PORTLAND—After ending Kennebunk’s three-year title reign with an inspirational semifinal round victory Tuesday night, Yarmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team could have suffered a letdown when it took on top-ranked, undefeated Falmouth in the Class A state final Friday evening at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

But instead, the Clippers had one more inspirational victory left in them.

Even if it didn’t come easily.

Yarmouth dug a three-goal deficit at the half, but completely dominated the second half and thanks to one more round of balanced scoring from a senior-led offense and some timely saves from senior goalie extraordinaire Regan Sullivan, the Clippers, after consecutive state game disappointments, returned to the top of the sport.

The first quarter followed the expected script of little scoring, as Yarmouth managed two goals while the Navigators found the net once.

The teams went back-and-forth for much of the second quarter, but after sophomore Celia Zinman (remember that name) had to sit for two minutes with a yellow card, Falmouth erupted for three straight goals to hold a 7-4 advantage at halftime.


But as it turned out, the Clippers had the Navigators right where they wanted them and they stormed back.

Goals from junior Sierra Hunt, senior Aine Powers and senior Brooke Boone quickly tied the score and with 7:14 to go in the third period, senior Lauren Keaney found the net to put Yarmouth in front to stay. Senior Neena Panozzo and Zinman then struck to make it 10-7 heading for the final quarter.

There, Falmouth’s standout freshman Riley Davis gave her team life 33 seconds in, but the Navigators weren’t able to get any closer and two late goals from Boone put it away and gave the Clippers a 12-8 victory.

Boone and Zinman both scored three times as Yarmouth ascended to the pinnacle for the first time in three years, captured its ninth championship all-time, its first at the Class A level, finished on a 12-game win streak with a record of 16-2 and ended Falmouth’s fine season at 16-1.

“We’ve been down twice this week at the half and came back,” said longtime Clippers coach Dorothy Holt, who won a championship for the seventh time in her two decades at the helm. “This team, all they needed was encouragement and confidence and to take care of the ball. We were making silly mistakes that they were capitalizing on. What it took at halftime was the girls trusting each other, doing the small things right and putting the ball in the back of the net.”

First time


Falmouth and Yarmouth have been rivals in multiple sports for decades but prior to Friday, on just one previous occasion, the 2016 Class B boys’ lacrosse final, had the schools met in a state championship game.

The Clippers and Navigators have been well acquainted in girls’ lacrosse in recent seasons, as Yarmouth beat Falmouth in each of the past two years (14-5 in the 2022 Class A North Final and 8-5 in last year’s state semifinals) to reach the Class A state game.

This season, both squads came in hoping to end Kennebunk’s stranglehold on the hardware and both managed to make their mark (see sidebar for previous stories). On May 17, the Navigators went to Kennebunk and ended the Rams’ four-year, 58-game win streak (4-3). Tuesday, the Clippers knocked Kennebunk out of the playoffs.

Falmouth not only beat the Rams, they handled every other foe from start to finish, going undefeated for the first time and as the top seed in Class A, they completely shut down the opposition, first blanking No. 8 Massabesic (12-0) in the state quarterfinals last Saturday before shutting out No. 4 Windham (14-0) in Tuesday’s semifinals, played on a neutral field, at Scarborough High School.

Yarmouth dropped one-goal decisions at Falmouth and at home to Kennebunk, but won its other 12 contests and after dominating No. 14 Oxford Hills (19-6) in the preliminary round, then downing No. 6 Cheverus (10-5) in the quarterfinals, the Clippers closed strong and behind a late Panozzo goal, beat the No. 2 Rams, 8-7, in the semifinals, in a game also played at Scarborough.

In the teams’ regular season meeting, Davis scored three times, senior standout Peaches Stucker had two goals and two assists and junior goalie Amelia Brann made five saves to help the Navigators negate two goals apiece from Keaney and Powers.


Falmouth entered the game having won two of three state finals appearances, while Yarmouth, which first played in a state game in 1993 and has played in on the season’s final day every year since 2013 (with the exception of 2020, when COVID cancelled the season), was 8-12 all-time.

