CAPE ELIZABETH — Tory McGrath is a little surprised she’s heading back to the Class B state championship lacrosse game on Friday with her Cape Elizabeth teammates.

Well, not completely surprised. Certainly not after she and fellow senior Brooke Harvey each scored three times in a 10-4 semifinal victory over No. 3 Greely Tuesday afternoon at Hannaford Field.

But back in April, when the season was just getting underway?

“I never expected to make it to states,” she said. “I don’t know if that’s a good thing to say. We had such a young team and I knew we had a lot of competition.”

After losing twice in their first five games, the No. 2 Capers (12-2) have been unbeatable. Tuesday’s victory was their ninth in a row and earned them a date with No. 1 Yarmouth (13-1) at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland for the second year in a row. Earlier Tuesday, the Clippers beat No. 4 Biddeford 11-6.

“The underclassmen stepped up,” McGrath said. “It was originally just Karli (Chapin), Brooke and me scoring. Now everyone is scoring, everyone’s working hard and it’s a total team effort.”

Chapin, a junior, proved particularly effective in the draw circle, winning possession for Cape Elizabeth 14 times in 16 chances. That made it awfully hard for Greely to mount a comeback.

“We knew coming in that it would be a challenge,” Greely Coach Becca Koelker said. “We tried a bunch of different combinations and they just weren’t coming up with them.”

Trailing 4-2 at intermission, the Rangers pulled within 4-3 on a goal by Ellie Holt from free position. They forced a turnover after Chapin again won a draw. Before Greely could attempt a shot at the tying goal, however, Capers senior goalie Erin Foley darted behind her net to steal a pass.

Shortly thereafter, a tripping penalty gave Cape Elizabeth a numbers advantage for two minutes. Allie Lynch set up Harvey for one goal and McGrath for another 25 seconds later. Twenty seconds after returning to even strength, the Capers struck again for a 7-3 lead when Chapin fed McGrath with a little more than 13 minutes remaining.

Foley made four more saves and finished with eight as Cape Elizabeth extended its margin to six goals before Greely scored again with 22 seconds remaining.

Chapin and sophomore Charlotte Graham each scored twice for Cape Elizabeth. Lynch finished with three assists and Chapin and McGrath each had two. For Greely, Elsa Dean-Muncie scored twice and Jayme Morrison once. Brooke Clement had two assists.

“Two teams can be evenly matched, but if someone is winning the draws, they’re going to get more chances,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Alex Spark said. “It’s as simple as that. Our middies worked really hard on the circle today to come up with possession.”

Chapin credited fellow midfielders McGrath and Harvey for their role in gaining possession from the draws, particularly when the ball was up for grabs.

“They’re really aggressive and they usually come up with them,” Chapin said. “I just try to do as best I can to get it to Brooke and Tory.”

Greely had five fewer turnovers (20-15) than Cape Elizabeth and had opportunities to keep pace, but found it difficult to penetrate the defensive quartet around Foley of senior Morgan Stewart and sophomores Annie Guimond, Abbey Agrodnia and Hanna Liess.

Defensive chemistry has been building through the season, and Tuesday’s cohesive effort showed the fruits of that labor.

“We have some young kids in there,” Spark said. “Our defense has been working really hard in practice, to have slides left and right, allowing us to give that type of pressure.”

When Yarmouth and Cape Elizabeth played over a month ago in Yarmouth, the Clippers won 14-11 but were outscored 8-4 after intermission.

“It’s going to be exciting to see what happens,” McGrath said, “because we had two very different halves with them.”

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