CAPE ELIZABETH—Waynflete’s girls’ lacrosse program is as proud as they come and last Wednesday, the Flyers’ pride took a mighty hit after a seven-goal home loss to Falmouth, the team’s worst home defeat in memory.
But instead of wallowing in defeat, Waynflete regrouped and Monday afternoon at Hannaford Field, reminded everyone that a wounded Flyer is a most dangerous Flyer.
Cape Elizabeth, which snapped a 24-game losing streak to Waynflete in last year’s playoffs, sought to beat the Flyers at home for the first time, but it was clear from the onset that Waynflete was on a mission.
Senior Helen Gray-Bauer won the opening draw, raced in and put the Flyers ahead to stay just 14 seconds in. Gray-Bauer added a second goal and junior Christian Rowe scored twice to give Waynflete a 4-1 lead, but late in the first half, the Capers’ senior sister tandem of Kirsten Rudberg and Melissa Rudberg produced a goal which seemingly gave the hosts momentum.
Instead, the Flyers started the second half the way they did the first and when freshman Izzy Burdick scored twice in a four-minute span and sophomore Beata Vest added a goal, Waynflete was up, 7-2.
The Flyers’ zone defense and junior goalie Charlotte Majercik took it from there, frustrating Cape Elizabeth until the final horn, and Waynflete got back on track with a 10-4 victory.
Burdick, Gray-Bauer, Rowe and Vest all scored twice and Majercik made six clutch saves as Waynflete improved to 6-3 and dropped the Capers to 4-3 in the process.
“The girls really fought today,” said Flyers coach Cathie Connors. “That’s my team. I’m psyched. We needed this win.”
Down but not out
For years, when Cape Elizabeth and Waynflete squared off, it was the Flyers’ dominance that overshadowed the game.
For two dozen encounters over a dozen seasons, Waynflete beat the Capers every single time, capped by two victories in the 2014 regular season, but last June 14, in shocking fashion, Cape Elizabeth came from behind to stun the host Flyers, 9-8, in the Western B semifinals.
So far this spring, both teams are chasing Falmouth and Kennebunk in an ultra-competitive region.
The Flyers began with a 13-4 victory at North Yarmouth Academy, then held off visiting Cheverus, 9-6, and lost at home to Kennebunk, 8-4. Waynflete bounced back with wins at Greely (10-7) and Fryeburg Academy (10-1) and at home over Gould Academy, 13-6, then lost at Scarborough for the first time, 7-4, and was dominated at home, 13-6, by Falmouth.
The Capers handled visiting Freeport, 12-6, to start the year, then lost at York, 10-5. After completing a suspended game with a 6-5 home victory over Greely in triple overtime, Cape Elizabeth rallied to stun host Falmouth, 7-6, and downed visiting Gorham, 13-8, but last Wednesday, it crashed back to earth with a 15-6 loss at Kennebunk.
This time around, the Capers were the ones looking to start a winning streak against the Flyers, but Waynflete put on a 50-minute show.
After Gray-Bauer gained possession on the opening draw, she weaved in and out of the Cape Elizabeth defense until she got close to Capers senior goalie Kate Bosworth, then finished a tremendous individual effort to put the Flyers ahead to stay.
After Majercik made her first save, denying Cape Elizabeth freshman Chloe Chapin, Waynflete junior defender Meddy Smith forced a turnover and Gray-Bauer again raced into the offensive zone, this time earning a free position and with 18:24 to go in the first half, she scored to make it 2-0.
“We came out a little flat in our losses,” Rowe said. “We decided this would be the game to turn it around. Thankfully, Helen was there to pull us together. She’s a phenomenal player and she really capitalized today.”
After Majercik robbed Capers sophomore Mariah Deschino, the hosts finally broke through with 12:15 remaining in the half, when freshman Susie Graham set up Deschino for a goal.
Cape Elizabeth wasn’t able to build on that tally, as Rowe scored on a free position with 6;36 to go.
“It depends on where the goalie is situated,” Rowe said. “I do think about where I want to put it before the whistle blows. There’s an idea in my head where I want the ball to go.”
Rowe then curled around the post before beating Bosworth with 3:32 left for a 4-1 advantage.
Capers first-year coach Alex Spark took a timeout to stem the tide and her team finished the half strong.
After a Waynflete turnover, with time winding down, Kirsten Rudberg set up Melissa Rudberg for a goal with 8 seconds left and Cape Elizabeth appeared very much alive going into the half, down just two goals, 4-2.
