FALMOUTH—In the early going this season, much has been made of the strength of Western Class B girls’ lacrosse.
Preseason favorite Kennebunk is living up to its lofty billing, Waynflete, as always, is Waynflete, Falmouth dazzled in its first three outings and even upstart York is stealing headlines.
Lost in the shuffle are the defending regional champions themselves, the new-look Capers of Cape Elizabeth, who reminded everyone Wednesday evening in Falmouth that they plan to make another run at the top spot.
Cape Elizabeth managed to hold the potent Yachtsmen in check, but played from behind virtually throughout. Falmouth held leads of 3-1 and 4-2 in the first half, then went up 5-3 and finally 6-4 in the second half, after sophomore Devin Sarazin scored with 16:03 to play, but the Capers, as they did last June, saved their best for last.
Sophomore Mariah Deschino, who played the hero in an overtime win Monday, pulled her team within one with 11:03 to play. Senior Kirsten Rudberg then tied the score with 5:17 to play and with just 1:25 remaining, Deschino converted a free position to give Cape Elizabeth the lead.
The Capers defense and standout senior goalie Kate Bosworth did the rest and Cape Elizabeth held on for a 7-6 victory.
Deschino, Rudberg and senior Emma Landes all scored twice, Bosworth made 12 saves and the Capers improved to 3-1, dropping the Yachtsmen to 2-1 in the process.
“We came into this game knowing how well Falmouth’s been doing and we wanted to show we could play with them,” Rudberg said. “I think it’s a huge turning point for our team. We lost a lot of star players and we lost our head coach. This game proves how confident we are and how well we can do even with those changes and gives us the confidence we need to go forward.”
After its stirring run to the state final (which it lost, 13-10, to Yarmouth) a year ago, Cape Elizabeth graduated several standouts, including Spring Female Athlete of the Year Abby McInerney (who had a strong freshman season at Trinity College), and saw coach Jeff Perkins step down. Perkins was replaced by Alex Spark, who inherited a raw, but promising squad this spring.
The Capers hosted Greely in their opener, but after regulation and two overtimes, the game remained tied, 5-5, and was called, only to be completed Monday. Before that happened, Cape Elizabeth won at home over Freeport, 12-6, then lost at York Saturday, 10-5. Monday, Deschino scored early in the “sudden victory” overtime to complete a 6-5 win over Greely.
Falmouth was ousted by Cape Elizabeth in last year’s quarterfinals, 13-6, but got off to a fast start in 2015, downing host Yarmouth, 14-9, then dominating visiting Fryeburg Academy, 18-1.
Entering play Wednesday, Falmouth had lost seven straight times to Cape Elizabeth, including all three meetings a year ago.
To say the Yachtsmen were looking forward to gaining a measure of revenge would be an understatement, but instead, they suffered a gutwrenching loss, which gave the Capers a big emotional lift.
Despite the offensive weaponry on display, goals would be at a premium all night.
It took a little over five minutes for the first goal to be scored, as Rudberg did the honors, finishing unassisted for a 1-0 lead.
Cape Elizabeth wouldn’t lead again until late in regulation.
Falmouth drew even with 18:21 to play in the first half, when sophomore Sydney Bell scored unassisted. With 11:28 left, senior captain Lizzie Goodrich finished a feed from junior London Bernier to put the Yachtsmen on top. A mere 31 seconds later, Bell scored unassisted again to make it 3-1.
With 7:01 remaining before halftime, Landes scored on a free position to snap a 12 minute, 54 second scoring drought, but 24 seconds later, Goodrich scored her second goal, with senior Leigh Bernardy getting the assist, to make it 4-2.
The Capers drew back within a goal when senior Taylor Herrera beat Falmouth sophomore goalie Mary Budri, with Landes getting the assist.
Little changed in the second half, which was close throughout.
The Yachtsmen went back on top by two, 5-3, when Bell scored her third and final goal, unassisted, with 22:24 to play.
