Kennebunk celebrates after earning a hard-fought, 12-10 win over Yarmouth in the Class A girls’ lacrosse championship game at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium on June 19. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Coming off a pair of state championships and with a veteran team back for 2023, the Kennebunk girls’ lacrosse team entered the season as the overwhelming favorite in Class A. As the season progressed, it became obvious the Rams were even better than advertised.

When Kennebunk finally found itself in a close game, against Yarmouth in the state championship, it came up big when it mattered the most. The Rams scored three late goals and held off a Clippers’ rally in the final minutes to secure a 12-10 win and a third consecutive state title.

In the 2022-23 school year, no girls’ team in the state dominated its sport the way the Kennebunk lacrosse team did this spring. That’s why the Rams are the easy choice for our 2022-23 Varsity Maine Girls’ Team of the Year.

“I’m just happy for these guys that they finished it. They’ve done a great job,” Kennebunk Coach Ann Barker said moments after the state championship game win. “They’re a great group of kids. I’m just happy we got it for them.”

In compiling a 17-0 record this spring, the Rams extended their win streak to 49 games. Kennebunk’s last loss came in the 2019 state championship game.

The Rams outscored their opponents 263-55 this spring. Kennebunk allowed more than five goals just twice, in the state championship win against Yarmouth, and a 19-11 win over Marshwood on May 2. The Rams posted two shutouts, including an 18-0 quarterfinal win over a Cheverus team that entered the game averaging just under 13 goals per game. Four other opponents scored just one goal against Kennebunk.


“What separates them from the rest is their ability to possess the ball, win the draw, and simply not make many unforced turnovers,” Massabesic Coach Jason Tremblay said in the preseason. “Defensively you have to be aware of all seven girls as they all are a threat to score as they all possess great stick skills. On offense, you really have to take advantage of any chance you get as possessions will be limited as they are as sound as any team on defense as well.”

“The biggest asset they possess is the girls are very good lacrosse players playing year-round and they have a great coaching staff who truly understands all phases of the girls’ game.  When you break down this game, there is so much to teach beyond the skills, and their staff truly understands this.”

Marshwood Coach Bernie Marvin said the play of Kennebunk goalie Lizzy Hayes made it almost impossible to keep up with the Rams offensively. Marvin called Hayes a difference-maker.

Even as the Rams dominated their opponents all season, they stayed focused and treated every game as if it would be tight. The team mentality was the score is always 0-0, said senior co-captain Ruby Sliwkowski. When they finally faced a tough opponent in the state championship game, that attitude was put to the test.

“Every day in practice, we’re playing against a team that’s better than Yarmouth. Every day in practice we’re hustling and going 110%,” said Sliwkowski, who led the Rams with 90 goals and 40 assists in 17 games.

Sliwkowski scored seven goals in the state championship game, but she was never Kennebunk’s only offensive threat. Ivy Armentrout scored 49 goals, including six in the playoff win over Cheverus. Mara Muse scored 45, including two in the state championship. Sophia Notine had 19 goals, with five coming in the championship and semifinal wins. Beginning with a 15-5 regular-season win over Yarmouth and ending with a 15-3 win over Marshwood in the Class A semifinals, Kennebunk scored at least 15 goals in 12 consecutive games.

When Yarmouth tried to defend Sliwkowski in the state championship game, with Madeleine Jones playing the part of Sliwkowski’s shadow, the Rams knew other players could step up.

“We planned for that. We have other threats too,” Sliwkowski said.

Defensively, players like Matilda Bordas and Miranda Godek applied pressure to opposing attackers and kept it off goalie Hayes, who allowed an average of just over three goals per game.

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