LEWISTON — With apologies to any former Lewiston High School players who played in the Class A championship game five years ago, the Blue Devils celebrated the biggest win in the history of their boys’ lacrosse program Friday night.
Lewiston scored the last four goals in the final 5:01 to take down Class B goliath Cape Elizabeth, 8-7, at Don Roux Field.
Class distinctions are less important than tradition and geography in lacrosse.
Southern Class B teams have been the heavy hitters during the game’s brief life as a varsity endeavor. Cape has appeared in the state final in 11 of the 13 sanctioned seasons. And it won numerous titles before that, when lacrosse was a club sport.
“It’s history!” Lewiston senior Elliot Chicoine shouted in his team’s post-game huddle.
“Most of us in Class A look up to Cape, Falmouth and Yarmouth as being the cream of the crop. None of us typically do that well against them. This is a win for Class A,” Lewiston coach Bill Bodwell said. “I won’t have many feelings like this in my career.”
Curtis Robinson, Chicoine, Brandon Tiner and Sam Cloutier scored for the Blue Devils (6-1) during the furious rally.
Cloutier chalked up his second goal of the night for the win with 48 seconds remaining.
Cape Elizabeth goaltender Jack Roos deflected Robinson’s initial shot wide to the right of the cage. In the continuing action, Cloutier gained possession, fell forward between two Cape defenders and found a seam with his off-balance bid.
“Coach gave me an (isolation). I kind of got tripped up in front of the crease and shoveled it into the back of the net,” Cloutier said.
The Capers (5-2) owned possession from there until the horn.
One wild shot veered to the far left of Lewiston goalie Jesse Leeman with 25 seconds left.
Cape had time to set up another shot by Justin Cary, but Leeman blocked it, scooped up the ground ball and ran out the clock before disappearing into a triumphant wave of white-and-blue jerseys.
“It sends a message. I don’t think Cape’s ever lost to a KVAC team,” Chicoine said. “Our team has a lot of great guys with heart who play until the last second. We took the Portland game to overtime with 5.4 seconds left, Sam Cloutier once again.”
Portland prevailed in that one. Cape’s only previous loss was a 12-4 verdict against Falmouth in its opening game.
Chicoine led Lewiston with three goals. Tiner matched Cloutier with two.
Leeman’s last save was his 15th of the game. Four of those came with Lewiston down at least one man due to penalties in the first and third quarters.
Cody Dussault, Steven Patrie and Sheldon Jones made multiple steals and won numerous groundballs in the defensive zone to give Leeman an added boost.
“Our defense really is phenomenal. They kept us in this game when we were two men down,” Chicoine said. “We were making a lot of unforced errors early in the game because they’re Cape Elizabeth, you know?”
The third period actually was the hosts’ near downfall.
Lewiston led 1-0, 3-2 and 4-3 before Cape strung together four goals in less than a four-minute span.
Cary, Timmy Takach, Teddy Smith and Wilson Laprade each found the net during that run, with many of the shots coming from the far edge of the scoring area.
“Coach called a timeout and got us all hyped up. Elliot had a nice shot that kind of got us going, and then there was no stopping us,” Cloutier said. “We knew this was going to be a battle. When we went down three goals, we were kind of hanging our heads. But we came right back out.”
Robinson’s goal cut the lead to two. He also set up the Chicoine strike with 2:49 to go.
Following a Cape turnover, Dussault found Tiner for the tying tally with 1:26 on the clock.
“I think we were getting good chances,” Bodwell said. “Once we kind of opened the door a little bit, it gave us an opportunity to see we could score. We were stuck at four for quite a while.”
Laprade led Cape with three goals. Timmy Lavallee added a goal and three assists for the reigning Class B champs.
“We just don’t see teams like that,” Bodwell said. “It’s a big adjustment for us to play at that level. A lot of their kids play year-round. Their lacrosse IQ is really good.”