But instead of getting down about the goal, the Flyers stayed focused.
“(Cape’s) a very good team,” Connors said. “They’re strong and aggressive. We got fired up when they scored. We didn’t get down about it. It was a really nice play.”
Waynflete stood tall on defense in the early moments of the second half, then went back up by three when Burdick scored on a free position with 21:16 to play.
With 17:11 left, Burdick deked a defender, then raced in and finished to make it 6-2.
Vest then got in on the fun at 16:19 with an unassisted goal, pushing the lead to five and forcing Spark to call timeout again.
After Bosworth kept her team alive by denying junior Nina Moore and Vest, the Capers snapped a 16 minute, 2 second drought when Kirsten Rudberg scored on a free position with 9:06 remaining, but just 14 seconds later, after Gray-Bauer won the draw, Vest scored unassisted to turn momentum back in Waynflete’s favor for good.
“Balance and focus were big today,” Vest said. “We’ve worked really well in practice. We don’t keep a very big bench, so the girls who play, play a lot. It’s all about becoming more comfortable.”
After Majercik denied sophomore Hannah Bosworth and Kirsten Rudberg,Waynflete sophomore Isabel Canning scored unassisted with 6:48 to play.
Kirsten Rudberg scored her second goal, unassisted, with 3:27 left, but a free position goal from Moore with 2:36 remaining brought the curtain down on the Flyers’ impressive 10-4 victory.
“This means everything,” Majercik said. “We had a really tough game the other day. I feel like every team has one of those days when everything goes wrong and unfortunately, ours was on a game day. We knew we had to come back and it give it everything. I felt the connection on the field. We knew we weren’t going to give it up.”
“We talked about connecting and playing as a team,” Rowe said. “That’s when we excel. We talked about communicating and following our cutters and moving the ball on attack, which we did really well today.”
“The girls were very emotionally into the game,” Connors added. “(Cape) beat us last year in the playoffs. The seniors told the story on the way over and asked everyone to step up. We talked about every minute counting. We needed to get ahead and then we couldn’t stop. We’ve talked about everybody needing to shoot and drive to the net. We caught passes in transition and got ground balls. That’s what we were looking for. I knew it was there. Everybody did their job.”
Waynflete put six different players in the scoring column. Burdick, Gray-Bauer, Rowe and Vest had two goals each, while Canning and Moore had one apiece.
Majercik made six saves and they were all critical.
“I did a lot of work with Cathie, watching game tapes, saw what I was doing wrong and what needed fixing,” Majercik said. “I just had to be big in the goal and have confidence. Personally, that wasn’t there Wednesday, but today it was all there. I know that I need to take it one goal at a time. If a goal goes in, I have to regroup.”
“Charlotte was huge today,” Connors said. “I can tell her stuff all day long, but it was helpful for her to see herself on video. Making those saves made a huge difference. It pumped the girls up.”
Gray-Bauer won 10 of 15 draws.
The Flyers enjoyed a 36-24 advantage on ground balls, as Canning had a game-high seven. Waynflete outshot Cape Elizabeth, 18-17 (16-10 on cage) and overcame 16 turnovers.
The Capers got two goals from Kirsten Rudberg and one apiece from Deschino and Melissa Rudberg. Graham and Kirsten Rudberg had assists. Bosworth made six saves. Melissa Rudberg had a team-high six ground balls. Cape Elizabeth committed 17 turnovers.
“We had a tough start,” said Spark. “All the credit to Waynflete. They’re a smart team. They played hard. Our defense played very well and was very aggressive, but we had a lot of calls go against us and that made us put our heads down. Waynflete has a very patient zone and they’re very good at playing it. We hadn’t seen it this year and we couldn’t consistently break through it.”
Two weeks left
Cape Elizabeth (fifth in the Western Class B Heal Points standings) hopes to rebound when it goes to Fryeburg Academy Friday. After hosting Wells Tuesday of next week, the Capers go to Yarmouth for a state final rematch, visit Marshwood, then close at home versus Falmouth.
“We still have great things to come,” Spark said. “We hope this brings us closer together. We’ll have three days of practice, then we hope to bounce back Friday.”
Waynflete’s tough stretch continues next week when it hosts Yarmouth and York. The Flyers (ranked fourth in the Western B) then close at Freeport.
