Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team rushes the field to congratulate junior goalie Jack Dresser at the culmination of the Capers’ 9-4 home win over Falmouth Friday night.

BOX SCORE

Cape Elizabeth 9 Falmouth 4

F- 1 1 1 1- 4
CE- 4 1 2 2- 9

First quarter
11:05 F Williams (Tucker)
8:41 CE Campbell (McEvoy)
7:48 CE Martin (unassisted)
7:23 CE McEvoy (unassisted)
4:41 CE Tarling (unassisted)

Second quarter
11:23 F Tucker (Berry) (MAN-UP)
7:29 CE McEvoy (unassisted)

Third quarter 
11:21 F St. Louis (unassisted)
5:40 CE S. Dresser (unassisted)
3:08 CE Campbell (McEvoy)

Fourth quarter
2:48 CE Tarling (unassisted)
1:58 CE Woods (Tarling)
1:21 F St. Louis (unassisted)

Goals:
F- St. Louis 2, Tucker, Williams 1
CE- Campbell, McEvoy, Tarling 2, S. Dresser, Martin, Woods 1

Assists:
F- Berry, Tucker 1
CE- McEvoy 2, Tarling 1

Faceoffs (Falmouth, 11-4)
F- S. Allen 11 of 15
CE- D. Lathrop 4 of 15

Ground balls:
F- 27
CE- 23

Turnovers:
F- 20
CE- 16

Shots:
F- 17
CE- 27

Shots on cage:
F- 10
CE- 15

Saves:
F (Noyes) 6
CE (J. Dresser) 6 

CAPE ELIZABETH—Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team couldn’t have asked for a better first half of the 2019 season and what is even more frightening for the opposition is that the Capers traditionally only get better as the year goes on.

Friday evening at Hannaford Field, Cape Elizabeth, which has already won three games in overtime this spring, only needed 48 minutes to dispatch rival Falmouth, thanks to a smothering defensive effort and an offense which held a huge edge in time of possession.

The Yachtsmen got off to a fast start on a goal from junior Macklin Williams 55 seconds in, but the Capers answered with three goals in 78 seconds to take the lead for good, as freshman Colin Campbell, senior Nick Martin and sophomore Archie McEvoy all found the net. Senior Phil Tarling added a goal before the end of the frame for a 4-1 lead.

Falmouth got a goal back early in the second period when senior Reilly Tucker scored, but McEvoy answered and Cape Elizabeth held a three-goal edge at the half.

Early in the third quarter, senior Iyendae St. Louis pulled the Yachtsmen within two and the visitors had a couple good looks to draw even closer, but Capers junior goalie Jack Dresser made saves and senior Sam Dresser and Campbell scored to make it 7-3 Cape Elizabeth heading for the fourth period.

There, goals from Tarling and senior Jackson Woods put it away and a late score from St. Louis was far too little too late as the Capers prevailed, 9-4.

Campbell, McEvoy and Tarling all scored three times as Cape Elizabeth added more Heal Points, improved to 6-0 and in the process, handed Falmouth its first loss in six outings.

“The guys feel pretty confident, but they understand that a couple things here and there and we’d be looking at a different start to the season,” said Capers coach Ben Raymond. “We do know when games are tight, we can play well.”

Just getting better

Entering play Friday night, Cape Elizabeth held a 24-10 all-time record against Falmouth (see sidebar, below), but the Yachtsmen won the only meeting a year ago, 14-8, in Falmouth.

Each team moved up to Class A in 2018 and for the first time since 2008, didn’t meet in the playoffs, as the Capers were eliminated by Thornton Academy in the Class A South Final, then the Yachtsmen lost to the Golden Trojans in the state game.

The Capers started with a 17-6 home win over defending Class C champion Waynflete, then needed overtime to edge Scarborough, 7-6, on Martin’s winner, then rallied to tie visiting Yarmouth in the final second of regulation before beating the Clippers, 8-7, on McEvoy’s OT goal, before winning their third straight overtime decision Monday, 8-7, over Thornton Academy, when Tarling played the hero. Tuesday, Cape Elizabeth played a more traditional game and handled host Freeport, 16-3.

Falmouth, meanwhile, opened with a 9-3 win at Kennebunk, then handled visiting Gorham, 16-7, and visiting Scarborough, 14-9, before winning at Scarborough (14-10) Monday and blanking visiting Cheverus, 15-0, Wednesday.

