back.

“It’s huge to have Sloane,” Pullen said. “She’s an asset all over the field. She feels like defense is her strength. She causes so many turnovers. That generates so much offense for us and she can score too. She does it all for us.”

With 1:55 on the clock, sophomore Brooke Boone had a chance to pull Yarmouth within two, but her free position shot was saved by Riley.

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The Navigators transitioned back to offense and with 1:12 to go, Adams essentially iced it with an unassisted tally.

“Whitney’s come to be a really consistent contributor in our offense and it’s really nice to be able to rely on her,” said Pullen. “We know when we have the ball that they can’t score, so I’m really proud of the offense to be able to take care of the ball there.”

To their credit, the Clippers played hard to the final whistle, as after Riley twice saved shots from Powers, D’Appolonia finished unassisted with 30.1 seconds to play.

After winning the ensuing draw, Powers scored an unassisted goal with 15 seconds left, but that’s as close as Yarmouth got and even though Powers again won the final draw, time ran out and Falmouth was able to celebrate its 10-8 victory.

Falmouth junior goalie Patty Riley is congratulated by her teammates at the final horn.

“(Yarmouth) fought to the very end and that’s something we need to focus on in practice,” Ginevan said. “Even though we got up, we can’t give up. We have to play to the very end.”

“We held on for dear life,” said Pullen, who earned her 101st career victory. “No lead is ever safe against Yarmouth. They scored a few goals on us when we were short-handed. We were able to stall and Patty made some key saves and big clears.”

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The Navigators got three goals apiece from Adams and Ginevan, two from Clement and one apiece from Barry and Scribner.

Adams and Scribner each had two assists, while Barry added one.

Riley made seven critical saves.

Ginevan finished with a game-high 13 ground balls, won nine draws (each team won 10) and excelled at the defensive end too.

“I do a lot of shooting and scoring is great, but defense is what comes most naturally to me, especially being a basketball player,” Ginevan said. “It’s the same fundamentals. I’m equally proud of my defense as I am my offense.”

Falmouth only committed 13 turnovers.

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For Yarmouth, Powers led the way with three goals and an assist. D’Appolonia had two goals and two assists, while Kendeigh had a goal and an assist and Keaney and Panozzo both scored once.

Meas made five saves.

The Clippers enjoyed a 30-29 edge in ground balls (D’Appolonia, Powers and junior Sadie Carnes each collected five).

Yarmouth only turned the ball over 15 times.

“We have eight girls who were on JV last year an we only have four girls back who played a lot last year, so to come back like we did, I couldn’t be prouder,” Holt said. “There are big things to come for this group. To hang with a seasoned Falmouth team shows we’re getting there. A lot of these girls, this was just their second varsity game. I told them at the half we just had to keep possession of the ball. We came back out and possessed and made it work. When you have Aine and Katelyn and Clancy who are seasoned on attack, they show the other girls composure.”

Each team took 20 shots and each put 15 on frame.

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Kennebunk looms

Yarmouth is back in action Tuesday at Cape Elizabeth, then plays its home opener versus Kennebunk next Friday.

“That’s the schedule we wanted,” Holt said. “We take pride in playing the top teams. We know we’ll get better by playing the best.”

Falmouth goes to Kennebunk Tuesday for a state final rematch, in a game that will be played on a grass field, not turf, adding to the degree of difficulty for the Navigators as they seek to avenge their loss in last year’s state final.

“Kennebunk’s a great team,” Ginevan said. “That’s going to be a great one. They’ll have a big crowd, but we’ll bring our ‘A’ game.”

“It’s definitely an adjustment to go down and play on grass, but we’ll practice and be ready for it,” Pullen said.

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

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