READFIELD — The Waynflete girls lacrosse team is heading to its first state championship game since 2013.

But it didn’t come without some drama.

The Flyers were able to hold off a second half charge from Maranacook/Winthrop and scored three unanswered goals in the final 10 minutes of play for a 9-5 victory in a Class C semifinal game Wednesday night at the Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams. No. 3 Waynflete (9-5) will meet No. 1 Freeport for the Class C title Saturday in Portland.

“It’s crazy and overwhelming (to reach states),” said Waynflete senior Kilee Sherry, who scored three goals. “Especially since we missed last season (due to the coronavirus pandemic). I feel like I haven’t played lacrosse in forever and it’s so much fun.”

No. 2 Maranacook/Winthrop finished 10-4.

Down 6-2 early in the second half, the Hawks — who wrapped up their second varsity season — scored three unanswered goals in a six-minute stretch to bring the score to 6-5.

“That team that was out there in the second half, you could tell that they were almost trying to make up for the first half,” Maranacook/Winthrop coach Shawn Drillen said. “I feel bad for them. I think they put a lot of pressure on themselves with the whole David and Goliath thing. We tried to not feed into it, ‘Hey, it’s another game.’ But in their minds, it’s Waynflete, southern Maine, to compete against all of the teams down there. I’m super proud, I couldn’t be more proud. They’re special.”

While Maranacook/Winthrop was game for the moment, the Waynflete offense was too much to overcome. Cece Bliss scored two goals, on a breakaway and on a free position shot, during the last 10 minutes to help seal the game.

“We definitely came in here thinking it was going to be an easier game than it was,” Sherry said. “I think we definitely got caught off guard a little bit. They work hard.”

Maranacook/Winthrop’s Anna Laberge draws a crowd of Waynflete defenders during a Class C state semifinal Wednesday night in Readfield. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

With a patient approach on offense, with constant passing around the net, looking for an open shot, the Flyers took a 4-2 lead over the Hawks in the first half, thanks to two goals from Sherry, along with scores from Jess Connors and Lollie Millspaugh.

“(The offensive patience) was a little frustrating to me,” said Waynflete head coach Cathie Connors, who picked up her 300th career victory with the Flyers last month. “We were a little slow going in the beginning. But we do play a patient, finesse game. But we were doing that for a little too long. But I’m really proud of them. (Maranacook/Winthrop) was coming back on us, and we had to dig deep. And everybody did  their job today.”

Maranacook/Winthrop answered with two goals from Ella Delisle before the end of the first half. Delisle scored a team-best three goals. Drillen added a pair of goals.

Waynflete faced Freeport earlier in the regular season, falling 9-6 on May 19.

“(Freeport) is a tough team,” Sherry said. “They’re a very fast, very good team. They pass really fast and work really well together, especially on defense, too.”

The Flyers last reached the state final in 2013, beating Yarmouth 7-4 for the Class B championship. It marked the final game of six consecutive Class B final appearances for the Flyers, who won four titles during that stretch.

“(Freeport) is super strong,” Connors said. “They’re very well coached. But we’re going to do our best. We’re going to go hard.”

 

Dave Dyer – 621-5640

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Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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