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Cape boys still have no peer, win Class A again in decisive fashion

Capers get goals from eight different players, down Falmouth, 18-7, in state final.

BOX SCORE

Cape Elizabeth 18 Falmouth 7

F- 2 2 0 3- 7
CE- 7 2 4 5- 18

First quarter
10:08 CE Campbell (unassisted)
10:00 CE K. Lathrop (Boudreau)
8:30 F Boothby (Drum)
7:58 CE K. Lathrop (Cochran)
7:06 F Skillin-Lanou (Allan)
6:27 CE T. Lathrop (Lee) (MAN-UP)
5:38 CE K. Lathrop (Patterson)
5:06 CE T. Lathrop (K. Lathrop)
3:53 CE Lee (Campbell)

Second quarter
10:06 F Skillin-Lanou (Drum) (MAN-UP)
7:20 F Barnard (Drum)
3:23 CE Cochran (unassisted)
2:09 CE Campbell (Boudreau)

Third quarter
7:38 CE Lee (Campbell)
4:39 CE Lee (Campbell)
2:39 CE Boudreau (unassisted)
2:12 CE K. Lathrop (Campbell)

Fourth quarter
9:41 CE T. Lathrop (Cochran)
9:02 F Allan (unassisted)
7:57 CE T. Lathrop (Campbell)
6:19 F Barnard (Allan) (MAN-UP)
3:14 CE Lee (T. Lathrop) (MAN-UP)
2:24 CE Gorman (T. Lathrop)
2:08 F Boothby (Drum)
1:11 CE Gordon (unassisted)

Goals:
F- Barnard, Boothby, Skillin-Lanou 2, Allan 1
CE- K. Lathrop, T. Lathrop, Lee 4, Campbell 2, Boudreau, Cochran, Gordon, Gorman 1

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Assists:
F- Drum 4, Allan 2
CE- Campbell 5, Cochran, T. Lathrop, Lee 2, Boudreau, K. Lathrop, Patterson 1

Faceoffs (Falmouth, 15-13)
F- G. Guerrette 13 of 24, Fischetto 2 of 4
CE- Moon 10 of 21, T. Lathrop 2 of 3, Smith 1 of 4

Ground balls:
F- 25
CE- 27

Turnovers:
F- 15
CE- 10

Shots:
F- 37
CE- 36

Shots on cage:
F- 17
CE- 28

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Saves:
CE (Algara) 8 (Shur) 2
F (Noyes) 10

PORTLAND—What do you call a team with eight different goal-scorers?

How about unstoppable?

And how about state champion?

Again.

Saturday morning at Fitzpatrick Stadium, Cape Elizabeth’s juggernaut boys’ lacrosse team met rival Falmouth in the Class A state final for the second straight season and while the Navigators put up more of a fight than they did a year ago, ultimately, the Capers depth, balance and absolute dominance proved too much to overcome.

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Cape Elizabeth, which handled the Navigators, 19-6, in last year’s state game. appeared poised for an easy win again when senior Colin Campbell and sophomore Keegan Lathrop scored quick goals and after Falmouth got within 3-2, senior standout Tiernan Lathrop scored twice, while Keegan Lathrop and senior Caden Lee tickled the twine as well for a 7-2 advantage.

But unlike last spring when Falmouth fell behind after one quarter and things just got progressively worse in the second period, the Navigators made things interesting with goals from senior Rory Skillin-Lanou and sophomore Caden Barnard, but despite good opportunities, they couldn’t get any closer, and by halftime, the Capers had restored their five goals lead, thanks to tallies from sophomore Sam Cochran and Campbell.

Cape Elizabeth ended any lingering doubt, when Lee scored twice and senior Nic Boudreau and Keegan Lathrop added goals for a 13-4 advantage after three quarters.

Falmouth never got closer than nine the rest of the way and the Capers got late goals from unheralded seniors Jack Gorman and Quinn Gordon to put the finishing touches on a most impressive 18-7 victory.

