BOX SCORE

Freeport 6 Waynflete 4

F- 3 3- 6
W- 2 2- 4

First half
21:03 F Driscoll (K. Tracy)
17:59 W Kelly (Wilson)
9:14 F S. Tracy (K. Tracy)
7:45 F Olsen (free position)
4:37 W Earls (free position)

Second half
18:47 W Kelly (Dolan)
15:27 F K. Tracy (S. Tracy)
8:39 F K. Tracy (free position)
2:59 F K. Tracy (Knight)
2:14 W Millspaugh (free position)

Goals:
F- K. Tracy 3, Driscoll, Olsen, S. Tracy 1
W- Kelly 2, Earls, Millspaugh 1

Assists:
F- K. Tracy 2, Knight, S. Tracy 1
W- Dolan, Wilson

Draws (Freeport, 9-3)
F- S. Tracy 9 of 12
W- Millspaugh 3 of 12

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Ground balls:
F- 53
W- 35

Turnovers:
F- 22
W- 23

Shots:
F- 20
W- 7

Shots on cage:
F- 13
W- 6

Saves:
F (Williams) 2
W (Girard) 7

PORTLAND—It was a dose of revenge.

But Freeport girls’ lacrosse team hasn’t reached its goal yet.

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Friday afternoon, at Hall Field at Fore River Fields, the Falcons, after nearly 11 months of wondering what-if, got another shot at reigning Class C state champion Waynflete.

A depleted Flyers squad, playing without senior standout Jesse Connors, who is out for the season with a broken ankle.

Freeport, still stinging over last year’s one-goal state final loss, never trailed, but Waynflete made it work all 50 minutes to emerge victorious.

Senior Meg Driscoll put the Falcons up early, but the Flyers tied the score on a goal from sophomore Tilsley Kelly.

After Freeport got goals from senior Savannah Tracy and junior Emily Olsen, sophomore Morgan Earls, in her first game action of the season, answered for Waynflete to cut the deficit to 3-2 at the half.

Kelly then scored early in the second half to pull the Flyers even, but Falcons junior Kate Tracy ensured her team wouldn’t lose, scoring three straight goals for some breathing room.

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Senior Lolie Millspaugh scored a late goal for Waynflete, but it wasn’t enough and Freeport went on to a 6-4 victory.

The Falcons won their fourth straight contest, improved to 6-1 and in the process, dropped Waynflete to 4-3.

“This isn’t revenge-is-sweet just yet,” said Kate Tracy. “This was just the precursor. This is one thing, but it was a similar story last year (when we beat them in the regular season). We won’t get fooled again and we know if we play them again, they’ll be ready.”

Overcoming

Waynflete opened with a tough loss, 10-9, in overtime, at North Yarmouth Academy, the Flyers hit their stride, downing host Lake Region (7-5), visiting Wells (11-10), Traip Academy (15-6) and Portland (16-1). The season then went from triumphant to heartbreaking Wednesday in Cumberland, where the Flyers lost, 12-4, to the Rangers, but of far greater importance lost their top player and heart and soul to a broken ankle, which will sadly, sideline her the duration of the season.

“We literally found out 24 hours ago,” said Waynflete coach Cathie Connors, Jesse Connors’ mother. “After I left Jesse, we had practice and I told the team and it was definitely emotional, but the girls were awesome.”

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“My heart goes out to her,” said Freeport coach Marcia Wood. “It’s just a testament to the lacrosse community because everyone feels badly. We wanted to play them full strength. I can’t imagine being her coach and Mom and having to deal with all that.”

Freeport, meanwhile, opened with a 12-6 victory at North Yarmouth Academy, then blanked visiting Fryeburg Academy, 12-0, before falling at Greely, 6-5. The Falcons then bounced back with wins at Gray-New Gloucester (15-3), at home over Lake Region (9-8) and at home over Traip Academy (16-2).

Last year, Freeport beat visiting Waynflete in the regular season, 9-6, but in the Class C state final, the Flyers returned the favor, holding on for a 9-8 victory to win their first championship in eight years.

The Falcons have been itching for revenge ever since and Friday, on a gorgeous afternoon (66 degrees and sunny), they got it.

But not without a tussle.

Waynflete sophomore Morgan Earls defends Freeport junior Emily Olsen during the Falcons’ 6-4 victory Friday. Hoffer photos.

Freeport controlled possession most of the way and broke the scoring ice with 21:03 to go in the first half, as Kate Tracy set up Driscoll for a shot which eluded Waynflete senior goalie Emily Girard.

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The Flyers then announced that they weren’t going to roll over, as Kelly took a pass from junior Yen Wilson and beat Falcons junior goalie Piper Williams to tie the score with 17:59 left in the half.

Girard then preserved the tie, denying Driscoll on a free position and Savannah Tracy in close.

After Wood called timeout, the Falcons got their offense going.

With 9:14 showing, Kate Tracy set up Savannah Tracy for the lead.

Then, with 7:45 on the clock, Olsen finished a free position to make it 3-1, forcing Connors to call timeout.

Waynflete then responded as Earls, who suffered a knee injury back in the fall and finally was able to return Friday, was rewarded a free position with 4:37 to go and she beat Williams to cut the deficit to one.

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“Morgan’s back, which is wonderful,” Connors said.

Late in the half, Savannah Tracy hit the crossbar and Williams saved a shot from freshman Skylar Harris to keep the score 3-2 heading into the break.

In the first half, Freeport had a 9-3 advantage in shots, but Girard’s four saves kept the game close.

