Local players again dominate lax All-American teams

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Take a good look at these photos.

All of these lacrosse players hail from Forecaster Country, represent the creme de la creme of the state of Maine and they almost exclusively made up the 2013 boys’ and girls’ All-American teams.

All six girls’ and eight of nine boys’ All-Americans hailed from our coverage area and all have impressive resumes that go beyond this recently concluded season.

Ladies first

Maine produced three girls’ All-Americans and three more honorable mentions this spring.

The All-Americans were Cape Elizabeth senior Lauren Steidl, Falmouth senior Molly Ryan and Waynflete senior Sadie Cole.

Steidl, a midfielder, was a transcendent force all over the field, winning draws, helping the defense and most importantly, scoring and setting up goals with abandon on offense. Steidl led the Capers to 10 wins and a third straight trip to the regional finals.

Steidl had 49 goals and 10 assists, giving her 154 goals and 47 assists for her career. She will attend and play lacrosse at Princeton University.

“It’s been incredible to have a player of Lauren’s talent that you know you can count on game after game to control the ball and make great decisions,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Jeff Perkins. “She was always the hardest worker in practice and also during the offseason. Her leadership on the field was very evident, whether playing offense or defense. The team would really feed off her energy. She will be sorely missed and will leave some big shoes to fill.”

Steidl remains Cape Elizabeth’s lone All-American. Kristina Scontras in 2005 and Carly Rapaport in 2006 were honorable mentions.

Ryan, a midfielder, was a true leader on and off the field. She was a force in the draw circle and was equally adept setting up teammates or beating goalies with her strong shot. Ryan’s play helped the Yachtsmen make it back to the playoffs.

Ryan had 23 goals and 11 assists this spring. She also had 54 ground balls and won 110 draws in 13 games. Ryan finished her career with 70 goals and 59 assists. She’ll attend and play lacrosse next year at Bates College.

“Molly’s draws alone this year were so significant,” said Falmouth coach Robin Haley. “Most games are won or lost on the draw. She kept us in the running. Her passion and dedication to lacrosse, her enthusiasm and understanding of the game have all been significant. She sees the field well and works with her teammates. She’s a true competitor.”

Ryan joins Alex Bernier (2012) as the program’s lone All-Americans.

Cole, an attack player, is a first-time selection, but has been a unique talent for four years. Epitomizing the elegance and skill that girls’ lacrosse is all about, Cole not only was a force in the draw circle and one of the state’s most prolific scorers, she also saw time on defense and used her skill, size and athleticism to be a force on that side of the ball as well.

Cole had 63 goals this season, placing her among the elite scorers in the state. Equally as impressive, she assisted teammates for 31 goals along the way. Cole scored close to 200 goals in her career and made life miserable for opposing defenses since first taking the field as a freshman. Cole, who was a major reason Waynflete went undefeated and repeated as Class B state champions, will follow in her older sister Ellie’s footsteps and will attend and play at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo., next year.

“Since Sadie was a freshman, she steadily stepped up her game and always maintained a beautiful finesse style,” said Flyers coach Cathie Connors. “She’s an elegant player. She was a wonderful captain as a junior. This year, she took it on again, embraced it and was fabulous. I couldn’t have asked for a better leader. She cares for her teammates. She’s the whole package. She just took it to another level this year. She was so incredible with her stick. So sure of herself. I don’t know if I’ve seen patience in a player like I did with her in a long time. I just adore her. So do her teammates. She’s a great kid.”

Waynflete’s run of All-Americans began in 2000 with Shelly Hodges. Johanna Rosenfield (2001), Courtney Drake (2002 and 2003), Linden Ellis (2004), Betsy Critchfield (2005 and 2006), Gretchen Koch (2005 and 2006), Maggie DeFanti (2006, honorable mention), Glennie Hill (2006, honorable mention), Ashley Allen (2007 and 2008), Laura Armstrong (2007, honorable mention, and 2008),  Mariah Monks (2008 and 2009), Anna Libby (2009), Morgan Woodhouse (2010) and Martha Veroneau (2012) were also previously honored.

Cheverus junior Alex Logan, Falmouth senior Alex Bernier and Waynflete senior Martha Veroneau were the honorable mentions.

Logan, the only underclassman in the group, came up big every time her team needed her this spring, winning draws with regularity, playing staunch defense, filling the opposing goal and setting up her teammates to boot.

