FREEPORT—There were several reasons Freeport’s girls’ lacrosse team wasn’t about to lose Thursday evening at the Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field.

For starters, it was the Falcons’ Senior Night, and the team’s nine seniors were up for the challenge.

It also happened to be Coach Marcia Wood’s first opportunity to go up against her former team, the Scarborough Red Storm.

But the biggest reason Freeport wasn’t going to lose is that the 2023 Falcons almost never do and while the Red Storm pushed them most of the way, they just had too much balance and too much goaltending and ultimately, that produced another victory.

Freeport senior goalie Piper Williams got tested often in the first half, making six saves, but Scarborough took a 3-2 lead less than 10 minutes in, when senior Molly Henderson, who scored her team’s first two goals, set up sophomore Grace Carlista for a shot that Williams couldn’t stop.

The Falcons then got a pair of goals from senior standout Kate Tracy to take a 4-3 edge to the half, but the Red Storm drew even early in the second half on a goal from senior Grace Durgin.


And then, Freeport flipped the switch, scoring four times in less than four minutes to get some breathing room, as seniors Emily Olsen and Maddie Knight and sophomores Mia Levesque and Emma White found the net.

The Falcons didn’t let up from there and went on to an 11-6 victory.

Freeport got goals from eight different players, capped the best regular season in program history with a record of 13-1 and in the process, dropped Scarborough to a misleading 3-11.

“It’s great to end our season with a 13-1 record,” said Olsen. “It’s really exciting. We lost a lot of seniors last year, but this year, we’ve focused on building team chemistry and it’s come through. We have six freshmen and a good amount of sophomores, juniors and seniors. We just want it so badly.”

The team to beat

Freeport’s best season prior to this spring was a 10-2 campaign in 2014 (the Falcons lost to Yarmouth in the regional final).


In fact, that was the only other time the program posted double-digit victories in the regular season.

After two straight seasons of close calls, a one-goal state game loss to Waynflete in 2021 and last year’s one-goal upset home loss to eventual champion North Yarmouth Academy in the semifinals, Freeport entered the 2023 campaign with a single focus and other than a one-goal loss, has been perfect.

The Falcons started by beating host Massabesic (11-5), then downing visiting NYA (12-7) and rolling at Lake Region (14-3) and Fryeburg Academy (13-1). After a 5-4 home loss to reigning Class B champion Greely on April 25, Freeport has been unbeatable since, defeating visiting Gray-New Gloucester (16-1) and Brunswick (17-3), host Traip Academy (15-4), visiting Waynflete (13-7), host York (6-3), NYA (6-5) and Wells (14-7) and finally visiting Cape Elizabeth Tuesday (12-4).

As for Scarborough, it started with a 12-7 home loss to Thornton Academy, then held off visiting Waynflete (14-11). After losing at Windham (11-5), the Red Storm beat host Bonny Eagle (14-6) before falling at home to Gorham (10-7), at Yarmouth (12-6), at home to Cape Elizabeth (12-11), at Falmouth (14-2) and at home to Marshwood (15-0). After getting back in the win column at Portland (11-9), Scarborough lost at two-time reigning Class A champion Kennebunk (19-3), at home to Biddeford (11-6) and at Massabesic Tuesday (11-10).

The Falcons and Red Storm hadn’t played a countable game since April 30, 2005, when Scarborough prevailed at home, 16-6.

That game was played during Wood’s first season at Scarborough, where she won 111 games and four Class A championships in her decade at the helm. The Red Storm have had just three winning seasons since and are now on their fourth coach since she departed.


Since taking over at Freeport in 2015, Wood has established the Falcons as a premier team in Class C (now 68 victories and counting).

“I did not think I’d get to this point,” Wood said. “I found a new home and it’s great.”

Thursday, on Senior Night, on a beautiful evening (75 degrees at the start), Wood and her team capped a most memorable regular season in style.

But not without some anxious moments.

Scarborough senior Olivia O’Brien possesses the ball while Freeport sophomore Lana Dirusso (17) and senior Emily Olsen defend during the Falcons’ 11-6 victory Thursday. Hoffer photos.

Freeport got off to a fast start, as Tracy won the opening draw and 36 seconds in, Knight scored unassisted, but it wouldn’t be a runaway for the Falcons.

Scarborough looked to answer only to have Williams rob Durgin and senior Ella Carlson send a free position high.


With 21:27 left in the first half, the visitors drew even on a free position goal from Henderson, but three minutes later, senior Skylar MacDonald answered with a free position goal for Freeport.

After Williams denied a free position shot from senior Jaya Sahney, Henderson tied the score on a free position with 15:52 on the clock, then 18 seconds later, Henderson set up Carlista for the lead.

But that would be as good as it would get for the Red Storm.

After Scarborough sophomore goalie Fiona McDougal preserved the lead with a save on a shot from sophomore Lana Dirusso and Knight sent a free position wide, Tracy scored unassisted with 13:42 remaining to tie it.

For almost the remainder of the half, offense would be hard to come by as both goalies stood tall.

Williams saved a shot from senior Olivia O’Brien and a pair of bids from junior Fiona Betters, while at the other end, McDougal denied Knight and Tracy twice.


Finally, with just 28.9 seconds left, on a restart. Levesque spotted an open Tracy and Tracy finished for a 4-3 halftime lead.

