FALMOUTH—Wednesday evening, Falmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team took the field for its first game of the season.

That was the good news.

The bad was that the Navigators’ opponent, two-time reigning Class A champion Kennebunk, already had three games under its belt.

And oh by the way, has simply been unbeatable this decade.

Falmouth did its best to hang tough in the first half, as senior Lucy Taylor won the majority of draws and scored a goal and the Navigators enjoyed an edge in shots on frame, but seven saves from Rams senior goalie extraordinaire Lizzy Hayes held them in check and the Kennebunk offense, paced by three goals and an assist from senior standout Ruby Sliwkowski, produced a 6-1 lead.

The Rams then pulled away in the second half and went on to a 12-1 victory.


Sliwkowki, who will play at Brown University next year, had five goals and three assists, Hayes made a dozen saves and Kennebunk improved to 4-0 on the season, handed Falmouth its first Opening Day loss since 2014 and in the process, extended its three-year win streak to 36 games, tying the all-time state record.

“The girls know (about the record) in the back of their minds,” said longtime Rams coach Annie Barker. “We knew coming into today if we put the pedal down, we’d be on our way.”

“This was our first game and we knew it was a big game for (Kennebunk),” said Navigators coach Ashley Pullen. “We chalk it up to a learning experience. They’re very good, but I do think we can play with them.”

Lofty company

From May 22, 2004 through June 14, 2006, Waynflete won 36 consecutive games. Five of those victories came over Kennebunk, as the Flyers edged the Rams in an overtime thriller in the 2004 West Region Final (8-7), beat them in the regular season in 2005 (14-3), again in the regional final (11-6) and again in the 2006 regular season (13-5) and regional final (14-8). Waynflete’s streak ended with a 12-5 loss to Yarmouth in the inaugural Class B state game in 2006 and the Clippers went on to capture 29 straight games before their streak was snapped by Kennebunk in the second game of the 2008 regular season.

Then, from April 23, 2008 through May 12, 2010, Brunswick (playing a KVAC-exclusive regular season schedule) matched Waynflete with 36 straight wins. The Dragons beat Kennebunk in both the 2008 Class A state final (15-11) and again in the 2009 state game (13-9) and finally met their match midway through the 2010 regular season when they lost at home to Falmouth, 12-11.


Kennebunk hasn’t lost since the 2019 Class A state game, 5-3, to Falmouth. After the 2020 season was lost to COVID, the Rams twice went undefeated and captured Class A crowns to make it 32 straight wins entering this spring. Kennebunk then opened with a 14-0 victory at Messalonskee, beat visiting Greely (14-4) and last Thursday, won at home over Gorham, 15-4.

Falmouth had been to three straight state games, winning Class A titles in 2018 and 2019 and losing to Kennebunk in 2021, but last spring, the Navigators were beaten by Yarmouth in the Class A North Final, 14-5, as they wound up 11-4.

With senior Sloane Ginevan healthy again (she suffered a knee injury midway through last season) and back for one more year before going on to play next year at Notre Dame, Falmouth believes that it can be the team to knock the Rams off their perch.

Wednesday, on a chilly evening (47 degrees) in front of a large crowd, the Navigators looked for their first win over the Rams since the 2019 state game, but instead, the Kennebunk Express rolled on with a vengeance.

Falmouth junior Peaches Stucker tries to keep up with Kennebunk senior Ruby Sliwkowski early in the Rams’ 12-1 victory Wednesday. Hoffer photos.

Taylor won the opening draw, but the Navigators turned the ball over and the Rams then had the first good look, but Sliwkowski hit the post 78 seconds in.

Taylor then made a bid to give Falmouth the jump, but in a sign of things to come, she was robbed by Hayes.


With 21:46 left in the first half, Kennebunk went ahead to stay, as Sliwkowski fed junior Ivy Armentrout, who beat Navigators senior goalie Patty Riley.

Hayes then preserved the lead by saving a shot from junior Peaches Stucker on a free position.

Sliwkowski’s first goal came with 17:24 on the clock, as she converted a free position.

With 12:28 to go, junior Sophia Notine also scored on a free position to make it 3-0.

Hayes then came up big again, denying a shot from sophomore Maisy Clement.

With 11:21 remaining, Notine found senior Grace Archer for a goal and 54 seconds later, Sliwkowski scored for the second time, running around the defense before burying a shot to extend the advantage to 5-0.


Hayes then continued to frustrate Falmouth, robbing sophomore Maeve Ginevan and Stucker in succession.

Finally, with 8:24 remaining, Taylor earned a free position and managed to solve Hayes to put the home team on the board.

The Navigators hoped to draw closer, but Hayes saved shots from sophomore Keira Alcock and Taylor.

After Riley saved shots from junior Mara Muse and Sliwkowski, Sliwkowski earned a free position after being tripped up following a dazzling spin move and with 41.6 seconds left, Sliwkowski buried the shot and Kennebunk took a 6-1 lead to the half.

Seven Hayes saves allowed the Rams to open up a healthy lead.

“The sun was in my eyes and some of the (saves) were complete guesses,” Hayes said. “As long as I stop the ball, that’s all that matters.”