Logan scored 49 goals, had six assists, scored on 62 percent of her shots, won 47 ground balls and 62 draw controls and forced 30 turnovers, a stat line likely unmatched by any other player in Maine. Logan led Cheverus not only to its first regional title, but to a first-ever Class A state crown as well, scoring twice, leading all players with nine ground balls and winning 10 draws. Logan is highly coveted by colleges and is weighing her options at the next level.

“Alex is an athlete with a great attitude, who has worked incredibly hard to make herself a very good player,” said Cheverus coach Jamie Chamberlain. “As a midfielder, this means she works on taking draws, on her defense and also on her shooting. She’s the consummate midfielder because she’s been willing to put in the practice time and push herself to get better. She’s become not only a leader by example, but also a mentor to her teammates. She played through injuries and illness without complaint and when we needed a big play to change momentum during a close game, more often than not, Alex came up with the clutch play. She also has the same work ethic in the classroom and finds time to get involved with community service projects.”

Logan is Cheverus’ second All-American, following Dana Proscia (2007).

Bernier was Falmouth’s first All-American a year ago and was once again one of the state’s premier players, one just as happy setting up her teammates as she was scoring goals. Bernier played an integral role in helping the Yachtsmen establish themselves as one of the state’s top contenders the past four seasons.

Bernier scored 42 goals this spring and had even more assists, 44. She also collected 53 ground balls. Bernier scored 134 goals and added 178 assists for her career, both program bests. Bernier will attend and play next year at the University of Vermont.

“Alex was the only one to start for us all four years,” Haley said. “She’s a great example of someone following their dreams. She achieved her dream of playing Division I lacrosse. It speaks to the level of player she is. She was always willing to pass. She was a leader on the field.”

Veroneau, simply put, is an unrivaled athlete, one who had a senior year that most can only dream of, but never realistically hope to attain. Before picking up a stick this spring, Veroneau led Waynflete to its first Class C girls’ basketball state title, became the program’s all-time leading scorer and was named Miss Maine Basketball.

She then went out and suggested that basketball wasn’t even her top sport, scoring 47 goals and adding 28 assists, all while forcing turnovers on defense and even winning the occasional draw. Veroneau had a career game in a regional final victory over Cape Elizabeth, setting a new program mark with 10 goals in a single game. She eclipsed the 100 goal mark for her career and her competitiveness and will to win went a long way in the Flyers’ state titles the past two years. Veroneau will not play in college. She plans to pursue a career in nursing at Boston College.

“Martha’s athleticism and drive set her apart,” Connors said. “She’s a true athlete. She doesn’t like to lose and has a ton of confidence. She’s a balance of a team-first player and one who’s capable of taking a game into her hands. She developed her skills and developed her left hand. She’ll be missed.”

Best of the boys

Maine gets nine boys’ All-Americans and eight of them are familiar names.

Cape Elizabeth senior attack Alex Bornick and senior defensive standout Adam Haversat, Falmouth senior midfielder Charlie Fay and junior attack I.V. Stucker, Morse senior attack Alex Paulus, North Yarmouth Academy senior midfielder Jacob Scammon, Scarborough senior attack John Wheeler and Yarmouth senior defenseman Drew Grout all were honored, along with Gould Academy senior Eben Wilde.

Bornick was a goal scorer exraordinaire, who seemed to come up biggest in the biggest games. He bookended his high school career with state titles, scoring three times, including the Capers’ final two goals in a 7-4 Class B Final win over Yarmouth Saturday.

Bornick finished the year with 40 goals and 20 assists. he also had 35 ground balls. Bornick is taking a year off to travel to Sri Lanka. He’s undecided on whether or not he’ll play lacrosse upon his return.

“Alex was our leader on offense all season,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond. “He had great numbers taking on teams’ number one defender. He was a very good captain and teammate and he communicated well with the coaches. He played very well in our biggest games, making big plays in each of them. Our offense wouldn’t have been nearly as good without him on the field.”

Haversat was the state’s most dominant player, one who altered play with his staunch defense and one who occasionally forayed into the offensive end to make things happen.

Haversat had 135 ground balls, won 65 percent of his faceoffs and scored twice, while adding two assists. He even stepped in and played goalie in one game and made saves on all eight of the shots he faced. Haversat will play at Plymouth (N.H.) State University.

