FALMOUTH—The battle to emerge as Waynflete’s top competition in Western Class B girls’ lacrosse couldn’t be decided in 50 minutes Thursday afternoon.
Instead, it took six more as the host Falmouth Yachtsmen, who raced to an early 5-0 lead before watching it slip away, dominated possession in overtime and scored three times to earn a critical 11-8 victory over the Cape Elizabeth Capers.
Junior standout Laura Fay finished with four goals as Falmouth improved to 2-0 on the young season, dropping Cape Elizabeth to 1-1.
“We struggled in the second half and they capitalized on opportunities,” said Yachtsmen coach Robin Haley. “In overtime, we played similar to how we played in the first half. We got the draws. That was the difference.”
Teams on the rise
Last year, Cape Elizabeth finished 8-6 and made it to the Western B Final, where it gave eventual champion Waynflete fits before losing, 9-5. Falmouth finished 5-9 and lost to Waynflete in the semifinals, 12-4, but is viewed as a team on the rise in 2010.
The Capers began this season with a 17-3 romp over Fryeburg. The Yachtsmen had little trouble with Wells in its first game, winning 17-7.
Last spring, Cape Elizabeth won the lone meeting, 16-10. Thursday, however, Falmouth enjoyed its first win over the Capers since April 26, 2007.
Early on, the Yachtsmen appeared primed to run Cape Elizabeth out of town.
Just 1 minute, 50 seconds in, senior Sarah Girouard (from freshman Alex Bernier) scored to put Falmouth on top, 1-0. Senior Emma Sipperly (from Bernier) and Fay (unassisted, on a rebound flick shot) followed with tallies to make it 3-0 Yachtsmen less than four minutes into the contest, forcing Capers coach Kurt Chapin to call timeout.
Falmouth kept the pressure on behind goals from Fay (on an assist from senior Jill Alvarez) and junior Jess DiPhillippo (unassisted) to go up 5-0.
The visitors finally broke through with 11:18 to go in the half when junior standout Karyn Barrett scored on a free position. Barrett struck again four minutes later, unassisted, to make it a 5-2 game, but with 3:55 to play in the half, senior Caroline Clement scored on a free position for Falmouth and the hosts led, 6-2, at the break.
Seven saves from sophomore goalie Elin Sonesson kept the Capers close.
“Elin played outstanding,” Chapin said. “She kept us in the game.”
Cape Elizabeth roared to life in the second half, scoring five straight goals to take the lead.
A free position goal from freshman Talley Perkins got the spurt started. Barrett followed by converting a pass from senior Katherine Lavallee for a goal, then scored on a free position and suddenly it was 6-5. With 14:36 left in regulation, Perkins scored unassisted to tie the score. With 11:42 to go, Barrett scored unassisted and just like that, the Capers’ rally was complete and they were in the lead, 7-6.
With 6:33 to play, Falmouth tied the score on a free position goal from Fay (ending a 22 minute, 22 second drought), but with 4:07 showing, freshman Lauren Steidl scored on a free position, a man down, and Cape Elizabeth was up, 8-7, and was in danger of sneaking out of town with a win.
The Yachtsmen pushed hard for the tie, but came up empty until 1:23 remained when Bernier set up sophomore Megan Fortier for a goal to make it 8-8.
Falmouth then had several great opportunities to win in regulation, but Sonesson denied Bernier, Fay, then stopped three free positions and it was on to overtime.
In high school girls’ lacrosse, teams play two three-minute extra sessions.
The Yachtsmen would dominate possession and finally put it away.
After winning the opening draw, Falmouth worked the ball around and 54 seconds into OT, took the lead for good when DiPhillippo (from Sipperly) scored for a 9-8 lead. After winning another draw, Fay (from Girouard) struck to make it 10-8.
In the second three-minute session, the Capers looked to answer, but both Perkins and Barrett were denied by Yachtsmen junior goalie Jen Greene. Then, with 1:12 to go, Fortier delivered the coup de grace, scoring unassisted, and Falmouth went on to enjoy a hard-earned 11-8 triumph.
“I think after our little talk (prior to overtime), we were more motivated to get it done, like we should have earlier in the game,” Fay said. “I think we just got a little too comfortable (after going up 5-0). This is definitely a confidence booster.”
“I think we started off stronger, but Cape’s a very good team and showed it by coming back,” Haley added. “Their goalie played a phenomenal game.”
Fay wound up with a team-high four goals. DiPhillippo and Fortier scored two goals each, while Clement, Girouard and Sipperly had one each. Bernier had three assists, while Alvarez, Girouard and Sipperly each had one. Greene made 11 saves.
For Cape Elizabeth, Barrett had a game-high five goals. Perkins added a pair, while Steidl finished with one. Lavallee had the team’s lone assist. Sonesson made 12 saves.
“Overtime’s short and once they scored goals, we got on our heels a little bit,” lamented Chapin. “It’s a young team. This was a good test of where we stand. It’s going to be a growing season. We’re taking it one game a time and learning from it.”
The Capers are back in action Friday at home versus Wells. Monday, they go to powerhouse Yarmouth.
Falmouth, meanwhile, hopes to improve to 3-0 for the first time ever when it hosts Fryeburg Saturday. Tuesday, the Yachtsmen visit two-time defending Eastern B champion North Yarmouth Academy. While Falmouth is riding high, it knows there is still a lot of work to do.
“We’re ready for the rest of the season,” Fay said. “We definitely have a strong offense this year. And defense. We need to just keep playing like we do. I think we need to work on our passing and transition. We need to make sure we do the same thing throughout the game, whether we’re winning or losing. Play with confidence.”
“I’m excited,” Haley added. “It will get tougher. Confidence is a big part of it for us. We want to, we’re ready and excited, but we’re still building on the confidence piece. We can compete, but we’re new to it. It’s an adjustment. We hope to get there.”
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org