CUMBERLAND — Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team played their first game of the season on natural grass Tuesday afternoon, and it really didn’t make a difference.
Seven different players scored goals as the Capers cruised to an 8-4 win against Greely in a Western Class B game to remain one of the few unbeaten teams in the state.
“We knew it was going to be harder to pick up those groundballs and it definitely was,” said Danny Brett, a senior midfielder who scored a goal.
The Capers are scheduled to play again on a grass field Friday at York. All of their other games have been played or will be played on artificial turf.
“It gets a little sticky,” said Griffin Thoreck, a sophomore midfielder who also scored a goal, “but once you get over that hump you can work you’re way out of it.”
Cape Elizabeth (8-0) clung to a 5-4 lead at the end of the first half, but its defense blanked the Rangers (5-3) over the final 24 minutes of the game.
“One of the things we want to do defensively is to pressure the ball,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond said. “(A team has) a hard time handling that pressure when you don’t see it every single day.”
“They had one shooter and they put him down in the left-hand corner,” Brett said, “so we picked up on that and in the second half we sort of locked him off.”
Maurice Monroe Chausse won 11 of 14 midfield draws to help Cape maintain possession of the ball following goals.
The Capers also forced 26 turnovers, limiting Greely’s time of possession and forcing the Rangers to keep their defensive midfielders on the field.
Greely goalie Griffin Doree helped keep the Rangers in the game with 20 saves.
“Griffin steps up for us, game in and game out,” Greely Coach Mike Storey said.
Cole Caswell led Cape with two goals. Ben Shea added a goal and two assists. R.J. Sarka, Andrew Kelly and Noah Haversat each scored a goal. Jack Drinan and Calean Houle each had assists.
Mitchel Mullin led Greely in scoring with two goals and an assist. Tim Adams also scored two goals while Gwynn Zambello, Calvin Stroud and Gabe Belise each had assists.
It was the second straight loss for the Rangers. Last Saturday, Eastern Class A power Messalonskee rolled to a 12-6 win at Oakland.
“We need to continue to work hard and look at our goals,” Storey said. “Our goal is to take this one game at a time and stay focused on June. With every game, we learn and we strive to improve, and I think once my guys have the experience of playing good teams like Cape they will continue to get better.”
Against Cape, the Rangers had a difficult time maintaining possession in the offensive quadrant.
“They’ve got to learn how to deal with a high-stress scenario when playing these better teams,” Storey said.
“Cape has a great team, and our guys need to adjust and play up to that level.”