There’s no question that the Waynflete-North Yarmouth Academy boys’ lacrosse Class C state final on the evening of June 17 was an instant classic.

Turns out, the double-overtime marathon at Fitzpatrick Stadium, won by the Flyers, 9-8, was also historic.

As in the longest boys’ lacrosse postseason game ever contested in Maine high school annals.

Five previous times, state games were decided in overtime, but none had ever gone to a second extra session.

A legacy of thrills

The Maine Interscholastic Lacrosse League began play in 1992 and featured two divisions. In 1996, Cape Elizabeth edged Yarmouth in the Division I championship game, 11-10, as Ned Struzziero scored his third goal three minutes into overtime to give the Capers their seventh straight title (they would eventually add four more in succession). Brendan Bigos led Cape Elizabeth with four goals and goalie Mike Wagemann stopped 17 shots. The Clippers rallied from down 9-5 and tied it with just over a minute to go on Alex Barry’s third goal, but the Capers found a way to pull it out.

Cape Elizabeth’s Ned Struzziero was the hero of the 1996 boys’ lacrosse state final. File photos

“It was great to finally have a great team to play against,” Struzziero said. “There’s always been good teams (in the championship games), but (Yarmouth) was a great team. It was the best team I’ve ever played against.”


Seven years later, history repeated itself.

Cape Elizabeth remained the sport’s premier power when the Maine Principals’ Association took over and started sanctioning lacrosse in 1998, but the Capers were finally knocked off their throne by North Yarmouth Academy in the 2001 state final (there was just one class then).

The following year, Cape Elizabeth went undefeated and beat Brunswick to return to the pinnacle, but by 2003, an ascendant Yarmouth squad was waiting in a memorable state final, played at Brunswick High School.

Again, the Capers let a four-goal fourth quarter lead (8-4) slip away, as the Clippers tied the score late (on current coach Jon Miller’s fourth goal). Yarmouth even had a possession in overtime to win it, but goalie Cody Bothel made two of his 16 saves, then Cape Elizabeth forced a turnover, transitioned, and Josh Loring set up Alex Weaver midway through the four-minute OT and Weaver scored for a 9-8 victory.

“It was the biggest opening I’d seen all game, so I had to rip it,” Weaver said.

Cape Elizabeth mobs Alex Weaver after he scores in overtime to beat Yarmouth in the 2003 state final.

“(Cape Elizabeth) came out on top, but I think we’re a dead-even team,” said Yarmouth coach Barry White, who retired following that game.


Lacrosse went to two classes in 2006 and it would take until 2017 for another state final to need overtime to determine a winner.

That year, in the Class A game, Brunswick, the 2015 champion, took on Scarborough, the 2016 champion, in a dizzying offensive display which saw the teams combine for 35 goals. The game was tied on eight occasions and the lead changed hands five times. The Dragons took a 13-10 advantage to the fourth period, but the Red Storm scored seven times and thanks to Sam Neugebauer’s sixth goal, clung to a lead as time wound up down. Then, with 10.3 seconds left, Josh Dorr drew Brunswick even and the game would go to overtime, where, 1:13 in, Dorr scored again, his team-high fifth goal, and the Dragons had an unforgettable 18-17 victory.

Brunswick’s boys’ lacrosse team whoops it up after receiving the championship trophy following the Dragons’ 18-17, overtime win over Scarborough in the 2017 Class A state final.

“We knew it would be fast break and high-scoring,” said Brunswick coach Don Glover. “When we scripted it, we knew they’d draw blood and we’d give up goals. We had to counter and move on. The ebb and flow was amazing.”

“This one had everything,” said Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep, who stepped down following the game. “We got up, they got up. No one ever quit. Two well-coached teams. It was fun to watch. Neither team panicked.”

The Dragons were right back in an overtime state final in 2018, this time in Class B, after moving down when lacrosse restructured into three classes. This time, the foe was a high-flying Greely squad, playing in its first state game in the MPA era and while there weren’t quite as many goals as the year before, there was ample drama.