Early in the second half, Savannah Tracy hit the crossbar again and after Kelly had a shot saved by Williams, Girard stood tall, denying both Kate Tracy and Driscoll.

Then, with 18:47 left, junior Keegan Dolan set up Kelly for a goal and to the surprise of most, the contest was even, 3-3.

But the Flyers weren’t able to go on top and after Driscoll missed high and Kate Tracy had a shot saved by Girard, Kate Tracy took a feed from Savannah Tracy and finished with 15:27 to go to put the Falcons ahead for good.

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“Our sister chemistry is helpful,” Kate Tracy said. “(Savannah) can just flick her eyes and I know exactly what she’s thinking.”

Millspaugh had a chance to pull Waynflete even, but she missed just high.

Then, with 8:39 to go, Kate Tracy was awarded a free position and finished to make it 5-3.

Savannah Tracy then won the ensuing draw and Freeport was able to milk several minutes off the clock. The Flyers did get the ball back, momentarily, but gave it right back and with 2:59 left, Kate Tracy caught a high pass from junior Madeline Knight before scoring to essentially ice the victory.

“Kate and Savannah were just a little too much,” said Connors. “We haven’t worked on breaking the stall with the whole group, but we got the ball back once and that’s a victory.”

But Waynflete wouldn’t go quietly and 45 seconds later, Millspaugh finished a free position to again make it a two-goal contest.

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The Flyers never had a chance to draw closer, however, as Savannah Tracy won the ensuing draw and the Falcons were able to run out the clock and celebrate their 6-4 victory.

Freeport celebrates at the end of Friday’s victory.

“After seeing how prepared they were for states last year, we knew they’d be ready today and we knew they’d want to win just as badly,” Savannah Tracy said. “We missed Jesse out there. We wanted to beat them with her out there on the field too.”

“It’s a little dose of revenge,” Wood said. “It’s nice to get over the hump. We were a little down at halftime and kudos to Waynflete for having so much energy after such a devastating loss. I said, ‘Listen, they’re out-cheering us left and right and we need to be excited about being here.’

“(Waynflete’s) defense is phenomenal. For us not being able to feed the ball in and with their big sticks there, we turned the ball over a lot. We had to adjust a little bit and move the ball and move people around. We had to hold on to the ball, so they wouldn’t capitalize on our turnovers. We talked about what worked and trying to find out where the holes were. We just had to be patient.”

Kate Tracy paced the offense, scoring three goals and assisting on two others.

“It’s very different to play against a zone,” Tracy said. “We have a zone, so you think we’d be used to it, but we weren’t. Having to mix things up and not have a stagnant offense helped us. We can do 1-v-1s, we can do cuts, do a two-man game. Being versatile and dynamic as an offense, which is something we work on in practice, definitely has worked in our favor.”

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Driscoll, Olsen and Savannah Tracy each added one goal.

Knight and Savannah Tracy had one assist apiece.

Williams made two saves.

Savannah Tracy won nine of 12 draws, despite going up against the taller Millspaugh.

“I’m definitely a lot shorter, but I just practice trying to bat the ball down,” Tracy said. “I also know Kate’s in the circle with me, so I try to do my best to get it near her and away from the super-tall people.”

Freeport had a commanding 53-35 advantage in ground balls (Savannah Tracy collected 15, Kate Tracy had 11 and Driscoll had seven).

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“If you drop the ball, you redeem yourself by picking up the ground ball,” Wood said. “Their defense kept knocking the ball down, but we got it back. Those 50-50 balls were really important.”

The Falcons also enjoyed a 20-7 edge in shots (13-6 on cage) and overcame 22 turnovers.

“I thought (senior) Katie Whittier on defense had a phenomenal game and the defense all-around did a nice job adjusting and sliding to help each other out and Savannah just killed it today,” Wood said.

Valiant effort

Waynflete got two goals from Kelly and one apiece from Earls and Millspaugh.

Dolan and Wilson each had one assist.

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Girard made seven saves.

“Emily played amazing,” Connors said.

Wilson had a team-high six ground balls and senior Cece Marshall collected five.

The Flyers turned the ball over 23 times and ultimately just couldn’t possess the ball enough to prevail.

“I’m very proud,” Connors said. “The girls played so hard today. To play this well with all the changes we had to make, I thought it would take longer, so this is beyond my wildest dreams. We just said, ‘This is what we have to do’ and we did it. We made some changes in practice and all the girls listened. None of us feel like we’re done. We’re all going to pull together. We have 16 able bodies right now and we can do it.”

See you again?

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Waynflete hopes to get back on track Wednesday at Gray-New Gloucester. The Flyers then have a big home game versus reigning Class B champion Yarmouth on May 21.

“We just have to keep on keeping on,” Connors said. “Hopefully we play (Freeport) again. That’s the goal. This is a huge confidence boost.”

Freeport is back in action Monday at home versus Brunswick. The Falcons then will be tested next Wednesday at York.

“We have a lot more challenging teams the back end of the season,” Savannah Tracy said. “This lets us know we can play against competitive teams and we’re ready for whatever else comes our way.”

“We’re focusing on these good games,” Kate Tracy said. “These are similar to what the state game environment felt like. We want to be in these situations and keep practicing being in that mindset so it’s not as foreign when we, hopefully, get (back to states). I’ve thought about it all year. Waynflete is in the back of my mind 24/7.”

“We’re on a little bit of a roll,” Wood added. “The seniors know what they want at the end. They’re getting everyone else on board.

“We may see Waynflete again. They’re never easy to beat. They’re always primed to play well in playoffs.”

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

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