If you need a motivational speaker for your next corporate outing, you could do worse than Yarmouth girls’ lacrosse coach Dorothy Holt. With her Clippers trailing undefeated Falmouth by three goals at halftime of the Class A championship game Friday at Fitzpatrick Stadium, Holt found the right words of encouragement.

“I just told them we have to stick to our game plan and don’t panic. If you get the ball, keep it. Run yourself out of trouble and make a good pass,” Holt said. “I said, you guys are so good and know how to play under pressure. You’ve done this before, and do it again.”

The third-seeded Clippers dominated the third quarter, flipping that three-goal deficit into a three-goal lead. In the fourth quarter, Yarmouth put the finishing touches on its comeback win, taking a 12-8 victory for its first state title since moving up from Class B in 2022. Yarmouth was runner-up to Kennebunk in each of the last two state championship games.

“We’ve been used to being underdogs in years past,” said Yarmouth senior Aine Powers, who scored two goals and added an assist. “The last two years, Kennebunk was a very strong team. We battled our strongest and we learned a lot. We learned how to battle when we were down.”

Yarmouth’s last championship was in Class B in 2021. Top-ranked Falmouth (16-1), which was seeking its first state title since 2016 in Class B, saw its season end with a loss to Yarmouth (16-2) for the third straight season.

Yarmouth installed a new defense this week, using a rover in the 8-meter arc. Holt said it took complete team buy-in for it to work, and it did.


“It leaves a lot of open area, and I think that leaves a lot of room for error. We practiced hard. We really believed in ourselves. That’s what Dorothy told us, if you believe in this defense, it will work. And that was true,” Powers said.

Falmouth scored three goals in a minute and a half, all while Yarmouth’s Celia Zinman served a penalty. Liesl Boothby’s goal with 1:26 left in the half gave the Navigators a 7-4 lead, and gave the Clippers something to talk about at halftime.

Senior Brooke Boone said Holt reminded them that they rallied from a three-goal deficit Tuesday to beat three-time defending champion Kennebunk in the semifinals.

“We got grittier. We were getting to the ground balls more,” Boone said.

Sierra Hunt’s goal 58 seconds into the third quarter started the comeback. Then, Yarmouth took advantage of a penalty to Falmouth’s Riley Davis. Goals a minute apart from Powers and Boone tied the game, and Lauren Keaney scored with 7:13 left in the quarter to put the Clippers ahead for good.

Neena Panozzo and Zinman each added a goal to push Yarmouth’s lead to 10-7 entering the fourth.


“We turned the ball over way too many times in the third quarter. The third quarter took a lot of wind out of our sails. Some of the turnovers were unforced, but many of them were forced by a very good midfield defense by Yarmouth,” Falmouth Coach Ashley Pullen said.

“We didn’t spend a lot of time this season coming from behind. I think not having that experience coming into this game probably hurt us.”

Davis scored 33 seconds into the fourth to cut Falmouth’s deficit to 10-8, but two late goals by Boone clinched the win for the Clippers.

“The halftime was at a great time for us in the game. Cheering each other on in a little huddle as a team really motivates us to come on the field right on fire,” Powers said. “We came out with three goals right off the bat and just never gave up from there.”

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