BOX SCORE

Lake Region 10 Waynflete 6

LR- 5 5- 10
W- 3 3- 6

First half
24:04 LR Keenan (Sargent)
23:06 W Harris (Kelly)
22:33 LR Elsaesser (unassisted)
17:07 LR B. Smith (Keenan)
14:05 LR Elsaesser (Keenan)
7:12 W Kelly (unassisted)
3:53 W Kelly (unassisted)
1:01 LR Elsaesser (free position)

Second half
22:30 W Kelly (unassisted)
20:58 W Kelly (free position)
20:16 LR Caron (Keenan)
11:32 LR Caron (Keenan)
10:17 LR Toole (Keenan)
3:57 LR Sargent (Keenan)
1:23 LR Sargent (unassisted)
:47 W Kelly (unassisted)

Goals:
LR- Elsaesser 3, Caron, Sargent 2, Keenan, Smith, Toole 1
W- Kelly 5, Harris 1

Assists:
LR- Keenan 6, Sargent 1
W- Kelly 1

Draws (Lake Region, 10-8)
LR- Sargent 8 of 12, Elsaesser 1 of 3, Caron 1 of 2, Dyer 0 of 1
W- Kelly 8 of 18

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Ground balls:
LR- 44
W- 34

Turnovers
LR- 17
W- 24

Shots:
LR- 30
W- 12

Shots on cage:
LR- 22
W- 11

Saves:
LR (Gagnon) 5
W (Girard) 12

PORTLAND—For a fleeting moment Friday afternoon at Fore River Fields, Waynflete’s inury-plagued girls’ lacrosse team appeared to put everything together and take the next step.

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But unlike last year, fairy tale endings have been hard to come by for the Flyers.

Hosting a hungry Lake Region squad, on Senior Day, with family themes running deep, Waynflete dug an early 4-1 hole, but behind sophomore Tilsley Kelly, the Flyers roared back.

Kelly scored consecutive goals to pull Waynflete within 5-3 at halftime, then scored twice early in the second half to tie the score, but the Flyers had no answers for Lakers senior Katie Keenan, who time and again, delivered precision passes to open teammates.

With 20:16 to go, Keenan set up senior Rebecca Caron for the go-ahead goal and Caron added another before seniors Brooke Toole and Brianna Sargent added goals to put it away and Lake Region went on to a 10-6 victory.

Kelly scored five goals for Waynflete, but Keenan’s six assists and the Lakers’ big edge in possession proved to be the difference as Lake Region improved to 5-6 and in the process, dropped the Flyers to 6-5.

“We did a lot of positive things today,” said longtime Waynflete coach Cathie Connors. “We came back and tied it up and had momentum. I’m totally pleased with how we played.”

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Not quite enough

Waynflete opened with a tough loss, 10-9, in overtime, at North Yarmouth Academy, then the Flyers won four straight, downing host Lake Region (7-5), visiting Wells (11-10), Traip Academy (15-6) and Portland (16-1). After a 12-4 loss at Greely, Waynflete lost at home to Freeport in a state game rematch, 6-4, before bouncing back with a 10-5 victory at Gray-New Gloucester/Poland. After an 18-6 home loss to reigning Class B champion Yarmouth, the Flyers rebounded Tuesday for an 18-7 home victory over St. Dom’s.

Lake Region has emerged as a top contender in recent seasons and the Lakers have been up-and-down this spring.

After falling at Cheverus in the opener (14-6) and at home to Waynflete (7-5), Lake Region defeated host Fryeburg Academy (14-3). A 14-10 home loss to York followed and after downing visiting Gray-New Gloucester/Poland (16-1), the Lakers dropped one-goal decisions at Freeport (9-8) and at home to NYA (10-9) before defeating host Traip Academy (13-7). After another one-goal loss (10-9 at home to Wells), Lake Region enjoyed a 16-8 win at St. Dom’s Monday.

In the teams’ first meeting, April 26 in Naples, Waynflete got all seven of its goals from seniors Jesse Connors and Lolie Millspaugh, who were both injured and unavailable in the rematch.

Friday, on a most pleasant 71 degree afternoon, the Flyers honored their seniors in a ceremony, then hoped to make it four straight wins in the series, but instead, Lake Region beat Waynflete for the first time since 2018.

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Waynflete freshman Lydia Birknes races up the field early in the Flyers’ 10-6 home loss to Lake Region Friday. Hoffer photos.

