KENNEBUNK — The reminder was there, written on the inside forearm of each Kennebunk High girls’ lacrosse player. “Unite,” in bold capital letters, with “PFF,” for Play For Fun, in smaller script below.

“Sometimes we forget about that. This past week has been super intense, so we decided to put that on our arms. This is still high school sports, and we want to have fun out there,” said Kennebunk junior co-captain Ruby Sliwkowski.

Saturday morning against Cape Elizabeth in the Class A South semifinals, the Rams were focused and definitely having a blast. Kennebunk never trailed, scoring the game’s first three goals in the first three minutes, and took a 15-4 win.

The region’s top seed and defending Class A state champion, Kennebunk (14-0) will host the regional championship game Wednesday against No. 2 Massabesic. No. 5 Cape Elizabeth, playing in its first season in Class A, ends the season at 8-7.

Kennebunk led 9-3 at the half and scored six straight goals in the second half. Controlling the ball was the focus during a tough week of practice, Kennebunk Coach Annie Barker said. Throughout the game, the Rams bided their time until a teammate got open cutting to the net for an uncontested shot.

“Patience. That’s what we were preaching all week. Just be patient, guys. It will open for you. Don’t chuck it if it’s not there,” Barker said.

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Repeating as state champion doesn’t come up in conversation, Sliwkowski said. Rather, the Rams are focused on getting the best out of each other now.

“We have a lot of conversations. We talk about our play. We just want it a lot. I think we forgot about last year. That’s completely out of our heads. We’re just searching for another one,” said Sliwkowski, who scored six goals and assisted on two others.

“We play in practice against the best offense in the state and against the best defense in the state. So having four days that were super intense up to this was definitely the difference.”

The Capers did have chances, but Kennebunk goalie Lily Hansen came up big, making nine saves. Cape Elizabeth keeper Elise Branch had four stops.

“They shot the ball better than we did. I think we had more ball possession wins. We came out scrappy, getting our possessions. We had plenty of them. They just shot the ball better than we did,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Alex Spark.

Sydney Dumas added three goals for the Rams, while Ivy Armentrout scored twice.

Kaity Woods scored three goals for the Capers.

Playing up in Class A for the first time, the Capers proved they can compete with the larger schools.

“Our seasons are always about where we start and where we finish. This group has been on such a steady incline, moving forward,” Spark said. “Class A or Class B, whatever class you’re playing in, it’s more about the journey your program takes, and we did exactly what we wanted to do.”


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