FALMOUTH—Last year’s playoff ouster didn’t sit well with the Falmouth girls’ lacrosse team.

The fact that it came at home to rival Yarmouth in the state semifinals made it even worse.

Tuesday afternoon, the Navigators finally got an opportunity to do something about it and thanks in part to a memorable performance from freshman phenom Riley Davis, a dose of revenge was served.

Falmouth, playing in its second game this spring, fell behind the Clippers, playing their opener, on four different occasions in the first half, but answered each time and game was deadlocked, 5-5, at the break.

After Navigators senior Mallory Kerr scored the only goal of the third period, Yarmouth drew even early in the fourth on a goal from senior Brooke Boone, but in a 65-second span, Davis scored twice for a little breathing room and Falmouth was able to hold on down the stretch to prevail, 8-7.

The Navigators got three goals and three assists from Davis and two goals and two assists from senior Peaches Stucker as they improved to 2-0 on the young season, making an early statement in the process.


“That loss hit me hard, so we came into this game with a lot to prove as a team,” Stucker said. “That loss motivated me more than anything. Coming in and making a statement against the team that beat us on our field and went to states, it feels good to get them back.”

Highly anticipated

A year ago, Falmouth erupted in the second half for a 20-9 win at Yarmouth late in the regular season, but when the teams met again less than a month later in the Class A state semifinals, the Clippers turned the table in shocking fashion with an 8-5 victory. Yarmouth went on to narrowly lose to Kennebunk in the state final, 12-10, to wind up 13-5.

The Clippers return an abundance of talent this spring and are hungry to take that final step and win Class A for the first time.

The Navigators ended up 15-2 a year ago and despite graduating standouts Sloane Ginevan (now at Notre Dame) and Lucy Taylor, they again project to be a powerhouse in Class A.

Falmouth opened its season last Friday with a 15-5 home win over Thornton Academy.


Tuesday, there was little separation between the two teams that figure to be best equipped at possibly ending Kennebunk’s three-year title reign, but ultimately, the Navigators did just enough to earn the victory.

Yarmouth senior Neena Panozzo runs up the field as Falmouth senior Peaches Stucker gives chase early in the Naigators’ 8-7 victory Tuesday. Hoffer photos.

Despite having seen limited game action this spring, Yarmouth came out strong and after Falmouth junior goalie Amelia Brann denied an early shot from Boone, junior Maddie Jones stole the ball and finished unassisted with 10:54 to go in the first quarter (girls’ lacrosse is playing four 12-minute quarters instead of two 25-minute halves this season).

The Navigators’ first shot was denied, as junior Maisy Clement couldn’t solve Clippers senior goalie Regan Sullivan, but with 9:21 on the clock, Davis found Kerr to tie the score.

Yarmouth went ahead for the second time with 4:30 left in the opening stanza, as senior standout Aine Powers took a pass from sophomore Celia Zinman and finished.

Falmouth drew even 32 seconds later, as Davis scored for the first time, from sophomore Liesl Boothby.

Once again, the Clippers retook the lead when Zinman again set up Powers with 1:58 on the clock, but with 40.8 seconds to go, Davis found Stucker, who finished to make it 3-3 heading to the second quarter.


There, the teams continued to go back and forth.

With 7:30 left in the half, Boone set up Keaney for what proved to be Yarmouth’s final lead, 4-3.

It took just 39 seconds for the Navigators to answer, as Stucker threaded a beautiful pass, as only she can, to Boothby, who beat Sullivan to tie it for the fourth time.

“Peaches is the heart of this team,” Falmouth coach Ashley Pullen said. “The team rallies around her. She’s one of our biggest leaders. She has a great eye to thread the needle with her passes, which I love.”

Davis then won the ensuing draw to Stucker, who ran in and scored unassisted with 6:39 showing to give the Navigators the lead for the first time.

It didn’t last, as senior Neena Panozzo scored, from Keaney, with 4:08 remaining.


Down the stretch, Brann robbed Panozzo, while Falmouth hit the post, sending the game to the half deadlocked, 5-5.

Yarmouth senior Annie Hunter is hounded by Falmouth sophomore Liesl Boothby.

The Navigators came out looking for the lead when the third quarter began and after Clement was denied by Sullivan and Davis missed wide on a free position shot, Boothby set up Kerr for a goal with 6:47 remaining.

The Clippers hoped to answer, but Powers was off target on a free position and at the other end, Sullivan denied both Boothby and Davis to keep it a one-goal game, 6-5, heading for the fourth period.

