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Falmouth ends Cape’s reign with emphatic state game victory

Navigators start fast, roll to 18-5 victory for first Class A crown.

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PORTLAND—Falmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team was supposed to be a year away.

Based on what the Navigators did Friday evening in the Class A Final at Fitzpatrick Stadium, the only thing they’re a year away from is a repeat state title.

Falmouth, the top-ranked team in Class A, swept aside years of close calls and heartbreak with a most therapeutic victory over its biggest rival.

Ending second-seeded Cape Elizabeth’s three-year title reign in the process.


The Navigators, who earlier this season snapped the Capers’ three-year, 32-game win streak, dominated the state’s proudest program from start to finish, capping an unforgettable season with a performance for the ages.


One that even Mother Nature couldn’t ruin.

Falmouth shot out of the gate, getting four goals from dynamic sophomore Hayden Davis and opening up a 5-1 lead after one period.

Cape Elizabeth tried to settle in and rally, but the Navigators never let them draw life, as junior goalie Cam Sinclair made some big-time saves, Davis scored two more goals and by the half, the lead was 10-4.

When junior Gio Guerrette sandwiched a pair of goals around a tally from senior Cole Allen, the competitive phase of the contest was over, but midway through the third quarter, the game was delayed for 76 minutes due to lightning in the area.

The Capers hoped for a miracle rally when junior Aidan Connolly scored as play resumed, but that’s the last goal they would score this season and Falmouth tacked on four more third quarter goals to induce a mercy rule, 12-goal running clock.

One final Allan goal in the fourth quarter made it official and the Navigators rolled to a most delicious 18-5 triumph.


Davis led the way with six goals as Falmouth broke through and won its first title since 2016, its first in Class A, and its fourth all-time, as it finished 16-1, on a 12-game win streak, and in the process, ended Cape Elizabeth’s three-year title reign and the Capers’ season at 13-4.

“It was all the boys and the bench and the energy,” Davis said. “It was such a great atmosphere. It’s like a dream come true. It was just our time to shine.”


Falmouth’s run to the final began in the aftermath of last year’s state semifinal round loss to South Portland.

This spring, the Navigators have scored in prolific fashion while stymieing the opposition (see sidebar for links to previous stories), as they won 13 of 14 regular season games, outscoring their foes, 214 goals to 50.

As the top seed in Class A, Falmouth had no trouble dispatching No. 9 South Portland (19-7) in the quarterfinals or No. 5 Scarborough (14-1) in the semifinals, in a game played on a neutral field at Sanford High School.


Cape Elizabeth came into the season on a 23- game win streak and while the Capers were pushed on a few occasions, they won their first nine contests by an average of nearly seven goals, but the run ended at 32 with a home loss to Falmouth and after injuries mounted, Cape Elizabeth fell at Thornton Academy and at home to Yarmouth as well.

The Capers still earned the No. 2 seed for the playoffs and returned to their winning ways, defeating No. 7 Bangor (13-2) in the quarterfinals before avenging a loss by holding off No. 3 Thornton Academy in a back-and-forth semifinal Tuesday in Sanford, 16-11.

The teams split during the regular season, each winning on the road.

On April 24, Cape Elizabeth held on for a 7-6 win at Falmouth, as Lathrop scored four times and senior goalie Michael Foley made a dozen saves.

On May 15, junior Joey Guerrette’s goal with 1:40 left was the difference. Davis led the way with four goals while Gio Guerrette scored three times.

The Capers had won eight of 11 previous playoff encounters, including twice in the state final: 19-4 in the 2021 Class A state game and 18-7 in 2022.


The Navigators had won three of their seven previous trips to the state final (see sidebar for results), winning on the first three occasions before dropping the past four.

Cape Elizabeth’s state game pedigree was quite a bit more expansive, as it had 29 previous appearances to its credit, with 23 titles.

Friday’s game started under clear, 72 degree skies, but the weather would take a turn for the worse. By then, Falmouth was well on its way to a championship, as it handed the Capers a setback on the big stage for the first time since 2009.