While eight different players found the net, it was Keegan Lathrop, Tiernan Lathrop and Lee leading the way with four goals apiece, as Cape Elizabeth finished the season 14-2, won Class A for the second year in a row, clinched the program’s record 22nd all-time title and in the process, ended the Navigators’ fine year at 12-4.

“That’s Cape lacrosse for you,” said Tiernan Lathrop, who will play next year at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. “We have incredible balance. That’s what we’ve been brought up to do. Share the ball, move it and if you have a shot, take it and be confident.”

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Different journey

Last June 19, Cape Elizabeth completed arguably the most dominant season in memory with a 19-6 victory over Falmouth in the state final, as the Capers shot to an 8-1 lead after one quarter and enjoyed a stunningly commanding 15-1 advantage at halftime.

Cape Elizabeth then came into the 2022 season viewed as the favorite again, but the Capers had some bumps in the road this time around (see sidebar for links to previous stories).

Cape Elizabeth won its first six games, giving longtime coach Ben Raymond his 300th career victory along the way, but on May 11, the Capers’ 22-game win streak was snapped in stunning fashion, as they surrendered 18 goals to visiting Yarmouth. After defeating Lewiston and York, Cape Elizabeth gave up the tying goal with a second left and lost in overtime in Thornton Academy. That served as a wakeup call and after securing the top seed in Class A South for the third straight season, the Capers returned to their transcendent form for the postseason.

Cape Elizabeth handled No. 8 Sanford, 22-5, in the quarterfinals, then defeated No. 4 Scarborough (12-7) in the semifinals before getting a measure of revenge with a 15-8 victory over No. 2 Thornton Academy in Wednesday’s regional final.

Falmouth, meanwhile, won Class A North for a fourth straight season. The Navigators suffered home losses to Thornton Academy, Cape Elizabeth and South Portland during the regular season, but closed the campaign on a five-game win streak, capped by a confidence-building 6-5 win at Scarborough, then was able to pass their regional tournament tests.

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After handling No. 8 Edward Little (20-1) in the quarterfinals and beating fourth-ranked Lewiston (12-6) in the semifinals, Falmouth managed just two goals against No. 2 Windham in Wednesday’s regional final, but somehow held the Eagles scoreless to advance.

The Capers and Navigators had played 10 times in the postseason dating to 2009, with Cape Elizabeth extending its advantage to 7-3 with last year’s victory (see sidebar for previous results).

In the teams’ regular season meeting May 2, Keegan Lathrop paced a balanced attack with three goals as the Capers held on to make it four straight in the series.

Saturday, on an unseasonably cool mid-June day (just 60 degrees at the start), Falmouth sought its fourth state title, and its first in Class A, in its sixth all-time appearance (see sidebar, below), but instead, Cape Elizabeth, in its 28th final, prevailed for the state-record 22nd time.

The Navigators got the ball first, but couldn’t do anything with it and with 10:08 to go in the opening stanza, Campbell, who will play next year at Bowdoin College, scored unassisted to give the Capers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

A mere eight seconds later, after junior Sebastian Moon won the faceoff, Boudreau passed to Keegan Lathrop in front and Lathrop beat Falmouth senior goalie Drew Noyes for a quick 2-0 advantage.

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“That fast start was awesome,” Keegan Lathrop said. “That was the goal, to go right away. We knew they weren’t as strong on the fastbreak as we were, so we just wanted to push it.”

“Going into the game, we emphasized a fast start because we knew if we could get up on them early, we could compound that lead as the game progressed and we were able to do that,” Campbell said.

Keegan Lathrop then had a chance to score again after a turnover, but Noyes made the save and that awakened Falmouth, which got on the board with 8:30 to go, when senior Robby Drum set up sophomore Cyrus Boothby to cut the deficit in half.

A mere 32 seconds later, Keegan Lathrop got another chance and produced the prettiest goal of the game, taking a pass from Cochran, then whipping a shot over his shoulder past Noyes to make it 3-1.

“I’ve missed that a lot this year, so I had to stick one in the final game of the season to make (Coach) happy,” Lathrop said.

