PORTLAND – It took an awesome defensive effort, but Cape Elizabeth ended Yarmouth’s two-year reign as the Class B boys’ lacrosse state champion Saturday.

Tom Foden, who was nursing a sore shoulder, scored three goals as the Capers eked out a 7-6 victory against the Clippers at Fitzpatrick Stadium to claim their first state title in nine years.

“It was a defensive struggle, and I thought (Cape) did a very nice job,” Yarmouth Coach Craig Curry said.

“They played great team defense. It wasn’t just one guy. “

It was the third time the teams played each this season.

On May 5, Yarmouth recorded an 8-4 victory against Cape. On May 28, the Capers rallied from an early five-goal deficit to pull out a 10-8 victory, handing the Clippers their first regular-season loss in nearly two years.

“I think we’ve had teams that may have been better skill-wise, but I don’t think there’s been a team in the past that has gotten better every single day,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond said.

“The kids improved more this year than we have in a long time from the beginning of the season to the end of the season, and that’s a testament to every single kid on that team. Even the ones who don’t play pushed their teammates every day in practice.”

The return of Foden, who sat out the final 20 minutes of Cape’s 7-6 overtime victory Wednesday against top-seeded Falmouth in the Western Class B final with a shoulder injury, provided a lift at both ends of the field.

“Even if he wasn’t going to score goals, his presence on the field is huge for us,” Raymond said. “He’s an athlete who can get the ball when we need it. He can pick the ball up.”

The game was a dead heat in a lot of statistical categories. The Capers held an 18-17 edge in shots. Both teams picked up 20 groundballs, and both teams committed 20 turnovers.

The Capers (12-3) held a 4-3 lead at the end of the first half.

Cape moved into a 3-1 lead in the first quarter, but the Clippers got goals from Evan Henry and Michael Johnson less than six minutes into the second quarter.

Foden scored his second goal of the game with 34 seconds in the second quarter to send Cape Elizabeth back into the lead before the end of the first half.

The Clippers (13-2) made it 4-4 when Colby Shields turned a feed from Henry into his second goal 2:50 into the third period.

Less than four minutes later, they moved into the lead on the first of two goals by Steven Petrovek.

With 1:11 left in the third quarter, Foden collected his third goal to tie the score.

Timmy Takach, who won 9 of 12 draws, scored two goals in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter to put Cape Elizabeth into the lead for good.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

pbetit@pressherald.com