BOX SCORE

Falmouth 15 Portland 2

P- 2 0- 2
F- 10 5- 15

First half
24:26 F Adams (unassisted)
24:14 F Scribner (Adams)
23:21 F Scribner (Derhak)
22:53 F Adams (Derhak)
22:39 F Derhak (Stucker)
17:11 F Ginevan (Hubbard)
16:59 P Seavey (unassisted)
15:55 F Hubbard (free position)
11:32 F Adams (unassisted)
6:05 P Knoll (unassisted)
3:38 F Murray (unassisted)
3:01 F Barry (Scribner)

Second half
11:55 F Tolley (Derhak)
7:30 F Adams (free position)
4:45 F Adams (Scribner)
1:09 F Derhak (unassisted)
3.8 F Tolley (Adams)

Goals:
P- Knoll, Seavey 1
F- Adams 5, Derhak, Scribner, Tolley 2, Barry, Ginevan, Hubbard, Murray 1

Assists:
F- Derhak 3, Adams, Scribner 2, Hubbard, Stucker 1

Draws (Falmouth, 16-2)
P-  Villani 0 of 5, Smith 1 of 7, Seavey 1 of 4, Dana 0 of 2
F- Barry 10 of 12, Stucker 6 of 6

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Ground balls:
P- 21
F- 41

Turnovers:
P- 21
F- 17

Shots:
P- 11
F- 31

Shots on cage:
P- 7
F- 25

Saves:
P (Huynh) 10
F (Riley) 5

FALMOUTH—The loss of a star player is certainly devastating, but if there is a faint silver lining, it’s that other players get an opportunity to fill the void.

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Falmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team, the reigning Class A North champion, recently lost junior standout Sloane Ginevan for the rest of the season to a knee injury, but the Navigators have plenty of talent in reserve and the visiting Portland Bulldogs found that out the hard way in the teams’ regular season finale Thursday afternoon.

Falmouth went ahead to stay just 34 seconds in on a goal from senior Whitney Adams and before the game was three minutes old, had a 5-0 advantage, as senior Molly Scribner scored twice, Adams added a second goal and fellow senior Emma Derhak scored as well.

Portland would settle in and behind senior goalie Caitlyn Huynh hang tough, but the Navigators took a 10-2 lead to the half.

Adams then scored two more goals in the second half and Falmouth went on to a 15-2 victory.

Adams led a balanced attack with five goals and eight different players tickled the twine as the Navigators finished their regular season 9-3 and in the process, dropped the Bulldogs to 1-11.

“This game was important,” said Adams, who also had a pair of assists. “We had to play together and play as a team and we did. We’re going into the playoffs strong.”

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Roller-coaster ride

Falmouth has dominated Class A North since lacrosse went to three classes in 2018, winning back-to-back state titles, then falling a goal short against Kennebunk in last year’s state game. This season, the Navigators appeared to be the favorite in the region again, even with the addition this spring of Yarmouth, the reigning Class B champion, which moved up in class, but Ginevan’s injury complicated matters.

Falmouth opened by holding off visiting Yarmouth (10-8), then lost at Kennebunk (11-6), before downing visiting Biddeford (18-4), host Cheverus (14-7), visiting Gorham (11-6), host Scarborough (14-8), host Oxford Hills (12-2), visiting Windham (11-4) and visiting Marshwood (8-7, in overtime) in succession before falling at Massabesic (13-7) and at Thornton Academy (12-11, in double-overtime).

The back-to-back losses came after Ginevan was injured and the Navigators had to regroup.

“We have to find a way without Sloane and I think we will,” Adams said. “We all sympathize with her and her injury.”

“It’s definitely tough,” said Falmouth coach Ashley Pullen. “It’s a bigger life lesson that things happen that you can’t control and that you have to learn to accept it and move on. We’ve been sad as a team and now we have to figure out a way to move on. We have plenty of other weapons who have stepped up and will continue to step up and we have strong senior leadership.”

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Portland, meanwhile, opened with home losses to Thornton Academy (15-2) and Massabesic (15-3), then downed visiting Bonny Eagle (10-7). After falling at Windham, 7-3, the Bulldogs dropped a 12-5 decision at South Portland and lost at Waynflete (16-1), at home to Deering (10-9), at Cheverus (18-2) and Scarborough (17-6) and at home to Marshwood (12-4) and Kennebunk (18-1).

A year ago, Falmouth rolled to a 17-2 win at Portland, in the first-ever countable meeting between the programs.

Thursday, on a 60-degree afternoon, the Navigators closed the regular season in style.