This time, Brunswick led almost the whole way, taking a 7-3 advantage after one quarter and holding a 10-6 edge at halftime, but the Rangers came back to take a fourth quarter lead before Andrew Eno drew the Dragons even with 3:43 left in regulation. Then, with 54.7 seconds to go in overtime, Max Gramins played the hero for Brunswick, as his third goal produced a 14-13 victory. Aiden Glover added five goals and goalie Connor Pendergast stopped 22 shots.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Gramins said. “It could have been anyone scoring. It just happened to be me.”

In 2018, Brunswick celebrated an overtime state game win for the second year in a row, this time beating Greely, 14-13.

“This is awesome,” Glover said. “It’s as good as it gets. You want to win as a coach and overtime adds stress, but it also adds to the sport.”

The 2019 season brought another overtime, this time in the Class A state final between Falmouth and Thornton Academy.

The Golden Trojans had beaten the Yachtsmen (as they were then known), 14-12, in the previous year’s state game and were heavy favorites to do it again, but Falmouth produced a valiant effort, was even at 4-4 at halftime and 6-6 after three quarters, and when Reilly Tucker scored his third goal with 22 seconds to make it 7-7 and force overtime, it appeared the underdog had the momentum.

But instead, Thornton Academy got possession to start overtime when the stick of Falmouth’s faceoff man was deemed illegal and just 42 seconds in, CJ Labreck scored his fifth goal to win it, 8-7.

CJ Labreck was the hero in 2019 when Thornton Academy beat Falmouth in a memorable Class A overtime state final.

“I’m proud of the boys,” Golden Trojans coach Ryan Hersey said. “I’m proud of how they played. They put in a lot of work and sacrifice. I’m so grateful for their efforts.”

“There’s just something about this group,” said Falmouth coach Dave Barton. “I’ve been at this game a long time and this team goes to the top. I’ll always remember 2019.”

Back to the present

Back we come to June 17, 2022.


Waynflete, which had lost at NYA, 7-4, to start the regular season, entered the game as the defending champion but also as the underdog.

The Flyers didn’t play like one, as three goals from Roan Hopkins produced a 5-3 halftime lead. The Panthers then roared back to start the second half behind goals from Elliott Oney, Chas Rohde and Caleb Waterman, but Waynflete responded, tied it up on a Hopkins goal, then got to the brink of victory when Nico Kirby scored twice in the fourth quarter.

But with a minute left and defeat staring it in the face, NYA got off the deck in heroic fashion, as Rohde scored unassisted with 59.5 seconds on the clock, then he struck again with just 2.2 seconds showing to improbably send the game to overtime.

This time, no one scored in the four-minute extra session, and for the first time in a lacrosse state final, a second OT was needed.

There, the Panthers nearly won it on a great shot from Nick Pelletier, but Flyers goalie Avi Israel (14 saves) got just enough of it to keep it out.

Then, at the other end, Jacob Woodman joined Ned Struzziero, Alex Weaver, Josh Dorr, Max Gramins and CJ Labreck in legend, scoring with 2:15 on the clock, to give Waynflete a 9-8 victory in 53 minutes, 45 seconds, the most time ever played in a Maine postseason game.


Waynflete sophomore Jacob Woodman exults after his goal allowed the Flyers to survive NYA, 9-8, in the 2022 Class C state final.

“I don’t even know what to say,” Woodman said. “When it happened, I was shocked. It was unbelievable. Just what you dream of.”

“This is the Class C game that everybody wanted and it was incredible,” said Waynflete coach Andrew Leach.

“It’s hard to separate the emotion, but the game was fantastic,” NYA coach Peter Gerrity said. “It was pretty fun for everybody. I’m super proud of these guys and what we did today.”

If history is a guide, we’ll have more state finals decided in overtime as the years go by.

They say that records are made to be broken.

Lacrosse fans should only be so lucky.

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

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