For the third straight season, the Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team proved its superiority over the rest of Class A in a state final.

With a 17-6 win against No. 3 South Portland on Monday evening at Fitzpatrick Stadium, the top-ranked Capers completed a 17-0 season and claimed the program’s 14th state championship since 1998, when the sport was first sponsored by the Maine Principals’ Association.

“We try to make a statement every single time we get on the field. We’re Cape Lacrosse. We’re going to win it. And that’s our goal all season long,” said Sam Cochran, a junior attack who scored three goals.

South Portland (13-4) was making its first championship game appearance since back-to-back trips in 2014 and 2015 – winning in 2014. Just two seasons ago, the Red Riots won two games, with many of the Red Riots’ current seniors playing starting roles as raw sophomores.

Cape beat South Portland 10-6 and 8-4 in the regular season. Coach Dan Hanley said his team would need to cut down on turnovers and get another big effort from goalie Ben Kieu to close the gap further.

Kieu did his part with 15 saves, but South Portland was turnover prone. In transition, Cape’s precision passing by attackmen Cochran, Keegan Lathrop (four goals, two assists) and Bobby Offit (two goals, three assists) opened shooting space.


“The turnovers in transition compounded,” Hanley said. “Not only is it a failed clear on our end and not a possession, but we gave up a lot of goals in transition in that unsettled play.”

Ahead 7-3 at the half, Cape controlled possession for the first seven minutes of the third quarter and pushed the lead to 10-3. South Portland didn’t take a shot until 4:25 was left in the third, when Cape keeper Michael Foley (five saves) turned aside Brady Demers’ close-range, man-up chance.

Connor Goss scored a man-down goal with an assist from defender Colin Blackburn to make it 11-3. Goss, a senior, finished with four goals and displayed the ability to recognize when – and when not to – let a shot rip.

“That’s one of our key focuses in practice all year long; when the opportunity is there, take it. But when there’s guys in front of you, just pull the ball out. Relax. Move the ball around a couple of times,” Goss said.

South Portland sophomore attack Beckett Mehlhorn (four goals) and his brother, Lucas (two goals), a senior midfielder, both scored to trim the lead to 12-5. But Cape closed the third quarter with a flurry. Senior defender Nate Patterson scored on the run after a faceoff win with 14.9 seconds left, and Nick Laughlin (two goals, one assist) did the same with just 1.5 seconds remaining for a 14-5 lead.

Cape Coach Ben Raymond said his 14th championship lacrosse team could be defined by its flair and the fun it had playing the game.

“They’re not afraid to throw any single pass at any time,” Raymond said. “We kind of encourage them to really embrace that and kind of have fun with the game, and they really do. They enjoy each other on the field each and every day.”


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