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Cape Elizabeth junior Tate Perkins jumps for joy after a Capers’ goal during Saturday’s 13-6 win at Scarborough in a crossover showdown.
Chris Lambert photos.
More photos below.
CE- 2 5 3 3- 13
S- 2 1 3 0- 6
10:59 CE Raymond (unassisted)
7:17 S Manfra (unassisted)
5:21 CE O. Thoreck (unassisted)
4:08 S Thibault (Manfra)
7:50 CE C. Thoreck (unassisted)
5:11 CE Carroll (C. Thoreck)
4:32 S Neugebauer (unassisted)
4:11 CE S. Dresser (unassisted)
2:38 CE C. Thoreck (unassisted)
1:27 CE Perkins (unassisted)
11:40 S Parks (Guerette)
11:25 S Guerette (unassisted)
10:30 CE Brydson (unassisted)
8:21 CE O. Thoreck (Perkins)
6:37 CE O. Thoreck (unassisted)
5:19 S Thibault (Neugebauer)
11:45 CE C. Thoreck (unassisted)
11:10 CE C. Thoreck (unassisted)
24.9 CE S. Dresser (unassisted)
CE- C. Thoreck 4, O. Thoreck 3, S. Dresser 2, Brydson, Carroll, Perkins, Raymond 1
S- Thibault 2, Guerette, Manfra, Neugebauer, Parks 1
CE- Perkins, C. Thoreck 1
S- Guerette, Manfra, Neugebauer 1
Faceoffs (Cape Elizabeth, 17-5)
CE- Spencer 17 of 22
S- Lagerquist 2 of 12, Granzier 3 of 9, Thibault 0 of 1
Groundballs (Cape Elizabeth, 52-29)
CE- Spencer 11, Ekedahl 6, O. Thoreck 5, Avantaggio, C. Thoreck, Weatherbie 4, Carroll, Perkins, Spidle 3, S. Dresser 2, Bates, Boechenstein, Brydson, Flaherty, Hare, Patterson, Tarling 1
S- Manfra 5, Guerette, Murray 4, Lagerquist 3, Joy, Parks, Quirk, Thibault, Wasser 2, Blaisdell, Cusson, Neugebauer 1
Shots on cage:
CE (J. Dresser) 9
S (Joy) 21
SCARBOROUGH—Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team is difficult to match up with under ordinary circumstances.
When the Capers are coming off a loss like Wednesday evening’s frustrating home setback to rival Falmouth, good luck to the team standing on the other side of the field.
Saturday afternoon at the Kippy Mitchell Sports Complex, that team was Scarborough, the defending Class A state champion, which managed to go toe-to-toe with Cape Elizabeth for big swaths of the game, but the Red Storm could only slow the Capers so long in a compelling early season interclass showdown.
Scarborough, which didn’t score a single goal in last year’s loss at Cape Elizabeth, answered an early tally from Capers junior Finn Raymond with an unassisted goal from junior Marco Manfra. After senior Owen Thoreck put the Capers back on top, junior Cam Thibault scored to pull the Red Storm even, 2-2, after one quarter.
While Scarborough senior goalie Dom Joy made six saves in the first period, Cape Elizabeth began to get better looks in the second quarter and even Joy couldn’t keep the ball out of the net.
With 7:50 to play in the first half, the Capers went ahead to stay on the first goal of the day from senior Connor Thoreck.
Junior Ben Carroll added another goal, but senior Sam Neugebauer got one back for the hosts.
The rest of the half belonged to Cape Elizabeth, however, as sophomore Sam Dresser, Connor Thoreck and junior Tate Perkins all scored unassisted to make it 7-3 at halftime.
To their credit, the Red Storm made things interesting in the first 35 seconds of the second half, getting goals from sophomore Mason Parks and senior Marc Guerette, but that’s as close as they would get.
By the end of the third quarter, the Capers led, 10-6, as junior Jacob Brydson scored after a turnover and Owen Thoreck tickled the twine twice before Thibault got a goal back for the hosts.
