YARMOUTH—Yarmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team found itself in unfamiliar circumstances Wednesday evening.

For starters, the Clippers were wearing their blue road jerseys on their home turf.

Even more disconcertingly, Yarmouth was trailing Greely in the second half of a late-season battle of Class B contenders.

But even in this bizarro world, with falling rain adding even more drama, the Clippers were able to dig deep, save their best for last and make another statement on their road to what they hope will be the ultimate victory next month.

In a game moved from Greely’s grass field to Yarmouth’s turf due to the weather, the Rangers, who lost at the Clippers by seven goals in late-April, came out strong, grabbed a 3-2 lead after one quarter, then extended it to as many as three goals before settling for a 7-5 halftime advantage, thanks to two goals apiece from seniors Lukas Cook and Ben Hanson and sophomore Angus Perry.

Greely was still up by two nearly midway through the third period before Yarmouth got its offense in gear, as a goal from senior Killian Marsh and two more from classmate Aksel Yeo put the Clippers ahead to stay, 9-8, heading for the final stanza.


There, it was all Yarmouth, as Yeo, Marsh, junior Colter Olson and sophomore Owen Walsh scored in succession, and the Clippers went on to a 14-10 victory.

Olson and Yeo led a balanced attack with four goals apiece as Yarmouth improved to 9-3 on the season and in the process, dropped the valiant Rangers to 5-7.

“We know we can’t take any team lightly,” said Yeo. “We got down and we didn’t think we were going to, but we came back.”

Having to fight for it

Yarmouth opened with a 21-6 loss at Gray-New Gloucester and after losing at two-time reigning Class A champion Cape Elizabeth (11-6), it won its next four, downing visiting Greely (17-10), reigning Class B champion Brunswick (16-6) and York (20-12), then holding on for a 16-14 win at Messalonskee. After a 14-6 home loss to Cape Elizabeth, the Clippers defeated visiting Scarborough (21-7). After losing at Falmouth (14-9), Yarmouth edged visiting Freeport (6-5), then Saturday rolled to a 22-2 victory at Fryeburg Academy.

Greely, meanwhile, opened with home setbacks to York (18-8) and Biddeford (6-4) and after edging visiting Messalonskee (16-14), fell at Yarmouth (17-10) and two-time reigning Class C champion Waynflete (12-11). The Rangers then defeated host Kennebunk (13-9) and Gorham (12-9) before losing at North Yarmouth Academy (12-6). After a 16-6 home win over Gray-New Gloucester, Greely fell at home to Wells (15-12) and Saturday, bounced back with a 16-9 victory at Freeport.


In the teams’ first meeting April 25, Olson led the way with seven goals, while McCann and Yeo added four apiece.

Wednesday, on a chilly night (50 degrees) with the rain falling throughout, the Clippers got pushed hard, but managed to settle down and make it five straight victories over their rival.

Greely junior goalie Sam Dudek came up big early, denying shots by McCann and sophomore Matt Cain, then with 9:18 to go in the opening quarter, Hanson scored unassisted to give the Rangers the jump.

Yarmouth answered with 7:09 left, as Olson set up McCann for a goal, then 17 seconds later, Olson rolled the crease and fired a shot into the net to give the Clippers what proved to be their only lead of the first half, 2-1.

Greely answered with 5:53 on the clock, as Cook found Perry for his first goal and after Clippers freshman goalie Will Redfield denied sophomores Asa Giffune and Bez Mendelsohn, Dudek robbed Olson at the other end.

With just 50 seconds to go, Cook set up sophomore Alden Collins to put the Rangers back in front and after Hanson hit the post and Dudek denied a last-second bid from Marsh, Greely was up, 3-2, after 12 minutes.


The Rangers’ second quarter would be even better than the first.

After Olson tied the score with an unassisted goal with 9:40 remaining, Cook set up Perry to put Greely back in front with 7:38 left.

Yarmouth drew even with 5:30 to go, as McCann set up Yeo for his first goal, but the next three scores went to the Rangers.

In less than a minute.

With 3:44 remaining, Hanson scored unassisted.

Senior Noah Turner won the ensuing faceoff and with 3:20 left, Cook scored unassisted.


Turner then won possession again and 26 seconds later, Cook struck unassisted again and the lead was 7-4.

After Redfield prevented the score from getting even more out of hand by denying a shot from Hanson (he was injured on the play), the Clippers got a little momentum back before the break on an unassisted goal from McCann.

Then, in the waning seconds, junior Eddie Kim, who had come on to replace Redfield, made a huge stop, robbing Perry, and Greely’s advantage was 7-5 at the break.

Faceoffs and turnovers were even in the first half, but the Rangers enjoyed a 14-11 edge in shots on frame.

Greely then held the lead for most of the third quarter before Yarmouth made its move.

Redfield returned to the cage to start the second half and made an immediate impact by saving a shot from senior Matt Kennedy.


At the other end, Dudek denied Marsh and Olson.

Then, with 8:58 on the clock, Marsh set up Olson to pull the Clippers within one.

Kennedy immediately got the goal back, 21 seconds later, finishing a feed from Giffune, but that would be as good as it got for the Rangers.

With 6:54 to go, Olson found Marsh for a goal.

“We turned the ball over too much in the first half, especially me, but in the second half, I tried to do a little bit less, which created options for others,” Olson said.

Then, with 3:35 remaining, after a Greely turnover, Marsh passed to Yeo, who found the net to make it 8-8.


Hanson and Mendelsohn bid to put the Rangers back in the lead, but Redfield saved both shots.

