BOX SCORE

Cape Elizabeth 11 Falmouth 10

CE- 2 3 4 2- 11
F- 3 2 4 1- 10

First quarter
11:13 CE Boudreau (unassisted)
7:24 F Skillin-Lanou (Drum)
5:28 F J. Guerrette (unassisted)
2:07 CE Gorman (Campbell)
48.8 F Thomas (unassisted)

Second quarter
10:14 CE Gorman (Campbell)
3:55 CE Goss (unassisted)
3:11 F Thomas (unassisted)
2:21 F Thomas (Drum) (MAN-UP)
8.5 CE K. Lathrop (unassisted)

Third quarter
11:46 CE Laughlin (unassisted)
8:57 CE Lee (Campbell)
7:23 CE Lee (Campbell)
4:56 F Skillin-Lanou (Drum)
4:23 F Drum (unassisted) (MAN-UP)
3:02 F Thomas (Drum)
48.2 F Mitton (Drum)
7.9 CE K. Lathrop (Lee)

Fourth quarter
10:23 CE K. Lathrop (unassisted)
7:28 CE Campbell (unassisted)
27.3 F J. Guerrette (Drum)

Goals:
CE- K. Lathrop 3, Gorman, Lee 2, Boudreau, Campbell, Goss, Laughlin 1
F- Thomas 4, J. Guerrette, Skillin-Lanou 2, Drum, Mitton 1

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Assists:
CE- Campbell 4, Lee 1
F- Drum 6

Faceoffs (Cape Elizabeth, 13-12)
CE- Moon 13 of 25
F- G. Guerrette 11 of 23, Fischmann 1 of 2

Ground balls:
CE- 44
F- 35

Turnovers:
CE- 15
F- 28

Shots:
CE- 45
F- 16

Shots on cage:
CE- 30
F- 12

Saves:
CE (Algara) 2
F (Noyes) 19

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FALMOUTH—Falmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team has come light years in a short time and put up a valiant effort on its home turf Monday evening, but ultimately, the Navigators learned the painful lesson that reigning Class A state champion Cape Elizabeth is still unbeatable.

But just barely.

In a rematch of last year’s state game, won by the Capers by 13 goals, Falmouth surrendered the game’s first goal, but battled back to take a 3-2 lead after a late goal from senior Jay Thomas.

Cape Elizabeth then took a 4-3 advantage on a goal from junior Connor Goss, but Thomas answered with a pair before a goal from sophomore Keegan Lathrop in the final seconds pulled the Capers even at the break, 5-5.

When junior Nick Laughlin scored a goal and senior Caden Lee added a pair early in the second half, it appeared Cape Elizabeth was primed to pull away, but the Navigators roared right back with four straight, capped by a tally junior Zach Mitton, before Lathrop again scored late to send the contest to the fourth quarter, deadlocked, 9-9.

Lathrop and senior Colin Campbell would give the Capers the lead early in the fourth and with time winding down, Cape Elizabeth was on the brink of running out the clock, but Falmouth had one last surge, as freshman Joey Guerrette scored with 27 seconds to play.

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The Navigators hoped to tie, but Capers junior Sebastian Moon won the ensuing faceoff and Cape Elizabeth was able to hold on for an 11-10 victory.

Seven different players scored as Cape Elizabeth improved to 4-0, won its 20th consecutive contest over two seasons and in the process, dropped Falmouth to 2-2.

“I think in the long run, this will be a positive,” said Campbell. “We know we’re capable of so much more. We haven’t been executing in practice. I think this year is more a mental game. We had all that success last year and we almost felt immortal, but obviously, we’re not.”

No end in sight

Cape Elizabeth enjoyed perhaps to most dominant run to a state title of any team in boys’ lacrosse annals a year ago, when the Capers won Class A for the first time by virtue of a 19-6 victory over Falmouth.

Cape Elizabeth hasn’t skipped a beat this spring, opening with home victories over Kennebunk (21-4) and Gorham (16-9), giving longtime coach Ben Raymond his 300th win in the process, and at two-time reigning Class B champion Yarmouth (14-5).

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Falmouth, meanwhile, started with a 16-2 victory at Kennebunk and after losing at home to Thornton Academy (4-1), the Navigators held off host Gorham last Wednesday, 9-6.

The Capers entered play Monday 27-10 all-time versus Falmouth (see sidebar) and would prevail again, but the contest wound up much closer than most expected.

