YARMOUTH—The Lakers dashed out front in the early going when they dropped in to visit the Clippers on Thursday afternoon, April 12, Lindsey Keenan and Melissa Bonenfant propelling them forward. The visitors couldn’t extend their dominance for a full 50 minutes, however: They stumbled as the first half wore on and ultimately succumbed, 15-12.
“We were doing what we were supposed to do on offense,” Lake Region head coach Dave Keenan said, asked what allowed his girls to amass their quick upper-hand. “We were moving the ball. We’ve got a very strong offense.”
“We made a lot of turnovers. A lot to grow on,” said Yarmouth head coach Dorothy Holt. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. It wasn’t pretty. But – first game of the season! So I can’t complain. They did a great job holding it together.”
Lake Region tallied a rapid-fire trio of goals to kick off the action: Lindsey Keenan did the initial honors, before Bonenfant scored, then Keenan again – all of it in under two minutes. But Yarmouth soon settled in, and pulled even on Meredith Lane, Marston and Abi Thornton strikes.
The Clippers rode their newfound momentum for the rest of the half, slowly building a substantial advantage over their guests. Ehryn Groothoff put Yarmouth ahead 4-3 at 18:55; two minutes later, Laker Lauren Jakobs missed just wide on a free position. Three and a half minutes after that, Bonenfant assisted Mackenzie Siebert in tying things up at 4-4.
“We have a lot of people in new positions,” Holt said, asked what changed for her girls, what allowed them to turn their fortunes around. “We’re trying them out, still. It just took us a while to get going.”
“They’re a great team,” Coach Keenan said of Yarmouth. “They controlled the ball, and we knew whoever controlled the ball was going to win. We have a very strong offense, but they’ve got a very strong team in general.”
But the Clippers next launched into three-goal run: Eva Then notched the 5-4 notch at 12:16; Marston – after thwarting the Lake Region transition and reversing the direction of play – notched the 6-4 at 11:53; Groothoff notched the 7-4 at 10:47.
The Lakers’ ground-ball efforts occasionally looked lackluster, a factor that no doubt contributed to their ultimate demise. Keenan noted as much: “It’s fundamentals,” he said. “They did out-hustle us on a lot of ground balls.”
Similarly, Lake Region struggled in transition at times. Yarmouth frequently vexed the Lakers at midfield, interrupting their offensive forays and forcing turnovers.
“This is only our third day outside,” Keenan said. “That’s part of it. But it’s not all of it. A little bit of was just rust; some of it was just they’re a great team. They’re usually one of the best in the State. The last two years we’ve played them, it wasn’t close. This year it was.”
Each side hashed another three before the uphill half concluded. Bonenfant, Rachel Shanks and Lindsey Keenan all scored for the Lakers, while Annie Lowenstein, Marston and Greta Elder did so for Yarmouth.
10-7 at the break.
In the latter half, the Clippers inched further and further out front, reaching 13-7 on a point by Marston point and 14-8 on one by Groothoff. From there, the Lakers mounted a fervent comeback attempt: Bonenfant struck with 6:40 to go, and Keenan, Jakobs and Shanks struck once each in the 2:48-1:44 stretch.
Down 14-12, Lake Region had retaken the momentum; they even looked poised to usurp the win. To manage that, though, they would need to pressure heavily, should Yarmouth gain control of the ball. When Yarmouth did, however, the Lakers couldn’t break up their passing game. With just 2.5 seconds left on the clock, Groothoff added one final Clippers strike, ending the outing at 15-12.
“It comes down to a possession game,” Holt said. “We started to win the draw and get back into it, and we kind of lost it a little bit, and we just held on. We have a girl who’s never played goalie before, Kyaira Grondin, and she stepped in, and she did a fabulous job. I’m so proud of her, the team’s proud of her.”
“They tried,” Coach Keenan said of his girls’ efforts to pressure. “But Yarmouth moved the ball so well. We did knock down a few, but then we lost some.”
Lindsey Keenan finished the day with five goals for the Lakers, while Bonenfant contributed four. Shanks added two and Jakobs one. Meanwhile, Groothoff finished with four for Yarmouth, and Then, Thornton, Elder, Lane and Lowenstein one apiece. Then picked up two assists as well, Lane one and Hannah Corey one.
Holt took a moment to praise her elder stateswomen especially. “Oh, gosh. Ehryn Groothoff, Emma Marston, Eva Then, Meredith Lane – we count on some of our upperclassmen,” she said, asked who had a solid outing for the Clippers. ” It was great. It was actually a team effort today; we spread it around pretty well.”
For his part, Coach Keenan applauded his entire team – at least, he applauded their work during certain stretches. “For the beginning, and the whole second half, really almost ever everybody played well,” he said. “We had a lapse…We got ourselves in a little bit of a hole at halftime. We dug out of it, but we ran out of time.”
The teams opened their respective seasons with the contest. Lake Region’s next countable game is home versus NYA on the 25th. Yarmouth travels to Freeport on the 24th.
Adam Birt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @CurrentSportsME.
Aisley Sturk saw a good deal of action on the field for LRHS on Thursday.
Laker Mackenzie Siebert and Clipper Eva Then clash.
Isabelle Davis-White of Lake Region drives upfield, vying with Hannah Corey of Yarmouth.
Lauren Jakobs pushes forward on the attack for Lake Region.
Lindsey Keenan carries for Lake Region.
LRHS keeper Rene Carver guards her domain.
Olivia Deschenes tracks a Yarmouth pass on defense.
Laker Alli Vogel defends versus Yarmouth on Thursday.
Paige Davis scoops up a ground ball for Lake Region.