Locals dominate lax All-American teams

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If there was any doubt that Cumberland County was the center of the Maine boys’ lacrosse world, a glimpse at the 2011 state All-American teams confirms it.

Six of the nine boys’ and four of six girls’ All-Americans hail from Forecaster Country.

The boys’ list featured Cape Elizabeth senior goalie Jack Roos, Deering junior longstick middie/defender Karl Rickett, Falmouth senior middie/attack Nick Bachman, junior attack Mitch Tapley and junior defender Michael Ryan and Portland middie/attack Caleb Kenney.

For the girls’, Yarmouth senior midfielder Becca Bell and Scarborough junior midfielder Kelsey Howard were the All-American selections.

Honorable mentions included Yarmouth senior midfielder Danielle Torres and Scarborough junior midfielder Maggie Smith.

Super six

Falmouth’s boys’ team had no peer this spring and it was fitting that the Yachtsmen placed three players on the All-America team.

Bachman, who helped this program grow from a minor contender to state champion, scored 17 goals and assisted on four others during the regular season. In the playoffs, he turned it up a notch, scoring eight goals, while assisting on another.  A captain, Bachman was named to the league all-star team.

“Nick could be the finest all-around player in the state,” said Falmouth coach Mike LeBel. “He has the hardest and most accurate shot with both his left and right hand. He knows exactly how to set up his defenseman in order to be successful. He plays his best lacrosse in the biggest games. A four year starter, he is the player that you hate to lose from your program. He gets it done both on the field and in the classroom. He is a wonderful role model.”

Bachman will attend Middlebury College next year where he plans to continue playing lacrosse.

Tapley, a lefty, fueled the high-powered Yachtsmen offense, which averaged 14 goals per contest. A three-year starter, Tapley had 34 goals and 23 assists in the regular season, then scored eight times and assisted on 10 other goals in the playoff run. He already has 70 goals and 61 assists to his credit with one season to go. Tapley was another league all-star.

“Mitch is the most complete attackman in Maine,” said LeBel. “He has both the ability to score and create opportunities for his teammates.”

The unheralded Yachtsmen defense only surrendered 56 goals in 15 games (less than four per contest). Leading that unit was Ryan, another first-team league all-star. He grabbed 81 ground balls, scored three times and added an assist in the regular season. In the playoffs, Ryan scored twice and had 21 ground balls. Throughout, he completely stifled many of the finest attackmen in the state.

“Mike has finally learned how to be more productive with skill set,” said LeBel. “He accomplishes more by doing less. He can be aggressive when we need him to be. Mike has great hands. Also, he is a master in making you play how he desires you to and not the way you want. He will put his attackman in a position to take the ball away from him. Just when an attackman may think they have a lane to the goal, the ball is on the ground.”

Prior to this triumvirate, previous Falmouth All-Americans included Kyle Jordan  in 2007 and Dan Hanley and Michael Kane a year ago.

Cape Elizabeth wasn’t able to repeat as Class B champions in 2011, but Roos was  widely recognized as the state’s finest goalie. He became the varsity starter during the playoffs of his freshman year and was the conference’s choice for first-team at his position. Roos made 145 saves in 2011, while surrendering just 47 goals for a 68 save percentage. He allowed just 3.4 goals per game and won 44 times in his varsity career.

“Jack has been outstanding for the program,” said Capers coach Ben Raymond. “It’s great not to have to worry about who’s playing in goal. He’s been extremely steady his whole career. He worked hard this year on clearing the ball. We had 85 percent clears by the end of the year. He saw a lot of big moments. He handled the pressure very, very well. The moment was never too big. He understood what was at stake. He always seemed very comfortable.”

Roos (who hopes to play lacrosse at Colorado College next year) is just the latest in a long line of Cape Elizabeth All-Americans. The first, in 2000, were Andrew Braziel and Nick Krunkkala. 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) and Ben Brewster and Tommy Foden (2010) were the other recipients.

Rickett became Deering’s first All-American. The defensive dynamo had 80 ground balls and 30 takeaways and even scored three goals, while assisting on three others. Rickett is a first-team league all-star and figures to have several colleges clamoring for his services.

“Karl really scares other teams,” said Rams coach Bob Rothbart. “We attack teams defensively because we have him. We don’t have to sit back. He was good enough this year that we didn’t care who he was on. We’d often unleash him on a top guy. He was really dominant. He can faceoff and do it all. He made our offense that much better since they had to go against him in practice.”

Portland’s Kenney was a repeat selection. He had a team-high 35 goals, 27 assists and 100 ground balls. He was a first-team league all-star and will take a gap year and play at Trinity-Pawling School in New York next year (that program is coached by Ranaghan, the former Cape Elizabeth star).

“One surprising stat I like to tell people about Caleb is that he had one goal as a freshman, but he learned from those ahead of him,” said Bulldogs coach Eric Begonia. “He was passed the torch and became a captain as a junior. He was re-elected as a senior. He’s such a great leader on and off the field. He wasn’t 100 percent so he knew his role would change. He had to adjust to being an assist guy and he tweaked his game.”