Friday, on a 75-degree evening, where thunderstorms were predicted but never appeared, after a moment of silence was held for the tournament’s longtime public address announcer Reid Durost, who passed away earlier this year, the Clippers’ accomplished group of seniors, who have won titles in multiple sports, came alive when it mattered most to bring home another shiny piece of hardware.

The teams traded turnovers at the start, then the Navigators had a settled possession and cashed in with 10:20 to go in the first quarter, as Davis passed the ball up top to Stucker, who ripped a shot past Sullivan for a quick lead.

With 9:17 on the clock, Zinman tied the score on a free position shot which eluded Brann.

Zinman then caused a turnover and took a shot for the lead, but Brann made the stop.

Powers had a chance to give Yarmouth the lead with a free position shot, but she hit the post.


After Sullivan made her first save, on a shot from Navigators junior Maisy Clement, she robbed Davis to preserve the tie.

With 1:34 remaining in the opening stanza, Powers got to a loose ball, scooped it up, then ripped a shot into the net for a 2-1 Clippers advantage and after Clement missed wide and junior Keira Alcock sent a free position high, the quarter came to a close.

The Navigators then made their move in the second period.

After Sullivan stymied Davis, Davis got another chance, taking a pass from sophomore Liesl Boothby and scoring with 8:49 on the clock, ending a 13 minute, 31 second scoring drought.

Yarmouth went right back on top 46 seconds later, as Boone set up Zinman, who finished after a stop-and-go move.

Off the ensuing draw, Stucker got the ball from Davis, raced in and beat Sullivan to make it 3-3 with 7:51 remaining in the half.


After Brann denied Boone on a free position, the Clippers took a 4-3 lead on a goal from Hunt (set up by Powers) with 5:13 left, but Falmouth dominated the remainder of the half.

First, Davis tied the score, from Stucker, with 4:21 to go.

Zinman was then sent off for two minutes for pushing and the Navigators pounced, scoring three times in 95 seconds.

With 3:01 on the clock, Boothby set up Stucker for a goal and Falmouth’s first lead.

Thirty seconds later, Stucker fed Davis for a 6-4 lead.

With 1:26 to go, Boothby got in on the scoring fun, finishing a feed from senior Mallory Kerr, and the Navigators felt good about their chances, as they took a three-goal advantage to the break.


Falmouth enjoyed a commanding 17-7 shots advantage in the first half and only five Sullivan saves kept Yarmouth close.

After the break, the Clippers came out a completely different team in the third quarter and turned the game on its ear.

After Panozzo hit the post, Keaney set up Hunt for her second goal with 11:02 left in the period, snapping the Navigators’ 4-0 run.

Stucker had a chance to answer on a free position, but she couldn’t manage a shot, as Powers forced a turnover.

Davis was then sent off with a yellow card and as Falmouth did in the first half, Yarmouth took advantage.

With 9:12 on the clock, Powers finished on a free position shot to cut the deficit to one.


“Halftime came at a crucial time for us,” said Powers. “We motivated ourselves, we refueled our energy. We came out strong to start the half and I think that’s what set us up for the rest of the game to keep playing hard and secure the win.”

Powers then won the ensuing draw, snapping Davis’ streak of seven victories in a row, and with 8:20 to go, Boone’s unassisted goal tied the score, forcing Navigators coach Ashley Pullen to call timeout.

But it didn’t turn the tide.

With 7:14 left, in transition, after Powers forced a turnover, Boone passed to Keaney, who beat Brann and just like that, the Clippers were ahead to stay.

Brann kept things close by saving a Powers free position shot and Keaney hit the crossbar, but with 2:10 to play in the frame, Keaney set up Panozzo for a two-goal lead.

A mere 47 seconds later, Zinman somehow found a sliver of room in the defense, snuck through, then found the net to make it 10-7.


“They have a high-pressure defense, so we kept the ball moving, saw opportunities and took it in,” Zinman said. “It was such a close game. I knew they could come back, so I just had to go for it.”

“Celia’s an amazing player,” Powers said. “She contributes so much to the team. Even though she got that unlucky call that set us back a little bit, she had the motivation to get those goals back and she did so.”

“Celia has really stepped up as a scorer,” added Holt.