The Navigators answered with 7:06 on the clock, as Skillin-Lanou scored for the first time, from sophomore Cole Allan, but the rest of the frame would belong to the champions.

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After Noyes robbed Cochran, the Capers went man-up and Lee set up Tiernan Lathrop for his first tally with 6:27 left.

After Noyes denied junior Nick Laughlin, junior defensive standout Nate Patterson ran into the offensive zone and passed to Keegan Lathrop with 5:38 showing, making it 5-2 and forcing Falmouth coach Dave Barton to call timeout.

“We didn’t get the ground balls we usually get and it was tough to get defensive stops,” Barton lamented. “Credit to Cape, they took advantage. In the regular season game, we answered every punch of theirs with one of our own, but they went on a quick run there. It’s hard to stay with them in the middle of the field. There’s going to be a mismatch somewhere.”

Cape Elizabeth wasn’t done, as with 5:06 left in the first period, Keegan Lathrop set up his older brother for a goal.

“Me and Tiernan always go to the turf and shoot and work on things,” Keegan Lathrop said. “He’s a great leader and he helps me a lot.”

Then, with 3:53 left, Lee scored from Campbell.

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Late in the quarter, the Navigators tried to answer, but Capers senior goalie Simon Algara twice denied shots from Boothby to make it 7-2 Capers after 12 minutes.

Unlike last June, Cape Elizabeth wasn’t able to run away and hide in the second quarter, however.

Falmouth went man-up and with 10:06 left before halftime, Drum set up Skillin-Lanou for a man-up goal.

Then, after Allan and Skillin-Lanou missed wide, Drum set up Barnard for a goal with 7:20 on the clock and suddenly, the Navigators were only down three.

They had looks to draw even closer, but senior Xavier Grenier missed high, Barnard was denied by Algara and Skillin-Lanou missed wide after a turnover.

Then, the Capers rediscovered their potent offense.

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With 3:23 remaining in the half, Cochran finished unassisted after a nice move to snap a rare scoring drought of 12 minutes, 30 seconds.

With 2:09 left, Boudreau set up Campbell for another goal and after Algara robbed both Barnard and Drum, Cape Elizabeth took a 9-4 lead to the half.

Falmouth actually had a 22-17 advantage in shots in the first half, but only put nine on cage and Algara saved five of them.

The Capers then came out in the second half looking to ice the victory and they would do exactly that.

With 7:38 to go in the third quarter, Campbell found Lee for a 10-4 lead.

With 4:39 on the clock, the Campbell-to-Lee connection paid dividends again.

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After Boudreau, who is poised to play at Yale University next year, scored unassisted two minutes later, Campbell had his third assist of the frame, this time setting up Keegan Lathrop, to make the score 13-4.

“I think Cape lacrosse prides itself on unselfish play,” Campbell said. “I know other guys are capable of handling the ball and burying a rocket. That’s when it’s most fun, when we share the ball.”

Cape Elizabeth’s defense quietly stole the show in the third period, shutting Falmouth out.

“Our defense is a bunch of dogs,” Tiernan Lathrop said. “They’ve really had to bear down. Offense wins games and defense wins championships and our defense stepped it up tremendously all year. They’re the reason we’re here. Nate Patterson leading it is what’s really special.”

“We have a great offensive group and our defense played really well when it was close,” Raymond said. “We challenged them at halftime to stay out of the penalty box and be more connected and pick up loose balls.”

The fourth quarter would be a prolonged Capers coronation.

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With 9:41 to play, Cochran fed Tiernan Lathrop for his third goal.

After Allan answered for Falmouth 39 seconds later, snapping a 22 minute, 38 second drought in the process, Campbell allowed Tiernan Lathrop to match his brother with his fourth goal with 7:57 remaining, making the score 15-5.

With 6:19 to go, Allan set up Barnard for a man-up goal, but Lee scored his final goal, man-up (from Tiernan Lathrop), with 3:14 left and 50 seconds later, Tiernan Lathrop set up Gorman to make it 17-6.