Cape Elizabeth never panicked and with 16:30 remaining, Herrera set up Landes for a goal, making it 5-4.
But 27 seconds later, Sarazin scored unassisted and one final time, Falmouth was up by two, 6-4.
Bosworth and the Capers defense wouldn’t get beaten again and the offense crawled back.
With 11:03 to play, Deschino scored her first goal, showing off her blazing speed before finishing unassisted, and again Cape Elizabeth only trailed by a goal, 6-5.
“Mariah is so fast,” Spark said. “There’s no one who can stay with her. Her legs move too quick.”
This time, the Capers would complete the comeback, as Rudberg got a step on a defender, then beat Budri with 5:17 left to forge a 6-6 deadlock.
“Staying composed and keeping possession were our main goals,” Rudberg said. “We’d been trying that play multiple times and it was just a little bit off every time. We knew once we tied it up, it would give us confidence to keep going because we’re definitely a second half team.”
As time wound down, overtime appeared imminent, but Cape Elizabeth would take advantage of an offensive chance and Deschino earned a free position.
With 1:25 left, Deschino raced in on Budri and fired a shot into the goal for a 7-6 lead, the Capers’ first advantage since early in the game.
“I block everything out and try to focus just on the goalie and the goal and just try to get it in,” Deschino said.
Falmouth would get possession when Bernardy won the ensuing draw, but Bosworth made her final save on a Bell shot and as time expired, the Capers defense prevented a final look, putting the wraps on a 7-6 victory.
“We came in knowing (Falmouth would be) a very good team and we stuck to our game and competed,” Deschino said. “We had the motivation, but at times we doubted we’d come back. We hoped and we knew we had to. We ended up doing it. “
“We came out and we really wanted it,” said Bosworth. “I was so excited about the defense tonight. I knew the offense would pull through. Things can get rocky at the beginning of the season. This will definitely boost our confidence and help us in the upcoming weeks. The freshmen have proved they’re really good. I don’t think having a young team is a negative. I think it’s awesome.”
“We had a tough loss against York where we didn’t play that well and we were kind of questioning our confidence, but we came out today against Falmouth, who has so many good players, and our defense played so well,” Spark added. “Our attack was patient. We made good choices and took good shots. I’m so proud. It was a fight to the very end. We had unforced turnovers early in the game that put us down a couple goals, but halftime brought us back. The girls focused on the last 25 minutes.”
Cape Elizabeth had a balanced attack, as Deschino, Landes and Rudberg all scored two goals and Herrera added one. Herrera and Landes each had one assist.
Bosworth dazzled with a dozen saves.
“I saw the ball well,” Bosworth said. “It helps that the sun sets so much later now. The defense really communicated. I knew where they were. Everything went well.”
Bosworth had many admirers following the game.
“Kate is so unbelievable,” said Rudberg. “She gives us so much confidence on defense and it gives us motivation to help her out because she does so much for us.”
“Every game, Kate comes up huge,” Spark said. “There are really no words. She’s an enforcer in the goal. She’s loud. She leads the defense. I don’t know what I’d do without her.”
“Kate’s an amazing goalie,” said Falmouth coach Kait Johnson. “She always has been and always will be. I commend her ten-fold, she played an amazing game, as usual.”
Falmouth got three goals from Bell, two from Goodrich and the other from Sarazin. Bernardy and Bernier both had assists. Budri made six saves, but it just wasn’t the Yachtsmen’s night.
“I think we beat ourselves this game with turnovers,” said Johnson. “We played young today. A lot of things didn’t go our way. I wish I could change that. It was a humbling game. This is how we get better. It’s a learning experience to build on. I believe we’re a better team than Cape on both ends of the field. We’re lucky we’ll get to see them again on June 3rd.”
Falmouth has a chance to bounce right back when it hosts Thornton Academy in a crossover game Friday night. The Yachtsmen then go to Waynflete and Gorham and host York.