Cape Elizabeth junior Sebastian Moon wins a faceoff away from Falmouth senior Nick Fischmann early in the Capers’ 11-10 victory Monday. Hoffer photos.

Moon won the opening faceoff and 47 seconds into the game, Boudreau scored unassisted to seemingly send Cape Elizabeth on its way to a decisive win.

But the Navigators and their stellar junior goalie Drew Noyes, didn’t get the memo.

After Noyes stopped shots from Lathrop and Campbell, Falmouth drew even with 7:24 to go in the opening stanza, as Drum set up senior Rory Skillin-Lanou for a shot that Capers senior goalie Simon Algara couldn’t stop.

After Noyes denied Campbell again, Guerrette scored for the first time, unassisted, with 5:28 on the clock, and the Navigators had their first lead of the game.

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With 2:07 remaining, Cape Elizabeth snapped a 9 minute, 6 second scoring drought, as Campbell set up senior Jack Gorman, but after Noyes robbed Boudreau, Thomas banked a shot past Algara with 48.8 seconds to go and Falmouth was back on top.

In the waning seconds, Noyes stymied both senior Tiernan Lathrop and Gorman, giving him eight saves for first period alone, and the Navigators took a 3-2 advantage to the second period.

There, after Noyes robbed Campbell, he couldn’t stop a shot from Gorman, set up by Campbell, with 10:14 to go before halftime.

Noyes preserved the tie with saves on shots from senior Tiernan Lathrop, Gorman and Campbell, but 3:53 remaining, Goss made a nice stop-and-go move, then tickled the twine to give the Capers a 4-3 lead.

“Jack and Connor both had to play a ton because (sophomore) Sam Cochran didn’t play,” said Raymond. “We were down one of our offensive players and they did a great job.”

Just 42 seconds later, Falmouth answered, as Thomas scored unassisted coming out of a timeout.

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The Navigators then went man-up and with 2:21 on the clock, Drum fed Thomas for the go-ahead tally.

Falmouth wasn’t able to take the lead to the locker room, however, as Keegan Lathrop finished unassisted with 8.5 seconds showing.

The Navigators nearly scored a miracle goal in the final second, when sophomore Caden Barnard’s heave from beyond midfield somehow glanced off the post and the teams went to break tied at 5-5.

In the first half, Cape Elizabeth had a commanding 18-5 edge in shots on cage, but Noyes’ 13 saves kept the game even.

Falmouth junior goalie Drew Noyes, who made 19 saves, protects the goal.

The Capers roared out of the gate in the third quarter, as Moon won the faceoff, the ball came to Laughlin and Laughlin bulled in for an unassisted goal just 14 seconds in.

When Campbell twice set up Lee, the first in transition with 8:57 on the clock and the second with 7:23 to go, Cape Elizabeth’s lead was 8-5 and it appeared Falmouth was in trouble.

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But the Navigators, to their credit, showed what they were made of with a dizzying rally.

First, after Algara stopped a point-blank shot from Skillin-Lanou, Drum found Skillin-Lanou in front for a goal with 4:56 remaining.

A mere 23 seconds later, after going man-up, Falmouth cut the deficit to one when Drum finished unassisted.

Then, with 3:02 to go, in transition, Drum found Thomas and just like that, the game was tied again, 8-8.

After Noyes kept the game even by denying both Lee and Keegan Lathrop, Mitton put the Navigators ahead with 48.2 seconds on the clock, as he finished a feed from Drum, but the lead lasted a mere 41 seconds before Keegan Lathrop scored from Lee to tie the game for the seventh and final time and send it to the fourth quarter deadlocked, 9-9.

The Capers’ defense sparked the offense early in the fourth, forcing a turnover which led directly to Keegan Lathrop’s unassisted goal with 10:23 to play.

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When Campbell finished unassisted with 7:28 to go, barely beating Noyes just inside the near post, Cape Elizabeth again appeared on the brink of pulling away, but again, it didn’t happen.

Noyes wouldn’t allow another goal, but the Falmouth offense couldn’t generate a settled possession or a good look.

The Capers were able to milk the clock down inside a minute before the Navigators forced a turnover and that led to a fastbreak with Drum setting up Joey Guerrette for a goal with 27.3 seconds on the clock.

