SACO — Just like last time, the Falmouth boys’ lacrosse team dug a three-goal deficit.

And just like last time, Falmouth rallied to beat Thornton Academy, 9-8. The difference Tuesday was that Falmouth won on the Golden Trojans’ home turf and did it in overtime.

Wyatt Kerr scored to force overtime, then Satchel Kaplan scored an unassisted goal 3:35 into overtime, setting off a wild celebration. Falmouth also beat Thornton Academy 9-8 on April 27. The two teams met in the 2019 Class A state final, which Thornton Academy won 8-7.

“We talked about the fact that we couldn’t get three (goals) back at once, but the guys just dug in,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Barton, whose team improved to 6-0. “We didn’t play our best today, not even close, but I love this group. They’re at their best when the stakes are highest.”

Thornton Academy (4-3) completely dominated the first period, getting a goal from John Elliopulos and a pair from Ronan Flynn. Falmouth stayed close, thanks to five saves by goalie Drew Noyes, and got a goal back late in the quarter when Jonah Eng scored in transition.

Rory Skillin-Lanou scored from Sam Gearan to pulled Falmouth closer two minutes into the second period, but goals from Elliopulos and Caleb Pelletier gave the Golden Trojans a 5-2 lead at the half.

Falmouth came out strong in the second half and quickly drew within one on goals from Eng and Jay Thomas. Flynn answered and Thornton Academy had a 6-4 lead heading for the fourth quarter.

In the fourth, the Golden Trojans’ penchant for taking penalties helped Falmouth rally.

Falmouth went two men up to start the fourth and immediately pulled within two on Kaplan’s first goal.

Elliopulos answered for Thornton Academy, but Skillin-Lanou pulled Falmouth within one. Then with 6:18 to play, Kerr scored for the first time, with an assist from Kaplan, and the game was tied for the first time, 7-7.

The Golden Trojans went back on top when Flynn scored 32 seconds later, but again playing two men up, Kaplan set up Kerr for the equalizer with 4:04 on the clock.

“Penalties are going to kill us and we told the boys last night that we had to stay out of the box,” said Thornton Academy assistant coach Michael Hersey (head coach Ryan Hersey had to leave immediately after the game). “We couldn’t let them be two men up that many times.”

Both teams had ample opportunities late in regulation, but Noyes and Golden Trojans goalie Seth Fournier didn’t allow another goal.

After Kaplan won the faceoff to start overtime, he had a shot saved by Fournier, but with 25.7 seconds left, he tried again and this time beat Fournier for the winner.

“I took the dodge and saw the right side of the net open and got my hands free and decided to take (the shot),” Kaplan said. “I kind of went numb. I was just in the moment and it felt pretty good.

“I’ve had a sour taste in my mouth for two years since they did something like that to us (in the 2019 Class A state final).”


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