By Michael Hoffer
Four state lacrosse championship games were held Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.
To the surprise of no one, the Waynflete and Brunswick girls, along with the Yarmouth boys, emerged as champion. In the only game seen as a toss-up, Scarborough's boys edged Brunswick.
Boys Lacrosse: Yarmouth, Scarborough Winners
When Yarmouth traveled to Scarborough April 29 for the season opener and left town with a 19-6 victory, everyone figured the Clippers were en route to a championship. Nobody thought that the Red Storm – losers that day in April – would still be playing June 21, however.
The eventual champions started out on different paths, but both exulted Saturday afternoon.
The Clippers met Cape Elizabeth for the fourth time in six seasons in the Class B game. Yarmouth had beaten the Capers twice in the regular season, holding them scoreless in the second half on both occasions, and the third meeting was more of the same.
The Clippers took a 3-0 lead after one and a 4-0 advantage at halftime. When Cape Elizabeth finally scored 1:39 seconds into the third period, it ended a 50:44 second scoring drought against Yarmouth which dated back to the first half of their second regular season meeting.
The Clippers would go up 6-1 after three and after a few scary moments in the fourth, pulled away for a 9-4 victory behind three goals from senior Jason Hichborn and 14 saves from senior Jon Poole.
“It's the best feeling ever,” Hichborn said. “I can't describe it. It's awesome.”
“It's very meaningful, there's no denying that,” added Clippers' coach Craig Curry, who got to share the victory with his son, senior standout John. “These are all John's best friends and the seniors stepped up and did it. They were courageous. It was great.”
The Class A game featured the past two champions. Brunswick won it all for the first time a year ago and Scarborough was the winner in the inaugural Class A state contest in 2006.
The Dragons went up 4-1 after one, but started to turn the ball over with abandon. Scarborough would draw even at 4-4 and 5-5, but both times Brunswick got the next goal. When the Red Storm tied things at 6-6 midway through the fourth, on senior Chris Kipp's unassisted goal it was the beginning of the end for the Dragons. Junior Jake Barrett and senior Ryan Hunt followed Kipp's strike with goals of their own (giving Scarborough three scores in 59 seconds) and the Red Storm held on for an 8-6 victory. Hunt led the way with four goals.
“It feels great,” said Kipp, who scored three times. “A great way to end it. I'm so happy we could come back like that. We weren't playing up to our potential. They made a few mistakes and let us back in the game. I was nervous at the beginning, but I knew we'd come back.”
Girls Lacrosse: Waynflete, Brunswick Finish On Top
Waynflete left no doubt that it was the best girls' team in the state this spring. From start to finish, the Flyers were simply dominant, scoring 217 goals in 15 games. Brunswick was also overpowering and finished as the lone unbeaten team, although its schedule was far easier than Waynflete's.
Saturday morning, the Flyers met North Yarmouth Academy for the first time since the Panthers handed them their lone loss May 27. NYA appeared to be heading toward another upset win when it led 7-6 at halftime behind a record six goals from sophomore Courtney Dumont, but Waynflete made a defensive adjustment and held Dumont and the Panthers to just one goal in the second half. The offense also began to click and went off for six en route to a 12-8 win.
Seven different Flyers scored, led by junior Mariah Monks with three goals and sophomore Morgan Woodhouse, who had two goals and five assists.
“It feels amazing,” said Flyers' senior All-American defensive standout Laura Armstrong, who turned 18 Saturday. “This is my best wish come true. Such a high. Probably the best birthday present I'll ever get.”
“I'm so proud of them,” Waynflete coach Cathie Connors said. “I was hoping it would be a close game. It's fun. It feels nice to be back here. The girls wanted it and they did it.”
In the Class A game, Brunswick took its third shot at earning a title. The Dragons dropped one-goal heartbreakers to Scarborough and Massabesic the previous two years and discovered Saturday that the third time would be the charm.
Brunswick led Kennebunk almost the whole way and wound up scoring the most goals on the day, 15, in a 15-11 triumph. Leila Mills had five goals. Cecilia Kjellman added four as the Dragons finished the year 16-0.
Michael Hoffer is the sports editor of The Forecaster, a family of weekly newspapers based in Falmouth. Michael can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org