Sophomore Peter Kearns won the opening faceoff for the Navigators, but they committed a turnover.

Falmouth quickly got the ball back, then went ahead to stay.

After Allan missed wide, Davis fought through the defense and tickled the twine with 9:25 to go in the opening stanza.


Cape Elizabeth had a chance to answer, but Connolly missed wide, then Sinclair denied Lathrop.

With 6:59 on the clock, Davis doubled the lead off an assist from junior Evan Yale, who has turned distributing from behind the goal into an art form this season.

Connolly missed wide for the Capers, Sinclair saved a shot from sophomore Alex Mainville, then with 4:33 showing, Gio Guerrette scored for the first time, unassisted, and the lead was 3-0.

After Foley denied Yale, Davis scored unassisted on a bounce shot with 2:50 to go.

Lathrop then missed twice before having a shot saved by Sinclair and after Foley denied Joey Guerrette, the Navigators stretched the lead to five with 40.4 seconds remaining, as Yale fed Davis again.

Junior Will Picarillo won the ensuing faceoff for Cape Elizabeth and raced in and scored, but the deficit was a daunting 5-1 heading to the second quarter.


There, Falmouth opened things up even further.

After missing wide, Gio Guerrette found sophomore TJ Saulter in traffic and Saulter finished with 11:20 to go in the half.

A little over a minute later, Davis’ unassisted goal stretched the lead to 7-1.

After senior Tom Hennessey was denied by Sinclair, Lathrop eluded a defender and Sinclair couldn’t stop his point blank shot with 7:53 remaining.

Twenty-two seconds later, the Navigators countered, as Davis again finished, this time unassisted.

With 6:40 on the first half clock, Yale fed Joey Guerrette for a 9-2 advantage.


After Foley stopped shots from Yale and Joey Guerrette, Lathrop scored unassisted with 3:23 remaining in the half.

The goal proved to be the final one of Lathrop’s prolific high school career.

Cape Elizabeth couldn’t build on it, however, as Lathrop missed wide, Sinclair robbed senior Alex van Huystee, then he saved a bid from Connolly.

Junior defenseman Indi Backman then got the ball and raced into the offensive zone and with 35.5 seconds to go, he fired a shot past Foley.

The Capers countered 18 seconds later, as Hennessey set up van Huystee, but Falmouth was very much in control at the break, up, 10-4.

In the first half, Cape Elizabeth won 11 of 16 faceoffs and had a 23-22 edge in shots, but seven saves from Sinclair and an unstoppable offense had the Navigators halfway home.


Falmouth then ended any lingering doubt in a third quarter that went on and on and on.

Sinclair began the second half by denying senior Ben Gordon and Lathrop.

Gio Guerrette then scored unassisted with 10:13 left in the frame, Allan scored unassisted with 8:21 to go and 73 seconds later, Gio Guerrette ripped a blast past Foley to make the score 13-4.

Lightning was then viewed in the area and by rule, with 6:31 on the clock, play was suspended until it was safe to resume.

Which didn’t happen for 76 minutes.

The Capers hoped to spark a rally when Connolly scored an unassisted goal 11 seconds later, but the Navigators went man-up and with 5:09 left, Davis set up sophomore Ian Christie for a goal.


“We were focused on just one goal at a time,” said longtime Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond. “I don’t think being down by nine with 18 minutes to go isn’t anything that’s undoable, especially with Will doing a good job on faceoffs.

“We just couldn’t get stops at the right time, We had to extend pressure more than we usually have to do and we found ourselves in positions we’re not good at. Our defense is usually pretty good one-and-one and we let Mike make saves. That usually works well, but not today.”

With 2:54 on the clock, Yale scored unassisted.

With 1:30 left, Davis fed Joey Guerrette for a goal and with 21 seconds to go, after Foley denied Joey Guerrette, Saulter pounced on the rebound and fired it into the net for a 17-5 lead, inducing the running clock.

Falmouth scored one final time, as Davis set up Allan for a goal with 4:55 remaining.