Friday, on yet another raw, rainy and chilly (45 degrees) evening, the Yachtsmen sought their first win in Cape Elizabeth in the regular season since 2015, but the Capers put a clamp on Falmouth’s potent attack and notched another key victory.

Yachtsmen junior Shane Allen won the opening faceoff and the visitors would get the first goal, as Tucker set up Williams for a shot that Jack Dresser couldn’t save and 55 seconds in, it looked like Falmouth was on its way to good things.

Instead, the Yachtsmen were on their way to frustration.

Cape Elizabeth then got its offense going and went on top to stay.

With 8:41 left in the opening stanza, McEvoy fed Campbell for a shot that Falmouth sophomore goalie A.J. Noyes couldn’t save to tie it up.

With 7:48 on the clock, Martin scored unassisted and the Capers had the lead for good.

A mere 25 seconds later, McEvoy finished unassisted for a 3-1 lead and Falmouth coach Dave Barton called timeout hoping to stem the tide.

He wasn’t successful.

With 4:41 remaining in the frame, Tarling scored unassisted and Cape Elizabeth was on top, 4-1, a lead it would hold into the second period.

“We’ve come out slow in the past couple games and we wanted to change that,” said Campbell. 

The Yachtsmen got a goal back 37 seconds into the new quarter, playing man-up, as Tucker finished a feed from sophomore Kazden Berry to snap an 11-minute, 42-second drought.

Falmouth went man-up again, but couldn’t draw closer, and with 7:29 left in the half, McEvoy scored unassisted.

McEvoy nearly added to the lead three minutes later, but hit the crossbar, and after the Yachtsmen had a goal waved off at the horn (for a crease violation), the Capers took a 5-2 advantage to the break.

Cape Elizabeth had a 14-8 edge in shots in the first half, but four Noyes saves kept things close.

Falmouth had its opportunity to get back in the game in the third period, but couldn’ draw closer than two.

Thirty-nine seconds into the second half, St. Louis scored unassisted to end a 12:02 drought, cutting the deficit to two. The Yachtsmen then had two looks to make it a one-goal contest, but Williams and junior Tommy Fitzgerald were both denied by Jack Dresser.

Then, with 5:40 on the clock, Sam Dresser spun around a defender, then finished to end the Capers’ 13:49 drought and with 3:08 to go, McEvoy set up Campbell for a 7-3 advantage.

“Definitely the speed of the game was something I’ve never been a part of, but it’s super-fun,” said Campbell. “It’s been great playing as a freshman. My teammates are influential. They’ve played a big role in my play.”

Cape Elizabeth’s freshman have stepped up big so far this year.

“Colin and Nicky B (Nic Boudreau) are on the field a ton,” Raymond said. “I called them over and told them they were stepping up in big games and that it would be big for them going forward.”

Falmouth’s night then went from bad to worse with 7:38 to play, when Fitzgerald collapsed to the turf with an apparent knee injury and had to be carted off the field (no update on his condition was available at press time).

With 2:48 to play, Tarling opened things up further with an unassisted goal and 50 seconds later, Tarling fed Woods for Cape Elizabeth’s final goal of the night.

St. Louis scored unassisted with 1:21 left, ending a 22 minute drought, but the Capers ran out the clock from there and celebrated a 9-4 victory.

“We really moved the ball well,” Raymond said. “We were trying to avoid (Falmouth senior standout defenseman) Riley Reed a little bit and we did a good job managing that. We were smart about where people were positioned on the field. When we move the ball well, we’re a very good offense. When the ball gets stuck in our sticks, we’re fairly average. The score wasn’t indicative of how close the game was. It was well-played at both ends. I think (Falmouth will) be worth a ton of Heal Points.”

Cape Elizabeth’s balanced offense was paced by two goals apiece from Campbell, McEvoy and Tarling. Sam Dresser, Martin and Woods each scored once.

McEvoy also had two assists, while Tarling added one.

Jack Dresser made six saves.

Tarling had a team-high four ground balls, while senior defenseman Andrew Hartel collected three.

The Capers out-shot the Yachtsmen, 27-17 (15-10 on cage) and only turned the ball over 16 times.

“The defense locked down for sure,” Campbell said. “(Junior) Max (Patterson) did really well against (Fitzgerald).”

“We practiced all week to double the ball in certain spots and that paid off for us tonight,” said Cape Elizabeth junior defenseman Andrew Carroll. “Our slide package was on-point. We tried to lock Tom off because he’s a great player. We just really spun the ball well and got open looks and shots were on tonight.”

