CAPE ELIZABETH—The defending champions continue to play like a team that could be in for another coronation.

In a new class no less.

Freeport’s girls’ lacrosse team, last year’s Class C state champs, made the trip to Hannaford Field to face Cape Elizabeth Tuesday evening and after a sluggish first quarter, demonstrated why it has what it takes to ascend to the top of Class B.

Junior Lana DiRusso scored twice in the second quarter and the Falcons opened up a 4-1 halftime lea.

The Capers twice drew within two goals in the third period, but DiRusso scored to make it 6-3 heading to the fourth and there, junior Mia Levesque opened it up, scoring off the draw, then DiRusso’s final goal put it out of reach as Freeport went on to a 9-5 victory.

DiRusso scored four goals, Levesque added three and the Falcons won their seventh consecutive game, improved to 8-1 and in the process, dropped Cape Elizabeth to 5-5.


“It takes us a little while to get going, but we’re playing very well,” said Freeport coach Marcia Wood. “Once we settled in and figured out what their defense was doing, we were able to score more.”

Something had to give

Both teams came in riding a winning streak.

The Capers started with a 12-4 win at North Yarmouth Academy, then lost at home to Gorham in overtime (13-12), at three-time reigning Class A champion Kennebunk (14-3) and at home to Yarmouth (15-10) before getting back on track with a 13-7 home victory over Marshwood. After a 7-2 home loss to two-time reigning Class B champion Greely, Cape Elizabeth beat host Thornton Academy (13-5), host Massabesic (6-4) and visiting York (7-6).

The Falcons, meanwhile, who have moved up to Class B this season, started with an 8-6 victory at Scarborough, fell at home in overtime to Greely (8-7), then defeated host Massabesic (11-8), visiting NYA (15-5) and York (12-5), host Wells (11-3), visiting Brunswick (14-4) and visiting Traip Academy (14-2)

Last spring, Freeport defeated visiting Cape Elizabeth, 12-4.


Tuesday, on a comfortable evening (59 degrees at the start), the Falcons started slowly, but never trailed and found a way to produce another victory.

The teams combined for 13 first quarter turnovers and just five shots and not surprisingly, the scoreboard read all zeroes after 12 minutes.

Junior Heather Campbell missed wide for the Capers and junior Campbell DeGeorge and senior Kaity Woods had shots saved by Falcons junior goalie Hailly Curtis and at the other end, Freeport senior Ava Stone was denied by Cape Elizabeth junior goalie Belle Reeves.

It only took 55 seconds in the second quarter for the Falcons to get going offensively, as DiRusso scored unassisted.

After Reeves denied DiRusso, the Capers tied the score with 8:01 on the clock, as Campbell set up Woods for a goal, but only 48 seconds later, Freeport took the lead for good, as Levesque set up sophomore Gwendolyn Dunham for a shot that Reeves couldn’t stop.

Freeport sophomore Gwendolyn Dunham beats Cape Elizabeth junior goalie Belle Reeves for a goal. Courtesy Lisa Mims.

After the Capers had a great look to tie it, only to have freshman Wylie Stoecklein hit the crossbar, senior Kiley Webber set up DiRusso for a bouncer that found the net to make it 3-1 with 2:58 to go before the half.


“In the first quarter, every time we got the ball, we’d turn it over and it was just back-and-forth with turnovers and we were running around,” DiRusso said. “I think we were freaked out a little because it was a big game. It wasn’t our normal composure. Coach whipped us into shape after the first quarter. We got the jitters out and we got settled and worked the ball around. We passed the ball around and made plays.”

With 1:44 on the clock, Webber found Levesque for her first goal and after Woods had a shot blocked by sophomore Reed Proscia in the waning seconds, Freeport took a 4-1 advantage to the half.

Levesque won all seven draws in the half and the Falcons had a 9-5 edge in shots, but hadn’t been able to open it up.

Freeport couldn’t pull away in the third period either.

Junior Libby Hooper won the draw to start the second half and Cape Elizabeth took advantage, as Campbell raced in and scored unassisted 41 seconds in.

Junior Heather Campbell scores early in the second half for Cape Elizabeth. Courtesy Lisa Mims.

The Falcons came right back, as Levesque scored, from junior Emma White, at the 10 minute mark.


The Capers crept within two again, as in transition, Hooper set up Stoecklein for a goal with 8:59 left in the quarter, making it 5-3, but again, Freeport answered, as with 7:33 to go, Stone passed to DiRusso in front and after contorting her body to make the catch, DiRusso fired a tough angle shot past Reeves and in.