“This means we’ll go a lot stronger into our next few games,” Rowe said. “This is a great way to start a new chapter in our season.”
“We have to have that connection as a team,” said Majercik. “If we have that connection, that current that goes through us, we’ll do well.”
“We have big games to come,” Connors added. “We won’t underestimate anybody.”
Waynflete junior Christian Rowe is defended by Cape Elizabeth senior Brette Lennon.
Waynflete junior Nina Moore races in and scores a goal on a free position.
Cape Elizabeth senior Emma Landes possesses the ball.
Cape Elizabeth sophomore Hannah Bosworth tries to get past Waynflete junior Meddy Smith.
Cape Elizabeth sophomore Mariah Deschino looks for an open teammate. The Capers had trouble solving the Waynflete defense all afternoon.
Waynflete sophomore Isabel Canning is defended by Cape Elizabeth senior Kirsten Rudberg.
Waynflete sophomore Beata Vest blows past a defender. Vest scored twice in the victory.
Recent Waynflete-Cape Elizabeth history
@ Waynflete 6 Cape Elizabeth 5
Waynflete 10 @ Cape Elizabeth 5
Western B semifinals
Cape Elizabeth 9 @ Waynflete 8
Waynflete 10 @ Cape Elizabeth 8
@ Waynflete 8 Cape Elizabeth 4
Western B Final
@ Waynflete 16 Cape Elizabeth 9
Western B Final
Waynflete 11 @ Cape Elizabeth 10 (3 OT)
Waynflete 13 @ Cape Elizabeth 6
Western B Final
@ Waynflete 8 Cape Elizabeth 7
Waynflete 11 @ Cape Elizabeth 7
Waynflete 11 @ Cape Elizabeth 2
Western B Final
@ Waynflete 9 Cape Elizabeth 5
@ Waynflete 15 Cape Elizabeth 5
Waynflete 16 @ Cape Elizabeth 1
Western B semifinals
@ Waynflete 11 Cape Elizabeth 1
Waynflete 18 @ Cape Elizabeth 7
@ Waynflete 15 Cape Elizabeth 7
Western B quarterfinals
@ Waynflete 13 Cape Elizabeth 3
@ Waynflete 11 Cape Elizabeth 6
Waynflete 7 @ Cape Elizabeth 1
@ Waynflete 11 Cape Elizabeth 6
@ Waynflete 11 Cape Elizabeth 5
Waynflete 9 @ Cape Elizabeth 8 (OT)
Waynflete 8 @ Cape Elizabeth 6
West Region semifinals
@ Waynflete 16 Cape Elizabeth 7
Cape Elizabeth 10 @ Waynflete 9
Waynflete junior goalie Charlotte Majercik and senior Helen Gray-Bauer jump for joy after Monday’s 10-4 win at Cape Elizabeth. The Flyers snapped a two-game skid and avenged last year’s playoff loss.
Mike Strout photos.
More photos below.
Waynflete 10 Cape Elizabeth 4
W- 4 6- 10
CE- 2 2-4
24:46 W Gray-Bauer (unassisted)
18:24 W Gray-Bauer (free position)
12:15 CE Deschino (Graham)
6:36 W Rowe (free position)
3:31 W Rowe (unassisted)
8.0 CE M. Rudberg (K. Rudberg)
21:16 W Burdick (free position)
17:11 W Burdick (unassisted)
16:19 W Vest (unassisted)
9:06 C K. Rudberg (free position)
8:52 W Vest (unassisted)
6:48 W Canning (unassisted)
3:27 CE K. Rudberg (unassisted)
2:36 W Moore (free position)
W- Burdick, Gray-Bauer, Rowe, Vest 2, Canning, Moore 1
CE- K. Rudberg 2, Deschino, M. Rudberg 1
CE- Graham, K. Rudberg 1
Draws (Waynflete, 10-5)
W- Gray-Bauer 10 of 15
CE- K. Rudberg 5 of 15
Ground balls (Waynflete, 36-24)
W- Canning 7, Burdick, Gray-Moore, Moore 5, Johnson, Vest 4, Rowe, Smith 2, Majercik, Pope 1
CE- M. Rudberg 6, Chapin, Landes, Lavallee 3, Lennon, K. Rudberg, Stewart 2, H. Bosworth, K. Bosworth, Herrera 1
Shots on cage:
W (Majercik) 6
CE (Bosworth) 6