YARMOUTH — Scoring in transition was a key for the North Yarmouth Academy boys’ lacrosse team throughout Tuesday’s Class C semifinal game against Wells. It was never more important than on Brayden Warde’s goal in the final minutes.

Cutting to the net, Warde took a pass from Wyatt Thomas and fired a high, hard shot into the cage with 1:01 to play, lifting the Panthers to an 8-7 win.

“We’d been making that cut all game long, just back door there. It was a great pass by (Thomas),” Warde, a junior, said.

The top seed in Class C, NYA (11-3) will face defending champion Waynflete in the state championship game on Friday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. No. 4 Wells ends the season at 10-5. For Wells, it was the second consecutive season that ended in the semifinals.

“We’re still a young team. A lot of these guys were in this game last year against Oak Hill. That pain is still there, and now we’re doubling up on that pain,” said Wells Coach Matt Petrie. “You could replay that game 100 times, and it’s probably 8-7, 9-7 every time, back and forth.”

The game was close throughout, and NYA led 6-5 entering the fourth quarter. The Warriors were patient and smart, protecting the ball and controlling the ball deep in the Panthers’ zone for much of the fourth quarter. Nathan Bolduc’s goal with 10:46 to play tied the score at 6-6.

Advertisement

Wells took a 7-6 lead, it’s first lead since a 1-0 cushion in the game’s first minute, on Calvin Chase’s goal with 5:10 to play.

“They were really slowing the ball down on their offensive end, and we could barely touch the ball. They were winning a lot of faceoffs. I’m really proud of our group and they way we stuck to it until the end,” said Warde, who scored three goals.

Added NYA Coach Peter Gerrity: “We just wanted the ball back. We were working hard for it, but their guys are very good and they are smart with the ball.”

The Panthers got their break with just under five minutes to go, forcing a turnover deep in their offensive end. Chas Rohde’s goal, his third of the game, tied the game at 7-7 with 4:30 to play.

The Warriors had a chance to tie the game with 30 seconds left, but NYA goalie Jack Curtis made the stop on Gavyn Petrie.

Connor Woodward scored a pair of goals for Wells.

Yarmouth is back in the state game for the first time since winning the title in 2019. The Panthers beat Waynflete, 7-4, in their season opener on April 14.

“We still turn the ball over a lot, and we’re not going to beat Waynflete if we keep turning the ball over,” Gerrity said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.