Cape boys dominate SP in crossover showdown

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Cape Elizabeth junior Tate Perkins, left, and senior Owen Thoreck celebrate after one of Thoreck’s four goals in Friday’s 16-2 win over South Portland.

Mike Strout photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Cape Elizabeth 16 South Portland 2

SP- 0 1 0 1- 2
CE- 5 5 5 1- 16

First quarter
7:33 CE Boechenstein (Bates)
4:36 CE Bates (C. Thoreck)
4:00 CE Perkins (unassisted)
2:15 CE Raymond (unassisted)
1:06 CE O. Thoreck (Perkins) 

Second quarter
11:44 CE Perkins (C. Thoreck)
7:51 SP Mehlhorn (unassisted)
5:11 CE O. Thoreck (Raymond)
2:52 CE C. Thoreck (unassisted)
2:08 CE Boechenstein (unassisted)
1:42 CE Perkins (unassisted) 

Third quarter 
7:55 CE Ekedahl (unassisted)
7:22 CE Perkins (unassisted)
7:15 CE Spencer (unassisted)
4:38 CE O. Thoreck (unassisted)
2:40 CE O. Thoreck (unassisted) 

Fourth quarter
7:55 SP Tierney (unassisted)
4:43 CE C. Thoreck (Weatherbie) 

Goals:
SP- Mehlhorn, Tierney 1
CE-Perkins, O. Thoreck 4, Boechenstein, C. Thoreck 2, Bates, Ekedahl, Raymond, Spencer 1

Assists:
CE- C. Thoreck 2, Bates, Perkins, Raymond, Weatherbie 1

Faceoffs (Cape Elizabeth, 18-4)
SP- Tierney 4 of 17, Doan 0 of 4, Ellis 0 of 1
CE- Spencer 17 of 20, Lathrop 1 of 2

Ground balls (Cape Elizabeth, 50-25)
SP- Mehlhorn, Nappi 4, Savidge 3, Adams, H. Myers, Scott, Tierney, Zechman 2, Angell, Ellis, Fiorini, R. Myers 1
CE- Spencer 8, Avantaggio, Weatherbie 6, Ekedahl 4, Perkins, Price, Spidle, C. Thoreck 3, S. Dresser, Hare 2, Bates, Brydson, Croft, J. Dresser, Lathrop, Moon, Patterson, Raymond, Tarling, O. Thoreck 1

Turnovers:
SP- 23
CE- 17

Shots:
SP- 15
CE- 52

Shots on cage
SP- 9
CE- 34

Saves:
SP (Watson) 18 
CE (Price) 7 

CAPE ELIZABETH—The season may only be half over, but Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team has that championship look.

Again.

Friday evening at Hannaford Field, the Capers hosted South Portland in a crossover tilt that was expected to be highly contested, but instead, Cape Elizabeth continued its recent surge and ended the competitive phase before halftime.

Goals from senior Jeb Boeschenstein, senior Noah Bates, junior Tate Perkins, junior Finn Raymond and senior Owen Thoreck produced a 5-0 lead after one quarter.

The Capers didn’t let up in the second period either, as Perkins, Thoreck, senior Connor Thoreck, Boeschenstein and Perkins again tickled the twine to make it 10-1 at halftime.

When senior Ben Ekedahl, Perkins and senior Cole Spencer scored goals early in the third quarter, a mercy rule running clock was induced and before the the end of the frame, Owen Thoreck scored twice more for a 15-1 advantage.

Cape Elizabeth finally called off the dogs in the fourth quarter, but one finally tally from Connor Thoreck brought the curtain down on a most-emphatic 16-2 victory.

The Capers got goals from eight different players and were sparked by four apiece from Perkins and Owen Thoreck as they won their fifth game in a row, improved to 5-1 and dropped South Portland to 4-2 in the process.

“The kids were excited for a competitive game,” said longtime Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond. “The score might not be competitive, but it was a competitive game. (South Portland) competed the whole game. They didn’t slow down. They have good athletes and made us work. Nothing came easily. The kids worked hard.”