With junior Cole Spencer winning almost every faceoff and Cape Elizabeth’s stellar defense and freshman goalie Jack Dresser holding Scarborough at bay the rest of the way, Connor Thoreck scored two more goals and Sam Dresser added another as the Capers went on to a 13-6 victory.
Connor Thoreck had four goals, Owen Thoreck finished with three and seven different players scored as Cape Elizabeth stayed unbeaten all-time versus the Red Storm, evened its record at 1-1 and dropped Scarborough to 2-2 in the process.
“We might have played a little better today,” said longtime Capers coach Ben Raymond. “We were definitely more consistent. (Scarborough’s) a good team, they’re just nowhere near as athletic as us.”
Scarborough has enjoyed an abundance of success over the years, but the Red Storm hadn’t gotten close to beating Cape Elizabeth in seven previous all-time meetings (see sidebar, below).
Last spring, the host Capers pitched a 10-0 shutout and entered play Saturday with an 80-13 composite edge in goals.
This meeting figured to be closer, as Scarborough not only is the defending Class A champion, but has a lot of firepower. The Red Storm opened by sandwiching wins at Gorham (15-9) and at home over Westbrook (14-3) around a 14-13 overtime setback at South Portland.
Cape Elizabeth started Wednesday with a gutwrenching 9-8 home loss to Falmouth, the team which upset the Capers in last year’s Class B South Final, ending their three-year title reign.
“We were really fired up after losing,” Connor Thoreck said. “That was a taste of medicine we needed. Falmouth wanted that win more than us. They caught us off guard. That was good. That got us motivated to play them again.”
“We told ourselves to move on, but to keep it in the back of our heads, since we’ll see them one or two more times,” Spencer said.
“We talked about our play and what we needed to do to continue to improve as a team,” Ben Raymond added. “Looking back at the game, it was a really tight game. Statistically, we won the game, except for on the scoreboard.”
Saturday, on a pleasant 76-degree afternoon, Scarborough hung tight as long as it could, but ultimately, Cape Elizabeth just had too much firepower.
Spencer won the game’s opening faceoff and 1 minute, 1 second in, the Capers had the first goal, as Finn Raymond scored unassisted.
The Red Storm answered with 7:17 to play in the first period, as Manfra scored to make it 1-1, snapping Scarborough’s 59 minute, 44 second scoring drought against the Capers, dating back to the 2015 meeting.
Cape Elizabeth retook the lead with 5:21 to go, as Owen Thoreck was the beneficiary of a fortunate bounce and he beat Joy, who had no chance on the shot.
Again, Scarborough responded, as with 4:08 remaining in the first, Manfra set up Thibault to make it 2-2.
The hosts almost took the lead later in the frame, but Neugebauer hit the post and the game went to the second quarter deadlocked.
The Capers then began to take control all over the field, as Spencer won faceoff after faceoff, their potent offense finished and the smothering defense held the Red Storm at bay.
After senior defender Ben Ekedahl made a nice run and hit the post with 9:54 to play before halftime, Cape Elizabeth went on top to stay with 7:50 showing, when Connor Thoreck, despite being blanketed by a defender, managed to snap off a rocket that Joy couldn’t stop.
With 5:11 remaining in the half, Connor Thoreck set up Carroll, who made it 4-2.
Scarborough got its lone second period goal with 4:32 left, when Neugebauer scored unassisted, but a mere 21 seconds later, Sam Dresser scored unassisted to restore the two-goal bulge.
With 2:38 left before halftime, Connor Thoreck got the ball with a head of steam and Joy couldn’t stop his shot.
With 1:27 to go, Perkins scored his lone goal, unassisted, and after Jack Dresser robbed Manfra in transition, the lead was 7-3 at the break.
In the first half, Spencer won 9 of 12 faceoffs and the Capers put 20 shots on goal, compared to just seven for the Red Storm. Only 13 saves from Joy kept Scarborough within hailing distance.
As they did to start the game, the Red Storm started fast in the second half too.
