Ruby Sliwkowski, right center, celebrates her second-half goal that helped to lift Kennebunk over Yarmouth, 12-10, in the Class A championship game in June. Sliwkowski scored seven goals and assisted on another. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

With her extraordinary high school lacrosse career complete, Ruby Sliwkowski took time to reflect.

Ruby Sliwkowski

In three seasons at Kennebunk, she was a member of three state championship teams. Her teams never lost a game, going 49-0. She finished her career with 336 points, including 90 goals and 50 assists this spring.

Sliwkowski even allowed herself a quick game of “what if?” What if her freshman season hadn’t been canceled in the early days of the pandemic? Could she have scored 400 career points? Sliwkowski decided it doesn’t matter. Her high school lacrosse career turned out pretty well, even without that freshman year.

“I was like, ‘Wow, that was awesome,’ ” she said.

Coming off perhaps the most accomplished girls’ lacrosse career in Maine history, Ruby Sliwkowski is an easy choice for the 2023 Varsity Maine Player of the Year. She also won the award last year.

“I’ve coached for 23 years, and Ruby is the best player I’ve had at Kennebunk,” said Annie Barker, the Rams’ coach.


Sliwkowski, a midfielder, was a dominant player from her first game in a Kennebunk uniform in 2021. As a sophomore, she scored 52 goals and had 36 assists. As a junior, she scored 85 goals with 23 assists. With 140 points as a senior, Sliwkowski averaged more than eight points per game this spring.

“She’s patient and she’s smart, and she understands every aspect of the game,” Barker said. “She’s not selfish at all. If she’s not scoring, it doesn’t matter if we win.”

Stopping Sliwkowski from scoring was pretty much like stopping the sunrise, but opponents tried their best.

“No one can figure out a way to stop her,” Barker said.

It wasn’t for lack of effort. Some teams, like Yarmouth in the Class A championship game, would face guard Sliwkowski up and down the field, sometimes with two players, or try to push her around.

“We would put the three up top on Ruby trying to stop her drives, leaving the rest of our defense to go 4-on-6, which is a tough assignment against anyone,” said Marshwood Coach Bernie Marvin.


Sliwkowski had six goals and three assists in a 19-11 regular-season win over Marshwood. When they met again in the Class A semifinals, she scored seven goals and added two assists.

When faced with a persistent defender, Sliwkowski would always go back to what Kennebunk assistant coach Joseph Bush told her. Sliwkowski’s first step is so quick, it makes her virtually undefendable. So use it.

“It really is that literal split second you can getaway from the defender,” Sliwkowski said. “In the state game, (Yarmouth) did a great job and stayed with me 75% of the time, but that other 25%, we scored a goal.”

This summer, Sliwkowski plans to work on her game as she jumps to NCAA Division I lacrosse at Brown University. Her stick skills are good, but she knows they can be better. A big focus for Sliwkowski this summer is improving speed and agility.

“The next level is all about speed,” she said. “I’m going in as an 18-year-old and competing with 23-, 24-year-olds who got an extra year (of eligibility) because of COVID.”

Sliwkowski is eager to work with Brown’s new coach, Katrina Dowd, who was hired June 21. Dowd won three national titles as a player at Northwestern, and two more as an assistant coach at North Carolina. Dowd also played on the U.S. national team, winning a World Cup gold medal in 2013. Sliwkowski is looking forward to the challenge.

“With a brand new head coach, it’s going to be like a big tryout in the fall,” she said.

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