YARMOUTH—Common perception entering the 2023 season held that Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team wouldn’t be as dominant as its two accomplished predecessors, heavy favorites who went on to win the Class A state title in dazzling fashion.

And perhaps these Capers aren’t as prolific, but they’re still very, very good.

And balanced.

And like the teams of recent vintage, Cape Elizabeth just wins and wins and wins.

Wednesday evening, the Capers visited Class B favorite Yarmouth and while they didn’t play particularly well for large stretches of the contest, they still managed to roll to an eight-goal victory, reminding everyone that the road to the pinnacle still goes through them and good luck with that.

Five different players tickled the twine in the first quarter as Cape Elizabeth opened up a 6-1 lead.


The Clippers then settled in and drew within 7-3 at halftime and only trailed, 9-5, after three periods, despite countless turnovers.

But the Capers would finish the game as they started it, with a flurry of goals, as seniors Nick Laughlin and Dimitri Coupe and juniors Alex van Huystee and Sam Cochran all scored in less than four minutes and Cape Elizabeth cruised to a 14-6 victory.

Cochran led the way with three goals as nine different Capers scored in all and they improved to 8-0 on the season, won their 14th straight game over two years and in the process, handed Yarmouth just its second loss in seven outings this spring.

“It definitely feels good to keep winning games after losing all our great seniors last year,” said Laughlin. “It shows we can bring new guys up and they can contribute.”

Still the one

On April 21 at Hannaford Field, Yarmouth held a 5-4 halftime lead, but Cape Elizabeth then came to life in the second half and went on to an 11-6 victory, part of a 7-0 start to the season for the Capers.


Cape Elizabeth began with a 10-6 home win over South Portland, then beat host Gorham (13-2), downed visiting Yarmouth, held off host Thornton Academy (7-4) and visiting Falmouth (9-7), then dispatched visiting Messalonskee (14-5) and host Scarborough (12-1) last week.

Yarmouth, meanwhile, opened with a 21-6 loss at Gray-New Gloucester and after losing at Cape Elizabeth, won its next four, downing visiting Greely (17-10), reigning Class B champion Brunswick (16-6) and York (20-12), then holding on for a 16-14 win at Messalonskee Monday.

In the teams’ first meeting, senior standout Killian Marsh scored four times for the Clippers, all in the first half, but junior star Keegan Lathrop tallied four for the Capers and they pulled away late to take a 34-15 advantage in the series, dating to 2002 (see sidebar, below).

Wednesday, on a most pleasant mid-May evening (69 degrees at the start), Cape Elizabeth started fast and continued to leave the rest of the state in its wake.

The Capers went on top to stay with 9:57 to go in the opening stanza, when junior Connor Goss scored unassisted, beating Yarmouth’s promising freshman goalie Will Redfield.

After killing off a Clippers’ man-up opportunity, Cape Elizabeth doubled its lead with 7:37 on the clock, when Laughlin scored for the first time, unassisted.


Lathrop then struck twice in just over a minute, scooping up a ground ball and finishing unassisted with 5:43 left, then taking a pass from van Huystee and scoring with 4:28 on the clock for a 4-0 advantage.

Yarmouth finally broke through with 2:24 remaining, when senior Aksel Yeo beat Capers junior goalie Michael Foley, but a minute later, junior Tom Hennessey scored (from senior Dimitri Coupe), then with 1:06 left, Lathrop set up a goal by Cochran for a commanding 6-1 lead.

Five different Cape Elizabeth players tickled the twine in the first 12 minutes.

“A lot of teams try to shut off Keegan and Sam because they’re our top scorers, but everyone can put the ball in the net for us,” Laughlin said.

When Goss scored unassisted with 10:16 to go in the first half, it appeared the Capers were poised to run away and hide, but instead, the Clippers shut them out the rest of the way and scored a couple of goals to get back into it.

With 5:58 on the clock, junior Colter Olson scored unassisted.


Then, after sophomore Matt Cain hit the post, Cain scored a man-down goal (from Marsh) with just 25.2 seconds to go and Yarmouth was within four, 7-3, at the half.

Cape Elizabeth had a huge edge in shots (25-6), but five saves from Redfield kept the Clippers in the game.

The Capers snapped a nearly 12-minute scoring drought when Laughlin set up Cochran for a goal 53 seconds into the second half, then junior defenseman Colin Blackburn went coast-to-coast and finished with 9:22 remaining to restore a six-goal advantage.