“Adam was an extremely important piece of our team,” said Raymond. “He led the defense in every single way, every single day. He’s been one of the hardest workers on our team and has worked on his game in the summer and offseason and it’s really paid off. I can’t say enough about what a quality young man he is. he was a great leader on the team and an outstanding teammate. In our biggest games, he was the best player on the field.”

Bornick and Haversat are the latest in a long line of Capers All-Americans. The state’s most storied program’s first All-American was Chris Carlisle in 1989. Since then, Ethan Sanford (1990), Troy Graham (1991), Jason McGeachey (1993), Sean Brady and Mike Mullen (1994), Ned Struzziero and Matt Williams (1995), Struzziero and Brendan Bigos (1996), Zach Herbert (1997 and 1998), Rorke Greene (1999), Andrew Braziel and Nick Krunkkala (2000), Mike DiFusco and Constantine Scontras (2001), DiFusco, Matt Ranaghan and Dean Scontras (2002), Ranaghan and Alex Weaver (2003), Matt O’Hearn (2004), Bryan Holden and Dan Rautenberg (2005), Zach Belden and Mike Holden (2008), Holden (2009), Ben Brewster and Tommy Foden (2010), Jack Roos (2011) and Timmy Lavallee (2012) were all honored.

Fay was almost unstoppable as he led Falmouth within an overtime loss of a shot at a third-straight Class B title. He was always the focal point of the opposition, but was rarely slowed, not to mention stopped. Fay scored 55 goals and had 14 assists in 14 games this spring. Fay will attend and play at Tufts University next year.

Stucker joined Falmouth this spring and displayed jawdropping skills rarely seen in these parts. He was a player capable of scoring multiple goals every time out, but he was just as content dishing the ball off.

Stucker, the only underclassmen to be named All-American, scored 25 goals and had 32 assists in the regular season, then added seven goals and five assists in the playoffs for a total of 32 goals and 37 assists.

Previous Falmouth All-Americans included Kyle Jordan  in 2007, Dan Hanley and Michael Kane in 2010, Mike Ryan, Mitch Tapley and Nick Bachman in 2011 and Ryan, Tapley and Willy Sipperly in 2012.

Paulus became Morse’s first All-American. He was a four-year starter, who left defenders in his wake.

Paulus broke the 50-goal barrier this spring and added 39 assists. He was his league’s Player of the Year as a junior and senior. He played over 2,100 minutes in his high school career and spent under eight minutes in the penalty box. Paulus, who will play in the U.S. Lacrosse ESPN All-Champion Showcase Game in July, was recruited to play at Denison (Ohio) University.

“I’ve been coaching lacrosse for almost 30 years and having grown up in Maryland, I’ve worked with some of the greatest coaches and players through the years,” said Morse coach Jay Paulus. “Alexander is a very special athlete. One, because he’s my son, but more importantly, he’s a talented athlete. If any other coach had Alexander on their team, they’d more than likely just tell him to drive to the goal and be a scoring machine. He brings more to the sport. His ability to move effortlessly with the ball, while almost hypnotizing his defender. His navigational skills off-ball and finesse with the ball amazes first time spectators. His lacrosse IQ is the highest I’ve seen, while his showmanship and team play are admirable.”

Scammon became NYA’s first All-American in five years. He was one of several key offensive cogs and had many memorable moments this spring, including helping the Panthers to their first season sweep of eventual Class B champion Cape Elizabeth in six years.

Scammon had 32 goals and 28 assists this season. He scored 33 goals and had 10 assists as a junior as his rifle shot created nightmares for opposing goalies. Scammon will head to St. Leo University (a Division II program in Florida) next year.

“I was impressed all season with Jake’s maturity,” said NYA coach Peter Gerrity, a one-time Panthers All-American himself. “He was clearly the best player on our team, but not once did he take it easy in practice. He’s constantly trying to get better. His unique style of play makes him very fun to watch. He throws a lot of fakes and does remarkable things with his stick, including a handful of effortless one-handed catches on clears. He’s an outside shooting threat with both hands. He had some assists that even the coaches didn’t see until the pass was in his teammates’ sticks. He’s the kind of player who dropped the jaws of his whole bench, coaches included, every game. We’re going to miss him. He was a special player for us.”

