Cape girls erupt late to eliminate Waynflete in quarterfinals

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Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ lacrosse team celebrates at the conclusion of Wednesday’s 10-6 Class B South quarterfinal round win over Waynflete. The Capers will go to Kennebunk for the semifinals Saturday.

Mike Strout photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Cape Elizabeth 10 Waynflete 6

W- 5 1- 6
CE- 3 7- 10

First half
22:03 W Pope (unassisted)
21:42 CE C. Chapin (Kelley)
19:02 W Burdick (free position)
14:28 CE Roberts (unassisted)
13:48 CE Kelley (unassisted)
8:48 W Olney (unassisted)
7:01 W Olney (free position)
5:59 W Pope (Canning)

Second half
20:44 CE Graham (free position)
17:38 CE Coburn (unassisted)
16:37 W Stockford (free position)
8:35 CE Healy (unassisted)
7:55 CE Coburn (K. Chapin)
6:07 CE K. Chapin (unassisted)
3:50 CE Graham (K. Chapin)
58.0 CE Healy (unassisted)

Goals:
W- Olney, Pope 2, Burdick, Stockford 1
CE- Coburn, Graham, Healy 2, C. Chapin, K. Chapin, Kelley, Roberts 1

Assists:
W- Canning 1
CE- K. Chapin 2, Kelley 1

Draws (Cape Elizabeth, 10-8)
W- Pope 7 of 16, Canning 1 of 2
CE- C. Chapin 9 of 16, K. Chapin 1 of 2

Ground balls (Cape Elizabeth, 33-23)
W- Pope 8, Canning, Wagg 3, Akers, Olney, Sangster 2, Baginski, Boedeker, Sandberg 1
CE- K. Chapin 8, C. Chapin, Coburn, Deschino 4, Graham, Haley, Harvey, Healy 2, Foley, Bosworth, Kelley, McGrath, Roberts 1

Turnovers:
W- 18
CE- 11

Shots:
W- 10
CE- 23

Shots on cage:
W- 9
CE- 20

Saves:
W (Akers) 10
CE (Foley) 3

CAPE ELIZABETH—For more than 40 minutes Wednesday evening at Hannaford Field, Waynflete’s girls’ lacrosse team had the host Cape Elizabeth Capers on the ropes, with the game played at the Flyers’ pace and all the pressure on the hosts.

But this Cape Elizabeth edition isn’t encumbered by pressure or the weight of history and with their season on the line, the Capers saved their best for last.

And as a result, will play another day.

Two weeks after giving up 15 goals in a home loss to Cape Elizabeth, the Flyers made a quick statement when senior Ali Pope scored unassisted three minutes in.

The Capers answered on a goal from junior Chloe Chapin, but junior Izzy Burdick converted a free position to put Waynflete back on top.

Cape Elizabeth got goals in a 40-second span from junior Eleanor Roberts and senior Casey Kelley to go ahead, but junior LZ Olney scored two quick goals and Pope struck again to make it 5-3 Flyers at halftime.

The Capers tied the score in the second half, as junior Susie Graham and senior Caroline Coburn found the net, but with 16:37 remaining, junior Ya Stockford’s free position goal put Waynflete ahead again, 6-5.

The Flyers protected that lead inside of nine minutes and an upset appeared possible, especially considering that Waynflete had won nine of 10 previous playoff meetings, but with 8:35 on the clock, junior Emily Healy tied the score.

Forty seconds later, Coburn scored and the hosts were ahead to stay and they weren’t done.

After freshman Karli Chapin stretched the lead, goals from Graham and Healy iced it and Cape Elizabeth went on to a 10-6 victory.

Seven different Capers scored, led by Coburn, Graham and Healy with two goals apiece, and they improved to 8-5, ended the Flyers’ season at 7-6 and advanced to the Class B South semifinals where they’ll play at defending state champion Kennebunk, the top seed, Saturday at 11 a.m.

“All we (coaches) said at halftime was that it’s 0-0,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Alex Spark. “It was 7-1 in the second half. We’ve done a good job battling mentally this year. We started fresh and turned the game around. That was awesome to watch.” 

Compelling showdown

Waynflete and Cape Elizabeth have played some memorable playoff games this decade, meeting in four of the past five seasons.

In 2012, the undefeated Capers hosted the Flyers in the Western B Final and led at one point, 8-4, but Waynflete rallied to tie before breaking Cape Elizabeth’s heart, 11-10, on Walker Foehl’s goal in the third overtime, and went on to win the Class B championship.

The next year, the Flyers got a mindboggling 10 goals from Martha Veroneau in a 16-9 regional final win, then won their most recent title.

In 2014, the Capers finally solved the Waynflete riddle, downing the Flyers for the first time in 25 meetings over a dozen seasons and for the first time ever in the playoffs, 9-8, on Abby McInerney’s goal in the waning seconds.

Two years ago, Waynflete got a measure of revenge with an 8-4 home win over Cape Elizabeth in the quarterfinals.

