Girls' lacrosse: Kennebunk edges Yarmouth in showdown, 8-7

Apr. 29—YARMOUTH — Ivy Armentrout, one of the five Kennebunk girls' lacrosse captains, didn't hesitate to answer when asked if there's pressure that comes with her team's winning streak?

"Yes, 100%. Especially for the captains," Armentrout said.

Wednesday's win, 8-7 over Yarmouth in a rematch of the last two Class A state championship games, was one of those games the Rams will remember when they look back at the streak, which now stands at 55 straight victories. It took an exceptional defensive effort against an opponent that played with patience and confidence.

Ahead by a goal in the final minutes, Kennebunk (6-0) maintained defensive composure under consistent pressure from the Clippers (4-2). With just under two minutes to play, Yarmouth's Lauren Keaney got off a great point-blank shot, but Rams goalie Brielle Thompson made the stop.

"She had a great look. We had three looks. We could've put it away," Yarmouth Coach Dorothy Holt said. "But it's OK. I didn't know how this team was going to respond under pressure, and what I saw today, we're so happy. I can't ask them to work any harder. I thought that was a fabulous game."

Finally, with under a minute to play, Kennebunk gained control of the ball and was able to run out the final seconds to preserve the win in its first close game of the season.

"We haven't faced that much pressure this year. That last minute, our defense stepped up big time," Armentrout said. "Our goalie really stepped up today. We're so proud of Brielle."

Yarmouth played the fourth quarter without senior Aine Powers, one of the team's leading scorers, after she picked up her second penalty with a slash with 20.6 seconds left in the third.

Kennebunk's Camdyn Keenan gave the Rams an 8-5 lead with 9:22 remaining, but the Clippers fought back. Keaney scored with an assist from Sierra Hunt with 8:25 left, and Neena Panozzo got her third goal of the game with 4:57 to play.

"We just showed grittiness today. We're not a one-man band," Holt said.

Yarmouth was able to maintain possession throughout the game by winning several 50/50 balls and showing patience on offense.

"They destroyed us on ground balls, and they (had) another chance to come back at us every time they picked up a ground ball," Kennebunk Coach Annie Barker said. "This was good for us. We needed to be tested."

Yarmouth tied the game three times but never took the lead. The score was even at 5-5 midway through the third quarter before Armentrout scored a pair of goals in a minute and a half.

Armentrout finished with three goals, as did teammate Mara Muse.

Thompson made four saves for the Rams. Regan Sullivan had seven stops for Yarmouth.

For the Rams, who won their first five games by an average of 12.6 goals, a close game was what they wanted. Come June, this is the kind of game that will help.

"It also makes it so much fun," Armentrout said.

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