CAPE ELIZABETH—The Cape Elizabeth girls’ lacrosse team has evolved into one of the state’s finest on the field, but Wednesday afternoon, a couple of Capers made some offseason news.
Seniors Talley Perkins and Lauren Steidl made it official, committing to attend and play lacrosse at Boston University and Princeton University respectively.
Perkins, a midfielder, was a league all-star last spring and is one of the state’s most prolific scorers (scoring 53 goals and adding 14 assists), a player with great quickness and a superb finishing touch.
She said that after a period of wanting to go to school outside of New England, BU emerged as her ideal choice and she was happy to sign her National Letter of Intent.
“When I first started (looking at schools), I wanted to go as far away as I could,” said Perkins, who will begin with general studies, but wants to pursue a career in sports. “Then I talked to a lot of people who went far away and wound up not liking it and not playing lacrosse at all. I realized I did want to stay close so my family could come to games and it wasn’t a plane ride. I narrowed it down to schools that were close, schools I thought I could get into academically and a few reach schools. The summer before my junior year, I went to BU and fell in love with it then and there. I knew I had to work for it. It was my number one choice the entire time. It wasn’t something that popped up late. This is really, really exciting. I couldn’t focus sometimes in school today.”
The Terriers won the America East regular season championship last season and are traditionally strong.
“They’re very competitive,” Perkins said. “They’re currently in America East. Next year they’re switching to the Patriot League. I love the program. I set it as my example for the others. All the girls are so welcoming. It’s a smaller team. Everyone knows everyone. The campus is great. I like being in the city. I can’t wait.”
Steidl, a midfielder, who was named Cape Elizabeth’s first All-American last spring (and was also selected The Forecaster’s Spring Female Athlete of the Year from the school), has size, skill and great field sense. She erupted for 58 goals and added 26 assists last spring.
While Ivy League schools don’t have National Letters of Intent, Steidl has received an Ivy League Likely Letter as her green light and she is eager to attend Princeton, her first choice.
“I feel excited and blessed to be going to Princeton,” said Steidl, who is undecided on a major, but will likely pursue something in the math or science fields. “I can’t see myself anywhere else. I was looking at some other schools, but I committed when I ended sophomore year. It was the school. It’s just amazing, the campus, the academics. The coach there (Chris Sailer) is such an amazing person. She’s been there almost 30 years. I admire her so much. I look up to her. They’re very competitive. Historically, they’ve been a top team in the Ivy League. They’ve won two national championships.”
Cape Elizabeth varsity coach Jeff Perkins, who, oh by the way, is Talley’s dad, is thrilled for both girls and feels that having two players compete in Division I, is credit to the Capers program and to lacrosse in the state of Maine.
“It’s a great thing to have two girls sign for Division I out of one school,” Perkins said. “It’s phenomenal for the state of Maine and phenomenal for Cape Elizabeth. I don’t think anyone could have thought this four years ago. We knew (Lauren and Talley) were good, but I had no idea they’d grow into players like this.
“Lauren has determination. You have to want this and work at it. You don’t get to go to a top 10 school just because you want to go to a top 10 school. She’s worked incredibly hard. She’s gone after it. Her size is great. She has intelligence and understanding and determination. She has the ability to do so many different things. She’s not just a one style player.
“What’s helped Talley has been her speed. That helps her separate on the field. She loves being the field general and making sure the offense and the defense are working. I think her favorite piece is flying around the field. She’s worked hard. She went after it and chose a perfect school and a perfect coach for her. She’s probably so excited not to have me as a coach anymore, but just having to time to spend with my daughter has been great. We have our boundaries and we stick to them pretty well. We’ve enjoyed it.”
Both girls raved about their time with the Cape Elizabeth program and look forward to the 2013 season.
“I don’t know what it would be like to play any other place,” Perkins said. “My coach is my dad, but he’s also a coach. The girls all get along really well. It’s nice having (Lauren). All the attention isn’t on me. We balance each other out. We work together and we’re good at helping the whole team. I wouldn’t want to play anywhere else but here.”
“(Playing here) means so much to me,” Steidl said. “Our team has such a passion for lacrosse. When I first came to high school, I felt I wouldn’t be able to play in college because there weren’t many people from Maine who go. Coach Perkins really encouraged Talley and myself to pursue it. We’ve had opportunities with Maineiax (travel team) and leagues in the offseason.”
Last year, the Capers were without peer in the regular season, winning all 12 contests, including games at eventual Class A champion Scarborough and rival Falmouth. After a semifinal round playoff win over Greely, Cape Elizabeth was primed to punch its ticket to the Class B state final, but couldn’t hold a second half lead and suffered an agonizing 11-10 triple overtime loss to eventual champion Waynflete in an epic regional final.
Rest assured, it won’t take much to get Perkins, Steidl and their teammates motivated when the new season dawns in March.
“I feel like we had a great team last year and it was really unfortunate that we couldn’t make it to the championship game,” said Steidl. “It was sad to see that fade away. It’s still definitely in our thoughts.”
“Going all the way would feel really nice as a senior, having worked from freshman year on up,” Perkins said.
“They understand that for six more months the name on their jersey is Cape Elizabeth,” coach Perkins added. “They want to finish strong here. That’s awesome.”
Cape Elizabeth girls’ lacrosse standouts Talley Perkins (left) and Lauren Steidl beam at a ceremony Wednesday to announce their college choices. Perkins (joined by her parents, Jessica and Jeff, who is also the Capers’ varsity coach) will attend and play at Boston University. Steidl (joined by her mother, Mary) is going to Princeton University.