Sinclair made a couple more saves on Lathrop shots and at 10:21 p.m., the horn sounded and the Navigators were able to celebrate their jaw-dropping 18-5 victory.


“It feels good,” Allan said. “Something we’ve wanted forever. It’s been brewing a long time. I love these boys so much. I wanted to do it this year. It’s a dream come true. Watching Cape-TA the other night, I wanted to play Cape.”

“It’s just amazing,” said Backman. “I said earlier in the year that I have every game circled on the calendar, but this was the one I specifically circled. I believed we could win easily. Look at us. We’ve worked hard all year. We all love each other and have fun. We knew we’d come in and win. We didn’t give them a goose-egg. There’s room for improvement, but we did pretty good. I’ll take it.”

“It’s great,” Falmouth coach Dave Barton added. “Those (previous state game) losses were tough, but they made tonight so much sweeter. There were so many people in the bleachers tonight who have been there with us. (Athletic director) James (Coffey) took a chance on me in 2017 as a young coach. A lot of support behind the scenes made this possible.

“We’ve worked so hard. The offseason, the preseason. It’s 365 days a year. It’s the most connected group I’ve been a part of. I’m so proud of them. I don’t think I foresaw that score. I don’t know quite what it was, but I wasn’t nervous. It wasn’t from a place of cockiness. I didn’t know how it would happen, but that it would happen. Nothing surprises me with this group. Our mantra all year has been ‘Quiet confidence.’ Expectations don’t get to them. They just love to play lacrosse. It’s a special group. It’s amazing what a team can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit.

“We’ve said all year, it’s (Cape’s) until someone takes it and we knew deep down we were the team that could take it. We played a really great game tonight. We’ve been preaching mental toughness and rising to the occasion. A lightning delay tested that. We had to ride it out and they handled it as well as they could. They just love to compete. We’ve had our eye on this group of sophomores and juniors since they were in third grade. They’ve been so great coming up the ranks. It’s the best group we’ve had because of everything they do off the field.”

Davis was simply brilliant, scoring six goals and assisting on three others.


“We moved the ball really well and it set me up for perfect opportunities,” Davis said. “Our offense just clicked. All six guys moved the ball.”

“It’s a big statement, but there’s a chance (Hayden) goes down as the best player to play at this school,” said Barton. “He’s the smartest player we’ve ever had here. He’s a coach on the field. He plays his best in our biggest games. He’s been our rock.”

Gio Guerrette and Joey Guerrette both added three goals, Allan bowed out with two goals and Backman, Christie, Saulter and Yale all finished with one.

Eight different players found the net.

Yale also had three assists and Gio Guerrette set up a goal.

Sinclair made 12 saves, including several early in the game before Falmouth was able to pull away.


“I have 1,000 percent confidence in (Cam), he’s the best,” Backman said.

“He’s the best goalie in the state,” said Barton. “He’s a Division I guy in my eyes. We’re lucky to have him again next year. I think if anyone else was in the cage besides Cam Sinclair, it might have been a different game and not the same margin. They shot well and Cam played an awesome game.”

The Navigators had a 13-11 edge in ground balls (Backman led the way with three), enjoyed a 45-32 advantage in shots (30-17 on cage) and only turned the ball over a dozen times.


The Capers got two goals from Lathrop and one apiece from Connolly, Picarillo and van Huystee.

Hennessey had an assist.


Foley stopped 12 shots.

Senior Colin Blackburn had a game-high six ground balls.

Picarillo won 18 of 27 faceoffs, giving his team plenty of opportunities, but 18 turnovers didn’t help the cause.

Cape Elizabeth has lost its share of state games over the years, but never like this.

“I think we’ve been overachieving for a couple of weeks,” said Raymond. “We did an excellent job to get ourselves in this situation. We thought we had a decent idea of what we wanted to do, but we got off to a slow start. Defensively, we weren’t great at the beginning. We wanted to take care of (Gio Guerrette), (Joey Guerrette) and (Davis) and they got a lot of our attention, but we didn’t slide very well and waved our sticks. Offensively, we were out of sync and had a hard time getting things going. I would say it could have been closer. We were pretty even shot-wise until the very end. They made some saves and we hit the goalie. We didn’t shoot great. We got in good spots and had good opportunities, but we couldn’t finish. They’re very good on both sides of the ball. It’s probably a little more about them than us. They’re a better team than us right now, without a doubt.

