Cape Elizabeth 14 Falmouth 5

F- 2 0 2 1- 5
CE- 4 4 3 3- 14

First quarter
10:32 F Robaczewski (Kaplan)
9:51 CE Campbell (unassisted)
9:33 CE McEvoy (Mullen)
8:49 CE K. Lathrop (unassisted)
4:32 F Kerr (Kaplan) (MAN-UP)
15.7 CE T. Lathrop (unassisted)

Second quarter
9:10 CE McEvoy (unassisted)
6:31 CE Frankwicz (Campbell) (TWO MEN-UP)
5:07 CE Campbell (Lee) (MAN-UP)
32.2 CE Campbell (unassisted)

Third quarter
11:45 CE T. Lathrop (unassisted)
11:24 CE Lee (K. Lathrop)
2:58 F Kaplan (unassisted)
1:35 F Kerr (Kaplan) (MAN-UP)
1:16 CE McEvoy (unassisted)

Fourth quarter
8:03 CE McEvoy (unassisted)
6:56 CE Frankwicz (unassisted)
5:06 CE Lee (T. Lathrop)
1:03 F Kerr (Hau)

F- Kerr 3, Kaplan, Robaczewski 1
CE- McEvoy 4, Campbell 3, Frankwicz, T. Lathrop, Lee 2, K. Lathrop 1

F- Kaplan 3, Hau 1
CE- Campbell, K. Lathrop, T. Lathrop, Lee, Mullen 1

Faceoffs (Cape Elizabeth, 19-4)
F- Langdon 4 of 11, Kaplan 0 of 4, Boothby 0 of 3, Drummey 0 of 3, Crowder 0 of 2
CE- Huffard 19 of 22, Cochran 0 of 1

Ground balls:
F- 20
CE- 45

F- 23
CE- 19

F- 23
CE- 50

Shots on cage:
F- 13
CE- 30

F (Noyes) 16
CE (Whitney) 8

CAPE ELIZABETH—Entering the week, with games looming against two of its top rivals, Cape Elizabeth’s undefeated boys’ lacrosse team figured to get tested.

Guess again.

Saturday afternoon at Hannaford Field, four days after a stunningly one-sided victory at two-time reigning Class A champion Thornton Academy, the Capers welcomed longtime rival Falmouth and produced yet another decisive triumph.

Thanks to dominance all over the field.

With senior Gus Huffard dominating the faceoff circle, Cape Elizabeth enjoyed ample possession and the Capers had six different players tickle the twine, while on defense, they held potent Falmouth scoreless for over 25 minutes in one stretch as they gradually pulled away.

Falmouth senior Kurt Robaczewski opened the scoring, but in a 62-second span, Cape Elizabeth seized control behind goals from junior Colin Campbell, senior Archie McEvoy and freshman Keegan Lathrop.

With 4:32 to go in the first quarter, senior Wyatt Kerr scored a man-up goal for Falmouth, but it would be a long, long time before it would score again and with 15 seconds to go, junior Tiernan Lathrop scored for a 4-2 Capers’ advantage after one quarter.

Cape Elizabeth then controlled the second quarter, as its defense and senior goalie Charlie Whitney pitched a shutout, while McEvoy and senior Oskar Frankwicz each scored once and Campbell added a pair of goals for a commanding 8-2 halftime advantage.

Tiernan Lathrop and junior Caden Lee added goals early in the third period before senior Satchel Kaplan snapped Falmouth’s 25-plus-minute scoreless drought. Kerr added a goal, but McEvoy answered for an 11-4 lead heading to the fourth period.

There, McEvoy scored for the final time and Frankwicz and Lee added goals as well before Kerr scored late and the Capers went on to a 14-5 triumph.

McEvoy scored four goals, Campbell added three and Cape Elizabeth improved to 9-0 on the season while dropping Falmouth to 8-1 in the process.

“It was definitely a good week,” said longtime Capers coach Ben Raymond, who now has 291 victories with the program. “This is the SMAA portion of the schedule. The crossovers came at the end, which is great, because it gets us ready for the playoffs.”

At another level

After losing consecutive regional finals to eventual champion Thornton Academy in 2018 and 2019, Cape Elizabeth would have fielded a championship-caliber squad last spring, but never got a chance to play a single game, not to mention make a run at a title.

This year’s team was highly touted coming in, but few expected the Capers to outscore the opposition by a composite 142-32 margin in their first seven games.

After opening with an 18-7 home win over York, Cape Elizabeth dominated visiting Greely (17-2) and reigning Class B champion Yarmouth (18-3). After pulling away for a 22-10 victory at York, the Capers beat host Greely (14-4) and Yarmouth (15-1), handled visiting Freeport (21-3), then, Tuesday night, earned their most impressive win to date, scoring the final 16 goals of the game to enjoy a 17-2 victory at Thornton Academy.