Thanks to a penalty on Cape Elizabeth just before halftime, Scarborough started the third period with the ball and Guerette set up Parks for a goal just 20 seconds in.
A mere 15 seconds later, after a rare faceoff win, the Red Storm struck again, as Guerette scored unassisted to make it a 7-5 game.
“We wanted to execute one play at a time, a ground ball, a clear, make a play,” Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep said. “We strung some things together, but we weren’t able to keep it going.”
The Capers answered with 10:30 remaining in the third, as after Scarborough turned the ball over in its defensive end, Brydson pounced on it and beat Joy to make it 8-5.
With 8:21 showing, Perkins set up Owen Thoreck for a goal and a 9-5 lead.
After Owen Thoreck was called for a penalty and subsequently came back on the field, he got the ball and finished unassisted to make it 10-5 with 6:37 to go in the frame.
Scarborough finally got a goal back with 5:19 remaining, as Neugebauer set up Thibault, but the hosts wouldn’t score again.
A late save from Dresser preserved Cape Elizabeth’s 10-6 lead heading for the final stanza, where the Capers squeezed the life out of the Red Storm.
Spencer won the faceoff to start the fourth period, the ball came to Connor Thoreck and Thoreck raced in and beat Joy to make it 11-6 with 11:45 to play.
Thirty-five seconds later, after another Spencer faceoff win, Connor Thoreck used a screen from Finn Raymond to get some separation, then sent a rocket past Joy for a 12-6 advantage.
“They have some good players and Dom had an unbelievable game,” said Thoreck. “He saved everything low. They wanted it, but we wanted it too and we came out on top. I just try to shoot as hard as I can at the ground. I look to pass too if that is there.”
Scarborough couldn’t answer and with just 24.9 seconds to go, Sam Dresser’s second goal, unassisted, brought the curtain down on the Capers’ 13-6 victory.
“Hopefully this gets us rolling the rest of the season,” said Spencer.
“I like games like this,” Connor Thoreck said. “It’s hard to beat teams and not get much out of it. We want to perform in big games and have teams test us.”
“Some of the kids we have playing have some varsity experience, but only to a point,” Ben Raymond added. “Connor, Owen and Tate have played in these games, but everyone else is inexperienced. Finn has played in these games, but his role is 100 percent different. We need him to score goals, not just play defense or pick up ground balls. Our defensive crew is back, but they’re playing with different people and getting used to that.”
Cape Elizabeth’s offense was led by Connor Thoreck, who scored four times and had an assist. Owen Thoreck added three goals.
“Owen and Connor are two of our leaders and better players,” Ben Raymond said. “Connor, whenever he has a short-stick on him, should be looking to attack the cage. He’s hard to stop when he’s full speed. His performance today was the difference. Owen is continuing to develop his off-ball skills. He didn’t necessarily create his own goals, but he helped his teammates.”
Sam Dresser scored twice, while Brydson, Carroll, Perkins (one assist) and Finn Raymond had one goal apiece.
Spencer was stellar in the faceoff circle, winning 17 of 22 opportunities.
“It was a good day,” Spencer said. “(The Red Storm) had their best pole on me, so I played it with my back to him, so if he pushed me, I could get the ball and pass it to one of my wings. This is huge momentum for us considering our loss a couple days ago. Sophomore year, Coach thought I had some potential on faceoffs. I was sidelined most of last year because of a concussion and a stress fracture in my leg so I couldn’t take many. This is a big year for me. My wing men helped me a lot today. It’s good to go up against top talent. That challenges me.”
“Cole has waited for this for four years,” Connor Thoreck said. “He got his shot and he’s performed. He’s very knowledgeable and we’re lucky to have him.”
“Faceoffs are an important piece of what we’re trying to do, but we have to work more on keeping possession,” Ben Raymond added. “Even when (Cole) won it clean, we’re having a hard time taking advantage. They put Reece up there and that made things more difficult. (Cole’s) doing a great job of winning them. Today, we got a lot of possession out of it. We just need to do more with it.”