In a 12-minute span, Yarmouth had turned a three-goal deficit into a three-goal lead.

“We adapt to how the other team plays,” Sullivan said. “Their offense is really talented, but our defense stepped up. We were able to figure it out. We gained possession and we maintained possession and that was a big part of us winning.”

“We turned the ball over way too many times in the third quarter and getting a card didn’t help either,” Pullen lamented. “The third quarter took a lot of wind out of our sails. A lot of turnovers were unforced, but many were forced by a very good midfield defense from Yarmouth.”


Falmouth, which didn’t manage a shot in the third period (Yarmouth had eight, six of which found the mark), got right back in it 33 seconds into the final stanza, as Davis scored on a free position, ending a 13:59 drought.

The Navigators had two chances to creep closer, but turned the ball over each time.

Then, with 6:17 to go, Boone got to a ground ball, then beat Brann to push the lead back to three.

The Clippers got the ball back and after Powers saved possession, Keaney fed Boone for the backbreaking goal, making it a four-goal game with just 4:43 left.

After causing a turnover, Yarmouth was able to run the clock down to a minute and while Falmouth had two final looks at the goal, Sullivan denied both Davis and Stucker and at 6:33 p.m., the horn sounded and the Clippers were able to rush the field and celebrate their 12-8 victory.

“I got chills at the horn,” said Boone, who scored in a soccer state final game victory back in November, then won a pair of Alpine ski titles in February to go with the lacrosse championship. “I knew I had one more job to finish before I left high school and it feels amazing. We were still riding the high from the other night. That boosted our confidence a lot. We lost the first game to Falmouth, but we’ve gotten so much better since then. Dorothy just told us to believe in each other, cheer each other on, never stop fighting and the grittier team would win.”


“It feels amazing,” said Zinman. “It’s great. I love all my teammates. It feels really good to win with them. It went the other way for us last year, so it feels good to get it this year. Lacrosse is so back-and-forth. We trusted each other in the second half and we just went for it. We really wanted it.”

“It means so much to win this,” said Powers, who will play lacrosse next year at American University in Washington, D.C. “I wouldn’t trade this feeling for anything else. I’m so proud of everyone on the team.  Tuesday fueled us. We wanted to feel that feeling again. We knew we could beat a good team and we did so today. My time with Y G Lax has been amazing. I’ve learned so much. Going out like this is very rewarding. I’m going to miss it so much. Whoever gets to experience Y G Lax is very lucky.”

“We had to go up against two talented teams and we were able to work together and pull through,” Sullivan said. “As a senior, it’s a dream come true. To crawl back from a deficit of three was so meaningful. This shows that our team can overcome anything.”

“This one is sweet for sure,” Holt added. “One of the best I’ve ever had. We needed patience. We couldn’t panic. They did it. It takes 24 people to win a game and we showed that today. I’m telling you, we love June.

“A lot of people looked at us at the start of the year like ‘They’re OK.’ Coming to Class A was hard. We could have stayed in Class B and dominated, but we wanted to play the best. Falmouth, Kennebunk, Windham, Cheverus, they’re all great teams. You have to compete with the great teams to be great.”

Six different players scored for Yarmouth, as Boone and Zinman each had three goals, Hunt and Powers added two apiece and Keaney and Panozzo also tickled the twine.


Keaney added three assists, while Boone had two and Powers one.

“It’s so special that I can trust everyone on attack,” Boone said. “We’ve all gotten a lot of goals this season.”

“There were some jitters at first, but I’m so proud of our offense,” said Powers. “We played so well. Having a balanced attack makes a great team.”

One year after missing the entire season due to a lingering concussion, Sullivan made seven crucial saves.

“I didn’t think for a long time I would be able to recover and play a physically demanding position like goalie,” said Sullivan, who will play soccer next year at Lasell University in Newton, Massachusetts. “Getting back in the game means a lot to me. My athletic trainer, Zoe (Laferriere) is incredible. She deserves a lot of credit.”

“Regan is unbelievable,” Powers said. “We didn’t have her last year and this year, she’s become such an amazing goalie. I often find myself saying, ‘How did she save that?’ She’s just so brave and ambitious in the net and if she sees the ball coming, she knows she can get it.”


