PORTLAND – Falmouth rolled to its third victory of the season against North Yarmouth Academy to capture its first Class B schoolboy lacrosse state championship Saturday afternoon.

Mitch Tapley had four goals and four assists as the Yachtsmen cruised to a 15-3 victory against the Panthers at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

“We’ve worked so hard for this, I don’t know what to say,” said Falmouth goalie Cam Bell, who made six saves. “This is amazing. This is awesome.”

“It’s the (culmination of) four years of work,” said Nick Bachman, a senior middie who had three goals and an assist.

Falmouth Coach Mike Lebel also had difficulty expressing his feelings about his team winning its first state championship.

“Right now I’m still focused on coaching, and I haven’t come down enough to really realize what’s happened,” he said a short time after the awards ceremony.

Falmouth, which beat the Panthers by scores of 14-2 and 15-2 in the regular season, dominated every phase of the game.

“They have a lot of good guys on their team, and you try to change around and match up your guys, and they recognize that and move the ball quickly,” North Yarmouth Academy Coach Chris Carpentier said.

Lebel acknowledged that his team’s depth makes the Yachtsmen difficult to defend.

“We’ve got seven guys who had more than 20 points, so we’ve got a lot of guys who can score, a lot of guys who can go to the cage,” Lebel said. “You try to shut off adjacent players or shut off other guys — well, that just opens it up for the guy with the ball.”

“We really needed to possess the ball, slow it down and find the matchups on the defense,” Carpentier said, “and we had trouble handling the ball in the beginning.”

Abyn Reabe-Gerwig, a senior middie who took all but one of the faceoffs for the Yachtsmen, made sure his team maintained possession of the ball by winning 17 of 21 draws following a goal or at the start of a quarter.

“He’s the best one around,” Lebel said. “He specializes in it and is devoted to being the best.”

“He and Mike Ryan are so good at communicating,” Bell said. “Mike picks up all the ground balls, and Abyn can put the ball wherever Mike’s voice is.”

The Yachtsmen (14-1) built a 7-2 lead during the first half, when they had a 20-8 edge in shots.

“Offensively, it took us a little time to get going, but they were pressuring us a lot,” Lebel said. “I think we weren’t really used to that, so it just took us awhile to feel comfortable with dealing with that pressure.”

Seven of the Yachtsmen’s goals came during man-up situations.

“We needed to stay out of the box and stay six on six, but that wasn’t the way it went,” Carpentier said.

Falmouth, meanwhile, killed off six penalties.

“The defense was solid,” Lebel said. “They talked a lot. They helped each other out. They were aggressive.”

Willy Sipperly and Jack Cooleen also scored three goals each for the Yachtsmen. Brendan McDonnell had a goal and an assist. Andrew Murray scored a goal and Charlie Fay contributed two assists.

Matt Kibler had a goal and an assist for the Panthers (8-8). Forrest Milburn and Oliver Silverson each scored a goal.

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

[email protected]

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH