CAPE ELIZABETH — Opponents of Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ lacrosse team will have to be wary of the squad’s “two-headed monster” for one more season.
Coach Jeff Perkins used that term to describe Lauren Steidl and Talley Perkins at last season’s team banquet.
It’s still an apt description of the impact the two senior midfielders have on a lacrosse field.
Steidl and Perkins, the coach’s daughter, are elite-level players who are headed to Division I college programs.
“If a team marks one of us out, we have the other to give the ball to,” said Perkins, who signed a national letter of intent last November to play at Boston University. “Usually, you don’t mark up two people in a game. You mark out one, but we happen to have two good players, and we can work off the marks.”
“When a team has just one high-level player it can be a disadvantage because they will get marked out,” said Steidl, who will play for Princeton. “Here, it’s harder for a defense to work against two real good seniors, especially when you throw in all the really talented players we have on this team. I think it’s unsettling for a defense, which is something we really want.”
Steidl and Perkins have been teammates ever since Steidl’s family moved to Cape Elizabeth from Maryland when she was in the sixth grade.
“We both kind of drive each other,” Perkins said. “We kind of butt heads, but in a good way because we kind of push each other to do the next best thing.”
“I think we’ve made each other better,” Steidl said, “I think it’s been really good for the team because we can work off of each other.”
For a couple years, the duo honed their skills by playing for one of MAINEiax Lacrosse’s age-group teams during the offseason.
“It helps that we play the same position because each of us knows what the other is going to do,” Perkins said. “If I have the ball and get into traffic, I know I’ve got someone to bail out to.”
After Steidl started high school, she began spending summers in Maryland to play for the Sky Walkers, an elite travel team.
“I was playing since I was six,” she said. “It was like a lifestyle (in Maryland).”
During one of those trips, a coach from Princeton saw Steidl play and began the recruiting process. Last December, she was accepted by the Ivy League school.
The pair’s impact on the Capers is tangible.
Steidl scored a team-high 58 goals last season and had 26 assists, while Perkins scored 50 goals and picked up a team-high 79 ground balls.
But they’ve had an intangible impact as well.
“To have one player of that caliber is one thing, but to have two really gives them the ability to push each other, and it’s good for the other kids to see that,” Jeff Perkins said. “We’ve got girls on the team who look up to them and can watch them on a daily basis at practice. It drives the whole group.
“It’s not just those (two) who are driven. It drives the whole group.”
The past two seasons, the Capers have advanced to the Western Class B final.
“They’re the reason that Cape Elizabeth lacrosse keeps on getting better and better, because girls like them are coming through and younger kids are seeing it and they decide that’s how they want to play, so they practice like them and follow their lead,” the coach said.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: