A junior midfielder, Ruby Sliwkowski scored 85 goals, including six in Kennebunk’s 11-8 win over Yarmouth in the Class A state championship game. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

After her Kennebunk High girls’ lacrosse team won the 2021 Class A state championship, how long did Ruby Sliwkowski bask in the accomplishment?

“Three days,” she said. “Three days after the state game last year, I got back into it and didn’t stop.”

Ruby Sliwkowski

There was summer lacrosse practice and tournaments with her club team, the Maineiax. There was video to study and break down. There was too much to do to get better.

“You practice and practice and practice, and it comes more naturally,” said Sliwkowski, who recently completed her junior year. “I watch a lot of film, not just of Kennebunk, but of other teams. Then when I get out on the field, I can pick up on what I’ve seen.”

No player in Maine was as dominant as Sliwkowski in 2022. The midfielder scored 85 goals, including six in the Rams’ 11-8 win over Yarmouth to cap a second straight undefeated season. Sliwkowski also had 23 assists, 64 draw controls and 33 ground balls. Following the season, she was recognized as the state’s lone girls’ lacrosse all-American. For all of that, Sliwkowski is the Varsity Maine Player of the Year in girls’ lacrosse.

Following the state championship game, Kennebunk Coach Annie Barker said Sliwkowski has the know-how to coach the team. It wasn’t coach-speak hyperbole.


“She just understands whole aspects of the game. She’s pretty much the play caller out there,” Barker said.

When Barker saw Sliwkowski play in eighth grade, the coach knew she was getting a player with huge potential. Sliwkowski’s entry to high school lacrosse was delayed a year because the 2020 season was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic. As a sophomore making her varsity debut in 2021, Sliwkowski recorded 52 goals and 36 assists and picked up 49 ground balls. She scored a total of 12 goals in the regional and state finals to help the Rams take the Class A crown.

“After one year, we could tell this kid is the real deal,” Barker said. “We watched her in eighth grade and knew she had something special.”

Kennebunk saw a number of different defenses this season, from man-to-man to zone, many designed to try to slow down Sliwkowski. With several teammates who can score, Sliwkowski never felt the need to carry the offense. Making the pass to a teammate for a goal made her more excited than scoring herself, she said.

“If there’s somebody else open, I will find that person. Unselfish play goes so far. We can move the ball faster than (defenders) can move their feet,” Sliwkowski said.

“They tried (to stop her). Nobody has succeeded at it,” Barker said. “She’s a good feeder. She takes her time.”


Massabesic Coach Jason Tremblay said Sliwkowski’s ability to create separation between herself and the defender is what sets her apart. The Mustangs lost just two games this spring, both to Kennebunk.

“Honestly, I think it’s her first three steps. She’s got tremendous three steps,” Tremblay said. “She protects the ball. She’s just a great competitor out there. She wants the ball. It’s hard to sustain face-guarding her all game. You’re not going to. So we tried doing it a little bit here and there.”

It’s little things Sliwkowski learns from studying game video.

“Play with your head up. It sounds simple, but so many people play with their head down and miss things,” she said.

Sliwkowski is already excited about the chance to win a third straight state championship. The Rams graduated just three players, and the returning players have a strong connection and a desire to compete, she said. Ten Kennebunk players will head to Virginia soon for a tournament with the Maineiax. To Sliwkowski, the 2023 season has already started.

With her college choice already made, Sliwkowski can focus her attention on her final season of high school lacrosse. After graduating next year, she plans to continue her career at Brown University.

“Until last year, I thought I was going from high school to the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference),” she said. “I was on the D3 train for a long time. I started thinking of the Ivy League in the fall and looked at four or five schools. Brown is a team on the rise. I’m just ready to play some high-level lacrosse.”

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