YARMOUTH—Coming off a tough end to the regular season, North Yarmouth Academy’s boys’ lacrosse team wanted to quickly take care of business when it took the field Saturday afternoon for its first playoff game.

And the third-ranked Panthers did exactly that, making quick work of No. 6 Lincoln Academy in a Class C state quarterfinal at Lewis Field.

NYA rode the offensive talents of senior Brayden Warde and sophomore Zach Leinwand in the first half, opening up a 4-0 lead after one period and an 8-0 advantage at the break.

The Panthers didn’t relent in the second half, scoring five third quarter goals to induce a mercy rule running clock, then going on to a commanding 17-1 victory.

Leinwand and Warde scored five goals apiece, eight different players tickled the twine and NYA improved to 10-5, ended Lincoln Academy’s campaign at 7-8 and advanced to a semifinal round showdown at second-seeded Wells (13-2) Wednesday at a time to be announced.

“Coming in, we knew we needed to play a full 48 minutes, which we hadn’t done yet, but we did that today,” said Panthers coach Peter Gerrity.



NYA had its moments during the regular season, including enjoying a six-game win streak (see sidebar for links to previous stories), and wound up third in Class C.

Lincoln Academy, meanwhile, was the epitome of a .500 team, alternating wins and losses nearly the entire season.

The teams didn’t meet this spring and had played just once before in the playoffs (see sidebar).

Saturday, on a 62-degree afternoon which featured intermittent rain, the Panthers quickly left no doubt of their superiority.

North Yarmouth Academy senior Jonah Donnelly battles Lincoln Academy’s Jayden Lafrenaye for the ball during a faceoff in the Panthers’ 17-1 victory Saturday. Hoffer photos.

Eagles goalie Sean Cushing kept his team alive early with a couple saves on Warde, but with 8:37 left in the first period, Leinwand scored, from freshman Gavin Thomas, to put NYA on top for good.


With 7:05 to go, Warde scored his first goal, unassisted after a crease roll, to double the lead.

After going man-up, the Panthers struck again, as Thomas fed Leinwand, then with 4:23 on the clock, Leinwand took a pass from junior James Brogan-Provencher and finished to make it 4-0.

“Right place, right time for me,” said Leinwand.

The Panthers continued to separate in the second period, as Warde set up Leinwand for a goal with 6:15 remaining, then Warde finished (from Brogan-Provencher) 54 seconds later, Warde scored again (from senior Nolan Pecora) with 1:20 to play and Leinwand scored (from Brogan-Provencher) with just 19.8 seconds left for an 8-0 halftime advantage.

In the first 24 minutes, NYA had a 32-3 edge in shots (16-1 on cage) and the second half wouldn’t be much different.

NYA junior Grey Perham eludes Lincoln Academy’s Zach Hannah.

After going man-up early in the third quarter, the Panthers scored for a ninth time, when Warde found junior Grey Perham for a shot that Cushing couldn’t stop.


With 7:31 to go, Brogan-Provencher set up junior Nate Oney to make it 10-0.

With 4:28 on the clock, Warde scored unassisted, then after Perham hit the post, he set up Warde for a goal with 1:14 left, making it 12-0 and running the clock.

Pecora then scored unassisted with 12.8 seconds remaining and NYA took a 13-0 advantage to the final stanza.

There, the Eagles finally broke through, as Jayden Lafrenaye scored unassisted 46 seconds in, but the Panthers would tally four more goals, as Perham fed junior Ethan Brochu with 7:37 left, Brogan-Provencher scored unassisted with 3:35 on the clock, Pecora scored unassisted off the ensuing faceoff, then senior Wyatt Thomas set up junior Liam Street for one more goal with 59 seconds to go and NYA closed out a 17-1 victory.

“It’s a good team win for us,” said Leinwand. “It’s on to the next one now. When we’re all playing well like today, everything clicks.”

“We were just trying to possess the ball today, work it around and find the best look and I think that’s what we did,” Warde said. “We started off a little slow, then we picked it up. I liked the way we played today.”


“It was important to get back on track after a tough week last week,” Gerrity added. “We focused on getting the guys to understand what they’re capable of and not on mistakes.”

Leinwand and Warde each scored five times to lead the way. Pecora added two goals, while Brogan-Provencher, Brochu, Oney, Perham and Street finished with one apiece.

“At halftime, it was just Zach and I scoring, so the point of emphasis was to get some midfield production and get other guys on the board,” said Warde. “That was an added plus.”

“I’d say good balance,” Gerrity said. “It improved in the second half. We know our midfielders can score, but sometimes they like watching the James and Brayden and Zach Show. We can’t win states unless everybody’s contributing.”

Brogan-Provencher also had four assists, while Perham, Gavin Thomas and Warde tallied two and Pecora and Wyatt Thomas had one apiece.

Freshman goalie Harry Seely saved three shots.


The Panthers won 14 of 21 faceoffs, had a 39-23 advantage on ground balls (Perham led the way with five), finished with a whopping 55-7 shots advantage (31-4 on cage) and overcame 23 turnovers.

Lincoln Academy’s goal came from Lafrenaye.

Cushing stopped 14 shots.

Isaac Rich had a team-high four ground balls.

The Eagles committed 27 turnovers.

Wells awaits


Back on May 2, NYA had no answer for visiting Wells in a 9-4 setback. The teams also met in last year’s semifinals, where the Panthers eked out an 8-7 victory.

NYA will have to take a long bus trip and play on grass, but it looks forward to the challenge.

“It won’t be easy,” Warde said. “(The Warriors) love to possess the ball. We’ll have to slow it down and play smart. They’re a very good team, but we know what we can do when we play our best and if we play our game, we know we can beat anybody. We’re singularly focused on getting to the finish line and getting the trophy at the end.”

“We need to be prepared for Gavyn (Petrie) and Eli Steere and what they’re capable of,” Gerrity said. “We have to play 48 minutes. If we fall asleep, they’ll take advantage of it.

“The seniors are very determined. They’re all over the field and all over the depth chart.”

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

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