But again, Cape Elizabeth got complacent and couldn’t put Yarmouth away.

With 7:43 left, the Clippers got a man-up goal, as Olson set up Yeo.

With 2:53 to go, Marsh, who reached the 100 career goal plateau last week, bulled his way through the entire Capers defense and finished to make it 9-5.


In the waning seconds, Marsh had a chance to pull Yarmouth even closer, but he missed just wide.

Cape Elizabeth then flipped the switch as only it can and by the time the fourth quarter was half finished, put the game away.

With 9:24 left, Cochran fed Laughlin for his second goal.

Laughlin, a hockey state champion and football standout who will play next year at the University of Maine, missed the first Capers-Clippers game this spring, but made the most of this one.

“I was definitely excited,” Laughlin said. “My last time to play Yarmouth in my high school career. I’ve played some big games against them.”

“Nick is a real problem for teams in transition,” said longtime Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond. “He does a really good job. He’s a much better lacrosse player than people give him credit for. He sees the field better than any non-full-time lacrosse player we’ve had. He makes good decisions with the ball.”


A minute later, Coupe was robbed by Redfield, but scooped up his own rebound and fired the ball into the net to make it 11-5.

With 7:02 showing, Cochran fed van Huystee for a goal and with 5:53 to play, Cochran scored on a rebound to end all doubt.

“Our goalie would make a great save, but the rebound would wind up on their stick, then it was a goal,” said Yarmouth coach Jon Miller. “If we could stop it and clear it and score, it could have been a two-goal swing.”

The Clippers got their final goal with 3:11 to play, man-up, as Cain set up Olson, but with 2:04 remaining, Lathrop found junior Bobby Offit for a goal and the Capers went on to a 14-6 victory.

“Mentally for us, we get up on teams, then we start making mistakes and getting penalties, but fourth quarter, we realized it was our last time on this field and we had to make the most of it,” Laughlin said.

“Large stretches of the game were not great, but I think we played really well in the first quarter and the fourth quarter and that’s what’s really important,” said Raymond. “We talk about keeping our focus in the middle portion of the game. It’s hard to do. We used this game to work on some things that will work on other teams. We don’t play Yarmouth again, so we did some things we kind of put in not long ago to see if they’ll work in the long run. Everything looks great and works in practice, but sometimes against another team, they won’t work as well.”


Cape Elizabeth’s offense demonstrated tremendous balance, as nine different players scored at least once.

Cochran had three goals, Goss, Lathrop and Laughlin each added two and Blackburn, Coupe, Hennessey, Offit and van Huystee all finished with one.

“One of the nicest things about this team is that everybody does have the ability to score,” Raymond said. “When we share the ball, the offense looks really good. In the second quarter, everyone was just dodging, beating their man and looking for their own shot, not necessarily making the next pass. We focused on that at halftime and it was better in the fourth quarter. Keegan’s our best offensive player and he’s probably one of the best offensive players in the state. Go ahead and take him away, but that’s fine. We have other guys who will do a good job. The difference between this year’s team and last year’s team is instead of having three guys (Nic Boudreau, Colin Campbell and Tiernan Lathrop) who were really, really good, we’ve got eight guys that are very good. Maybe not as good as last year’s group, but very good. All those guys can be a threat.”

Cochran and Lathrop each added two assists, while Coupe, Laughlin and van Huystee had one apiece.

Foley stopped four shots and the Capers were their usual superb selves on the defensive end.

“Defensively, we’re probably a little bit better than we were last year,” Raymond said. “They’re more connected and they understand that it’s not about being more athletic and physical, but about rotations and slides. We planned more for (Colter and Killian). They’re both really good players. We didn’t have a plan for them the first half at Cape. The second half we did and tonight, we had an even better plan.”


Senior Sebastian Moon won 16 of 21 faceoffs.

“Seb did a great job on faceoffs,” Raymond said. “Even if he didn’t win them cleanly, the other kid didn’t and (senior) Nate (Patterson) did a great job on the wings.”

The Capers had a commanding 45-18 advantage on ground balls (Patterson collected a game-high 11 and Moon had seven), took 53 shots to the Clippers’ 13 (28-10 on cage) and overcame 15 turnovers.

Self-inflicted wounds

Yarmouth got two goals apiece from Olson and Yeo, while Cain and Marsh each finished once.