Two of the best

While Cape Elizabeth has been the standard bearer for Maine boys’ lacrosse for decades, South Portland has emerged as a power just in the past few seasons.

Even though the schools are just a few miles apart, there hasn’t been much history made head-to-head.

The first meeting came in 2009, when Cape Elizabeth rolled at South Portland, 18-3.

Last year, the young Red Riots, despite being heavy underdogs, took the then-three time defending Class B state champion Capers to the wire before losing, 9-8.

This spring, both teams have lived up to billing as top contenders.

South Portland opened with a stirring 14-13, come-from-behind overtime win over visiting nemesis Scarborough, the defending Class A state champion. After a 17-4 home win over Biddeford, South Portland hung tough with reigning Class B champion Falmouth before losing at home, 12-10. After a 10-4 win at Cheverus, the Red Riots dominated visiting Westbrook Wednesday, 22-5.

Cape Elizabeth opened with a gutwrenching 9-8 home loss to Falmouth, then won on the road at Scarborough, 13-6. The Capers hadn’t been tested since, dominating host Kennebunk (17-1), visiting York 18-2) and host Yarmouth (17-0). 

Friday, on a very pleasant 49 degree evening, the Cape Elizabeth Express rolled on in stunning fashion.

It took a little while for the Capers to open the scoring, but once Boeschenstein did the honors (assisted by Bates) with 7:33 to play in the first period, they never looked back.

After killing a penalty, Cape Elizabeth doubled its lead with 4:36 left in the first, as Connor Thoreck set up Bates for a shot which eluded South Portland sophomore goalie Quinn Watson.

Just 33 seconds later, after Spencer secured the faceoff, Perkins scored for the first time, unassisted.

With 2:15 left in the quarter, Raymond scored an unassisted goal and with 1:06 to go, Perkins set up Owen Thoreck to make it 5-0.

In the second period, Spencer consistently gave the Capers possession and they took advantage time and again.

Just 12 seconds in, after a Spencer faceoff win, Connor Thoreck got the ball to Perkins, who finished.

The Red Riots broke through with 7:51 to play in the first half, when sophomore standout Cooper Mehlhorn stole the ball and raced in and beat Cape Elizabeth senior goalie Sam Price unassisted.

The hosts would get the final four goals of the half, however, to end all doubt.

First, with 5:11 showing, Raymond set up Owen Thoreck for a score.

With 2:52 to play, after a turnover, Connor Thoreck finished.

Forty-four seconds later, Boeschenstein finished after a nice dodge and with 1:42 left, Perkins swatted home a rebound to make it 10-1 at halftime.

In the first 24 minutes, Spencer won 11 of 13 faceoffs, the Capers enjoyed a 31-16 edge in ground balls and had a commanding 28-8 shots advantage.

Cape Elizabeth scored five more times in the third, getting the clock running for good in the process.

With 7:55 left in the frame, Ekedahl, a longstick defender, raced in and finished.

Thirty-three seconds later, Perkins scored his final goal, on a rebound.

Then, with 7:15 to, Spencer won the faceoff, raced in and scored to make it 13-1.

Owen Thoreck scored twice unassisted before the quarter was over to extend the lead to 14 goals.

The Red Riots ended a 23 minute, 56 second drought when junior Jack Tierney scored unassisted with 7:55 left, but with 4:43 to go, senior Peyton Weatherbie set up Connor Thoreck for one final goal and Cape Elizabeth went on to a 16-2 victory.

“We don’t pay attention to what other teams have been doing and we do our own thing,” Owen Thoreck said. “We worked hard in practice and executed on offense. We shut off (Mehlhorn and Zechman). We’re working on the team aspect and the ‘one more’ and the good looks and open shots. We focus on that a lot and it paid off.” 

“The outcome is a little bit different and our shooting percentage might be better, but we’ve been pretty consistent in our caused turnovers and our own turnovers have been fewer,” said Ben Raymond. “More of our goals have been assisted. We’ve cleared the ball really well and we’ve done a better job getting something out of our faceoffs.” 

