BOX SCORE

Falmouth 12 Windham 7

W- 4 3- 7
F- 8 4- 12

First half
22:29 F Barry (Stucker)
21:09 F Tolley (Adams)
19:52 F Adams (free position)
15:29 F Ginevan (Tolley)
13:26 F Barry (Murray)
9:59 F Barry (free position)
9:19 W Babb (unassisted)
8:46 W Babb (unassisted)
5:30 W Muse (unassisted)
1:52 W Babb (free position)
58.6 F Tolley (Adams)
16.8 F Stucker (free position)

Second half
22:13 F Murray (unassisted)
19:14 W Clark (unassisted)
16:14 F Adams (unassisted)
14:48 F Scribner (Adams)
11:47 F Stucker (Adams)
9:43 W Babb (unassisted)
7:46 W Joly (Black)

Goals:
W- Babb 4, Clark, Joly, Muse 1
F- Barry 3, Adams, Stucker, Tolley 2, Ginevan, Murray, Scribner 1

Assists:
W- Black 1
F- Adams 4, Murray, Stucker, Tolley 1

Draws (Windham, 11-10)
W- Clark 5 of 6, McCusker 6 of 15
F- Barry 9 of 19, Stucker 1 of 2

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Ground balls:
W- 21
F- 34

Turnovers:
W- 19
F- 18

Shots:
W- 17
F- 20

Shots on cage:
W- 12
F- 13

Saves:
W (Small) 1
F (Riley) 5

FALMOUTH—Falmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team got off to a fast start in Saturday afternoon’s Class A North semifinal.

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And it’s a good thing the second-seeded Navigators did.

Because visiting No. 3 Windham roared back and made things very interesting.

But Falmouth is used to performing on the biggest stage, and winning, and the Navigators managed to do enough to move on to the regional final yet again.

Senior captain Kinsey Barry scored three first half goals and helped Falmouth jump out to a 6-0 advantage, but after losing to their nemesis in each of the past three postseasons, the Eagles fought their way back, as senior Izzy Babb scored three times to help cut the deficit to just two.

The Navigators then regained momentum, as junior Adelaide Tolley and sophomore Peaches Stucker scored in the final minute of the half to turn a nailbiter into an 8-4 contest.

Windham would ever get closer than four goals in the second half and Falmouth locked down and went to a 12-7 victory.

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Barry led the way with three goals, seven different players tickled the twine and the Navigators improved to 11-3, ended Windham’s season at 8-6 and advanced to face top-ranked Yarmouth (11-3) in the Class A North Final Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., in Yarmouth.

“I feel really good,” said Falmouth coach Ashley Pullen. “We showed our full potential today.”

Annual event

Prior to 2018, Falmouth and Windham had never met in the postseason, but they’ve squared off every year since (see sidebar) and Falmouth has won each time, none more dramatic than last year’s overtime victory in the regional final.

This season, the Navigators started 8-1, which included an 11-4 home win over Windham May 18. In that one, junior standout Sloane Ginevan scored five times, but the next time out, versus Marshwood, she suffered a season-ending knee injury. Falmouth wound up being leapfrogged by Yarmouth for the top seed in Class A North, but in Thursday’s quarterfinal round, the Navigators blanked No. 7 Bangor, 15-0, to advance.

The Eagles started with losses to Yarmouth and Scarborough, but hit their stride and they extended their win streak to four with Wednesday’s 17-3 victory over Lewiston in their quarterfinal.

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Saturday, on a pleasant 72-degree afternoon, the Navigators started fast and built enough of a lead that allowed them to survive and move on.

Falmouth senior Kinsey Barry and Windham senior Sid McCusker battle in the draw circle early in the Navigators’ 12-7 victory Saturday. Hoffer photos.

Falmouth had its first good look a minute in, but senior Whitney Adams shot high in transition.

Then, with 22:29 to go in the first half, Stucker set up Barry for a goal and the Navigators were ahead to stay.

The second goal came with 21:09 on the clock, as Adams found Tolley for a shot which Windham sophomore goalie Riley Small couldn’t stop.

The Eagles’ first good look at the goal came on a shot from senior Molly Black, but she sent it just wide.

With 19:52 remaining in the half, Adams scored her first goal, on a free position.

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After Falmouth junior goalie Patty Riley saved a shot from Black, Tolley found freshman Maeve Ginevan for a 4-0 advantage with 16:20.

A mere 51 seconds later, senior Natalie Murray earned a free position, but instead of shooting, she quickly passed to Barry, who finished.

