CAPE ELIZABETH — Falmouth High and Cape Elizabeth, which have combined to win seven straight Class B boys’ lacrosse state championships, proved again Wednesday night that there isn’t much to choose between them.

But as it did in last year’s South regional final, Falmouth came back from a 5-3 second-half deficit to pull out a victory at its rival’s home, winning 9-8.

It was Cape’s first game of the season. Falmouth is 3-0.

Nate Arrants scored the winning goal when he converted a rare open look in the tightly defensed contest, with 5:52 to play. It was Falmouth’s first lead.

“They pressed us hard and we were able to swing it around quickly. That was all my teammates,” Arrants said.

Falmouth’s first two games resulted in lopsided victories against York and Messalonskee. Wednesday night, in rainy and foggy conditions, the intensity was ramped up from the beginning.

“We’re focused on every game but this one, the calendars are marked for it,” Arrants said.

Cape scored the first two goals of the game, controlled first-half possession en route to a 5-3 lead and led 8-6 early in the fourth quarter when Connor Thoreck zipped a shot from distance past Falmouth keeper Liam Tucker.

But on the ensuing faceoff, Falmouth long-pole defender Brendan Hickey came up with a loose ball and kept going toward the goal, unleashing a wicked shot that sent a spray of water when it hit its mark in the top of the net.

Less than a minute later, while killing a penalty, Falmouth long-stick midfielder Riley Reed created a turnover. He got the ball to Hickey, who quickly advanced the ball up the field and dropped it off to Lou Mainella.

Jack Scribner finished the fast break, converting Mainella’s pass by whipping a shot behind his own head as he cut across the eye line of Cape goalie Sam Price to make it 8-8.

“I knew the goalie was moving so I just threw it around,” Scribner said. “We’ve got a lot of seniors and leaders, and that’s what it comes down to. I know (Cape) does, too. We’re not going to give up.”

Statistically the game was very even. Both goalies made eight saves. Cape had a 34-27 edge in shots attempted but both teams had 17 second-half shots. Few shots by either teams were uncontested because of the sturdy defenses. Cape had a narrow 11-9 edge in faceoff controls.

Scribner led all scorers with four goals for Falmouth. Devin Russell scored twice, and Hickey, Arrants and Nick Farnham each had a goal. For Cape, Tate Perkins had three goals and Connor Thoreck, Owen Thoreck, Sam Dresser, Noah Bates and Finn Raymond each scored once.

The teams will meet again May 20 at Falmouth. And Falmouth and Cape have squared off in the regional final eight straight times.

“It’s just going to be about who can improve the most during the season and who plays well when the games matter. I’m sure both teams understand the minimal significance of the first time we play each other,” said Cape Coach Ben Raymond.

“Cape’s the best that’s out there, so it’s nice to know that what we’re trying to build toward is working,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Barton.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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