Last spring, the Capers missed the playoffs and the Flyers were ousted by eventual champion Kennebunk in the semifinals.

This season, both squads had their ups and down en route to 7-5 campaigns (see sidebar, below, for links to previous stories).

Cape Elizabeth’s 15-9 win at Waynflete May 24 was a big reason the Capers earned the No. 4 seed over the Flyers. 

Entering play Wednesday, Waynflete had won all but one of the 10 prior playoff encounters, but this time, it would be Cape Elizabeth celebrating at the end.

Flyers freshman goalie Avis Akers came up big early, denying Graham, then after Healy intercepted her clear, she robbed Healy as well.

The Flyers struck first with 22:03 on the first half clock, as Pope scored unassisted.

The Capers got their offense going 21 seconds later, as Kelley set up Chloe Chapin.

Waynflete bounced right back with 19:02 remaining in the half, as Burdick beat Cape Elizabeth sophomore goalie Erin Foley with a free position.

Both goalies then came up big, as Foley denied Flyers junior Laura Baginski and at the other end, Akers robbed Healy.

With 14:28 to go in the half, after a turnover, Roberts raced in and beat Akers to make it 2-2.

The Capers then took their first lead 40 seconds later, as Kelley fought through two defenders before finding the net.

After Foley denied Stockford, an injury hindered the visitors, as promising freshman defender Anna Wildes hurt her leg and she didn’t return.

Akers kept the deficit at one by denying Coburn and after Pope shot wide on a free position, Olney tied the game with an unassisted tally with 8:48 on the clock.

With 7:01 left, Olney put Waynflete back on top with a free position.

Pope then extended the lead 62 seconds later, as Canning set up Pope.

Late in the half, Akers denied Healy, Graham shot wide on a free position, Healy had a free position blocked by a defender and Graham had a shot saved, allowing the Flyers to take a 5-3 lead to the break.

In the first 25 minutes, Cape Elizabeth had an 11-8 edge in shots, but Akers made six saves.

Things would change in the Capers’ favor in the second half, although they couldn’t take control until late.

Cape Elizabeth came out a different team in the second half and while Akers denied Chloe Chapin on a free position early, Graham got a chance on a free position and with 20:44 to go, converted it to cut the deficit to 5-4, snapping an 18-minute, 4-second drought in the process.

Waynflete coach Cathie Connors called timeout, but the Capers kept the pressure on.

After Akers denied Coburn and Graham, Coburn scooped up the rebound and finished to tie the score, 5-5, with 17:38 on the clock.

The Flyers didn’t wilt, however, and with 16:37 to go, Stockford scored on a free position, on the team’s first shot of the half, to put the visitors back on top, 6-5.

Akers protected the lead by robbing Graham with 12:34 remaining, but with 8:35 left, Cape Elizabeth got the equalizer, as Healy scored unassisted.

It took a mere 40 seconds for the Capers to go back ahead, this time to stay, as Karli Chapin passed to Coburn, who finished for a 7-6 lead.

“It was a quick pass and I didn’t think about it too much,” Coburn said. “I didn’t want the goalie to set up.”

“Caroline has been a quiet leader on the field since day one,” Spark said. “She’s produced all season. That was great to see.”

Waynflete hoped to counter, but Chloe Chapin won the ensuing draw and Cape Elizabeth set up to run down the clock.

Instead, Karli Chapin found a seam and raced in and beat Akers to make it 8-6 with 6:07 to go.

The Flyers got the ball on the ensuing draw, but turned it over and after running down the clock, Karli Chapin set up Graham for the dagger with 3:50 left.

“We call it a very, very green light,” Spark said. “We did try to take some time off the clock, but they know to go if there’s a clear lane to goal. We found two of them. We made them chase us and it worked to our advantage.”

With 58 seconds left, Healy scored one final goal, unassisted, and that brought the curtain down on the Capers’ 10-6 triumph.

“This is huge,” Chloe Chapin said. “We all wanted this as a team. We came out hard. We worked on controlling the ball and making smart plays.”

“At the beginning, we were really jumbled up and unfocused, but we came back and started playing as a unit again,” Coburn said. “It was nervewracking (at the end), but we practice those kinds of situations a lot. We wanted to come out strong and play our game.”

“I’m used to losing to (Waynflete) since I’ve been here,” Spark added. “It was such a good game. I knew they’d come out for revenge. When you face Cathie Connors and Waynflete, you can’t take them lightly. They’re so well-coached and they have great players and great kids and they gave us a run for our money. Kudos to them. They’re a fantastic program.”

Coburn, Graham and Healy all scored twice, while Chloe Chapin, Karli Chapin, Kelley and Roberts each had one goal.

“Our balance is awesome,” Chloe Chapin said. “We all know we can get the job done.”

Karli Chapin had two assists and Kelley added one.

Foley stopped three shots.

The Capers had a 10-8 edge in draws, as Chloe Chapin won 9 of 16 chances, including six out of 10 in the second half.

“I communicated with the other girls on the circle and I tried to place it and put it where I wanted it to go,” said Chapin. “I trusted my teammates and they did a great job.”