After Riley denied Black again, Barry scored her third goal, on a free position, with 9:59 remaining in the half and it appeared the Navigators were poised to run away, leading, 6-0.

“I think our start was great,” Barry said. “We’re good at fast starts and we hold our own when we get up. I’m really proud of the team for coming out strong and having confidence and starting that way.”

“It was really great to get out to that fast start,” Pullen said. “We won some draws and our ball movement was where it needed to be. We’ve worked on that a lot and we had really balanced scoring.”

But just when it appeared the Eagles were finished, they rose off the deck and made things most interesting.

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Babb got her team on the board, spinning and finishing unassisted with 9:19 left.

A mere 33 seconds later, Babb scored again, unassisted, and the score was 6-2.

With 5:03 to play before halftime, sophomore Mallory Muse scored unassisted and with 1:52 to go, Babb scored for the third time, on a free position and just like that, Windham was back within two, 6-4.

“No lead is safe against Windham,” said Pullen. “They’re very tough and we knew they’d be hungry after we beat them last time. I give them a lot of credit for coming back when we went up 6-0. They showed a lot of character and perseverance and it made for an interesting rest of the game.”

Falmouth then returned to its scoring ways in the final minute of the half.

With 58.6 seconds left Adams fed Tolley, who spun and finished to end the Eagles’ run.

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Then, with just 16.8 seconds to go, Stuker converted a free position and the Navigators regained a little breathing room and led, 8-4, at the break.

“Those goals right before halftime were key,” Pullen said. “We were teetering.”

Falmouth senior Natalie Murray rushes up the field as Windham junior Ashley Clark gives chase.

Windham tried to draw closer early in the second half, but Babb missed just wide.

After senior Molly Scribner hit the post for the home team with 22:15 to play, Murray pounced on the rebound and put it home.

A rebound shot from junior Ashley Clark pulled the Eagles back within four, 9-5, with 19:14 left, but they would get no closer.

Exactly three minutes later, Adams fought through traffic and fired a shot into the net.

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With 14:48 left, Adams set up Scribner for another goal.

Then, with 11:47 to play, Adams assisted Stucker for the goal that made it 12-5 and essentially salted away the victory.

Windham had one final push, as Babb sored for the final time, unassisted, with 9:43 showing, and Black set up freshman Grace Joly for a goal two minutes later, but after Tolley and Scribner hit the post for Falmouth, a Black free position shot rang off the post for the Eagles and that was that, as the Navigators were able to celebrate their 12-7 victory.

Falmouth rushes to congratulate junior goalie Patty Riley at the final horn.

“We just tried to stay composed,” Barry said. “We have great team chemistry and I think it’s only getting better. We trust each other a lot. We love Sloane and she’s a big part of our team. We’re really upset with losing her. Having her on the sideline has made us stronger because we’ve had to find deeper trust in each other and she’s been a great supporter.”

Barry led the offense with three goals.

“Kinsey is a senior captain and she does a a little of everything for us in the midfield,” Pullen said. “She’s smart on attack and she clears lanes for other players. She’s great off the ball and today, she was great on the ball.”

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Adams, Stucker and Tolley all added two goals, while Ginevan, Murray and Scribner had one apiece.

Adams also had four assists, while Murray, Stucker and Tolley contributed one each.

Riley made five saves.

Falmouth enjoyed a 34-21 edge in ground balls (junior defensive standout Sydney Shiben collected a game-high nine), had a 20-17 edge in shots (13-12 on cage) and overcame 18 turnovers.

Windham got four goals from Babb and one apiece from Clark, Joly and Muse.

Black had an assist and grabbed a team-high six ground balls.

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Small made one save.

The Eagles had a slight edge in the draw circle (11-10). They turned the ball over 19 times.

First-time

Falmouth has played a lot of big playoff games over the years, but it has never faced Yarmouth in a win-or-go-home situation.

The Navigators beat the visiting Clippers, 10-8, in the season-opener back on April 22.

Yarmouth is coming off a decisive 20-10 victory over No. 5 Cheverus in its semifinal Saturday, as senior standout Katelyn D’Appolonia scored a program-record 10 goals.

The Clippers are clicking on all cylinders, having won nine games in a row, but Falmouth is up for the challenge.

“I’m really excited to play Yarmouth again,” Barry said. “I’m excited to show them how much stronger we’ve gotten. I think it’ll be a great game.”

“We have to be aware of what Yarmouth brings to the table and try to contain their big threats,” Pullen said. “We have to move the ball on offense like we did today. We have to play clean.”

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

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