“We got the ball back with three freshmen back there and that’s hard to do,” said Falmouth coach Dave Barton.

“We haven’t had to keep the ball in with two minutes left this year,” said Raymond. “We did a good job in the first minute. We did a good job in the second minute, then we turned the ball and our two O-mids ran off and that’s not ideal.”

Just like, it was a one-goal game again.

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Falmouth had a chance to force overtime if it could get possession, but Moon had other ideas, beating freshman Gio Guerrette cleanly on the ensuing faceoff.

“I was just thinking I had to get possession and run down the clock,” said Moon. “I was just trying to get it to my wings or push it forward. It felt great to clinch the game with that faceoff. I learned a lot last year from Gus (Huffard). He was a really good faceoff guy. It’s a difficult spot to take.”

“I think we did a good job on faceoffs,” said Raymond. “Seb had some good ones, pushes for fastbreaks.”

Cape Elizabeth was then finally able to run out the clock and celebrate its 11-10 victory.

Cape Elizabeth rushes to congratulate senior goalie Simon Algara at the final horn.

“We expected to come out and play a regular game, but their goalie made some nice saves and it didn’t go the way we thought,” Moon said.

“Falmouth played really well,” Raymond said. “It wasn’t like we played poorly. I think in the first half, we had some miscommunication, but we cleaned it up. Our second half defense was really good. Most of the third quarter, we did a great job, then we gave up a few. Their goalie played really well. It was a mixture of him and us settling for shots. Our biggest issue is that our kids are so talented that we settle for beating a guy, then we’re used to scoring, so sometimes we take the shot no matter what. Our offense can improve if we get better moving the ball after that first dodge. If you don’t move a good goalie, it’s much more difficult.”

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Keegan Lathrop led a balanced Capers attack with three goals. Gorman and Lee both scored twice, while Boudreau, Campbell, Goss and Laughlin had one goal apiece.

Campbell also had four assists, while Lee finished with one.

Algara made two saves.

Junior Nate Patterson had a game-high 11 ground balls, while Moon collected nine, as Cape Elizabeth finished with a 44-35 advantage.

Moon won 13 of 25 faceoffs.

The Capers out-shot the Navigators, 45-16 (30-12 on cage), and only turned the ball over 15 times.

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Building block

Falmouth’s offense was led by Thomas, who had four goals. Joey Guerrette and Skillin-Lanou each scored twice and Drum and Mitton had one goal apiece.

Drum also had six assists.

“We have so many young guys on offense,” Barton said. “Seniors like Rory, Robby and Jay are figuring out how to take on leadership roles.”

Noyes dazzled with 19 saves.

“Drew was out of his mind tonight,” Barton said.

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Gio Guerrette had a team-high eight ground balls and senior Cooper Bush came up with six.

The Navigators turned the ball over 28 times.

“We’re learning,” said Barton. “We’re young and we’re getting better every day. Joey Guerrette was out of his mind tonight as a freshman. Gio Guerrette out of his mind as a freshman. Indi Backman played well on D as a freshman. Miles Thaxter, another freshman. We’re still not where we want to be and we’ve got work to do, but we played well tonight. We were just one play short.

“We had a good game plan, but it’s hard to execute for 48 minutes. I’m proud of the way we battled. Our guys did everything we asked of them and I’m super-proud of them, but it stings. The guys are a little ticked off as competitors. We’ll have to earn the right to play (Cape) again.”

Turn the page

Falmouth hopes to bounce back Thursday when it welcomes Windham.

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“We’ll self-scout tomorrow, then it’s Windham,” Barton said. “Our sights are set on bigger things then winning a game on May 2nd. Regardless of who believes in us and how good we can be, the guys believe. We’re closer than they think.”

Cape Elizabeth hopes to keep the good times rolling Wednesday when Greely pays a visit. The Capers’ road gets a little tougher next week with a trip to Scarborough and a home game versus Yarmouth.

“It’s good we were able to come out with a win, but I think if anything, this shows us we have to put our foot on the gas pedal and go 100 percent in practice every single day,” Campbell said.

“I think everybody continues to improve,” Raymond said. “Falmouth’s got a good team with quality kids and they’re well-coached. We know what we’ll get when we play Thornton. Their zone is hard to deal with. South Portland is playing well so far and Scarborough will be good. We want to have a league where we have quality games and that will prepare us for playoffs and gets these kids better and better.”

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

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