“We all ran to Regan at the end,” said Boone. “She’s our rock. She’s the biggest hype-man.”

“There aren’t many goalies in the state who are big-games goalie like Regan,” Holt added. “She’s huge. When she gets herself mentally ready, she’s just dialed in.”

Sullivan had plenty of help from a defensive unit that just better as the season, and the game went along.

“We learned a new defense in four days,” Holt said. “Brand new. It worked. Not only did it work, we had 12 people buy in on the field and 12 people buy in on the bench. We played it for four hard days. I brought my own two kids (Ellie and Maggie) in and they said, ‘Mom, you can teach your team this, let’s go.'”

The Clippers had a 19-15 edge in ground balls (Powers had five, Zinman four and Keaney and senior Sonja Bell three apiece) and overcame 16 turnovers.

Sixteen and oh-no


Falmouth was paced by Davis, who had four goals and an assist, as well as 12 victories in 18 draw opportunities. Stucker bowed out with three goals and two assists. Boothby had one goal and two assists. Kerr had one assist.

Brann made three saves.

Stucker had a team-high five ground balls.

The Navigators had a 14-10 edge in draws and had a 20-17 advantage in shots, but couldn’t build on their strong first half.

“I do think we haven’t spent a lot of time this season coming from behind and not having that experience coming into this game hurt us,” said Pullen. “Only Peaches has played here before and (Yarmouth’s) been here the past two years. It’s a big adjustment to play here. We saw them a long time ago, in April. We’re both very different teams now. We watched them play Tuesday night. We watched film. They looked exactly as we expected them to look. We were prepared for it, but we made too many mistakes.

“I’m very proud of everything this team has accomplished over the course of the season. There are tons of teams that would give anything to have a 16-1 season. We have a ton to be proud of. I couldn’t ask for a better group of players.”


Falmouth has to part with Kerr, Morgan Adams and the Trinity College-bound Stucker, who all made a major impact this season.

“We won’t fully know Peaches’ impact until she’s gone,” Pullen said. “It’s been incredible to coach her the past four years. I know she’ll have a great career at Trinity. It’s tough that her career had to end this way. Mallory and Morgan too. Morgan brought so much heart and fire to the defense. She gave so much on the field.”

Everyone else will return and rest assured that the Navigators will be knocking on the championship door again in 2025.

“This was definitely a good learning experience and a good life experience,” Pullen said. “Hopefully we can get back here.”

New look in 2025

Yarmouth’s senior class, which also includes Jess Andromalos, Fiona Bergen, Annie Hunter and Sophie Wentzel, has excelled not only in lacrosse, but in multiple sports for four years and left an indelible impact.


And got to bow out as champions.

“It’s such a special group of 11 seniors who have been together in all sorts of sports, so to end like this is rewarding,” Powers said.

“The seniors knew any game could be our last,” Sullivan said. “This senior class is friends on and off the field. We have so much chemistry. The seniors have gone to states all four years. We trust each other and we’re able to connect. That’s a huge part of our success.”

“I’ve learned so much from Aine, Neena, Brooke, Lauren, Regan, it goes on and on,” said Zinman. “They’re such good mentors.”

“These seniors have led in all the sports they play, all their academics, and I am honored to coach this group,” Holt added. “They’ve worked so hard. They came in with a mission and they did it. We had some bumps in the road, but these seniors drove the underclassmen hard. These girls know how to have fun and how to work hard.”

The Clippers will have a very different look next spring, but players like Hunt and Zinman will lead the way and rising junior Grace Keaney (who played in some huge games as a freshman) is ready to step in and replace Sullivan in goal.


And with Holt pulling the strings, don’t be surprised if Yarmouth is one of the last teams standing yet again a year from now.

“We have a great coaching staff and that will be helpful,” Zinman said. “We’ve learned a lot from the seniors and the underclassmen will be ready to step up.”

“I definitely think the underclassmen have come out of their shells this season and it really shows,” Powers said. “If they believe in themselves, I think they can do a lot next year.”

“It will be a totally different team next year, but we’re not starting from scratch,” Holt added.

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

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