YARMOUTH — In April the Cape Elizabeth High boys’ lacrosse team made a habit of winning by a single goal, sometimes in near-miracle fashion.

A month later the Capers looked dominant against a high-quality opponent.

Thursday at Yarmouth, Class A Cape Elizabeth controlled every key facet in a 9-2 win, paced by Jack Dresser’s nine-save, no-goals allowed effort in the second half. It was a far cry from the first meeting when Cape scored with .6 seconds left to tie the game, then won 8-7 in overtime.

“We definitely have improved in a lot of areas,” said Coach Ben Raymond. “We’ve gotten better in a lot of things, like clearing the ball, riding. I think we definitely won the ground ball game in this game.”

Cape (10-0) leads Class A South by a healthy margin over defending champion Thornton Academy. Yarmouth (7-3) is a close second to Brunswick in Class B with potential big Heal point games left against Greely and Waynflete.

Yarmouth struggled with turnovers when trying to clear the ball from defense to offense and Cape faceoff specialist Devon Lathrop won 11 of 15. Those factors played to a decisive advantage for Cape in possession, if not shots (both teams took 23).

“What decided the game was the beginning of the game when we were unable to clear,” Yarmouth Coach David Pearl said emphatically. “Clearing the ball is not talked about as often as it should be but with lacrosse being a game of possessions, when you give a team of the caliber of Cape Elizabeth three and four chances to score, you get yourself into a four-goal hole.”

Cape led 4-0 midway through the second quarter but the Clippers pulled within 4-2 at halftime thanks to goals from Connor Senger (Michael Guentler assist) and Gavin Hamm, and eight first-half saves by Spencer King (10 saves)

The 5-foot-7 Dresser (11 saves) was at his best early in the third quarter when he stopped three shots with the game still stuck at 4-2, when Yarmouth had the man-advantage.

“We have a very good defense and Jack runs that defense,” Raymond said. “He’s been making big saves for us all year long.”

“I try to think about it just as a game of catch, the ball’s just moving a little harder than it normally is,” Dresser said.

Cape ended up winning the third quarter 3-0 despite being outshot 8-4, with goals coming from Phillip Tarling, Sam Dresser (Jack’s senior brother), and Archie McEvoy, who had three assists.

Tarling added two goals in the fourth quarter for the final margin. Each of Cape’s three attackmen and three offensive midfielders scored. Freshmen Colin Campbell (2 goals), and Nic Boudreau and senior Nicholas Martin did the damage in the first half..

“We have a lot of guys who are really smart players and that really know what they’re talking about, and to have six guys on the field that can read an offense and read a defense, that’s really helped us this season,” Sam Dresser said.

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