BOX SCORE

Kennebunk 11 Yarmouth 3

K- 7 4- 11
Y- 1 2- 3

First half
23:46 K Sliwkowski (unassisted)
22:59 K Sliwkowski (unassisted)
16:21 K Dumas (unassisted)
15:08 K Battagliese (unassisted)
12:36 K Muse (Dumas)
11:47 Y Panozzo (Kendeigh)
11:06 K Dumas (unassisted)
6:21 K Dumas (unassisted)

Second half
23:17 Y Keaney (D’Appolonia)
22:58 K Battagliese (unassisted)
17:52 K Dumas (unassisted)
17:39 Y D’Appolonia (unassisted)
13:10 K Armentrout (Sliwkowski)
10:14 K Sliwkowki (Armentrout)

Goals:
K- Dumas 4, Sliwkowski 3, Battagliese 2, Armentrout, Muse 1
Y- D’Appolonia, Keaney, Panozzo 1

Assists:
K- Dumas, Sliwkowski 1
Y- D’Appolonia, Kendeigh 1

Draws (Yarmouth, 10-6)
K- Notine 5 of 12, Sliwkowski 1 of 3, Armentrout 0 of 1
Y- Powers 10 of 16

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Ground balls:
K- 35
Y- 43

Turnovers:
K- 20
Y- 19

Shots:
K- 25
Y- 25

Shots on cage:
K- 19
Y- 17

Saves:
K (Hayes) 14
Y (Meas) 8

YARMOUTH—Yarmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team was able to limit the damage of Kennebunk junior standout Ruby Sliwkowski in Friday evening’s showdown, but the reigning Class A state champion Rams have a lot of talent in reserve and while the defending Class B champion Clippers put forth a valiant effort, Kennebunk continued its fast start thanks to contributions from players expected and unexpected.

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Sliwkowski did score a pair of early goals to give the visiting Rams a quick lead, but Yarmouth, thanks to the strong draw effort of sophomore Aine Powers, had ample scoring opportunities, only to be turned aside time and again by Kennebunk junior goalie Lizzie Hayes.

The Rams then got more breathing room, as senior Sydney Dumas, sophomore Keara Battagliese and sophomore Mara Muse all added goals.

Sophomore Neena Panozzo got the Clippers on the board with 11:47 to go in the first half, but Dumas scored twice more to give Kennebunk a 7-1 halftime advantage.

Sophomore Lauren Keaney gave Yarmouth some hope with a goal early in the second half, but Hayes prevented the Clippers from drawing closer before Battagliese and Dumas scored to make it 9-2.

Senior standout Katelyn D’Appolonia finished for the Clippers with 17:39 to play, but Yarmouth wouldn’t score again and the Rams put it away behind goals from sophomore Ivy Armentrout and Sliwkowski and prevailed, 11-3.

Kennebunk won its 18th straight game over two seasons, improved to 2-0 and in the process, dropped the Clippers to 2-2.

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“I told the team they have nothing to hang their heads about,” said longtime Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt. “I’m super-proud of my team and I don’t think the score was reflective of the game. If some of our early shots went in, it would have been a much closer game.”

The year after

Nearly everything went Kennebunk and Yarmouth’s way in 2021, as the teams combined to lose just one game (the Clippers dropping a close decision at the Rams) and going on to win their respective state titles.

The Rams haven’t missed a beat, as evidenced by Tuesday’s 11-6 home win over Falmouth in their opener, which doubled as a rematch of last year’s state game.

The Clippers, meanwhile, started with an impressive 13-4 home win over Windham and after falling at Falmouth, 10-8, beat host Cape Elizabeth Tuesday, 12-5.

In last year’s showdown, Yarmouth had a second half lead before Kennebunk closed strong to prevail, 10-8.

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Friday, the Clippers looked to beat the Rams for the first time since May 3, 2019 (7-6 in Kennebunk) and amazingly, to do so on their home turf for the first time since May 1, 2003 (9-8 in overtime), but it wasn’t to be.

Yarmouth sophomore Aine Powers wins a draw from Kennebunk junior Ruby Sliwkowski to start Friday’s game, won by the Rams, 11-3. Hoffer photos.

Powers won the opening draw, but Yarmouth turned the ball over and a mere 74 seconds into the contest, the lightning quick Sliwkowski slipped through the defense and beat Clippers senior goalie Juliet Meas for a 1-0 lead.

Powers won the next draw too, but Sliwkowski intercepted a pass and ran nearly the length of the field before scoring again to double up the advantage with the game barely two minutes old.

Yarmouth then got its first look at the goal, but Hayes stood tall and denied Powers.

Meas robbed Sliwkowski on a free position at the other end, but Hayes continued to frustrate the Clippers by saving shots from junior Sadie Carnes and Powers.

With 16:21 remaining in the first half, Dumas scored for the first time, finishing unassisted on a crease roll.

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A little over a minute later, with 15:08 to go, Battagliese scored unassisted for a 4-0 advantage.