NYA’s first All-American was Ed Kennie in 1992. Other Panthers to be honored were Jon Thompson in 1998 and 1999, Zac Fermanis in 1999, Brad Myers in 2000, Phil Amidon and Parker Adams in 2001, Andrew Allyn and Owen Neill in 2003, Conor Hannan in 2004, Gerrity in 2005, Peter Lowell in 2006, Than Wellin in 2007 and Taylor Gorman in 2008.

Wheeler was a four-year starter, an all-time Red Storm great and one of the most prolific offensive players ever to grace the sport in Maine.

Wheeler had 57 goals, 30 assists and 58 ground balls this spring. He wound up with a dazzling 191 goals and 119 assists for his career. Wheeler, who lettered in soccer, basketball and lacrosse, will take his act to Bentley (Mass.) University next year.

“John is the kind of kid every coach wants to have on his team,” said Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep. “Before and after practice, he’s a great friend to his teammates, treats his elders with respect and does extremely well in the classroom. He’s a fierce competitor who hates losing. He’s never afraid to tell his teammates their effort needs to be better. He’s worked extremely hard to make sure he shows up to practice every day better than he was the day before. We strive to not only be good lacrosse players, but also good people and John’s set a tremendous example on how to do both at the highest level. The legacy he leaves on the lacrosse field and to this school will be, ‘Through hard work and commitment, try to be a better person today than you were yesterday.’ That is what will echo the longest.”

Prior Red Storm All-Americans include David Hamilton (2005), Danny Clark (2009) and Wheeler last spring.

Grout is Yarmouth’s first All-American in three years. A lockdown defender, Grout helped Yarmouth get back to the state game after a two-year absence.

Grout had 22 ground balls, played in every game but one this spring and took part in the playoffs despite a separated shoulder. He only incurred 2.5 minutes of penalties. Grout was also a standout in soccer and Alpine skiing and was named Yarmouth’s Outstanding Male Athlete.

“Drew’s one of the undisputed leaders of the team,” said Clippers coach David Pearl. “As the team’s No. 1 close defender, each and every game, Drew is asked to defend the best offensive player on the opposing team. Many of the players he faces every game are the best in the state and will go on to play in college. He defended these opponents superbly and has shut down or held opponents to limited gains. He makes everyone around him better. His demeanor on and off the field make him approachable and liked by his peers, who often look up to him. He shows great sportsmanship, but the team will never forget how fired up he can get in the huddle.”

Grout follows in the All-American footsteps of Evans Spear (2000), Tim Kjelgaard (2002), Jared Harriman (2003), Chris Hichborn, Todd Lawrence and Jon Miller (2004), Hichborn and Zach Caldwell (2005), Caldwell and Hans Tobiason (2006), Francis Ellis (2007), John Curry and Sam Miller (2008), Steven Petrovek and Rob Highland (2009) and Petrovek and Cam Woodworth (2010).

Academic honors

Several local players also qualified for the All-American All-Academic team.

The boys’ group included Waynflete’s Josh Espy and Zander Majercik and Yarmouth’s Quinn Hathcock.

The girls’ list included Brunswick’s Elizabeth Arford, Olivia LeRoy, Caley Nicholson and Grace Rabinowitz, Cape Elizabeth’s Jane Coffrin, Sarah Flaherty, Emily Spidle, Lauren Steidl and Jenna Wallace, Cheverus’ Elyse Caiazzo, Logan and Emily Rodrigue, Falmouth’s Bernier, Katie Cooleen, Angela Mallis, Ryan and Geneva Waite, Freeport’s Jocelyn Davee and Emily Sturtevant, Greely’s Meg Finlay, McAuley’s Katherine Lake and Delaney Regan, Morse’s Sadia Crosby and Paige Martin, Mt. Ararat’s Sydni Clark and Constance Hodge, Scarborough’s Meg Kirsch, Sarah Martens, Jess Meader, Avery Pietras and Ashley Ronzo, South Portland’s Lani Edwards and Jenna Wing, Waynflete’s Amelia Deady, Leigh Fernandez, Walker Foehl, Ella Millard and Jo Moore and Yarmouth’s Olivia Conrad, Julia Kameisha, Molly Maguire, Ali Merrill and Grace O’Donnell.

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

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