With 2:08 to play, Drum found Boothby for the Navigators’ final goal of the season.

Gordon then weaved through the defense and finished unassisted with 1:11 remaining and that accounted for the Capers’ 18th and final goal.

At 11:40 a.m., the final horn sounded and in that old familiar rite of spring, a Cape Elizabeth victory celebration ensued.

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“It’s more than excitement,” Campbell said. “We have such a storied history, so to end this way is definitely something special. We’ve risen to the occasion. We’re held to such a high standard. It’s outstanding how we deal with the pressure and shoot for excellence. It does something for your morale to be part of this program.”

“It feels great,” Tiernan Lathrop said. “This is exactly what we came for. There were some doubts in the middle of the year from outsiders and I’m just glad we got it done. There was a point in the middle of the year where we really had to bear down. The captains had discussions with Coach to get us focused. It feels good to have it pay off.

“I grew up watching the Thorecks play. They were dominating and they were the reason I fell in love with lacrosse. That’s what I wanted us to be. It’s super-special to play with Nic and Colin ever since our childhood.”

“We went through some adversity, but throughout that, we knew we could do it,” Lee said. “Today, there was no doubt in our minds we were going to win. I was so excited coming into this game. It was my last game and it was a state game. It was a good way to end it.”

“I think it’s great that the kids responded to the challenges this season,” added Raymond, who has now won 13 titles as Cape Elizabeth’s head coach. “It’s definitely different from last year. I think we got better because of some of our losses in that it refocused us and forced us to work on some things we might not have worked on previously. It made the guys be more focused in games.”

Keegan Lathrop, Tiernan Lathrop and Lee all scored four times.

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“I try to do my best when I get the ball,” said Lee. “I’ll do what I can, pass it, shoot it, whatever the team needs.”

Campbell bowed out with two goals and Boudreau, Cochran, Gordon and Gorham all scored once.

“I get locked in and get a little goal-hungry and coach calms me down,” Tiernan Lathrop said. “It doesn’t matter who scores. We just want to win.”

“When we played them last time, it was a one-goal game, but looking at the stats and film, we had 50 shots and their keeper made 14 saves,” Raymond said. “We got the looks we wanted, but we didn’t shoot that well. Today, we shot better and capitalized on our opportunities, especially early. Our top six, seven offensive guys are really difficult to stop, so what are you going to take away?”

Campbell had five assists, while Cochran, Tiernan Lathrop and Lee all contributed two and Boudreau, Keegan Lathrop and Patterson finished with one apiece, meaning 14 of the 18 goals were assisted and nine different players had a hand in scoring.

Algara made eight saves and senior Fred Shur came on late and stopped a couple shots as well.

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The Capers had a 27-25 edge in ground balls (Moon led the way with four, while Patterson, Tiernan Lathrop and senior Caden McDuffie collected three apiece), enjoyed a 28-17 advantage in shots on cage and only turned the ball over 10 times.

An abundance of heart

Falmouth got two goals apiece from Barnard, Boothby and Skillin-Lanou, while Allan finished with one.

Drum had four assists in his swan song and Allan added a pair.

Noyes made 10 saves.

Freshman Gio Guerrette, who helped the Navigators hold a 15-13 edge in faceoffs, led all players with seven ground balls.

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Falmouth had a slim 37-36 edge in overall shots and committed 15 turnovers.

“This group is the most mentally tough group ever,” Barton said. “I knew we wouldn’t quit. They know everything about us, we know everything about them. We’ve played against each other since third grade. No one in the state defended Nic the way (senior) Ben Wentworth did. He played out of his mind today with a broken thumb. (Senior) Max Hau, a short-stick, was on Tiernan. It’s a tough ask. They’re just dangerous. If we poled Tiernan, Colin would have a shorty. Caden Lee killed us last year and he killed us this year. They’re just the most balanced team out there.

“I’d define our season as a success because of what we accomplished off the field. I’ve never been part of a group that genuinely cares about each other more than this group. We came in and truly believed we’d get it done today. I couldn’t be more proud.”