Scarborough had to tip its cap as well.
“Spencer is one of the best in getting the ball on his stick,” Hezlep said. “I will say they won more faceoffs, but I think we did a pretty good job getting the ball back. In my eyes, it was closer to 50-50. We had to work hard after the ball was out. That’s why Reece was up so much taking faceoffs.”
Jack Dresser debuted by making nine saves.
“Our freshman goalie stepped up and worked hard,” said Connor Thoreck.
“Jack played great,” Ben Raymond said. “He’s a very good goalie. He works very hard. I don’t think anyone on our team was nervous having him in there. It was nice for him to step in in a meaningful game and get some experience. This is probably the best defense he’ll play with in his high school career. It’s a good way for him to start.”
The Capers won the ground ball battle, 52-29 (Spencer had a game-high 11 and Ekedahl grabbed six) and outshot the Red Storm, 50-25 (34-15 on cage). They overcame 22 turnovers.
Scarborough got two goals from Thibault and one apiece from Guerette, Manfra, Neugebauer and Parks.
Guerette, Manfra and Neugebauer all had assists.
Manfra had a team-high five ground balls, while Guerette and senior Eric Murray grabbed four.
Joy dazzled with 21 saves.
“Dom has matured so much,” Hezlep said. “The difference in the goalie he is this year from last year is leaps and bounds. He’s quicker, he understands what we’re doing defensively so much better. He’s able to direct guys to good positions so he can see the shots he wants to more often.”
The Red Storm turned the ball over 22 times.
“We definitely played better, but in typical fashion, Cape finished and executed better than we did,” Hezlep lamented. “That was the story of the day. We had our opportunities. We did a lot of things we wanted to, we handled their pressure far better than we have the past few years and we put pressure on them, but we couldn’t put shots on cage when we needed to and we weren’t able to finish. I’ve known Jack Dresser a long time. He’s a very talented goalie. We have three returning starters at attack and far more in the midfield and we had to challenge him. We didn’t get enough shots on cage to make him work hard enough.”
Scarborough looks to bounce back Tuesday at always-tough Thornton Academy. Portland pays a visit Thursday.
“We’re doing a lot of things really well, but our focus has to be on finishing,” Hezlep said. “We have to make stops on defense and score goals on offense. We have some important games coming up. We have to start winning, that’s for sure.”
Cape Elizabeth has another tough road test Wednesday against Kennebunk, then comes home Saturday to face York.
“We’re back on track now,” Spencer said. “Hopefully we can keep rolling.”
“We have to finish with the ball and play better team defense, sliding better, talking and communicating,” Connor Thoreck said. “I’ve been playing with most of these guys my entire life. We just want to come out on top this year.”
“I’d like to have these games every day,” Ben Raymond added. “The hardest thing about high school lacrosse in Maine is the ups and downs with the schedule and the way it’s done. It’s really difficult to show up with the same enthusiasm. We have no problem getting up for these games. It’s great to see this level of play two games in a row. I’d love to have these challenges in the middle of the season, but we have Kennebunk Wednesday and that will be a good game because it’s down there.”
Scarborough junior Reece Lagerquist tries to slow Cape Elizabeth senior Connor Thoreck. Thoreck had a game-high four goals.
Cape Elizabeth sophomore Phil Tarling launches a shot.
Scarborough junior Marco Manfra runs into a Cape Elizabeth brick wall named Peyton Weatherbie.
Scarborough senior Sam Neugebauer fires a shot past Cape Elizabeth senior Ben Ekedahl.
Scarborough junior Cam Thibault sends Cape Elizabeth junior Tate Perkins flying.
Cape Elizabeth senior Jeb Boechenstein tries to get around Scarborough junior Drew Cusson.
@ Cape Elizabeth 10 Scarborough 0
@ Cape Elizabeth 8 Scarborough 2
West Region quarterfinals
@ Cape Elizabeth 13 Scarborough 1
@ Cape Elizabeth 14 Scarborough 0
@ Cape Elizabeth 15 Scarborough 1