“We out-shot them and had a lot of time of possession, but their keeper made a lot of big saves,” Pullen said.

Falmouth senior Adelaide Tolley turns the corner on Kennebunk junior Ivy Armentrout.

Kennebunk then ended any doubt in the second half with six more goals.

With 22:25 to play, Sliwkowski scored on another free position.

Alcock then hit the crossbar for Falmouth, Taylor twice missed wide and Hayes denied Clement on a free position.

With 12:26 remaining, Sliwkowski set up Notine for a goal to make it 8-1.

Sliwkowski scored her final goal with 9:49 on the clock, again on a free position, beating Riley to the far corner.


Thirty-nine seconds later, Notine set up Armentrout for the Rams’ 10th goal of the night.

When Sliwkowski found Muse for another goal with 8:31 to play, a mercy-rule running clock was induced.

Hayes then made her last big save, robbing Tolley and Sloane Ginevan, who spent the majority of the game playing defense before moving up in the second half, took her first shot, but missed wide.

“We’re making sure Sloane’s re-entry is a gradual one,” Pullen said. “Hopefully as time goes on, she’ll play more.”

With 3:06 left, Archer found Armentrout for a goal and that brought the curtain down on Kennebunk’s 12-1 victory.

Kennebunk races to congratulate senior goalie Lizzy Hayes following Wednesday’s victory.

“I’m pumped that everyone contributed and we look (this good) in game four,” said Sliwkowski. “Every day in practice, we work on knowing our strengths and executing that on the field. Having really intense practices translates to super-intense games.”


“I love the high-intensity games,” said Hayes. “Going into a game where I know there will be great competition, those pump me up because the whole team is involved and that’s where we play at 110 percent and come together. I love breaking records. It means everything to the team and the coaches and we want to make them proud.”

“This is what we wanted to do and what we were hoping to do, but you never know,” Barker added. “(Falmouth) has some very good players.”

Sliwkowski led the way with five goals (giving her 23 already this season and a whopping 160 for her career) and three assists (giving her 67 for her career) and also collected a team-high five ground balls.

“I’m in awe of (Ruby) every game, every practice,” Hayes said. “Seeing her shots, I’d be so scared if I was the other team’s goalie. Her shot placement, her style, her finesse with the ball is insane. She loves assisting. She’s a great team player. In practice, every time she gets the ball, it goes in the back of the net.”

Armentrout added three goals, while Notine finished with two goals and two assists and Archer and Muse each scored once. Archer also had an assist.

“Everybody is contributing right now,” Barker said.


Hayes stood tall with 12 saves, many of them point-blank.

“I got hit in the shoulder, the foot, the knee,” said Hayes, who hopes to attend culinary school in London next year. “I just put my whole body out there. Anything I could do to make the save.”

“I’ve played with Lizzy since sixth grade and she’s never been afraid of anything,” Sliwkowski said. “We trust her and rely on her so much and she understands that. She knows we have her back and she has our back. She’s a brick wall. She’s a force in the big games.”

“Lizzy had an outstanding game,” added Barker. “She thrives in big games. It’s very comforting to have her back there.”

Kennebunk out-shot Falmouth, 23-18 (17-13 on cage) and only committed a dozen turnovers.

The Navigators’ offense came courtesy Taylor’s goal.


Riley made five saves.

Falmouth won 11 of 15 draws, as Taylor was successful in 10 of 14 opportunities, while Sloane Ginevan won the other. The Navigators also had a 28-24 edge in ground balls (Taylor grabbed a game-high eight).

Falmouth finished with 17 turnovers.

“(The Rams) have a lot of threats,” said Pullen. “We wanted to contain Ruby as much as possible, but we also didn’t want to focus too much on her and I think we did a decent job with that. Look at draws and shots and if we have them in our favor, we have the ability to beat a team like them. Our draw unit did an awesome job. There were things that we executed today that we had worked on in practice, like in terms of when they ran plays against us, we picked up what they wanted to do. We were effective at shutting down their stall.”

One more for the record

Kennebunk’s quest to set a new mark at 37 straight wins won’t come easily, as it hosts always-strong Yarmouth in a state game rematch Friday at 4 p.m. (see our website for game story).


The Rams will understandably be thrilled if they set a new benchmark, but they’re more focused on being at their best at the end of the season.

“It’s pretty hard to win, so we’re back to that 0-0 mentality and we’re pumped for Yarmouth,” said Sliwkowski. “We still need to improve everything. There’s always room to improve. I think the draw circle is a huge area we can improve on. Catching and throwing. All of that stuff will come.”

“We’ll keep progressing and building as a team,” Hayes said. “I still rush some passes. I need to take more time and make sure I know where it’s going. We’ll get better looks on shots, we won’t drop passes. I can’t wait to see where our season goes from here.”

“Our ball movement can still be faster and faster and our feeds can be crisper,” Barker added. “We work on fundamentals every day and we’re getting better. Everyone’s growing and growing nicely.”

Falmouth, meanwhile, looks to get on track Friday at Biddeford.

“We’re fired up to improve every day from here on out,” said Pullen.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net

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