The Lakers needed all of 56 seconds to strike first, as after Sargent won the opening draw, she set up Keenan for a shot which Flyers senior goalie Emily Girard couldn’t stop for a 1-0 lead.

Keenan, who is Connors’ niece, as is Lake Region coach Lindsay Keenan, would prove to be a thorn in Waynflete’s side all game.

“I’m really proud of my nieces,” said Connors. “Katie did a great job today.”

The Flyers answered, as after Kelly had a shot saved by Lakers senior goalie Gwen Gagnon, Kelly set up Harris for a goal in transition with 23:06 to go in the first half.

Lake Region needed only 33 seconds to answer, as senior Abby Elsaesser scored unassisted.

After Gagnon denied a Kelly bid to tie the score, the Lakers went up 3-1 with 17:07 on the first half clock, as Keenan found freshman Bella Smith for a goal.

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After Gagnon robbed freshman Lydia Birknes, Keenan set up Elsaesser for a three-goal lead with 14:05 remaining in the half, forcing Connors to call timeout.

It helped, as after Gagnon denied a shot from sophomore Morgan Earls and a free position from junior Keegan Dolan, Kelly scored her first goal, unassisted, with 7:12 left.

Waynflete junior Yen Wilson defends Lake Region senior Abby Elsaesser.

After Girard denied Elsaesser, Kelly scored again unassisted, bouncing a shot just under the crossbar, to cut the deficit to one with 3:53 remaining before halftime.

Down the stretch, Girard saved bids from Elsaesser and junior Carly Dyer, but with 1:01 to go before the break, Elsaesser converted a free position for a 5-3 Lakers’ halftime lead.

The big difference in the first half, as would be the case in the second, was possession (Lake Region had a 16-8 shots advantage) and turnovers (Waynflete was hindered by 10).

The Flyers started the second half strong, as Kelly scored unassisted with 22:30 to play, then with 20:58 on the clock, Kelly converted a free position to tie it.

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But Waynflete wouldn’t score again for over 20 minutes.

Waynflete sophomore Tilsley Kelly, who had a game-high five goals, runs up the field.

Just 42 seconds after Kelly’s tying tally, Keenan fed Caron for the goal which put the Lakers on top for good.

Girard kept the deficit at one by denying Smith, junior Rachel Lake on a couple of shots and Elsaesser, but with 11:32 to go, the Keenan-to-Caron connected produced a 7-5 lead.

Connors called her final timeout, but this time it didn’t help, as Keenan set up Toole for a goal with 10:17 to play, Keenan fed Sargent for a goal with 3:57 to go and with 1:23 remaining, Keenan found Sargent again to put it away.

“Katie’s a great feeder,” said Lindsay Keenan. “She’s the one we look to set up all the plays and find the open girl. We know she’ll find whoever is open.”

Kelly would score one final goal with 47 seconds left, but it was too little too late and Lake Region closed out a 10-6 victory.

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“It always means a lot to play Waynflete,” said Lindsay Keenan. “It’s always been a fun rivalry since I played against (Cathie) when I was in high school and now that I get to coach against her. She’s a great coach and they’re a great team. We didn’t take it easy. We put in what we practiced all week for this and left it all on the field.”

The Lakers were led by Elsaesser, who had three goals. Caron and Sargent both scored twice, while Keenan, Smith and Toole added one goal apiece.

Keenan had six assists, while Sargent added one.

Gagnon made five saves.

Lake Region had a 10-8 edge in draws, a 44-34 advantage in ground balls (Sargent collected a game-high 10), out-shot Waynflete, 30-12 (22-11 on cage) and overcame 17 turnovers.

For Waynflete, Kelly excelled with five goals and an assist.

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“Tilsley was awesome today,” said Connors. “She was amazing. We just needed a few more.”

Harris had the other goal.

Girard made a dozen saves.

The Flyers committed 24 turnovers.

“We’ve worked on our fastbreak and it worked today a couple times, but we just had too many turnovers,” Connors said. “We got a little nervous.

Big finish

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Lake Region (currently ranked eighth in the Class C state Heal Points standings) closes its regular season at home versus Yarmouth Tuesday.

“I think our chances are good,” Lindsay Keenan said. “We’ve had a lot of one-goal games. I think we just need to clear the slate and work from there.”

Waynflete (ranked fourth in Class C) travels to Class B power York for its final regular season game Tuesday.

“People are stepping up,” Connors said. “We’re inching our way to the playoffs. We’re learning every day. We’re getting stronger and we’re making changes. I think we’ll be up for the challenge when the time comes. The girls have a lot of heart and want to get better.”

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

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