CAPE ELIZABETH – It only made sense that when defender Brandon Negele stepped up and fired from midfield that the ball would make its way into the net Saturday night.
It was that kind of game for Cape Elizabeth’s defense.
The Capers closed down Yarmouth in the first half to build a 6-2 lead, then held on for a 7-5 victory in a Western Maine Conference boys’ lacrosse game at Hannaford Field.
Cam Wilson had two goals and an assist, and Jake Lynch had two goals to lead the Capers (4-1), who capped a tough week that included an 11-10 overtime win at Falmouth, a 16-9 home win over Waynflete, and a long Saturday for juniors, who sat through the Scholastic Aptitude Test in the morning.
“Thought we played well in the first half, even in the third quarter, and got a little tired at the end,” Cape Coach Ben Raymond said. “I think (Yarmouth goalie Sam Landry) played very well. In the third, we were getting the same looks as we had in the first half, but we just weren’t finishing.”
Adam Haversat led Cape’s defense with 11 groundballs and four interceptions, Negele had six groundballs, and the Capers had strong games from Henry Oliva and Thomas Lord.
“We gave up a lot of turnovers, especially in the first half,” Yarmouth Coach David Pearl said. “If you can’t throw and catch with any consistency, you’re going to have a hard time against a team like Cape.”
Landry made 20 saves as Cape enjoyed a sizeable edge in possession and shots. Joe Oliva had three goals for the Clippers (3-1), two in the fourth quarter off turnovers.
“We were on our heels at the start,” Pearl said. “We started to win some groundballs, got some goals toward the end of the game, so I’m proud of the way we responded. It was just a little too late.”
Cape Elizabeth took a 4-0 lead, capped by Wilson’s blistering shot down the pipes at 8:56 of the second quarter.
Oliva countered a minute later, dodging from behind the cage to beat Gabe McGinn (four saves) to cut the deficit to 4-1.
From there, the teams traded goals to make it 6-3 with about three minutes left in the third. That’s when Negele stepped up and fired to make it 7-3.
“It was one of those things we joke about in practice,” Negele said. “You see the guys not sliding (to cover you), so you take the chance. I just put a hard shot low and beat him.”
Good thing for Cape as Oliva scored twice more, once on a long clearance from Landry that McGinn reached to bat down. Oliva got hold of the loose ball and cut it to 7-4. Four minutes later he collected a loose ball and slipped it in to make it 7-5.
“We’re leaving here knowing we have some things to work on,” Pearl said, “and I know we’re going to work hard. We’ll get there.”