YARMOUTH—The streak lives.

But just barely.

Wednesday evening, Kennebunk’s girls’ lacrosse team, the three-time reigning Class A state champion, riding a record 54-game win streak, knew it was going to get its toughest test to date when it traveled to Yarmouth, the team the Rams barely vanquished in last year’s final.

And for much of the night, it looked like Kennebunk might not be able to drive to 55, but ultimately, the Rams’ big-game experience was just enough to get the job done and for the time being at least, the road to the title still goes through them.

Kennebunk held a 2-1 lead after one quarter and took a 5-3 lead to halftime thanks to a goal from senior Keara Battagliese with 3.5 seconds on the clock.

The Clippers then came out strong to start the second half, as goals from sophomore Celia Zinman and senior Brooke Boone tied the score.


But Yarmouth was never able to go on top and Rams senior Ivy Armentrout scored consecutive goals for a 7-5 advantage heading to the final stanza.

There, the Clippers fell behind by three on a goal from sophomore Camdyn Keenan, but even though they were playing without senior standout Aine Powers, then refused to buckle and cut the deficit to one behind goals from seniors Lauren Keaney and Neena Panozzo.

Yarmouth even had a chance to tie it in the final minute, but couldn’t finish and Kennebunk held on for dear life and prevailed, 8-7.

Armentrout led the way with three goals as the Rams improved to 6-0 on the season and in the process, dropped the Clippers to 4-2.

“It was exciting,” said longtime Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt. “It was a fabulous game today. Totally what we expected. They were racking up points against everyone and we only lost by one.”



It’s getting harder and harder to believe that Kennebunk has ever lost a game, but on June 15, 2019, the Rams were beaten by Falmouth, 5-3, in the Class A state final.

After the 2020 season was shelved by COVID, Kennebunk ran the table in 2021, 2022 and 2023 and even after the departure of program legend Ruby Sliwkowski, who is now playing at Brown University in Rhode Island, the Rams rang in a new year in 2024 by dispatching Windham (17-3), Greely (15-4), Gorham (17-4), Cape Elizabeth (14-3) and Portland (19-5) to keep the good times rolling.

Yarmouth came as close as anyone to beating Kennebunk last year in the Class A state final, but fell just short, 12-10. The Clippers began the 2024 season with a narrow 8-7 loss at Falmouth, then came to life and defeated host York (13-6), visiting Cheverus (10-8), host Lake Region (17-0) and host Cape Elizabeth (15-10).

In addition to the state final, Kennebunk also beat visiting Yarmouth last year during the regular season, 15-5, in the game that saw the Rams eclipse Waynflete (2004-06) and set a then-all-time win streak record of 37.

Wednesday, on a dry and comfortable 48-degree evening, the Clippers hoped to down Kennebunk for the first time since May 3, 2019 (7-6 on the road) and the first time on their home turf since May 1, 2003, an unthinkable 21 years ago to the date (9-8 in overtime), but instead, the Rams took care of business and won for the 55th consecutive time.

Yarmouth sophomore Celia Zinman and Kennebunk senior Ella Highbarger battle for the ball during the Rams’ 8-7 win Wednesday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald photos.

Powers won the opening draw and Yarmouth had a long possession, but couldn’t take the lead, as it turned the ball over.


Kennebunk took some time to get its offense going as well, but with 3:54 to go in the first quarter, senior Sophia Notine scored unassisted for a 1-0 lead.

Kennebunk senior Sophia Notine celebrates the game’s first goal.

The Clippers countered a minute later, as Panozzo scored unassisted.

The Rams went back on top, as Keenan set up Muse for a goal with 48.1 seconds left and Kennebunk held a one-goal advantage entering the second period.

Yarmouth senior Brooke Boone handles the ball as Kennebunk senior Mara Muse defends.

There, Panozzo tied the score with a free position goal with 9:56 on the clock.

Kennebunk didn’t let Yarmouth go on top, however, and with 7:12 left, Muse scored unassisted and with 5:31 left, Armentrout’s first goal, unassisted, doubled the advantage.

The Clippers pulled back within one when Panozzo set up Keaney for a goal with 3:22 on the clock, but as time wound down, Battagliese made a nice move, then shot past Yarmouth senior goalie Regan Sullivan with 3.5 seconds showing and the Rams had a 5-3 lead at the break.


The game would remain close throughout the second half.

Early on, Rams sophomore goalie Brielle Thompson robbed Panozzo and at one end, Sullivan denied Notine, but with 8:52 remaining, Zinman buried a free position to cut the deficit to one.

A mere 59 seconds later, after Zinman tenaciously scooped up a ground ball to keep possession, junior Maddie Jones set up Boone to tie the score.

The Clippers never had a shot to take the lead and after Sullivan robbed Keenan, Muse set up Armentrout for the goal which put Kennebunk on top to stay with 4:54 on the clock.

Then, with 3:03 left, Battagliese found Armentrout, who shot while falling and beat Sullivan to make it 7-5.

Things went from bad to worse for Yarmouth with 52 seconds remaining, as Powers picked up her second yellow card and by rule, had to sit out the rest of the game.


The Clippers were very much on the ropes when the fourth quarter began, but instead, they would battle to the bitter end.

With 9:22 remaining, Keenan gave the Rams their biggest lead, as she scored unassisted after a nice move.

But Yarmouth didn’t allow another goal and rallied.

With 8:25 left, Keaney took a pass from junior Sierra Hunt and fired past Thompson to cut the deficit to two.

Yarmouth senior Lauren Keaney (15) is congratulated by sophomore Celia Zinman after scoring.

Sullivan kept her team in the game by denying Notine on a free position, then Muse shot just wide.

With 4:57 left, Zinman found Panozzo for a goal and just like that, it was a one-goal contest.


The Clippers would have ample chances to draw even, but couldn’t execute.

Yarmouth got the ball back and had a long possession, but couldn’t manage a shot before turning the ball over.

Kennebunk gave it back and with 1:55 remaining, a fortuitous bounce landed on the stick of Keaney in front, but her game-tying bid was stopped by Thompson, who made her biggest save of the contest.

The Rams committed another turnover and the Clippers had another chance to extend the game, but with 46 seconds left, they gave the ball away.

Kennebunk then managed to run out the clock and was able exhale and exult after an 8-7 victory.

Kennebunk races to congratulate sophomore goalie Brielle Thompson at the final horn. Hoffer photo.

“It’s so nice to have a competitive game,” Armentrout said. “It’s so fun and it tests us. We got momentum and tried to keep it going. There were some parts that were a little iffy, but we stepped up. We hadn’t faced this much pressure. It was a test and in the last minute, our defense stepped up big-time.”


“This was good for us,” longtime Rams coach Annie Barker said. “We needed to be tested and we needed to figure out how to get it done. The girls dug deep. We’ve been winning by so much and we had to prepare ourselves mentally because we knew it would be a game. We made little mistakes and they capitalized. They destroyed us on ground balls and they had chances to come back at us. We knew Yarmouth was coming to get us, but the girls didn’t want to come to Yarmouth and take the loss. Our defense did an amazing job. The ball was in our defensive end much of the game and we held them.”

Armentrout paced a balanced attack with three goals. Muse scored twice and Battagliese, Keenan and Notine had one goal apiece.

“Without Ruby it’s a little different this year,” Armentrout said. “We want everyone to score and not to rely on one player. It’s definitely been an adjustment.”

“The nice part about our team this year is we’re balanced,” said Barker. “We have eight people scoring.”

Battagliese, Keenan and Muse each had one assist.

Thompson made four key saves.


The Rams had a 16-11 advantage in shots on cage.

Yarmouth got three goals from Panozzo, two from Keaney and one apiece from Boone and Zinman.

Hunt, Jones, Panozzo and Zinman all had one assist.

Sullivan made eight saves.

“Regan had some incredible saves,” said Holt. “Point-blank, great saves.

“We just showed grittiness today. We’re not a one-man band. It takes all 25 of us. We had our opportunities. We had three looks at the end. I didn’t know how this team would respond under pressure, but I’m so happy with I saw today. We’ve been working hard in practice and we’re having fun.”


Long way to go

Kennebunk looks to keep the good times rolling Saturday at Biddeford. The Rams host York Tuesday of next week.

“There’s pressure, 100 percent, especially for the captains,” said Armentrout. “We’re trying to step up and keep our composure. It’s even more special to do it with a completely different team this year and prove to everyone we can keep winning even with a different lineup. We need to win 50-50 ground balls. That’s probably the biggest thing that we’ll need to work on.”

“We don’t talk about (the streak), but we know the girls know about it,” Barker said. “It’s still early and sometimes our decision-making isn’t great. If we keep working on the ground balls and play a smarter game, we’ll be fine. Brielle has stepped in and is doing well. The defense is cranking. I think we’ll be fine.”

Yarmouth hopes to rebound Friday when Windham pays a visit. The Clippers host Marshwood Tuesday of next week.

“This will make us grow,” said Holt. “It doesn’t matter now. It’s what happens in June. We just have to keep working hard. We’re getting there.”

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

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