“Draws were huge in the second half,” Spark said. “They got them in the first half. Isabel and Ali are two great players with height, which is what we lack in the midfield. Possession was key. We got it done in the second half.”

Cape Elizabeth had a 33-23 advantage in ground balls (Karli Chapin led the way with eight), outshot Waynflete, 23-10 (20-9 on cage), and overcame a more than respectable 11 turnovers.

Bright future

Waynflete was paced by two goals apiece from Olney and Pope. Burdick and Stockford both scored once.

Canning had an assist.

Akers made 10 clutch saves.

Pope had a team-high eight ground balls.

The Flyers turned the ball over 18 times.

“It just didn’t go our way,” Connors lamented. “We did our best. Avis had great saves and the defense played really hard. Losing a defender was unfortunate. We played a nice clean game. We played to the end and I’m proud of them. They’re great lacrosse players. We tried to keep the lead and tried to slow it down a little bit and regroup. We tweaked a lot of things that happened last game and closed some holes. (Cape’s) super-athletic. They have a ton of shooters and tried to spread them out.” 

Waynflete fell short of the semifinals for the first time since the Maine Principals’ Association began sponsoring the sport in 1998, but with only Canning and Pope graduating, you have to believe the Flyers will be on the short list of title favorites in 2018.

“The seniors were huge for us,” Connors said. “Isabel and Ali left their heart and soul on the field. They were awesome leaders. It’s a very young team and I’m psyched for the years to come.”

Down the turnpike

Cape Elizabeth suffered a 6-5 home loss to Kennebunk in its regular season finale May 30, but erased a three-goal second half deficit before giving up the go-ahead tally in the final minute.

Kennebunk has won three of four prior playoff meetings, but the most recent went to Cape Elizabeth, 8-7, in overtime, in the 2014 Western B Final.

This time around, the Capers have nothing to lose and they’re going to be tough to beat.

“This is huge for us,” Coburn said. “Last year was tough. This year it’s great that we can show we can compete with teams. We’re not done. If we keep playing our game, nothing will stop us.”

“We’re ready,” Chloe Chapin said. “We want it a lot. We have to play the way we did in the second half and keep our momentum and energy.”

“Our goal was to reach the playoffs and we’ve done that,” Spark added. “We’re excited to be here. The girls see the hard work paying off. We’ve taken it one game at a time. Today’s focus was Waynflete. Now, Kennebunk will be on our mind. It’s going to be a great rematch. We had a great game last time. We’ve gotten better, they’ve gotten better. It’s set up to be a great game. We do have confidence. The girls know after so many close games, they see that they can be in a position of power. They’ve executed beautifully. I’m so excited for them as a coach.”

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

Waynflete junior LZ Olney tries to get past Cape Elizabeth sophomore Mary Cate Hayes.

Cape Elizabeth sophomore Tory McGrath carries the ball as Waynflete junior Ya Stockford keeps up.

Waynflete sophomore Sophie Sangster scoops up a ground ball as Cape Elizabeth junior Susie Graham looks on.

Waynflete senior Ali Pope defends Cape Elizabeth senior Caroline Coburn.

Waynflete junior Ya Stockford shoots past Cape Elizabeth senior Mariah Deschino and scores on a free position.

Waynflete senior Isabel Canning runs up the field as Cape Elizabeth senior Caroline Coburn, right, and sophomore Mary Cate Hayes defend.

Cape Elizabeth junior Susie Graham protects the ball from Waynflete junior Izzy Burdick.

Cape Elizabeth senior Caroline Coburn, right, is congratulated by junior Emily Healy after scoring a second half goal.

Previous Cape Elizabeth stories

Season Preview

Cape Elizabeth 15 Waynflete 9

Kennebunk 6 Cape Elizabeth 5

Previous Waynflete stories

Season Preview

Waynflete 16 NYA 2

Yarmouth 12 Waynflete 4

Waynflete 15 Cheverus 8

Waynflete 11 Lake Region 10 (2 OT)

Cape Elizabeth 15 Waynflete 9

Waynflete 8 Falmouth 7

Previous Waynflete-Cape Elizabeth playoff results

2015
Western B quarterfinals
@ Waynflete 8 Cape Elizabeth 4

2014
Western B semifinals
Cape Elizabeth 9 @ Waynflete 8 

2013
Western B Final
@ Waynflete 16 Cape Elizabeth 9

2012
Western B Final
Waynflete 11 @ Cape Elizabeth 10 (3 OT)

2011
Western B Final
@ Waynflete 8 Cape Elizabeth 7

2009
Western B Final
@ Waynflete 9 Cape Elizabeth 5

2008
Western B semifinals
@ Waynflete 11 Cape Elizabeth 1

2007
Western B quarterfinals
@ Waynflete 13 Cape Elizabeth 3

2003
West Region semifinals
@ Waynflete 16 Cape Elizabeth 7

1999
State quarterfinals
@ Waynflete 10 Cape Elizabeth 4

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