KENNEBUNK — The Kennebunk boys’ lacrosse team has been feeling pretty good about itself lately. It would be hard for the Rams to feel better than they did Wednesday night.

Jake Washburn scored four goals, Cal Johnson added three and Kennebunk withstood a final rally from previously undefeated Biddeford to win 8-7, giving the Rams their fifth straight win after a 1-4 start.

“It was a good game, it was a good matchup,” Washburn said. “We’ve won the past five games, we’ve connected a lot since the beginning of the season. They beat us in an early, early season scrimmage, so we came out here and we knew what we had to do.”

Emotions ran high for a regular-season game, up until the end when Kennebunk players rejoiced on the field after a last-gasp Biddeford shot went just wide.

“Both teams played really, really hard,” said Tigers Coach Jason Martel. “It was definitely a battle, a lot of adjustments. For my guys, we’ve got a lot of cleaning up (to do) on ground balls and passing and catching.”

The Rams (6-4) never trailed, but they never had a chance to relax. Matt Moore scored with 3:39 left to put the Rams up 8-6, but was called for a two-minute locked in penalty with 1:58 to go, giving the Tigers (9-1) a chance to play the rest of regulation a man up. Biddeford struck quickly, with Bryant Mawhinney scoring off a feed from Callum Labonte with 1:32 left.

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It was the chance Martel was hoping his team would get.

“Absolutely,” he said. “The momentum is in our favor. But it takes one drop and a ground ball (to end it).”

That was what transpired next, as Biddeford went on the attack again but lost possession, allowing Kennebunk to burn clock. The Tigers got another final chance, but Patrick O’Driscoll’s shot from a distance hit the side of the net, missing by inches.

“Our penalty kill has been outstanding this season,” Rams Coach Chris Gassman said. “I take my defense man down against any man-up team in the state. They proved it.”

Kennebunk took the lead for good in the second quarter as Washburn broke a 3-3 tie with a hard snipe from about 15 yards away with 10:32 to go. He then sidearmed in a shot for a 5-3 lead with 6:21 left in the half.

“As a coach, you always want to stress the bounce shots,” said Gassman. “But he has the ability to just rip that, and that just energizes the team.”

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Washburn had four goals by halftime, but was scoreless in the second half. Johnson picked up the slack by scoring twice for 6-4 and 7-5 leads, but O’Driscoll and Mawhinney answered with goals to keep the Tigers close.

But Kennebunk, thanks to a defense led by freshman Moose Keys (11 saves) in net, kept the lead.

“We just tried to win ground balls, keep the pace up and have trust in each other,” Johnson said. “It was definitely high intensity, you could feel the energy. It was a good game.”

Martel, whose team got two goals from Brayden Locke, was upbeat afterward.

“We were one goal short. But that’s OK. That’s all right,” Martel said. “We’re 9-1, and I think it’s kind of good. These guys are going to learn from this.”


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