Waynflete junior Isabel Canning passes the ball over the stick of Cape Elizabeth freshman Tori McGrath during the teams’ season-opener Thursday. Canning scored with eight seconds left in overtime to give the Flyers a dramatic 8-7 win.
Chris Lambert photos.
More photos below.
W- 3 4 1- 8
CE- 4 3 0-7
23:08 CE Coburn (free position)
22:19 W Baginski (Veroneau)
18:21 W Veroneau (unassisted)
12:47 CE Chapin (unassisted)
11:27 W Rowe (unassisted)
8:18 CE Deschino (Bosworth)
4.4 CE Coburn (unassisted)
20:30 CE Coburn (Graham)
18:38 CE Graham (Sarka)
17:07 W Canning (unassisted)
13:36 W Giguere (Burdick)
11:17 W Rowe (Canning)
7:54 CE Deschino (Bosworth)
4:50 W Baginski (Canning)
8.0 W Canning (unassisted)
W- Baginski, Canning, Rowe 2, Giguere, Veroneau 1
CE- Coburn 3, Deschino 2, Chapin, Graham 1
W- Canning 2, Burdick, Veroneau 1
CE- Bosworth 2, Graham, Sarka 1
Draws (Cape Elizabeth, 13-4)
W- Canning 2 of 7, Veroneau 1 of 6, Moore 1 of 3, Giguere 0 of 1
CE- Deschino 13 of 17
Ground balls (Cape Elizabeth, 45-38)
W- DuBois, Moore 6, Canning, Pope 4, Burdick, Giguere, Smith, Veroneau 3, Baginski, Majercik 2, Lualdi, Olney 1
CE- Deschino 7, Chapin 6, Bosworth, M. Hayes, Roberts, Sarka 5, Coburn 4, Foley 3, Graham, T. McGrath 2, Harvey 1
Shots on cage:
W (Majercik) 7
CE (Foley) 7
CAPE ELIZABETH—What a way to start a season!
Thursday afternoon at an unseasonably comfortable Hannaford Field, two of the state’s unheralded girls’ lacrosse teams, Cape Elizabeth and Waynflete, did battle in the opener to the 2016 campaign and both teams came away encouraged after more than 50 minutes was required to determine a winner.
Despite the occasional sloppy play, due to it being the first game, both squads showed glimpses of why they believe they’ll be able to compete with Class B favorites Falmouth, Kennebunk and Yarmouth.
The teams traded goals in the first half and the Capers went ahead, 4-3, when junior Caroline Coburn scored with just 4.4 seconds remaining before halftime.
When Coburn and sophomore Susie Graham added goals early in the second half, Cape Elizabeth was up by three and visions of a first-ever home victory over the Flyers appeared a possibility, but out of a timeout, Waynflete responded.
With 18:38 to play, junior Isabel Canning scored to end an 18-plus minute scoring drought.
Sophomore Lydia Giguere followed with a goal to make things interesting and with 11:17 to play, capping a gorgeous transition sequence, senior Christian Rowe tied the game, 6-6.
The Capers retook the lead, 7-6, when senior Hannah Bosworth set up junior Mariah Deschino with 7:54 remaining, but three minutes later, Flyers sophomore Laura Baginski finished with the left hand to make it 7-7 and neither team would score again, sending the contest to overtime.
This spring, for the first time, girls’ lacrosse overtime games are decided by the first goal, not by who scores the most in six extra minutes, so there was additional pressure on both teams.
Cape Elizabeth had possession early in OT and Waynflete senior goalie and captain Charlotte Majercik had to make two big saves to keep her team’s hopes alive.
The Flyers finally got possession and as time wound down in the overtime, Canning took matters into her own hands, driving for the winner with just eight seconds to go and Waynflete escaped with a palpitating 8-7 victory.
Baginski, Canning and Rowe had two goals apiece as the Flyers won their ninth straight season opener.
“It was dramatic,” said longtime Waynflete coach Cathie Connors. “I’m psyched. I’m proud of the girls. (Cape’s) a good team. They’ll be worth some big (Heal Points) down the road.”
Both Cape Elizabeth and Waynflete enter the new season viewed as second fiddles to Falmouth and reigning regional champion Kennebunk in the newly created Class B South, but both teams have great upside.
The Capers, state finalists in 2014, lost to Waynflete in last year’s quarterfinals and despite some key graduation losses, have enough young firepower to compete with anyone.
