Four Capers – Jacob Brydson, Owen Thoreck, Tate Perkins and RJ Sarka – all hashed hat tricks as their team cruised to a routine, 21-0 win over visiting Lake Region on Thursday, May 19.
Both sides knew, before ever setting foot on the field, that the game was liable to prove lopsided; whereas Lake Region is shy on warm bodies and has struggled to compete for the past several years, Cape is one of the best teams in Maine.
But all that simply means the story of the evening is to be found outside the score. The Lakers, for instance, will seize any opportunity they can to improve.
“Coming in, I told the guys, ‘Look, this is a program we aspire to be like. Try and learn something today, so we get better down the road,” said Lake Region head coach Josh Plowman, in his first year with the team.
“Cape’s one of the best programs in the state,” Plowman said. “We knew we were going to be playing a lot of defense, and we wanted to emphasize better team D. We weren’t coming in here expecting to get a win, but we wanted to compete and we wanted to get better.”
Plowman joined the Lakers this season after helping turn the Blue Blazes of Westbrook into one of the State’s top-flight outfits. One reason he left a team nearing the height of its powers was specifically the challenge of turning around a program that’s struggling.
“I think we did get better today,” he said. “Our defense played well; given the score, it may not look like we played a great defensive game, but we did. Probably out of the 48 minutes, we played 47 of it on d.”
The Capers, meanwhile, had their own set of goals for the evening. “We’re always focusing on the little things,” said Cape head coach Ben Raymond. “Catching and throwing and making good decisions with the ball.
“It was nice for us,” Raymond said. “We messed with the rotation a little bit and played different kids in different groups, mixed up the midfield lines and the attack. First attack wasn’t necessarily playing together; we had a mixture of all six attackmen playing at different times with each other.”
Thoreck added the opening two Cape goals, the first just 40 seconds into the game and the second not quite five minutes later. After that, the Capers applied consistent pressure. They tallied six points in the first quarter, eight in the second, four in the third and three in the fourth.
A gracious victor, Raymond applauded the Lakers’ successes on the evening, and in particular the defensive work Plowman also praised.
“The first few possessions, we moved the ball well, but then didn’t make that last pass,” Raymond said. “Their zone made it difficult for us to connect on it. We forced the crease quite a bit and didn’t find the open man.
“Once kids figured it out and moved a little bit better and found out where the open man was, looks became easier.”
The Lakers’ defense also featured a goalie they can be proud of. Taylor Davis is relatively new to the post, but he made a number of impressive saves vs. the mighty Capers.
“We had a big need at goal this year; the goalie from last year graduated,” said Plowman. “We got through the first of preseason with a freshman kid playing there, but he wasn’t quite ready to play goalie – he’s actually developed into a phenomenal long-pole defender for us. But you can’t have a successful lacrosse team without a good goalie, so Taylor, being a senior and a pretty good midfielder, volunteered one day before practice to play goalie. We put him in there and he looked like a natural. He does a nice job: He’s really come up big for us in a few games, and he commands the defense.”
Brydson finished with three assists in addition to his three goals; Thoreck had one assist in addition to his own trio of points. Riley Pillsbury and Noah Bates each had two goals and an assist, Sam Dresser had two goals, and Finn Raymond, Connor Thoreck, Ben Carroll, Logan Hansen and Peter Tarling had a goal apiece. Connor Thoreck also assisted twice, and Carroll and Hansen once. Finally, J Bottomley had two assists, and Hans Croft and Jon Fiutak had one assist each.
Tarling’s goal was particularly pretty: Tarling, a special needs athlete, doesn’t see a lot of playing time, so when Coach Raymond sent him into the thick of the action, his teammates made sure to work the ball to him. Once he had it on his stick, he drove to the Lakers’ net, shot and scored.
“That’s his first goal – that’s the first time he’s been in a game,” Raymond said. “Last year was his first year kind of playing with us, and he still is off and on. But yesterday he practiced, so he’s eligible to play. We hold him to a similar standard of, you’ve got to be at practice every day, and some days he’s feeling better than others. Yesterday he practiced a little bit and made sure he was ready to go today.
“It worked out well, that he was able to get in,” Raymond said. “We didn’t expect him to get the ball in that situation – but once that happened, it was great. Everything happened naturally; he was able to go to goal and the Lake Region kids all rolled with it. So much credit to their kids for recognizing something like that and just rolling with it in the moment. That’s better than the coaches setting something up before the game.”
Cape, currently No. 1 in B South, jumped to 9-0 with the W. Lake Region slipped to 0-9. The under-construction Lakers are last in B South.
Caper J Bottomley dashes upfield in his team’s win over visiting Lake Region last Thursday.
Laker Paul Walker matches up with an incoming Caper on Thursday last.
Laker Todd Crawford collides with a Capers opponent last Thursday.
Laker Ben Moen tracks a Cape attacker in his team’s road loss last Thursday.
Caper Cole Spencer cuts upfield vs. Lake Region last Thursday.
Zeke Tocci tracks the action at Cape Elizabeth last Thursday.
Laker Peter Vigna tries to set up a clear for his squad vs. Cape Elizabeth last Thursday.
Cape’s Tate Perkins cuts around Lakers defender Peter Vigna on the attack last Thursday.
Laker Cameron Hill battles in Cape Elizabeth last Thursday. Caper Tate Perkins pursues.