Falmouth, meanwhile, has been quite impressive as well, opening with home wins over visiting Kennebunk (10-6), Windham (10-7), Thornton Academy (9-8), Scarborough (10-9, in overtime) and South Portland (14-2). After rallying for a palpitating 9-8 overtime victory at Thornton Academy, Falmouth rolled at Windham (14-5) and fought off host South Portland’s upset bid Thursday, 9-6.

The longtime rivals (who produced some epic games while meeting in the regional final every season between 2009-17) hadn’t met in a countable game since May 3, 2019 (a 9-4 win for the host Capers).

That gave Cape Elizabeth a 25-10 all-time advantage in the series (see sidebar, below, for previous results).

Saturday, the Capers did it again, beating Falmouth by the largest margin in the rivalry since 2005.

Falmouth started fast, as senior Nic Langdon won the opening faceoff and with 10:32 to go in the first quarter, Kaplan set up Robaczewski for a quick 1-0 lead.

But the hosts awakened and roared back.

Forty-one seconds later, Campbell finished unassisted.

With 9:33 left, McEvoy scored for the first time, finishing a feed from senior Nate Mullen.

Then, 42 seconds after that, following a save from Falmouth sophomore goalie Drew Noyes on a shot from Campbell, Keegan Lathrop scored unassisted after a turnover for a 3-1 advantage.

Noyes then stood on his head to keep his team in the game.

After Frankwicz hit the post, Noyes robbed Tiernan Lathrop, Keegan Lathrop, Tiernan Lathrop and Lee.

Falmouth then drew within one, man-up, with 4:32 remaining, as Kaplan set up Kerr to make it 3-2, but that’s as good as it would get for the visitors.

After Whitney denied potential game-tying bids from seniors Gio Ciraulo and Kaz Berry, Tiernan Lathrop weaved his way through the defense and scored unassisted with 15.7 seconds to go to make it 4-2 Capers after 12 minutes.

Cape Elizabeth then pulled away in the second quarter.

With 9:10 left before halftime, McEvoy finished unassisted after a nice fake.

The Capers then had a 6-on-4 advantage and with 6:31 on the clock, made it 6-2, as Campbell set up Frankwicz for a goal.

The hosts scored another man-up goal with 5:07 remaining, as Lee set up Campbell and with 32.2 seconds to go, Campbell scored again, unassisted, and the lead was 8-2 at the break.

In the first 24 minutes, Huffard won eight of 12 faceoffs and Cape Elizabeth out-shot Falmouth, 28-12, as only 10 saves from Noyes prevented the game from getting completely out of hand.

The Capers didn’t relent when the second half started, as Huffard won the opening faceoff and got the ball to Tiernan Lathrop, who again fought through the defense and finished unassisted just 15 seconds in.

When Keegan Lathrop set up Lee just 21 seconds later, the floodgates were on the verge of opening, but Falmouth refused to fold.

After Kaplan hit the crossbar, he got another chance and spun and sent a rocket past Whitney to cut the deficit to 10-3 with 2:58 to go in the frame, snapping not only Cape Elizabeth’s 7-0 run, but also Falmouth’s 25-minute, 34-second scoring drought.

With 1:35 on the clock, Kerr (from Kaplan) scored man-up, but McEvoy got the goal back 19 seconds later when he scored unassisted and the Capers took an 11-4 lead to the fourth period.

“When you have great senior leaders, it makes it easy,” Raymond said. “Archie has been dying for this season. He’s done a great job motivating his teammates and friends. When our best players are (throwing the ball against) the wall before practice and games, it makes it easy for other kids to do the same things.”

In the final stanza, McEvoy scored unassisted with 8:03 on the clock, Frankwicz scored unassisted with 6:56 to play and with 5:06 to go, Tiernan Lathrop threw a pretty backhanded pass to Lee, who finished for a 14-4 advantage.

That would be it for Cape Elizabeth’s offense and the defense surrendered just one more score, a Kerr goal (from junior Max Hau) with 1:03 to go and the Capers closed out their 14-5 victory.

“We talked about this being where the real season starts, “McEvoy said. “We were happy to play some teams we’ll play down the line. TA and Falmouth threw some stuff at us. Hopefully, we’ll see them again.

“I’m so grateful to play this year. Seeing everyone in the stands makes you feel good. It’s some normalcy. I don’t know if I expected we’d be this good, but I knew we’d be a good team. Our communication is really good and we’ve bonded together. I think a great part of our team is that we’re unselfish. We just want to win. When we’re unselfish, it’s hard to stop us.”

“We know what we’re capable of doing, so I wouldn’t say I’m surprised,” said senior defenseman Gavin Simopolous. “I think we’re pretty confident. Getting to play this year means a lot. We were a little rusty coming in, but we’re super-excited to be going again.”

