CAPE ELIZABETH – Any other game, any other team, and Cam Wilson likely would have remained on the Cape Elizabeth bench with an ice pack on his right knee.
This was the same right knee he had injured in a recent practice, and now, well into the second half of the Western Class B boys’ lacrosse championship game, Wilson banged it again in a collision with the much larger midfielder from Falmouth, Charlie Fay.
“I saw them coming back,” Wilson said, “and I couldn’t let my last game as a senior be spent on the sideline. So I figured I had to go in.”
Wilson limped back onto the field and eventually wound up with the ball about seven yards away from the Falmouth net two minutes into overtime. He pivoted, fired and set off a maroon-and-gold celebration as the top-seeded Capers beat No. 2 Falmouth 9-8 Wednesday night at soggy Hannaford Field.
The victory sends Cape Elizabeth (12-2) to Saturday’s Class B state final against Yarmouth, a 15-3 winner over Gardiner in the Eastern Maine final.
It marked the fifth year in a row that Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth (9-5) have met in the regional final. Cape won in overtime in 2010, and Falmouth won 11-9 in 2011 and 10-9 last year.
“It’s just the happiest feeling in the world right now,” said Cape Elizabeth senior defender Adam Haversat, who drew the challenging task of man-to-man coverage on the formidable Fay. “I’m holding this (championship) plaque and I’m not letting go of it until (Coach Ben Raymond) pries it out of my hands.”
It marked the third comeback victory of the season for Cape over the two-time defending state champions, who featured nine new starters this year. Senior Will Nash, who didn’t play lacrosse last spring and hadn’t patrolled the cage since eighth grade, made 13 saves to keep Falmouth not only close but ahead for much of the first half.
It was 4-2 Falmouth until Wilson and Griffin Thoreck scored in the final 2:15 to tie it at intermission. A heavy downpour fell throughout the first quarter and into the second.
Thoreck finished with five goals for Cape Elizabeth, which held a 21-12 advantage in shots and had about half the turnovers of Falmouth’s 20. A Cape defense led by Haversat, Brandon Negle, Curtis Alexander and Trevor Gale did an admirable job in front of Gabe McGinn, who made six saves.
Nash’s goaltending and an opportune Falmouth offense that got goals from Chris Samaras, I.V. Stucker, Brad Gilbert, C.J. Leighton and two each from Joe Dancoes and Fay kept things close. Neither team led by more than a goal in the second half.
“As a lacrosse fan, it’s nice to see it end this way,” said Falmouth Coach Mike LeBel. “It’s very exciting. But if you’re on the losing side, it hurts.”
Cape Elizabeth led 7-6 after three quarters and went up 8-7 with four minutes left. Falmouth tied it on a pretty feed from Stucker to Dancoes near the right post.
After both teams had chances in the final three minutes of regulation, a frenzied overtime included action on both ends before a set play that Cape Elizabeth had tried several times earlier finally clicked.
The Capers passed the ball clockwise around the perimeter until Alex Bornick abruptly changed the pattern and looked inside to the trailing Wilson.
“I didn’t know where I was when I caught it,” Wilson said, “but I looked, saw I was close enough, and we’re trained to just rip it at the bottom right corner, so that’s what I did.”
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: