Kennebunk girls edge Cape in defensive struggle

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Kennebunk senior Gabby Fogg prepares to shoot on Cape Elizabeth sophomore goalie Erin Foley during the teams’ showdown Tuesday night. Foley made eight saves, but Fogg’s goal with 58.8 seconds on the clock gave the defending Class B champion Rams a 6-5 victory.

Chris Lambert photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Kennebunk 6 Cape Elizabeth 5

K- 4 2- 6
CE- 2 3- 5

First half
22:44 K Dumas (unassisted)
21:50 CE Coburn (Graham)
20:47 K Schwartzman (Koch)
12:49 K Fogg (unassisted)
11:47 K Schwartzman (free position)
11:15 CE Deschino (K. Chapin)

Second half
19:14 K Dumas (unassisted)
15:09 CE Graham (unassisted)
10:56 CE C. Chapin (unassisted)
10:02 CE Healy (Thoreck)
58.8 K Fogg (unassisted)

Goals:
K- Dumas, Fogg, Schwartzman 2
CE- C. Chapin, Coburn, Deschino, Graham, Healy 1

Assists:
K- Koch 1
CE- Graham, Thoreck 1

Draws (Kennebunk, 9-4)
K- Oakman 9 of 13
CE- Deschino 3 of 8 C. Chapin 1 of 5

Ground balls (Cape Elizabeth, 30-23)
K- Fogg, Oakman 6, Bangimaier, Gorton, Schwartzman 2, Burchill, Cain, Connor, Dumas, Thompson 1
CE- Kelley 4, Deschino, Foley, Graham, Lennon, McGrath 3, Bosworth, C. Chapin, K. Chapin, Hayes 2, Coburn, Harvey, Healy 1

Turnovers:
K- 24
CE-24

Shots:
K- 18
CE- 12

Shots on cage:
K- 14
CE- 7

Saves:
K (Burchill) 2
CE (Foley) 8

CAPE ELIZABETH—Both the Cape Elizabeth and Kennebunk girls’ lacrosse teams can put the ball in the net, but conditions Tuesday evening at Hannaford Field weren’t conducive to offensive success.

The Capers couldn’t produce their usual prolific amount of goals due mostly to turnovers, while the defending Class B state champion Rams were stymied by Cape Elizabeth sophomore goalie Erin Foley.

That spelled a game that was low-scoring and tight throughout and one that wouldn’t be determined until the final minute of regulation.

On the Capers’ Senior Night, it would be Kennebunk starting fast, getting an early goal from senior Leah Dumas, and after the Capers tied it on a tally from senior Caroline Coburn, the Rams got goals from junior Hallie Schwartzman, senior Gabby Fogg and Schwartzman again for a 4-1 lead.

Cape Elizabeth got a goal back from senior Mariah Deschino, but still trailed by two goals when the second half began.

There, Kennebunk started fast again, as Dumas scored for a 5-2 advantage, but after junior Susie Graham scored a fluky goal for the hosts, they drew even, as juniors Chloe Chapin and Emily Healy tickled the twine in a 54-second span.

The Capers had chances to go on top, but could never do so and with just 58.8 seconds on the clock, Fogg dug deep into her reservoir of heart and leadership and wouldn’t be denied on a drive to the goal which finished with her scoring for the lead.

Rams senior Marran Oakman then won the ensuing draw and Kennebunk was able to run out the clock and prevail, 6-5.

Dumas, Fogg and Schwartzman all scored twice and the Rams improved to 9-2, snapped Cape Elizabeth’s four-game win streak and ended the Capers’ regular season at 7-5 in the process.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Kennebunk coach Annie Barker. “Defensively, I think we played very well, but we turned the ball over more than we usually do. This will definitely help us. They’re a good team.”

“I couldn’t ask for anything more from our girls,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Alex Spark. “I said at halftime, we don’t care about the score, but we want them coming off the field feeling good about how they played and we had girls coming off with smiles.”  

A different year

Both teams have enjoyed different experiences from 2016, with Cape Elizabeth being much more competitive and Kennebunk remaining a powerhouse even after having a lot of shoes to fill.

After opening with a 14-3 home victory over Wells, the Capers lost at Yarmouth, 13-6. Wins over visiting Gorham (9-4) and at Freeport (13-7) were followed by losses to visiting York (7-6) and at Falmouth (9-8, in overtime) and at defending Class A South champion Massabesic (10-3). Cape Elizabeth then bounced back to knock off host Greely, 13-10, then downed visiting St. Dom’s (14-10) and Lake Region (10-6) and host Waynflete (15-9).

Kennebunk started with a 17-1 home win over Fryeburg Academy. After falling, 8-5, at York, the Rams beat host Greely (10-6), visiting Lake Region (15-7) and visiting Freeport (15-7), won at defending Class A champion Messalonskee (13-6), beat host Wells (14-0) and visiting Marshwood (8-7) and last Monday, made a statement with a win at Falmouth (9-5). Last Thursday, however, Kennebunk finally met its match, falling at home to Yarmouth in a state game rematch, 7-3.

Last year, the Rams easily beat the visiting Capers, 14-2, en route to the state title. In fact, Cape Elizabeth has only beaten Kennebunk once this century (see sidebar, below), and that was an 8-7 overtime win the 2014 Western B Final.

Tuesday, the Capers almost found a way to win, but in the end, the Rams scored the game’s biggest goal at the right time.

After the seniors were honored, Cape Elizabeth looked to grab a quick lead, but Deschino was denied by Kennebunk senior goalie Mallory Burchill just 49 seconds in.

The Rams then got possession and with 22:44 to play in the first half, Dumas scored unassisted to break the ice.

The Capers came right back 54 seconds later, as Graham set up Coburn for a goal to make it 1-1.

Both teams then had a lot of trouble retaining possession and there would be 32 combined turnovers in the first 25 minutes.

Kennebunk was able to take advantage of a few chances, however, to grab the lead.

With 20:47 left in the half, senior Katherine Koch fed Schwartzman for the go-ahead goal.

With 12:49 on the clock, Fogg finished unassisted after a pretty spin move.

With 11:47 to go, Schwartzman was awarded a free position and buried it to extend the lead to 4-1, forcing Spark to call timeout.

It worked, as freshman Karli Chapin passed to Deschino and Deschino eluded a couple defenders before finding the net.

Late in the half, Burchill robbed Coburn in close and a Fogg bid hit the post, sending the game to the break with the Rams on top, 4-2.

In the first 25 minutes, Kennebunk won five of seven draws. Shots were tied, 8-8.

The Rams tried to to open it up early in the second half, but Foley denied freshman Mia Bangimaier, junior Briannagh Beaudette and Fogg.

With 19:14 left, Dumas finished unassisted for a 5-2 lead, but Cape Elizabeth would soon roar back.

The game turned with 15:09 showing, as Burchill tried to clear the ball, but Graham deflected the ball straight up, caught it in front of the goal and finished to snap a 21 minute, 6 second drought and give the hosts life.

“I’ve never seen that before,” Spark said. “We said don’t mark up on the goalie because we wanted to mark all the players. In the heat of the moment, she did what she thought was right and sometimes luck goes your way. The ball happened to pop up in the air. We needed something lighthearted to get us to relax. That gave us some good, positive energy.”

Chloe Chapin made it a one-goal game when she eluded two defenders and beat Burchill with 10:56 remaining and 54 seconds later, freshman Julia Thoreck passed to Healy, who finished to tie it, 5-5.

After Foley preserved the tie by robbing Bangimaier and Schwartzman, Coburn earned a free position with 3:03 left, but she hit the post.

Cape Elizabeth tried again to go on top, but turned the ball over with 1:39 remaining and that gave the Rams the break they needed.

After not scoring for over 18 minutes, Kennebunk retook the lead, 6-5, when Fogg spun around a defender, went one-on-one with Foley and finished with 58.8 seconds to play.