“Our defense played really, really well and I think our offense is working fairly well,” Raymond said. “I’m willing to bet we had double the possession time they had.”

Falmouth got two goals from St. Louis and one each from Tucker and Williams.

Berry and Tucker each had one assist. 

Noyes made six saves.

Allen won 11 of 15 faceoffs.

The Yachtsmen had a 27-23 edge in ground balls (Allen, St. Louis and senior Riley Reed each had four) and turned the ball over 20 times.

“It may not look like it on the scoreboard, but I thought we played really good 6-on-6 D tonight,” Barton said. “Problem is, we didn’t play complementary lacrosse. You can’t play 75 percent of the game on defense and expect to generate any rhythm offensively. Hats off to (Cape). They played really well. They shared the ball. They’re a very well-balanced group offensively. They executed. They get better every time out. We had an opportunity to get it within one, but Jack made a save and we couldn’t clear the ball. Losing Tom sucked the life out of us a little bit, but we competed. We hear about the guys we graduated and it kind of ticks us off because we know what we have. We know we let an opportunity slip away.”

Let the good times roll

Both teams’ schedules remain daunting in the days to come.

Falmouth returns to action Wednesday at another Class A South contender, undefeated South Portland. A home game versus Class B favorite Yarmouth follows next Friday.

“We said in the huddle, ‘You either win or you learn,'” said Barton. “None of us set out at the beginning of the year to go 12-0. If that happened, great, but we set our sights on things much bigger than an undefeated regular season record. We have to earn an opportunity to play (Cape) again and it isn’t going to be easy. We’ve got a target on our backs in the North, but we’ve got to come back ready to work.”

Cape Elizabeth goes to Greely, a Class B state finalist last year, Tuesday afternoon.

“I think it’s going great,” Campbell said. “I love this team. I think we all play well and do our part.”

“This is definitely a confidence-booster,” Carroll said. “We’re going to keep playing our game and have fun with it.”

“It’s a good bunch of guys and they know they have to keep working hard,” Raymond added. “Our tough schedule has a huge benefit for us, playing the best competition we can play. We play quality teams. Guys are excited about these games. They look forward to them. Greely’s next and they’re a quality team too.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Recent Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth meetings

2018
@ Falmouth 14 Cape Elizabeth 8

2017
Falmouth 9 @ Cape Elizabeth 8
Cape Elizabeth 8 @ Falmouth 5
Class B South Final
@ Cape Elizabeth 6 Falmouth 5

2016
@ Cape Elizabeth 11 Falmouth 9 
Cape Elizabeth 13 @ Falmouth 5
Class B South Final
Falmouth 7 @ Cape Elizabeth 5 

2015
Cape Elizabeth 19 @ Falmouth 11 
Falmouth 11 @ Cape Elizabeth 9 
Western B Final
@ Cape Elizabeth 12 Falmouth 4 

2014
@ Cape Elizabeth 12 Falmouth 8
Cape Elizabeth 12 @ Falmouth 10
Western B Final
@ Cape Elizabeth 11 Falmouth 8

2013
Cape Elizabeth 11 @ Falmouth 10 (OT)
@ Cape Elizabeth 9 Falmouth 6
Western B Final
@ Cape Elizabeth 9 Falmouth 8 (OT)

2012
@ Cape Elizabeth 8 Falmouth 6
@ Falmouth 14 Cape Elizabeth 12
Western B Final
@ Falmouth 10 Cape Elizabeth 9

2011
@ Falmouth 12 Cape Elizabeth 4
@ Cape Elizabeth 8 Falmouth 7 (OT)
Western B Final
@ Falmouth 11 Cape Elizabeth 9

2010
Falmouth 11 @ Cape Elizabeth 4
@ Falmouth 9 Cape Elizabeth 7 
Western B Final
Cape Elizabeth 7 @ Falmouth 6 (OT)

2009
@ Cape Elizabeth 6 Falmouth 3
Western B Final
@ Cape Elizabeth 11 Falmouth 7

2008
Cape Elizabeth 12 @ Falmouth 5

2007
Cape Elizabeth 8 @ Falmouth 4

2006
Cape Elizabeth 10 @ Falmouth 3

2005
@ Cape Elizabeth 8 Falmouth 3
Cape Elizabeth 12 @ Falmouth 2

2004
@ Cape Elizabeth 13 Falmouth 4

2002
Cape Elizabeth 13 @ Falmouth 2