FALMOUTH – Top-seeded Falmouth claimed its first Western Class B boys’ lacrosse championship Wednesday night, but the Yachtsmen had to withstand a furious fourth-quarter rally by reigning state champion Cape Elizabeth.

Falmouth, which led by six goals with less than five minutes remaining, held on for an 11-9 victory, ending the Capers’ three-year hold on the regional title.

The Yachtsmen (13-1) will play North Yarmouth Academy (8-7) for the state championship at 3 p.m. Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Falmouth held an 11-5 lead with 4:10 left before Cape began its comeback.

“I didn’t see it coming, but they did it,” said Falmouth attackman Mitch Tapley, who had a goal and three assists. “They never gave up, and we started playing sloppy toward the end. We got a little anxious. They took a nice run at it, but we were able to hold them off.”

“After losing last year (in the regional final), I knew how it felt, and I wasn’t going to let it happen again, so I knew I had to come up big and be a leader on the team,” said Falmouth goalie Cam Bell, who made 11 of his 14 saves during the second half.

The first half ended with Falmouth holding a 6-1 lead.

“They had a lot of possession in the first half,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond said. “They were patient, and a lot of those possessions ended with goals. They were smart with the ball.

“They were more patient in the first half then they were in the second half.”

The Yachtsmen held a 17-8 edge in shots during the first 24 minutes.

“We tried to possess the ball and control the tempo,” Tapley said. “We just tried to control the ball as much as we could, and we did.”

Cape’s lone goal during the first half came four minutes into the game when Teddy Smith bounced in a hard shot from 15 yards while Cape played with a man advantage.

Falmouth moved into a 2-1 lead when Tapley put in a shot from the left side with 46 seconds left in the period after circling around the back of the goal.

The Yachtsmen won the first four draws of the second half and converted three of those possessions into goals.

Falmouth got a short-handed goal when Nick Bachman beat a defender on a 50-yard sprint down the left side before moving in front to score from point-blank range.

Bachman finished with three goals for the Yachtsmen, who beat the Capers for the second time in three meetings this year. T.J. Gilbert and Brendan McConnell each scored two goals, and T.J. Gilbert, Charlie Fay and Mike Ryan each had one.

For the Capers, Smith had four goals and four assists. Justin Cary added three goals, and Tim Lavallee and Timmy Takach had a goal apiece.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH