No letdown for Yarmouth; Clippers handle Cape to extend unbeaten streak to 10

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YARMOUTH—Two days after a historic win and three days shy of a highly anticipated showdown for regional supremacy, it would have been understandable if Yarmouth’s field hockey team suffered a letdown when it hosted winless Cape Elizabeth Monday afternoon.

Instead, the Clippers showed up focused and promptly took care of business.

It took less than six minutes for Yarmouth to go on top when junior Ally MacLeod scored on a penalty corner.

Sophomore Emilie Martin and junior Abby McDowell then rattled the cage to put the Clippers on top, 3-0, at halftime.

If that wasn’t enough, Yarmouth ended all doubt early in the second half.

In a 23-second span, junior Molly Wilson and McDowell again scored goals to stretch the lead to 5-0 and while the Capers got on the board late thanks to junior Taylor Young, the Clippers put the finishing touches on a 5-1 victory.

Yarmouth improved to 9-0-1, dropped Cape Elizabeth to 0-12 and can now fully focus on Thursday’s battle against defending Class B state champion York.

“Monday games can always be tricky, especially when you have a Saturday game before-hand,” said Clippers coach Mandy Lewis. “We had a meeting before the game and talked about the importance of coming out with intensity. We were worried about our intensity coming off such a big game, but the second half I thought was much better than the first.”

Trends continue

Both Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth were playoff teams a year ago, but they’ve gone in separate directions this fall.

The Capers were hard-high by injuries and graduation (the departure of all-state goalie Mary DiPietro especially hurt) and lost their first 11 games. Cape Elizabeth, which has a new coach this year, Maura Bisogni, started with an 8-0 home loss to Falmouth. After a 6-0 setback at Freeport, the Capers scored their first goal, but lost at home to Fryeburg Academy, 7-1. Cape Elizabeth was then blanked by host Gray-New Gloucester (1-0), visiting Greely (3-0), Kennebunk (6-0) and Lake Region (3-0), host Poland (5-0), visiting Yarmouth (4-0) and York (10-0) and host Kennebunk (1-0).

Yarmouth opened the 2015 campaign with shutout victories over visiting Lake Region (6-0) and Gray-New Gloucester (4-0), then edged host Greely (3-2). After blanking visiting Freeport (2-0), the Clippers rolled at Gray-New Gloucester (4-1), held off visiting Fryeburg Academy (3-2), blanked host Cape Elizabeth (4-0), then settled for a 0-0 tie at Kennebunk. Saturday, Yarmouth bounced back and beat host Falmouth for the first time in a dozen years, 2-1.

Cape Elizabeth went 7-0-1 against Yarmouth between 2008-13, but last year, the Clippers finally solved the Capers, 2-0, and they made it two in a row with the 4-0 victory at Cape Elizabeth six days ago.

Monday, Yarmouth handled the Capers to stay unbeaten.

The Clippers’ first shot resulted in MacLeod sending the ball just wide, but with 24:07 to go in the first half, the hosts went on top for good, as on a penalty corner, MacLeod directed a rebound past Cape Elizabeth senior goalie Eden Divney.

After Divney denied Yarmouth sophomore Emilie Martin, Martin managed to finish with 11:23 to go in the half, finishing a feed from McDowell for a 2-0 lead.

The Clippers added a third goal with 7:38 remaining before halftime, as McDowell scored out of a scrum on a corner.

“We’ve had a big variety of goal scorers this year, which has been nice,” McDowell said. “It’s been a huge part of our success. We’ve worked on corners. Through the season we’ve gotten better. Today, they went very well.”

In the first half, Yarmouth had a 6-0 edge in shots and produced five penalty corners.

The Clippers then put on a clinic to start the second half.

Just 50 seconds in, senior Cara Ricciardi sent the ball in and Wilson buried it for a 4-0 lead.

Yarmouth then raced down the field and with 28:47 to go, McDowell scored her second goal, unassisted, for a commanding 5-0 advantage.