“We’ll get this out of our system,” Johnson said. “We have one day and then we’ll forget about it. We’ll only get better.”
Cape Elizabeth hopes to build on this win when it hosts Gorham in a crossover game Saturday. The Capers then go to Kennebunk and visit Waynflete, as they’ll face two teams eager to avenge upset playoff losses from last year.
“This gives us a lot of hope to go out there and win,” Deschino said. “Now we know we can beat very good teams.”
“We’d been struggling with confidence with all the changes in our team, but this gives us motivation to go forward and do really well,” Rudberg said.
“In the past two weeks, things have started to jell,” Spark added. “This win brings us closer together as a team. I think we’ll keep moving forward. I’m very excited for the rest of the season.”
Cape Elizabeth senior goalie Kate Bosworth makes one of her 12 saves.
Falmouth senior Jenna Costa tries in vain to catch up with Cape Elizabeth sophomore Mariah Deschino.
Falmouth junior London Bernier prepares to shoot on Cape Elizabeth senior goalie Kate Bosworth.
Cape Elizabeth sophomore Hannah Bosworth is defended by Falmouth sophomore Gabby Farrell as she brings the ball up the field.
Cape Elizabeth senior Kirsten Rudberg races up the field.
Cape Elizabeth senior Emma Landes beats Falmouth sophomore Mary Budri on a first half free position shot.
Falmouth sophomore Olivia Stucker weaves through the Cape Elizabeth defense.
Cape Elizabeth sophomore Mariah Deschino races in to score the winning goal on a free position with 1:25 to play.
Recent Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth meetings
@ Cape Elizabeth 12 Falmouth 5
Cape Elizabeth 10 @ Falmouth 7
Western B quarterfinals
@ Cape Elizabeth 13 Falmouth 6
Cape Elizabeth 18 @ Falmouth 5
@ Cape Elizabeth 17 Falmouth 10
Cape Elizabeth 15 @ Falmouth 14
@ Falmouth 11 Cape Elizabeth 9
Western B semifinals
Cape Elizabeth 14 @ Falmouth 12
@ Falmouth 11 Cape Elizabeth 8 (OT)
Western B semifinals
@ Falmouth 11 Cape Elizabeth 10
Cape Elizabeth 16 @ Falmouth 10
Cape Elizabeth 9 @ Falmouth 7
@ Falmouth 8 Cape Elizabeth 6
@ Cape Elizabeth 7 Falmouth 5 (OT)
@ Cape Elizabeth 14 Falmouth 9
Cape Elizabeth 14 @ Falmouth 4
@ Cape Elizabeth 14 Falmouth 5
West Region preliminary round
@ Cape Elizabeth 16 Falmouth 6
Cape Elizabeth 14 @ Falmouth 3
Northwest Division preliminary round
@ Cape Elizabeth 14 Falmouth 2
Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ lacrosse team celebrates Wednesday’s 7-6 come-from-behind win at previously undefeated Falmouth.
Ben McCanna photos.
More photos below.
Cape Elizabeth 7 Falmouth 6
CE- 3 4- 7
F- 4 2- 6
19:55 CE K. Rudberg (unassisted)
18:21 F Bell (unassisted)
11:28 F Goodrich (Bernier)
10:57 F Bell (unasisted)
7:01 CE Landes (free position)
6:37 F Goodrich (Bernardy)
2:23 CE Herrera (Landes)
22:24 F Bell (unassisted)
16:30 CE Landes (Herrera)
16:03 F Sarazin (unassisted)
11:03 CE Deschino (unassisted)
5:17 CE K. Rudberg (unassisted)
1:25 CE Deschino (free position)
CE- Deschino, Landes, K. Rudberg 2, Herrera 1
F- Bell 3, Goodrich 2, Sarazin 1
CE- Herrera, Landes 1
F- Bernardy, Bernier 1
CE (Bosworth) 12
F (Budri) 6