Then, with 45 seconds left, McCann passed up top to Yeo, who ripped a shot past Dudek, giving Yarmouth its first lead since the early going, a 9-8 advantage that the Clippers took the fourth quarter.

There, Yarmouth put it away.

Just 82 seconds in, McCann set up Yeo again.

“When I’m feeling it, I do like to shoot,” said Yeo. “When I put up goals, I feel really good about myself. We got into a groove. Our talk among each other got us hyped up. I feel like the first three goals for Greely were all on me because I didn’t slide and pick up my man, so I had to get those back for us.”

“Aksel with his right hand cannon is unstoppable,” Olson said.


“The boys took care of the ball and we took good shots and it gave us momentum,” Clippers coach Jon Miller added. “We got the ball in our hands and the offense gets less desperate when we’re controlling the game. We tried to get Killian and Coulter on the re-dodge. They took it upon themselves to start initiating and taking good shots. Aksel had great shots up top. He leads by example and he did great.”

With 10:16 to play, Marsh scored one his patented I’m-going-to-fight-through-as-many-defenders-as-you-can-throw-at-me-and-score-anyway goals to extend the lead to 11-8, forcing Greely coach Mike Storey to call timeout.

It didn’t help, as it took just 31 seconds for the Clippers to strike again, as this time, Marsh set up Olson.

After Redfield preserved the lead with a save on a shot from Mendelsohn, the Rangers picked up the game’s first penalty and Walsh took a pass from Cain and scored a man-up goal for a 13-8 advantage with 7:12 on the clock.

“Our defense couldn’t hold up,” Storey said. “We had a hard time in the middle of the field, not just with faceoffs, but ground balls too, and Yarmouth was able to capitalize on that. They were nice and patient and kept working the ball. We allowed them too many possessions and they’re going to score.”

Greely finally answered with 5:59 to go, snapping Yarmouth’s 7-0 run and a 14 minute, 18 second scoring drought, as Kennedy scored unassisted, but any hopes of a run to get back in the game were dashed with 3:42 left, as Olson set up McCann for the dagger.


The Rangers scored one final time, as Cook set up Mendelsohn for a goal with 28.4 seconds remaining, but the Clippers were able to run out the clock from there and celebrate their 14-10 victory.

“We learned a valuable lesson against Freeport,” Olson said. “We came into that game expecting an easy win and it humbled us. The guys came into this game happy we got to play at home, but we knew we’d have a battle. Teams evolve and we knew that. Faceoffs were huge in the fourth quarter. It was all (seniors Jaxson Dauphinee and Ethan St. Pierre). We can’t score if we don’t have the ball.”

“We’ve had a few games this year where we started slow and it was a tight game, so it was good to have that coming into this game,” Miller said. “Greely played really well in the first half. We figured out our clear. Greely was riding us really hard in the first half, just locking our middies off and outworking us. The guys responded well in the second half and took care of business and I give all the credit to them.”

Olson led the way with four goals and three assists, while Yeo added four goals of his own.

McCann finished with three goals and three assists, Marsh had two goals and three assists and Walsh also tickled the twine, while Cain added an assist.

Redfield made 11 saves, while Kim stopped one shot.


Yarmouth finished with a 35-27 edge in ground balls (Walsh and sophomore Wyatt Gawtry led the way with four apiece), enjoyed a 43-33 shots advantage (32-22 on cage) and only turned the ball over 16 times.

Not quite enough

For Greely, Cook finished with two goals and four assists, as well as a game-high eight ground balls, while Hanson, Kennedy (one assist) and Perry also scored twice. Collins and Mendelsohn each added one goal.

Dudek was solid, making 18 saves.

The Rangers won 15 of 28 faceoffs, but committed 20 turnovers.

“We have our ups and downs and that’s part of being a growing team,” Storey lamented. “It’s exciting and frustrating at the same time. We know we can compete with anybody, but we haven’t put a full 48 minutes together. I don’t think there’s a huge gap between us (and Yarmouth). We just can’t take a quarter off.”


Climbing the ladder

Greely (currently ranked 10th in the Class B state-wide Heal Points standings) hosts Gardiner in its home finale Friday, then closes at Cape Elizabeth Wednesday of next week. The Rangers know they’ll be in the postseason (the top 12 teams qualify) and believe they can do some damage next month.

“We’ll let the cards fall where they may and be excited,” Storey said. “Where we land, we land and we’ll go from there. The way we see it, we have a week-and-a-half to have great practices, have great outings and get ourselves in the best position for playoffs. We’re so close.”

Yarmouth (currently fourth in Class B) welcomes Waynflete in what should be a thriller Friday, then finishes at NYA Tuesday of next week. The Clippers are battling Brunswick, York and Messalonskee for homefield advantage for the playoffs and don’t want to have to leave their turf field until the state final.

“There’s no point in playing a lacrosse season if we don’t want to win it,” said Olson. “We think we can win a championship. We have a really good group of guys. We hope to win out and we’re excited for those big games.”

“Last year motivates us,” said Yeo. “I remember how that felt. We carried the motivation to this year. We’re trying to finish up with all wins so we can be at home for playoffs. We just need to play as a team and take our time. When we don’t have unforced turnovers, we’re fine.”

“We need the Heal Points to be a top two team,” Miller added. “We don’t want to travel in the playoffs. That’s our goal. Messalonskee’s a haul. We don’t want to there. We don’t to go to York or Brunswick’s grass.

“I feel like we’re ready to make a run. We know what we need to do. It’s just a matter of executing it. The expectation is to go all the way.”

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

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