Kenney was preceded as a Bulldogs All-American by Matt Morneau (2005), Garrett McAdam (2006), Sam McAdam (2007), K.R. Jurgelevich (2008 and 2009) and his older brother, Dylan Kenney (2009).

Lewiston senior defender Cody Dussault, Messalonskee junior attack Nate DelGuidice and St. Dom’s junior attack Troy Haefele were the other boys’ All-Americans.

Cape Elizabeth’s Jack Queeney, Falmouth’s Eric Tierney, Portland’s Jordan Voisine and Waynflete’s Matt Butler qualified as Academic All-Americans.

Rothbart was named Coach of the Year. Brunswick’s Jason Miller was selected as the Assistant Coach of the Year. Cheverus coach Deke Andrew was a repeat pick for Maine Lacrosse’s “Man of the Year.”

Doubly nice

The Yarmouth and Scarborough girls both won state titles this spring and each had a pair of All-Americans.

For the Clippers, Bell was a first-time selection. She opened with a seven-goal explosion in a victory over NYA and never let up, scoring 46 goals and adding eight assists. If that wasn’t enough, she had 39 ground balls, caused 19 turnovers and excelled in the draw circle, winning 56 times. For her career, Bell scored 95 times and added 22 assists. She won 99 draw controls and grabbed 123 ground balls.

Bell, a captain, was a first-team league all-star, a member of both the Western Maine Conference and Academic All-American squads and received the Clippers Bowl Award.

“Becca is the leader on and off the field,” said Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt. “She works tirelessly in practice every day. She told the team (in the preseason in Florida) that if we practiced hard all season we could get to the championship. She leads by example and strives to push herself and her teammates in practice every day. She is one of the most coachable players I’ve ever coached. It was a pleasure to watch her grow as a player and a person.”

Bell will attend Williams College next year, where she plans to ski competitively and hopes to continue to play lacrosse.

Torres was an honorable mention All-American in 2009 and an All-American a year ago. This year, she fueled the offense (tying a career-high with six goals against Cape Elizabeth) and would have led the Clippers in scoring had she not gotten hurt early in a win over Marshwood. Torres missed almost three games, but returned better than ever and had the decisive goal in Yarmouth’s state final victory over Waynflete.

Torres, a captain, had 45 goals and nine assists. She grabbed 33 ground balls, forced 24 turnovers and won 34 draw controls. For her career, Torres had 134 goals, 38 assists, 172 ground balls and 102 draw wins and was a first-team league all-star in three straight seasons. This spring, she also qualified for the WMC All-Academic team and was a member of the Academic All-American squad. She was also named team MVP.

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to coach Danielle,” said Holt. “She gives 100 percent all the time. Her determination and teamwork is incredible. She never gives up in practice or a game and always wants to strive for more. She and her teammates really made it happen this year from the first day of practice. I will miss her a lot.”

Torres will attend Brown University next year, where she’ll play lacrosse.

Bell and Torres’ selections continued a decade-plus tradition of Clippers’ excellence.

Yarmouth’s first All-American was Jenny Wing in 2000. Emily Erickson (2002), Sara Hagstrom (2004), Chrissie Attura (2005, honorable mention), Emily Johnson (2005 and 2006), Molly Dilworth (2006), Laurie Baker (2007), Jess Martineau (2007), Abby Saucier (2007, honorable mention), Anna Van Slyke (2007, honorable mention), Nicole Grover (2008, honorable mention) and Lanier Bolmer (2009) were also chosen.

For Scarborough, which has lost just one game total in the past two seasons (to Yarmouth), Howard had 33 goals, 17 assists, 42 draw control wins, 43 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers. Howard was an Southern Maine Activities Association first-team all-star and had two goals and two assists in the Red Storm’s 13-11 win over Brunswick in the Class A state final.

“Kelsey always comes up with the ball,” said Scarborough coach Marcia Wood. “Whenever there’s a crowd, she always seems to come out of it with the ball. She is very smart and sees the field well and understands what her role on the team is. She’s very coachable. She leads the team in draws, ground balls and caused turnovers. She is an essential part of our defense, midfield and attack.”

Smith scored 37 goals and added 12 assists this spring. She won 20 draws and snared 31 ground balls. She forced 11 turnovers. A first-team league all-star, Smith scored three goals, including the go-ahead tally, and added an assist in the state game.

“Maggie is a huge part of the speed in the midfield,” Wood said. “She knows when it’s appropriate to run the ball and when to settle down and possess. She’s quick on the draw and with ground balls. She was second on the team in goals and third in assists.”

The only previous Scarborough All-American was Ellie Morin (honorable mention) in 2009.

The girls’ honorable mention list also included Gorham senior midfielder Mia Rapolla and Kennebunk senior attack Taylor Crowley.

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

Sidebar Elements


Nick Bachman

Becca Bell

Kelsey Howard

Caleb Kenney

Karl Rickett

Jack Roos

Michael Ryan

Maggie Smith

Mitch Tapley

Danielle Torres

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