The Flyers, who were ousted by Falmouth in the semifinals last June, aren’t as highly touted as they’re accustomed, but unheralded Waynflete teams are often the most dangerous, as Connors will mold this group into top contender status by season’s end.
Cape Elizabeth and Waynflete have created quite the rivalry in recent seasons, even though the Flyers had won 26 of 27 meetings (see sidebar, below) since 2003.
After Waynflete ousted the Capers in the regional final in 2011, 2012 and 2013, Cape Elizabeth finally snapped a 12-year, 24-game losing streak to the Flyers in a thrilling 9-8 come-from-behind victory in the 2014 semifinals.
Last spring, Waynflete got revenge with a 10-4 win at the Capers in the regular season and a 6-4 victory in the quarterfinals.
Thursday, under a gorgeous blue sky and just enough warmth to remind everyone that summer isn’t far off, the Flyers did it again, staying undefeated all-time in Cape Elizabeth.
It took just 1 minute, 52 seconds for the season’s first goal to be scored, as Coburn beat Majercik on a free position.
Waynflete drew even with 22:19 to play in the first half, when senior Anne Veroneau set up Baginski for a shot which eluded promising Capers freshman goalie Erin Foley.
Three minutes later, Veroneau, who attended Waynflete as a freshman (but didn’t play varsity) before playing at Cheverus the past two years, scored her first goal for the Flyers, giving her team a 2-1 lead.
Cape Elizabeth responded with 12:47 remaining in the half, as sophomore Chloe Chapin pounced a rebound and finished.
Waynflete went on top, 3-2, 80 seconds later, when Rowe finished a pretty crease roll with a shot into the net.
“It was a little slow starting,” Connors said. “We’re new and weren’t used to the turf, so it took awhile to get going.”
Again, the Capers answered, as Bosworth, from behind the net, fed Deschino for a goal with 8:18 remaining.
The score stayed 3-3 until the final seconds of the half, when, after a Flyers turnover, Coburn managed to finish with 4.4 seconds showing, making it 4-3 Cape Elizabeth at the break.
In the first half, the Capers had an edge in ground balls and shots and both goalies came up with some big saves, as Majercik stopped five shots and Foley denied four.
After Foley robbed Baginski and senior Nina Moore on free positions to start the second half, the hosts extended their lead.
First, Graham set up Coburn for a goal with 20:30 to play.
With 18:38 remaining, Graham took a pass from sophomore Madison Sarka and tickled the twine for a 6-3 advantage, forcing Connors to call timeout.
No one gets a team to respond better in a timeout than the state’s most veteran coach and sure enough, with 17:07 to go, Canning drove for an unassisted goal and despite an 18 minute, 20 second scoring drought, the Flyers were only down two, 6-4.
“We recognized that momentum is your choice and to keep your head and stay calm,” Canning said.
With 13:36 remaining, sophomore Izzy Burdick fired a pinpoint pass to Giguere, who beat Foley, and just like that, it was a one-goal game.
Waynflete completed its comeback with 11:17 on the clock.
The tying goal actually started way back in the defensive end, where junior Ali Pope, who was tremendous all day, got a loose ball and fired a long pass ahead to Canning, who set up Rowe on the fly. Rowe raced in and finished and the game was deadlocked, 6-6.
“In the timeout, I just reminded them to trust each other and remember what we’ve practiced,” Connors said. “We came out and tied it up. I wanted to see if they could play under fire.”
Cape Elizabeth lost the lead, but didn’t buckle and with 7:54 remaining, in a repeat of their first half connection, Bosworth set up Deschino for a go-ahead goal and a 7-6 lead.
Again, the Flyers would rally and with 4:50 to play, again in transition, Canning passed to Baginski, who switched to her left hand before finding the net to make it 7-7.
Down the stretch, Canning had a look at a potential winner, but Foley made the save, and with 14.5 seconds to go, Graham was awarded a free position, but couldn’t get room for a shot and it was on to overtime.
Waynflete entered the extra session confident.
“It was all or nothing and we had three minutes to go all out,” Connors said.
The Capers won possession, however, as Deschino’s mastery in the draw circle gave them a chance to quickly win it.
After the teams traded turnovers, Deschino was awarded a free position, but her shot was turned aside by Majercik.