There, Yarmouth struck immediately, as Powers set up Boone for the tying goal 25 seconds in, snapping a 16 minute, 33 second scoring drought in the process.

Zinman then tried to give the Clippers the lead, but Brann stood tall and made the save.

After Sullivan robbed both Boothby and Stucker, Falmouth went in front for good with 5:50 to play, as Davis took a pass in front from junior Audrey Farnham and fired past Sullivan before the goalie could react.


The Navigators got the ball back and with 4:45 remaining, Stucker fed Davis for another easy shot in front and just like that, the score was 8-6.

“I have awesome leaders who are super-smart and great coaches that make me a lot better,” Davis said. “Peaches gave me an amazing assist. We talked about it and connected. I wasn’t nervous for this game. I wanted to show what I can do.”

Prior to the season, Pullen hinted that Davis was perhaps further along as a player at her age than Ginevan was and so far, Davis, who wears Ginevan’s old uniform number (1), has lived up to billing.

And then some.

“(Riley’s) a mini-Sloane,” Stucker said. “She brings good energy. It’s not about her. She looks for everyone else.”

“There’s a lot of things that make Riley special,” Pullen said. “She was huge on the draw today. She’s super-fast, super-feisty. She’s a very smart player. She’s got a great stick. She’s got the whole package as a freshman which is something you don’t see very often.”


When Davis won the ensuing draw, the Navigators were on the brink of closing out victory, but after causing a turnover, Yarmouth got back in the game with 2:13 left, as in transition, Zinman found Keaney, who fired a shot past Brann and in to cut the deficit to 8-7.

Davis again won possession, however, and Falmouth was able to run the clock down well under a minute before finally turning the ball over.

The Clippers took possession deep in their territory with 9.1 seconds showing, but longtime coach Dorothy Holt thought there should have been five more seconds on the clock.

But the clock stayed as it was and out of a timeout, Powers took the ball and tried to run up the right sideline, but she was forced out of bounds and the Navigators were able to run out the clock and celebrate their 8-7 victory.

Falmouth mobs junior goalie Amelia Brann at the final horn.

“Last year was very much on everybody’s minds,” Pullen said. “The last thing I said to them was, ‘Remember what happened on this field the last time we saw Yarmouth here.’ It was on everyone’s minds to get revenge. It had that playoff energy. It was a great battle.

“We made a few little adjustments for the second half. We put more pressure on their keeper. We were able to cause more turnovers on our ride. We were more patient and clean. A lot of little things added up.


“At the end, we knew they had moved the ball well through the air, so the idea was to pressure the ball as much as we could as quickly as possible and also play clean.”

Davis had three goals and three assists to lead the way. She also won 11 of 18 draws.

“I have great players on the wings, Peaches and Mallory, to get the draws,” said Davis. “They’re very good at helping.”

Stucker added two goals and two assists. Kerr finished with two goals as well and Boothby had a goal and an assist.

Farnham also had an assist.

Brann made five saves.


Falmouth had a 35-28 advantage on ground balls (Davis and Stucker shared game-high honors with eight apiece), enjoyed a 25-14 advantage in shots (20-12 on cage) and overcame 21 turnovers.

Yarmouth got two goals apiece from Keaney and Powers and one each from Boone, Jones and Panozzo.

Zinman had three assists, while Boone, Keaney and Powers each contributed one.

Powers led the Clippers with seven ground balls.

Sullivan, who was sidelined last year with the after-effects of a concussion, returned to action with 11 clutch saves.

“It’s so nice to have Regan back,” Holt said. “She came up huge today.”


Yarmouth was doomed in part by 19 turnovers.

“It’s not what happens in April, it’s what happens in June,” Holt said. “I think we did a good job, but we made a lot of turnovers and that was the name of the game today.”

Just getting started

Yarmouth is taking a team bonding trip to Massachusetts for a couple of days, then hopes to bounce back Friday, when it goes to York.

“It’s so good to have a game like this and now we’re going to Massachusetts to play a game, go to a college game and we’ll have a good time team bonding and being outside,” Holt said. “We have a lot of potential this year.”

Falmouth seeks a 3-0 record Thursday when it pays a visit to Scarborough.

“I think we can be as good as we want to be and I think we want to be very good, I don’t have any doubt about that,” Davis said.

“I like to think we’re never an underdog, but we have a long way to go,” Stucker said. “We just have some things to clean up, like decision making.”

“We have plenty of room to improve and a lot to work on, but I feel really good about where we’re at at this point of the season,” added Pullen. “We have a lot of promise. A lot of grit. A lot of heart. We’re capable of playing with anyone.”

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

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