“We worked really hard and had some kids play roles they never played before. Just getting here was a pretty good achievement for this group. I’m pretty sure once Sam (Cochran) went down people were like, ‘OK,’ then when Bobby (Offit) goes down, people were like, ‘Now they’re really in trouble.’ Max (Backman) was replacing those guys, then he went down. We had confidence in the guys on the field. It took us awhile to figure out what we could do. We found some things that worked well the other night.”


The Capers lose a large senior class with Lathrop the biggest departure, as he’ll play next year at the University of Delaware.

“It’s sad to see Keegan go,” Raymond said. “He’s had an amazing career and our goal is for him to have an even better (college) career. He’s been outstanding for us on and off the field.”

Cape Elizabeth will be led next year by the likes of Connolly, Mainville and juniors Tully Haydar and Cam Leonhirth, but there will be a lot of holes to fill. Rest assured by this time next year, the Capers will be their best selves and will be fighting for a championship yet again.

“Hopefully, this shows us that we have work to do,” Raymond said. “(The Navigators) have a talented group of sophomores and juniors coming back. We lose the majority of our scorers and defenders. Hopefully this inspires guys to do more and keep their sticks available in the offseason and stay focused.”

Back-to-back aspirations

For Falmouth, only four players will depart the program, as Allan, Aidan Clapper, Will Gale and Elijah St. Louis have graduated.


Everyone else will be back and likely will be even better, which means now that Falmouth has ascended to the pinnacle, it won’t be going anywhere for awhile.

“This isn’t it,” Allan said. “We have great kids coming in.”

“We’ll work twice as hard next year,” said Backman. “We’ll come in like we’re not the champions, with that dog mentality.”

“We’ll practice like we never won and play like we never lost,” said Davis. “We won’t have any trouble getting motivated.”

“I can’t wait for next March,” added Barton.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at

Previous state game results


Cape Elizabeth

Class A
Cape Elizabeth 17 South Portland 6

Class A
Cape Elizabeth 18 Falmouth 7

Class A
Cape Elizabeth 19 Falmouth 6

Class B
Cape Elizabeth 16 Yarmouth 7

Class B
Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 5

Class B
Cape Elizabeth 6 Yarmouth 3 

Class B
Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 4

Class B
Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 6

Class B
Yarmouth 12 Cape Elizabeth 9

Class B
Yarmouth 9 Cape Elizabeth 4

Cape Elizabeth 7 Yarmouth 6

Yarmouth 11 Cape Elizabeth 6

Cape Elizabeth 9 Yarmouth 8 (OT)

Cape Elizabeth 15 Brunswick 7

NYA 13 Cape Elizabeth 10

Cape Elizabeth 10 NYA 8

Cape Elizabeth 11 Waynflete 3

Cape Elizabeth 16 NYA 9

Division I
Cape Elizabeth 16 Mt. Blue 9

Division I
Cape Elizabeth 11 Yarmouth 10 (OT)

Division I
Cape Elizabeth 20 Back Bay 15

Division I
Cape Elizabeth 16 Hyde 9

Division I
Cape Elizabeth 13 NYA 7

Division I
Cape Elizabeth 8 NYA 6

Cape Elizabeth 11 NYA 9

Cape Elizabeth 11 Hebron 7

Hyde 11 Cape Elizabeth 10 (OT)

NYA 9 Cape Elizabeth 8

Cape Elizabeth awarded title


Class A
Cape Elizabeth 18 Falmouth 7


Class A
Cape Elizabeth 19 Falmouth 6

Class A
Thornton Academy 8 Falmouth 7 (OT)

Class A
Thornton Academy 14 Falmouth 12

Class B
Falmouth 13 Yarmouth 9

Class B
Falmouth 7 NYA 4 

Class B
Falmouth 15 NYA 4 

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