“Lana just has a way,” said Wood. “We joke she has a natural fake because her body is so lanky, like Gumby. We know she’s going to get marked, but she can see the back of the goal well.”

After Woods hit the post for the hosts and Reeves denied Levesque on a free position, then robbed White in waning seconds, after a dazzling one-handed catch by sophomore Elsa Klein on a clear from Curtis, the Falcons took a 6-3 advantage to the final quarter.

There, after winning the draw to White, Levesque got the ball back and tickled the twine just 13 seconds in to extend the lead.

“Mia has been awesome at draws and awesome all over the field,” said Wood. “When we win the draw, we obviously do way better than when we don’t.”

After Levesque hit the post, DiRusso scored unassisted with 9:12 remaining to seemingly put it away, but Cape Elizabeth had one more run to embark upon.


Thirty-six seconds later, the Hooper-to-Stoecklein connection produced another goal.

With 7:20 to go, Levesque was shaken up and came out of the game.

Then, with 6:07 on the clock, Stoecklein set up DeGeorge for a goal to cut the deficit to just three, 8-5.

But that’s as close as the Capers would get.

After Proscia forced a turnover, she got in on the fun on the offensive end, scoring from White with 32.5 seconds remaining.

“That goal was really nice,” said Proscia. “I watched the time, then I just put it in. I like playing both ends.”


“Reed did a lot of little things today,” Wood said. “Blocked shots, picking up ground balls in a crowd, taking the ball down the field. She was pretty impressive.”

Freeport ran out the clock from there and celebrated its 9-5 victory.

Freeport players congratulate junior goalie Reilly Curtis at the conclusion of Tuesday’s victory. Hoffer photo.

We played well as a team,” said Proscia. “We lost a lot of great players from last year and we’re getting into our groove.”

DiRusso had a game-high four goals, while Levesque added three and Dunham and Proscia finished with one apiece.

White had three assists, Webber two and Levesque and Stone finished with one each.

“I wanted our offense to be more than Mia and Lana and it is,” said Wood. “Emma had those assists today. Reed was on the scoreboard. Gwen scores goals here and there. That’s important.”


Curtis didn’t face many shots, but made two key saves.

“Hailly has improved so much,” DiRusso said. “That influences the rest of the team when she makes amazing saves. We can translate that to our offense.”

“The defense has been playing phenomenal and my goalie has been fantastic,” Wood said.

DiRusso had a team-high six ground balls, Proscia scooped up five and Levesque had four.

The Falcons had an 18-11 advantage in shots (15-7 on cage) and overcame 18 turnovers.

Cape Elizabeth got two goals from Stoecklein and one apiece from Campbell, DeGeorge and Woods.


Hooper had two assists, while Campbell and Stoecklein added one each.

Reeves made six saves.

The Capers had a 31-29 edge in ground balls (Hooper had a game-high seven) and turned the ball over on 21 occasions.

“Win or lose, we stay in it,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Alex Spark. “That’s our motto this year. We stay present no matter what the scoreboard said and we did that today. That’s what it’s all about. Team culture is at a high right now. We made some little runs. When we got chances, our ball movement looked great. It comes down to how many chances you get and Freeport was on top of that draw today. When a team moves the ball as well as they do, they’re going to start burying some in the back of the net.”

Making a move

Cape Elizabeth and Freeport are each hoping to solidify their playoff standing.


The Capers (currently ranked eighth in the Class A Heal Points standings) are idle until next Tuesday, when they go to Yarmouth. After playing at Lewiston and hosting Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth closes at York.

“This makes us better moving forward,” Spark said. “We have a big week next week. We’ll reset ourselves. We want to feel good about ourselves moving into postseason. Then, it’s a whole new season and we’ll be ready.”

The Falcons (first at press time in Class B) are in the midst of busy stretch, going to Gray-New Gloucester Thursday, hosting Fryeburg Academy Saturday, then playing at Waynflete, the top-ranked team in Class C, Tuesday of next week. Freeport then wraps up the regular season with a home game versus Lake Region and a trip to NYA.

“We want to win again,” said DiRusso. “We just need to keep the intensity up. We have to treat practices like games and take every game seriously.”

“We’re playing very well,” Wood said. “We have a few tests left. The girls are very motivated. I think once we get closer to playoffs, they’ll lock in more.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at

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