Cain, Marsh and Olson also had one assist.


Redfield made 14 saves.

Junior Walter Ruthman had a team-high three ground balls.

The Clippers were doomed by 23 turnovers.

“We had too many unforced errors throughout the whole game,” Miller lamented. “We had our chances down four, but we made mistakes that killed our opportunities to score. They do play aggressive on D, which forces mistakes, but most of the turnovers were self-inflicted. The boys started feeling desperate and tried to force passes that weren’t there. I tried to calm them down and tell them to be patient, but it’s tough to play from behind. Tomorrow, we’re going to pass and catch for two hours and I’m not kidding.”

Big things to come

Yarmouth looks to get back on track Friday when it hosts Scarborough. The Clippers have a key test Monday at Falmouth, then return home to meet Freeport Thursday of next week.


“We always circle games like this in the regular season, but our ultimate goal is to win a state championship and that’s what we’re going to try to do,” Miller said. “We have great players and a strong team and I think we’ll rebound from this loss. We have a good schedule. It’ll be a good stretch to finish.”

Cape Elizabeth is home Friday for a showdown against Thornton Academy (see our website for game story).

“It’s always a struggle against TA because of the way they play (zone defense),” Raymond said. “We won’t put a lot of focus on them. We’ll focus on us a lot more. One of the mistakes I make as a coach is I talk about their zone, instead of saying to the guys, ‘We have great shooters and athletes, you’ll have to make good decisions on the field.'”

The Capers go to York next Wednesday, then could get their stiffest test of the season Saturday, May 20 at Falmouth.

“We’re getting too many penalties and that lets teams back in the games,” Laughlin said. “Other than that, we just need to keep doing our thing.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net

Recent Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth results

@ Cape Elizabeth 11 Yarmouth 6


Cape Elizabeth 14 @ Yarmouth 5
Yarmouth 18 @ Cape Elizabeth 16

@ Cape Elizabeth 18 Yarmouth 3
Cape Elizabeth 15 @ Yarmouth 1

@ Cape Elizabeth 8 Yarmouth 7 (OT)
Cape Elizabeth 9 @ Yarmouth 2

Yarmouth 7 @ Cape Elizabeth 6
Cape Elizabeth 8 @ Yarmouth 2

Cape Elizabeth 17 @ Yarmouth 0
@ Cape Elizabeth 16 Yarmouth 4
Class B state final
Cape Elizabeth 16 Yarmouth 7

Cape Elizabeth 15 @ Yarmouth 5
@ Cape Elizabeth 14 Yarmouth 6


@ Cape Elizabeth 6 Yarmouth 3
Cape Elizabeth 14 @ Yarmouth 5
Class B State Final 
Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 5 

Cape Elizabeth 10 @ Yarmouth 6
@ Cape Elizabeth 9 Yarmouth 4
Class B State Final
Cape Elizabeth 6 Yarmouth 3

@ Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 5
Cape Elizabeth 13 @ Yarmouth 7
Class B State Final
Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 4

Cape Elizabeth 12 @ Yarmouth 8
@ Cape Elizabeth 10 Yarmouth 5

@ Cape Elizabeth 13 Yarmouth 2
Cape Elizabeth 6 @ Yarmouth 2

@ Yarmouth 8 Cape Elizabeth 4
@ Cape Elizabeth 10 Yarmouth 7
Class B State Final
Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 6


@ Yarmouth 8 Cape Elizabeth 6
Class B State Final
Yarmouth 12 Cape Elizabeth 9

Yarmouth 9 @ Cape Elizabeth 3
@ Yarmouth 7 Cape Elizabeth 3
Class B State Final
Yarmouth 9 Cape Elizabeth 4

@ Cape Elizabeth 9 Yarmouth 5
@ Yarmouth 8 Cape Elizabeth 7

@ Yarmouth 4 Cape Elizabeth 3
Yarmouth 6 @ Cape Elizabeth 5

@ Cape Elizabeth 8 Yarmouth 6
@ Yarmouth 15 Cape Elizabeth 8
State Final
Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 6

@ Yarmouth 13 Cape Elizabeth 11
Yarmouth 15 @ Cape Elizabeth 7
State Final
Yarmouth 11 Cape Elizabeth 6

@ Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 1
State Final
Cape Elizabeth 9 Yarmouth 8 (OT)

Cape Elizabeth 16 @ Yarmouth 6
Cape Elizabeth 15 @ Yarmouth 6

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