CAPE ELIZABETH — Victories have been hard to come by for the Cape Elizabeth girls’ lacrosse team this spring, so when the Capers get an opportunity to celebrate one, they do so with vigor.

Thursday at Hannaford Field, the two-time reigning Class B champions built some momentum for the upcoming state tournament. With a balanced attack and a near-flawless first half, the Capers ended their regular season with a 10-4 victory over Waynflete.

Seven Capers scored, led by Laura Ryer with three goals and Claire McDonald with two. Cape Elizabeth closed the regular season with a 3-9 record but served notice that it could be a factor in the playoffs.

“We really wanted to win this game and we made it happen,” Ryer said. “We really played as a team. We’re ready for playoffs. I’m really excited.”

Ryer scored twice early, once from McDonald, then on a free position. Charlotte Graham added a free position goal for a quick 3-0 lead.

The Flyers, despite some long possessions, couldn’t counter and managed just one shot on goal in the first half.

Cape got goals from Hannah Leiss, Tatum Strunk, Sami Olsen and McDonald to open a commanding lead before Waynflete pulled within 7-1 on a goal from Jesse Connors late in the first half.

“The start was great,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Alex Spark. “That’s so nice to see from a coaching standpoint. All the girls were excited. That’s what I love to see.”

Ryer scored her third goal early in the second half, and after Cece Bliss answered for the Flyers, freshman Kaity Woods put the Capers up 9-2.

Waynflete answered with goals from Tilsley Kelly, assisted by Morgan Earls, and Laney Friedland, who converted a free position.

“We made some changes and moved some things around and it worked in the second half,” said Flyers Coach Cathie Connors.

Kelly and Jesse Connors each had chances to make it even closer but couldn’t convert. McDonald’s second goal closed out Cape’s victory.

“We played as a team and didn’t give up,” Ryer said. “We never give up. We’re ready for playoffs.”

The Capers had a big edge in the draw circle and on ground balls and got three saves from Elise Branch.

“I was able to get every single player into the game today and everyone got a touch on the ball,” said Spark. “When you win and everybody gets to play and multiple girls score, it’s a team win and that’s the best.”

Emily Girard made nine saves for Waynflete (7-5), which will likely be the No. 3 seed for the Class C tournament.

“We’ve pulled out some games this year that were tight at the end,” Cathie Connors said. “I think we have it in us to make a run.”


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