Scarborough junior Fiona Betters is smothered by Freeport senior Emily Olsen, left, sophomore Mia Levesque and sophomore Lana Dirusso early in the second half.

McDougal stepped up early, robbing Knight, then with 21:32 to play, Sahney set up Durgin for a goal to tie the game, 4-4.

Scarborough had a chance to go on top with 20:26 left, but Carlista was high on a free position.

Then, with 18:16 to go, Dirusso set up Olsen for a shot that McDougal couldn’t stop and Freeport was ahead to stay.

And the Falcons’ offense was just getting going.

With 16:26 on the clock, White buried a free position shot.


With 14:49 left, Knight did the same and 20 seconds later, off a draw win, Levesque fought her way through the defense and finished and just like that, Freeport had opened up an 8-4 advantage.

Betters answered for the Red Storm, unassisted, with 13:24 to play, but after Williams robbed Henderson, Tracy set up freshman Reed Proscia for a goal to make it 9-5 with 10:13 to go.

The Falcons then ended any lingering doubt, as Olsen weaved through the defense and finished unassisted with 4:30 remaining, then 31 seconds later, Dirusso scored unassisted.

Henderson scored one final goal, unassisted, with 1 minute left, but after one final Williams save, on a Henderson shot, Freeport was able to celebrate its 11-6 victory.

Freeport races to congratulate senior goalie Piper Williams at the final horn.

“Everyone wants to win on Senior Night and it was a great feeling to pull it off,” Williams said. “We had momentum on our side.”

“It’s nice and it’s validating,” Wood said. “It would be different if we won there or if I knew the (Scarborough) girls, but some of the names sounded familiar from when I did youth there. We played great, we just needed to clean it up. Once we got some draws, we were fine. I always want to beat the B teams and the A teams. Those have been some of our best games.”


The Falcons’ offensive balance was dazzling, as eight different players scored.

Knight, Olsen and Tracy all had two goals, while Dirusso, Levesque, MacDonald, Proscia and White added one apiece.

Dirusso, Levesque and Tracy also had assists.

“It’s anyone’s game out there,” said Olsen. “We don’t focus on getting one person the ball and that’s a great aspect of our team. We’ve built each other’s confidence up and that’s built our team chemistry.”

“Our balance is awesome,” said Wood. “I know Mia and Lana and Kate are scoring the majority of our goals, but for Reed to score and Emily having a couple goals. Emma scoring and Maddie scoring, sometimes that only happens in games we’re up a lot, but this was a big game. (Scarborough) did a great job marking out Mia and Lana. We knew they might get tired at the end with marking them and we could capitalize.”

Williams made eight key saves.


“As a senior, I want to play great at the end and I’m working hard to make those saves,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of emphasis on filling your role and making sure you can make an impact. I have to want it for myself and the team has to want it. Our defense was playing great. I could feed off their energy.”

Levesque led the team with six ground balls, while Dirusso collected five.

Freeport had a 23-18 edge in shots (18-14 on frame) and only turned the ball over 10 times.

Still building

For Scarborough, Henderson had three goals and one assist, while Betters, Carlista and Durgin also scored and Sahney had an assist.

McDougal stopped seven shots.


The Red Storm won 10 of 19 draws, had a 22-21 edge on ground balls (O’Brien led all players with 10) and turned the ball over 14 times.

“I’m super-proud of how we’ve been adjusting,” first-year Scarborough coach Taylor Colangelo said. “To hang with Freeport for three-quarters of the game before they took off, shows we’re adaptable. We felt confident in what we were doing. When we convert on attack, it’s really pretty and when we can’t convert, it’s not so pretty. That’s what we’ve been struggling with, but we’ll hone in on that. I love our defense and how aggressive we are and how we play clean lacrosse.”

Playoff time

Scarborough projects to be the No. 13 seed for the state-wide Class A tournament and will be on the road for a preliminary round contest next week.

“We’ve worked hard for a playoff spot,” Colangelo said. “We’re definitely peaking at the right time. Our record doesn’t show how good a team we are or the skills we have. We’re building and now we’re 0-0. We have good energy heading into the playoffs. We have nothing to lose. As long as we play what I consider good Scarborough lacrosse, we’ll find ourselves in fun situations over the next week-and-a-half.”

Freeport long ago locked up the top seed in Class C and will have a bye into the quarterfinals, meaning the Falcons won’t take the field for a countable game until June 10.


This team has what it takes to finish the job.

“We’ve been close a couple times, so (winning) would be a nice feeling,” Williams said. “It would be a great way to cap off senior year. We have to keep our intensity up and have intense practices. Sometimes, we can get comfortable, but we’ll keep pushing and playing our hardest.”

“We really hope to pull through this year,” said Olsen. “Many of us have been to state championships and we want it. We have to keep our confidence game up and keep our mental game there. I really think we can do it.”

“I know we’re Class C and I’m pretty sure next we’ll be Class B next year and I’ve felt like that’s where we’ve belonged, but (athletic director Craig Sickels) said we had to win a state championship to do that,” Wood added. “We’ll have competition. NYA has shown us stuff. Waynflete, I’m really nervous about.

“We’ve been so close. We have to stay focused. I’m going to try to keep the girls entertained and focused. I’ve got nine seniors and they’re ready to win.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at

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