Perkins and Owen Thoreck led a balanced scoring attack with four goals apiece. Boeschenstein and Connor Thoreck both scored twice, while Bates, Ekedahl, Raymond and Spencer had one goal apiece.

“When that many people score, that means more of our goals are assisted,” Ben Raymond said. “Our dodgers are doing a better job getting their heads up and finding where the slides are coming and hitting the open man and we’re finishing our shots. We have a brand new offense this year. First game, we weren’t necessarily clear where the looks were supposed to be. Now, the kids are in the right spots.” 

Connor Thoreck had two assists, while Bates, Perkins, Raymond and Weatherbie all added one.

Spencer won 17 of 20 faceoffs, helping the Capers enjoy an 18-4 advantage.

“I have to give credit to Cole,” Owen Thoreck said. “He’s a stud. He gives us all those possessions.”

“Cole’s doing an excellent job,” Ben Raymond said. “Now we’re getting more possessions out of his wins. He’s putting the ball in spots where only we can get it. He’s more comfortable with the ball on his stick.”

Cape Elizabeth doubled up South Portland on ground balls, 50-25, as Spencer led the way with eight and Weatherbie and junior Ethan Avantaggio each collected six.

The Capers had a whopping 52-15 shots advantage (34-9 on cage).

Price saved seven shots.

The Capers overcame 17 turnovers.

South Portland got a goal apiece from Mehlhorn and Tierney. Mehlhorn and senior Benedetto Nappi tied for team honors in ground balls with four. Watson made 18 saves.

The Red Riots turned the ball over 23 times and never were able to give the Capers the challenge they hoped to produce.

“It was a good old fashioned shellacking,” said South Portland coach Tom Fiorini. “Cape showed up ready to play. My kids were not prepared. Shame on me. It’s that simple. Cape’s good and we were underprepared. That’s on me. We should have given them a better game.”

Second half

The first half of the regular season is complete for both squads and they both have work to do if they want to be playing at a top level by June.

South Portland hopes to bounce back Tuesday when it goes to Thornton Academy in a game crucial for Heal Points. After hosting Deering next Friday, the Red Riots travel to Marshwood the following day.

“We have a big game coming up against TA and we have to prepare for that,” Fiorini said. “The sun will come up tomorrow. We’ll be ready.” 

Cape Elizabeth has a busy week upcoming, visiting Greely Wednesday, hosting Waynflete Friday, then having its second and final regular season showdown versus Falmouth, at Falmouth, Saturday night.

“Our loss to Falmouth really hit us hard and they’re the next team to beat,” Owen Thoreck said. “I’ve played with these guys since third grade and we’ve been waiting for senior year. Our expectation is to win the state championship. We have a high standard. It’s hard, but we use that to push ourselves. We haven’t shown Falmouth too much. I’m sure it’s the same way with them. We’re sticking to the team aspect. We look forward to it. We can’t wait.”

“We’ll be excited to play Falmouth and I’m sure they’ll be excited too,” Ben Raymond said. “It’s going to be a big game. That game will probably determine homefield for the (regional final). If we split, I think we’ll wind up with more Heal Points because (our crossover) Scarborough will be worth more than (their crossover) Messalonskee. We also have Wells, who has a lot of points. The kids are doing a good job, they’re having a good time.”

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

Cape Elizabeth senior Jeb Boechenstein shoots as South Portland junior Sean Scott defends. Boechenstein scored twice.

Cape Elizabeth senior Ben Ekedahl plays close defense on South Portland sophomore Cooper Mehlhorn.

South Portland senior Jake Angell unleashes a shot.

South Portland senior Finn Zechman tries to keep the ball away from Cape Elizabeth sophomore Sam Dresser, left, and senior Connor Flaherty.

South Portland sophomore Cooper Mehlhorn beats Cape Elizabeth senior goalie Sam Price for the Red Riots’ first goal. 

Cape Elizabeth senior Ben Ekedahl is congratulated by his teammates after scoring in the second half.

Previous Cape Elizabeth-South Portland results

2016
Cape Elizabeth 9 @ South Portland 8 

2009
Cape Elizabeth 18 @ South Portland 3 

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.