“I don’t know if the colors are flying, but we’re passing the tests,” Raymond added. “At times, we’re doing really well. We move the ball well on offense and make good decisions. Our defense played really well. Then, for four-minute spans, we kind of turn things off and do things we’re not used to doing. We have things to work on, but it’s a good place to be. We have a lot of talented players who enjoy playing lacrosse, enjoy playing together, sharing the ball.

“We know that if we’re lucky enough to get to where we want to go, we’ll probably be playing Falmouth. They know it too. I think both coaches did what they needed to do for this game and not necessarily for the next game.”

Cape Elizabeth’s offense was on fire, as McEvoy had four goals, Campbell three, Frankwicz, Tiernan Lathrop and Lee two apiece and Keegan Lathrop one.

Campbell, Keegan Lathrop, Tiernan Lathrop, Lee and Mullen all had one assist.

Whitney stopped eight shots and got a lot of help from his imposing defense.

“Our communication was key,” said Simopolous. “We’ve focused on talking on our slides and it’s been helpful.”

The Capers dominated on faceoffs, winning 19 of 23, had a huge edge in ground balls, 45-20 (as Huffard and sophomore defenseman Nate Patterson shared game-high honors with seven, while McEvoy collected six), as well as shots, 50-23 (30-13 on cage) and overcame 19 turnovers.

Falmouth got three goals from Kerr and one apiece from Kaplan and Robaczewski.

Kaplan also had three assists, while Hau finished with one.

Kerr had a team-high four ground balls.

Noyes excelled with 16 saves.

Falmouth turned the ball over 23 times.

“(Cape) just outplayed us in every facet,’ Falmouth coach Dave Barton said. “I’m proud of how my group competes, but we weren’t going to beat them today. Credit to (Cape). They’re just so balanced offensively, Charlie made some key stops, their defense just swarms and Gus played well at the X. They’re deep and talented. So are we, but we didn’t play well enough tonight.

“I love how physical we can be, but tonight, we took some penalties we didn’t need. Playing that team is hard enough six-on-six, but giving them man-up as often as we did was hard to get into a rhythm. We threw way too many balls away today. A lot of that is that (Cape’s) relentless. They have really smart, high IQ players who don’t stop competing. I thought our defense played well. Archie’s a tough matchup, but I thought (senior) Jake (Rand) held his own. Tiernan can shoot lights-out, but Drew made a lot of saves.”

Down the stretch

Both teams have a challenging finishing schedule.

Falmouth has a showdown at Scarborough Monday, welcomes Yarmouth Friday, then closes at Berwick Academy June 2.

“Going overtime with Scarborough last time, they’ll be chomping at the bit,” Barton said. “We need some recovery, but this is what we wanted. We knew we’d get everyone’s best shot.”

Despite the one-sidedness of Saturday’s contest, Falmouth wants to see Cape Elizabeth again, which could only happen in the state final, and no one improves over the course of a season the way Falmouth has in recent years.

“We talk a little bit about 2019 (going 7-5 in the regular season, then falling an overtime goal shy of a championship), because the 10 seniors were part of that and learned a lot from those seniors,” Barton said. “We played Thornton at the end of that season and it wasn’t competitive (a 10-4 loss). They ran us off our home field, but we turned it around.

“These guys are buying in. It’s a great group. It’s the best two hours of my day every day and I can see it’s the best two hours of their day. We’ll get better.”

Cape Elizabeth goes to South Portland Tuesday, welcomes Kennebunk Friday, then closes at Scarborough June 1.

“I think we just need to finish games,” said McEvoy. “A lot of this year, we’ve been lucky enough to play really well and have a big lead, then we fall apart in the second half and that’s just something we need to work on. If we can finish, we’ll be fine. It would mean a lot to get (the championship).”

“We’re up for the challenge,” said Simopolous. “We have to keep communicating. We have to keep working harder and harder for a final push. Our focus is to win the championship. I think we have the group to do it this year.”

“The really good thing is that the guys want to get better,” Raymond added. “They’re not just in it to win these games, but to be better players. So many of them have aspirations of playing in college, so they need to improve. They’re not just focused on winning one game, but on taking their game to the next level.

“We need to clear a little more effectively. There are times we go panic mode. I think we can clean that up a little bit. Offensively, we need to react better when the slide comes and move the ball. We do it at times, but not consistently enough. That will come when we see better defenses.

“I think is one of our better teams definitely. I don’t know how they rank. The 1998 team would say they’re the best by far. Other teams would say the same thing. We’ll continue to get better. The guys work hard. So far, so good.”

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

Previous Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth meetings

@ Cape Elizabeth 9 Falmouth 4

@ Falmouth 14 Cape Elizabeth 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cape Elizabeth 12 @ Falmouth 5

Cape Elizabeth 8 @ Falmouth 4

Cape Elizabeth 10 @ Falmouth 3

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

@ Cape Elizabeth 13 Falmouth 4

Cape Elizabeth 13 @ Falmouth 2

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