Cape Elizabeth kept possession and after Coburn shot wide, Graham had a look which Majercik also saved and after the teams traded turnovers once more, the Flyers finally had a settled possession and set about ending the contest.
Moore had a chance to win it with 27.7 seconds to go, but she shot high. The Capers got possession, but were ruled offsides, giving the ball back to Waynflete.
Canning then decided enough was enough, got some room, bulled her way and fired the ball into the net to end it with just eight seconds showing in overtime.
Waynflete 8 Cape Elizabeth 7.
“Overtime is all about who wants it more,” Canning said. “We have a young defense and we trusted each other. I was looking to clear some space and I saw a corner. It feels awesome. I don’t remember ever scoring a game winning goal.”
Five different Flyers scored, as Baginski, Canning and Rowe all had two goals and Giguere and Veroneau each added one. Canning assisted on two goals, while Burdick and Veroneau both had one assist.
Majercik made seven saves.
Moore and sophomore Claire DuBois shared team-high honors with six ground balls apiece.
Waynflete overcame 21 turnovers by forcing 28.
Cape Elizabeth was paced by Coburn’s three goals. Deschino added a pair and Chapin and Graham each finished with one. Bosworth had two assists, while Graham and Sarka both had one. Deschino won 13 of 17 draws. Foley, in her debut, made seven saves.
“(Erin) played amazing,” said Capers coach Alex Spark. “She’s worked hard all winter, working toward this spot. I’m super-proud of her. She had some huge saves to keep us in it.”
The Capers enjoyed a 45-38 edge in ground balls, as Deschino had a game-high seven and Chapin collected six.
Cape Elizabeth had a 19-16 shots advantage.
Unfortunately, unlike the National Hockey League, you don’t get any points for a regulation tie in girls’ lacrosse, but the Capers left the game with their heads held high, feeling like they’d accomplished a lot.
“I think we have tons to show for it,” Spark said. “I think the girls worked really hard. It was a great game overall. I’m proud of how they came together and played well. Waynflete’s always tough. We knew it would be goal-to-goal. We moved the ball well. We practiced specifically for their zone. I’m proud of our attack. We have new players and we’re still learning to play together, but some of the goals we had were beautiful.”
Both teams will have more than a week off due to April vacation before returning to action.
Cape Elizabeth will host reigning Class B champion Yarmouth April 27, then closes the month with a trip to Gorham three days later.
“We take away so many good things from this,” Spark said. “We have our whole schedule ahead of us. We learned a lot and we’ll move on to the next one. We’ve identified the areas we need to fine-tune and we’ll work on that. We’ll come back from spring break and be ready.”
Waynflete returns to action April 28, when it looks to avenge last year’s playoff ouster with a trip to Falmouth. The Flyers then host Scarborough in a crossover game before measuring themselves even more when they welcome Kennebunk.
“I love my team,” Canning said. “I was excited about this team before the season even started. What’s better than playing with your friends? We have a lot of potential. We need to calm down, get our passes cleaner and get ground balls.”
“It’s a new team and a lot of plays aren’t in place yet,” Connors said. “We’re still working on everything. You can only do so much in the gym. Our schedule won’t get any easier.”
Cape Elizabeth junior Caroline Coburn shoots past Waynflete junior defender Ali Pope and senior goalie Charlotte Majercik for the game’s first goal. Coburn had three goals on the day.
Waynflete sophomore Izzy Burdick looks to pass.
Waynflete senior Christian Rowe cuts through Cape Elizabeth defenders junior Caroline Coburn, left, senior Mo Lavallee, sophomore Chloe Chapin and junior Casey Kelley.
Waynflete senior Christian Rowe, left, Flyers sophomore LZ Olney and Cape Elizabeth senior Mo Lavallee battle for a ground ball.
Cape Elizabeth sophomore Chloe Chapin plays tight defense on Waynflete junior Isabel Canning.
Waynflete senior Christian Rowe shoots while Cape Elizabeth senior Mo Lavallee defends and freshman goalie Erin Foley looks on.
Cape Elizabeth sophomore Susie Graham finds herself surrounded by Waynflete junior Ali Pope, sophomore Claire DuBois, sophomore Lydia Giguere and freshman Marady Parr.
Cape Elizabeth sophomore Susie Graham is sandwiched by Waynflete sophomore Claire DuBois and junior Ali Pope.
@ 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