After Hayes twice denied D’Appolonia, Muse took a pass from Dumas and scored in transition with 12:31 left.

Forty-four seconds later, Yarmouth finally solved Hayes, as Panozzo did the honors, after taking a pass from senior Tori Kendeigh.

But Kennebunk grabbed momentum right back with 11:06 left, as Dumas again scored unassisted.

After Sliwkowski hit the post, Dumas scored another unassisted goal with 6:21 on the clock.

The Clippers hoped to answer, but Keaney and Kendeigh had shots saved by Hayes and the game went to the break with the Rams in command, 7-1.

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Yarmouth had an edge in draws (6-3) and put seven shots on frame in the first 25 minutes, but Hayes stopped six of them.

“I just had a great warmup and I was in the mood to get the win for my team in a really big game,” Hayes said. “I came out really prepared and stayed calm. I didn’t get too down when a goal went in.”

Yarmouth senior Katelyn D’Appolonia takes off with the ball.

The Clippers came out strong in the second half and were rewarded when D’Appolonia forced a turnover, got the ball and fed Keaney for a goal with 23:17 to play, but they would draw no closer.

In fact, 19 seconds later, after winning the draw, the Rams restored their six-goal advantage when Battagliese had an initial shot saved by Meas, but got the rebound and buried it.

After Armentrout hit the crossbar, Hayes continued to shine by saving two bids from Powers.

With 17:52 remaining, Dumas scored her final goal, unassisted.

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“Ruby’s one of our best attackers and defenders, so we need to figure out how to use that to our advantage and how to find other girls to make plays,” Dumas said. “Just being patient and looking for chances worked for me today. We were able to see the field and know when it was time.”

Yarmouth answered 13 seconds later, as Powers won the draw to D’Appolonia and D’Appolonia raced in and scored, but Hayes wouldn’t allow another shot to get past her.

With 13:10 to play, Sliwkowski set up Armentrout for a goal. It wasn’t just any assist either, it was the talented Sliwkowski’s 100th point of her career (in just 18 games).

“I just look for the amazing passes that we make,” Hayes said. “I’m proud of all of the attackers. We’re one of the hardest teams to defend because we’re so quick.”

Sliwkowski then scored the final goal with 10:14 left, as Armentrout got the assist.

After D’Appolonia hit the post and Hayes saved a couple more shots, from D’Appolonia and sophomore Brooke Boone, Kennebunk closed out its 11-3 victory.

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“We were expecting a battle,” said Dumas. “Having them move up to our class, we were definitely aware of it. We wanted to come out and make a statement today and I think we did that.”

“We re-defended better today,” said longtime Rams coach Annie Barker. “We rode them harder and we’ve worked on that (in practice). We’re trying to make all the girls grow and be part of it so anyone can get to the goal.”

The Rams offense was led by Dumas (four goals, one assist) and Sliwkowski (three goals, one assist). Battagliese added two goals, while Armentrout and Muse each tallied one.

Hayes stole the show with 14 saves.

“(Lizzie’s) always going hard in practice and that showed today,” Dumas said. “She’s been a big part of our team. Without her tonight, it would have been a much different game.”

“Lizzie made a lot of huge saves tonight,’ said Barker. “She kept us in the game.”

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Sliwkowski had a team-high 12 ground balls.

Kennebunk had a slight edge in shots on cage, 19-17 (total shots were 25-25), and overcame 20 turnovers.

For Yarmouth, D’Appolonia, Keaney and Panozzo all had one goal, while D’Appolonia and Kendeigh both had assists.

Meas was solid as well, making eight saves.

Powers won 10 of the game’s 16 draws and also had a game-high 14 ground balls. D’Appolonia scooped up 13 ground balls helping the Clippers win that category, 43-35.

Yarmouth committed 19 turnovers.

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“We’re so much younger than (Kennebunk) and their first few goals were scored off our turnovers,” Holt said. “They’re a good team and that’s what good teams do. Their goalie came up big when she needed to. Give her credit.

“This is a different team that played Falmouth and played Cape and in true Yarmouth fashion, our younger players are really coming on. Of course, as competitors, the girls are disappointed because they want to win, but this was a great game for us.”

The beat goes on

Kennebunk is home for a pair of games next week, versus Marshwood Tuesday and Cape Elizabeth Friday, and will look to play even better than it did this week.

“There are still little tweaks we can work on, but basically, we know we have all the plays down,” Hayes said. “Everyone we have just makes up an amazing team. No matter what challenges we have, we can rise above.”

“This gives us something to work on in practice,” Barker said. “We’ll be working on clearing now. We weren’t patient on offense like we should have been and we kept giving them the ball back and gave them more chances than we should have.”

Yarmouth, meanwhile, hopes to bounce back Tuesday at home versus Greely in a rematch of last year’s Class B state final. Thursday, the Clippers are at another top Class A South squad, Scarborough.

“Our schedule is great for us,” Holt said. “Katelyn and Aine are playing phenomenal. The attack is learning to play together. We’ll be ready for next week.”

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

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