CAPE ELIZABETH — Noah Wolfinger was as pesky as the mosquitoes Wednesday. Just ask Falmouth boys’ lacrosse star IV Stucker.
The Cape Elizabeth junior spent 48 minutes shadowing Stucker in an 11-8 victory in the Western Class B final.
“I asked him if he had bug spray on. Because I knew we were going to be on him for a while,” Wolfinger said. “He said that the bugs are nipping quite a bit, but I managed to put some on to save both of us the trouble with the bugs.”
Top-seeded Cape Elizabeth (14-0) built an early 7-1 lead, then held on to drop the Yachtsmen (10-4) for the third time this season. Stucker, a senior midfielder of consummate skill, managed three assists but was kept from kick-starting the Falmouth offense.
“He has a very quick first step, so you have to stay on top of him every moment,” Wolfinger said. “You have to make sure you’re watching his eyes, because the rest of the game doesn’t matter. If we were able to shut him off, which we did, you’re able to win the game.
“He’s just a great talent and I’m glad that I did such a good job on him.”
The Capers will face Yarmouth on Saturday for the state title at Fitzpatrick Stadium.
They got four first-quarter goals from Griffin Thoreck to build that big lead, then didn’t score in the second or third quarters. Falmouth used that opening to creep within 7-4.
“We got away from running our offense in the second and third quarters,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond said. “We stopped moving the ball. We got a little too individual. We looked for different looks, harder looks. They were open, but they’ve got to go through sticks.”
He instructed his team to look for opportunities in transition. And that’s what midfielder Noah Haversat did in the fourth quarter.
He scored three goals in the first three minutes to restore the Capers’ six-goal lead. When Falmouth reeled off three goals to cut that in half, the left-handed Haversat lobbed a right-handed pass that bounced to Ben Shea for a goal with 2:35 left that iced the victory.
“I just kind of looked and I saw that their defense was all running back to their goal, they were kind of stressing out, so you just dodge and sort of go for it and it worked out for the best,” Haversat said of his trio of goals.
Falmouth got three goals from Joe Dancoes. Coach Mike LeBel praised his defense and the play of freshman goalie Liam Tucker, inserted after the first quarter.
But he said the slow start proved too much to overcome against a terrific team like Cape Elizabeth.
“You just tend to force the ball a little too much, and take, not bad shots, but not the best shots you can create. We just weren’t patient enough offensively,” LeBel said.
“That one lull where we got down 7-1, it really kind of crushed us.”