With the ball, Archie McEvoy could be a magician, feinting one way and then using a small sliver of space to rifle a pass to a teammate or pick the open spot in the net for his own shot.

But it was what the Cape Elizabeth senior did without the ball that may have been most important.

Cape Elizabeth senior captain Archie McEvoy talks with his coach, Ben Raymond, at halftime of a game against York in April. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

McEvoy was the unquestioned leader – the sole captain – of an undefeated team that put together one of the most dominating boys’ lacrosse seasons in state history.

Prior to the start of games or halves, it was common to see him standing next to veteran coach Ben Raymond, the two quietly discussing tactics.

“More than any stats, Archie’s leadership on and off the field set him apart from others,” Raymond said.

McEvoy had the stats, too. He led Cape with 56 goals and 35 assists. He also scooped 39 ground balls, caused 18 turnovers and, according to Raymond, was the top vote-getter when the state’s boys’ coaches picked their nine US Lacrosse All-Americans. For these reasons, McEvoy is the Varsity Maine Player of the Year in boys’ lacrosse.

On the seemingly rare occasions when Cape’s dynamic offense did not convert an opportunity, McEvoy led by example. He and his fellow attackmen, Oskar Frankwicz and standout freshman Keegan Lathrop, would immediately swarm defenders and the goalie as they tried to clear the ball. In lacrosse parlance, it’s called “the ride,” where the offensive player turns into a full-court press style defender looking to create a turnover.

“As important as his goals and assists were, it was his ability to ride that may be the most impressive,” Raymond said. “We rode the ball back about 50% of the time, meaning teams only successfully cleared the ball half the time.”

All those extra chances – and the demoralizing effect such turnovers have on opponents – helped Cape post a 269-65 scoring advantage over a 16-0 season. The year was capped with a dominating display in a 19-6 Class A state final win against Falmouth.

Archie McEvoy led undefeated Cape Elizabeth with 56 goals and 35 assists, while scooping 39 ground balls and causing 18 turnovers. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

A few weeks after the season ended, McEvoy was still relishing the overall experience more than the end result.

“Obviously you can say the perfect regular season was a big accomplishment, but this year everyone just had fun,” McEvoy said. “Being on the team was always a good time. On bus rides, everyone was talking and relaxed.

“There’s been years where practices aren’t as much fun, and this year practice was a ton of fun.”

Because the coronavirus pandemic forced cancellation of all spring sports in 2020, McEvoy was one of the few Cape players who had significant varsity experience coming into this season, having played as a freshman and sophomore. Players like Lathrop and sophomore long-stick middie Nate Patterson were brand new to the high school game.

And none of the players had been to a state final – a rarity for Cape’s program. McEvoy said he and his fellow seniors made a point of making sure the new players and less experienced players were welcomed.

“As a unit, we just wanted everyone to be happy. When it’s not fun, it’s hard to make everyone be productive,” McEvoy said.

And McEvoy was more than willing to share the spotlight, perfectly understanding he had plenty of help. Cape was at its best when the ball was buzzing among powerful junior midfielders Tiernan Lathrop (53 goals), Colin Campbell (30 goals), Nic Boudreau (before he was injured) and Caden Lee, along with Keegan Lathrop (50 goals) and Frankwicz.

“If a time came when we needed a goal, I was up to the task, but I realized I had teammates who could get it done. And something I pride myself in is to be able to read the defense,” McEvoy said.


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