“I just told the girls to take a breath, believe in ourselves and slow it down,” Fogg said. “We’ve been in these tough situations before and we did it. I saw a lane at first, then it closed in. I dodged and switched to my left (hand) and saw the upper top corner, so I thought, ‘Why not take it.’ I was aiming for non-stick side. My stick was already up high and there were already girls on me, so I didn’t want to take it low.”

“We just had to be patient,” Barker said. “Gabby saw the opening. We’ve worked on if you have a 1-v-1, you have to go. Gabby came up big for us. She rallied the team to stay composed.”

The Capers hoped to get the ball back to answer, but Oakman won the ensuing draw with Schwartzman picking up the ground ball and the Rams were able to run out the clock and celebrate their 6-5 victory.

Kennebunk had a balanced attack, as Dumas, Fogg and Schwartzman all scored twice.

Koch had the Rams’ lone assist.

Oakman won 9 of 13 draws and collected six ground balls to share team honors in that category with Fogg.

Burchill made two saves.

Kennebunk finished with an 18-12 shots advantage (14-7 on cage) and overcame 24 turnovers.

Cape Elizabeth got one goal apiece from Chloe Chapin, Coburn, Deschino, Graham and Healy.

Graham and Thoreck both had one assist.

Foley made eight saves.

“Every game, I don’t think (Erin) can impress me more, but she surprises me,” Spark said. “The saves she makes are ridiculous. She has me dropping my jaw on the sideline.” 

Senior Casey Kelley led the team with four ground balls as the Capers won that statistical category, 30-23.

Cape Elizabeth committed 24 turnovers.

“It was a rough first half for both teams,” Spark said. “I think both teams had a similar conversation at halftime about cleaning it up and we both did that and it led to a fun second half.”

Despite the loss, the Capers hailed a terrific regular season which saw them win four more games than a year ago.

“It’s been really great to have our same team back and we’ve worked so hard this season,” Spark said. “Our goal was to make playoffs.”

Playoff positioning

Kennebunk still has one game left, Thursday, when it meets Waynflete in its Senior Night in a game played on the turf at the University of New England. The Rams are first in the Class B South Heal Points standings at press time.

“We’ve worked really hard in practice and talked about our strengths and weaknesses,” Fogg said. “We practiced simple things like ground balls and passing and shooting. I think pulling this out gives us momentum going forward.”

Cape Elizabeth, meanwhile, will likely be the No. 4 seed for the playoffs and could host a quarterfinal next week, probably against Greely or Waynflete.

“All the teams are talented and similar,” Spark said. “We’ve proved we can play with any team out there. That gives us confidence and we’re really excited after missing postseason last year. It would be awesome for the program to get a home game, but if we’re on the road, we’ll be on the road. We’ll see what we can do.”

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

Kennebunk junior Mia Murray knocks the ball away from Cape Elizabeth senior Hannah Bosworth.

Kennebunk senior Leah Dumas defends Cape Elizabeth sophomore Brooke Harvey.

Kennebunk junior Briannagh Beaudette shoots as Cape Elizabeth sophomore Tory McGrath, left, and freshman Karli Chapin defend.

Cape Elizabeth senior Hannah Bosworth fires a shot through traffic.

Cape Elizabeth sophomores Brooke Harvey, left, and Tory McGrath knock the ball away from Kennebunk junior Erin Gorton.

Recent Cape Elizabeth-Kennebunk results

2016
@ Kennebunk 14 Cape Elizabeth 2

2015
@ Kennebunk 15 Cape Elizabeth 6

2014
@ Kennebunk 14 Cape Elizabeth 11
Western B Final
Cape Elizabeth 8 @ Kennebunk 7 (OT)

2009
Kennebunk 7 @ Cape Elizabeth 6

2005 
West Region semifinals
@ Kennebunk 11 Cape Elizabeth 8

2004
West Region semifinals
@ Kennebunk 11 Cape Elizabeth 10

2003
Kennebunk 14 @ Cape Elizabeth 10

2001
West Region South Division quarterfinals
@ Kennebunk 19 Cape Elizabeth 10

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