Falmouth senior Emma Derhak defends Portland junior Lilah Green early in the Navigators’ 15-2 victory Thursday. Hoffer photos.

Senior Kinsey Barry won the opening draw and just 34 seconds in, Adams beat Huynh to put Falmouth ahead for good.

And for the Navigators, the fun was just beginning.

A mere 12 seconds later, after another Barry draw win, Adams fed Scribner to make it 2-0.

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The third goal came with 23:21 to go in the first half, as this time, Derhak set up Scribner for the goal.

The next one came 28 seconds later, as in transition, Derhak set up Adams.

Then, with 22:39 left, off a Barry draw win, sophomore Peaches Stucker set up Derhak to make it 5-0 after only 141 seconds of game action.

“We have great players all over the field,” Adams said. “It’s awesome to see our team work together so well.”

Portland finally got possession and junior Emily Seavey had a pair of looks, but the first went wide and the second was saved by Navigators junior goalie Patty Riley.

Falmouth then returned to its scoring ways with 17:11 to go in the half, as senior Abby Hubbard set up freshman Maeve Ginevan for the sixth goal.

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Seavey then scored off the ensuing draw 12 seconds to break the ice for the Bulldogs, but with 15:55 left before halftime, Hubbard scored on a free position and with 11:32 to go, Adams rolled the crease and finished unassisted to make it 8-1.

With 6:05 remaining, sophomore Phoebe Knoll scored unassisted, but that would be it for Portland’s offense.

Senior Natalie Murray answered with an unassisted goal for the Navigators with 3:38 left and 37 seconds later, Scribner set up Barry for a 10-2 halftime lead.

Portland sophomore Gabriella Harrigan runs up the field as Falmouth senior Natalie Murray gives chase.

Falmouth won 12 of 13 first half draws and had a 16-5 shots advantage as it built a comfortable lead.

The Navigators were then stymied for much of the second half by Huynh, who saved shots from Adams and Ginevan, before Derhak hit the crossbar.

Finally, with 11:55 on the clock, Falmouth ended a 16 minute, 6 second drought, as Derhak fed junior Adelaide Tolley for a goal.

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With 7:30 left, an Adams free position induced a mercy rule running clock.

Adams then scored her final goal, a one-timer, from Scribner, with 4:40 remaining, to make it 13-2.

Late in regulation, Derhak scored unassisted and Adams set up Tolley to bring the curtain down on Falmouth’s 15-2 victory, which was immediately followed by a Senior Day ceremony.

“Ever since I joined the team freshman year, we’ve been a family,” said Adams. “We had our season cut short sophomore year and it brought us really close together.”

Falmouth seniors Whitney Adams, left, Kinsey Barry, Molly Scribner, Natalie Murray, Emma Derhak and Abby Hubbard are honored after the victory.

Adams led all scorers with five goals and also had a pair of assists.

Derhak (three assists), Scribner (two assists) and Tolley all scored twice, while Barry, Ginevan, Hubbard (one assist) and Murray each had one goal.

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Stucker also had an assist.

“Sloane does so much, so many players are having to pick up different pieces for us,” Pullen said. “We’re getting more scoring from Whit. Molly Scribner has had some nice goals. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention (junior) Sydney Shiben on defense because Sloane’s so good on defense too. She comes up with such clean checks and turnovers and is so speedy.”

Riley made five saves.

The Navigators won 16 of 18 draws, had a 41-21 advantage on ground balls (Stucker collected a game-high eight), out-shot the Bulldogs, 31-11 (25-7 on cage) and overcame 17 turnovers.

For Portland, Knoll and Seavey had the goals, Huynh made 10 saves and senior Chelsea Dana had a team-high five ground balls.

The Bulldogs committed 21 turnovers.

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Here we go

Portland (ranked ninth in the Class A North Heal Points standings at press time) will go on the road for a preliminary round contest early next week. The Bulldogs’ foe has yet to be determined.

Falmouth will open its playoff run Wednesday of next week, at home against a team to be named. It’s likely the Navigators are on a collision course with Yarmouth, but they won’t look ahead.

“Our passing and catching have really improved,” Adams said. “We have a great coaching staff. All of that together will make us do well in the playoffs. We’ll keep practicing what we need to do. Last year was a sting, so we want to get back (to states).”

“We talked after our last two losses about playing with confidence, so having a game like today does a lot for our confidence going into the postseason,” said Pullen.

“If we’re able to get to (play Yarmouth), it would be a close game where any advantage you could have would be huge, so it would be great to get them on our field. We won’t get ahead of ourselves, but I absolutely like our team.”

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

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