While graduation will take its toll, the Navigators have as talented a young nucleus as any program in the state and they’ll be back to take another run at the title in 2023.

“We’ve got our biggest class ever of eighth graders coming in next year and we dressed eight freshmen today,” Barton said. “We put a lot of pressure on the freshmen this year. I feel like our freshman class can be like Cape Elizabeth’s senior class. We have a lot coming back. We lose a lot but we understand that no one else has the freshmen and sophomores like we have.”

Far from finished

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Every spring, it seems as if Cape Elizabeth graduates an indispensable senior class and this year’s squad certainly qualifies. Not only are Boudreau, Campbell and Tiernan Lathrop heading off to play in college, Algara, Lee and McDuffie also played big roles and several others contributed too.

That group will long be fondly remembered.

“All the seniors are great leaders and they brought us here,” said Keegan Lathrop.

“This year’s group of seniors was just unbelievable,” Raymond said. “We’ve been together a long time. I coached some of them in middle school. I knew when they were little seventh graders running around that we’d be very good. It’s so great for these guys to experience winning for the effort they put in. They don’t just work in-season, they work to improve all year long. They were focused on winning games and on getting better, because they’ll need to get better for the future.”

Weep not for the champions, will be led next year by Cochran, Laughlin, Moon, Patterson and Keegan Lathrop.

“Offensively, I may have to step into a leader role,” Keegan Lathrop said. “I need to keep improving my game and help my teammates during the offseason.”

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“I hope to see Keegan step up and be a leader as a junior,” Tiernan Lathrop said. “The backups are going to have to step it up to get back here.”

“We’ll miss the seniors, but looking at Keegan and Sam, they were big parts of our offense,” Raymond said. “We’ll look a little different next year, but we can do the same things.

“We all know what the goal will be.”

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

Previous state game results

Cape Elizabeth

2021
Class A
Cape Elizabeth 19 Falmouth 6

2017
Class B
Cape Elizabeth 16 Yarmouth 7

2015
Class B
Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 5

2014
Class B
Cape Elizabeth 6 Yarmouth 3 

2013
Class B
Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 4

2010
Class B
Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 6

2009
Class B
Yarmouth 12 Cape Elizabeth 9

2008
Class B
Yarmouth 9 Cape Elizabeth 4

2005
Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 6

2004
Yarmouth 11 Cape Elizabeth 6

2003
Cape Elizabeth 9 Yarmouth 8 (OT)

2002
Cape Elizabeth 15 Brunswick 7

2001
NYA 13 Cape Elizabeth 10

2000
Cape Elizabeth 10 NYA 8

1999
Cape Elizabeth 11 Waynflete 3

1998
Cape Elizabeth 16 NYA 9

1997
Division I
Cape Elizabeth 16 Mt. Blue 9

1996
Division I
Cape Elizabeth 11 Yarmouth 10 (OT)

1995
Division I
Cape Elizabeth 20 Back Bay 15

1994
Division I
Cape Elizabeth 16 Hyde 9

1993
Division I
Cape Elizabeth 13 NYA 7

1992
Division I
Cape Elizabeth 8 NYA 6

1991
MAISAD
Cape Elizabeth 11 NYA 9

1990
MAISAD
Cape Elizabeth 11 Hebron 7

1989
MAISAD
Hyde 11 Cape Elizabeth 10 (OT)

1988
MAISAD
NYA 9 Cape Elizabeth 8

1987
MAISAD
Cape Elizabeth awarded title

Falmouth

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2021
Class A
Cape Elizabeth 19 Falmouth 6

2019
Class A
Thornton Academy 8 Falmouth 7 (OT)

2018
Class A
Thornton Academy 14 Falmouth 12

2016
Class B
Falmouth 13 Yarmouth 9

2012
Class B
Falmouth 7 NYA 4 

2011
Class B
Falmouth 15 NYA 4 

Previous Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth postseason results

2021
Class A
Cape Elizabeth 19 Falmouth 6

2017
Class B South Final
@ Cape Elizabeth 6 Falmouth 5

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