The Clippers threatened to score a sixth goal, but McDowell had a shot saved by Divney and Ricciardi sent the rebound wide, senior Bre Morrill fired just wide on a corner and Martin had a goal waved off.

With 5:20 left, Cape Elizabeth earned its first corner and it produced the Capers’ first shot, a Young blast which was blocked by Yarmouth sophomore defender Sophie McGrath.

The Capers then got another penalty corner chance and this time came through, as senior Jillian Petersen set up Young for just the team’s second goal in 12 games, which produced a huge celebration.

In the final minute, Divney put on a clinic, robbing MacLeod, then stopping four subsequent rebounds.

The Clippers then ran out the clock on their 5-1 win.

 “We know even though we’ve done really well, we have to get pumped up every game to keep our streak going,” said McDowell. “I think we’re all pretty surprised. We were nervous going into Class B, but we’ve stepped up to the challenge and we’re having fun with it.”

Yarmouth had four different goal scorers.

“We’ve had different players step up and a variety of players have put the ball in the net,” Lewis said. “We’re excited to see what we can create each day.”

The Clippers finished with a 25-2 shots advantage (19-1 on frame) and had nine corners to two for the Capers.

Cape Elizabeth got 15 saves from Divney.

It’s been a tough season for the Capers, but Bisogni praised the attitude and effort of her charges.

“They’ve been awesome,” Bisogni said. “We’re obviously having a rebuilding season, but the girls get better and show up to play and that’s inspiring. It’s a special group. They haven’t gotten negative or down. The seniors have been great leaders. The underclassmen have gotten playing time. It’s been fun.

“Every goal is important. We want to get on the board our next two games. We want to finish strong. We have to play 60 minutes of solid hockey. When we’re on, we can keep our heads high.”

Showdown looms

While Cape Elizabeth (12th in the Class B South Heal Points standings) finishes its season with games at Falmouth Wednesday and North Yarmouth Academy Oct. 7, Yarmouth still has hopes of earning the top seed in the region.

The second-ranked Clippers host seemingly unbeatable York Thursday in a contest rife with Heal Points and homefield advantage implications.

“We’ve thought a lot about York and have looked forward to it,” McDowell said. “We’re excited about it. We’ll do everything we can to get ready. We know it’s a challenge, but we’ll go out and do our best.”

“I think we’re ready,” Lewis said. “The girls are excited. We know it’s a big game and we have to do everything we’ve done each game so far to make sure we’re prepared. If we make sure we came out and play with 100 percent intensity and get as many shots off and play defense too, I think we’ll be able to contend with them.”

Yarmouth goes to Poland and hosts Falmouth next week, then closes the year at Traip Academy Oct. 13.

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

Sidebar Elements

Recent Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth meetings

Yarmouth 4 @ Cape Elizabeth 0

@ Yarmouth 2 Cape Elizabeth 0

@ Cape Elizabeth 1 Yarmouth 0 

@ Cape Elizabeth 2 Yarmouth 1

@ Yarmouth 0 Cape Elizabeth 0 (tie)

@ Cape Elizabeth 4 Yarmouth 0
Cape Elizabeth 2 @ Yarmouth 1

@ Cape Elizabeth 1 Yarmouth 0
Cape Elizabeth 1 @ Yarmouth 0

@ Yarmouth 2 Cape Elizabeth 0
@ Cape Elizabeth 4 Yarmouth 0

@ Yarmouth 1 Cape Elizabeth 0
Yarmouth 1 @ Cape Elizabeth 0 (2 OT)
Western B preliminary
@ Cape Elizabeth 2 Yarmouth 1 (7th round of penalty corners)

@ Cape Elizabeth 6 Yarmouth 1

Cape Elizabeth 1 @ Yarmouth 0

Yarmouth 3 @ Cape Elizabeth 1

Cape Elizabeth 1 @ Yarmouth 0 (OT)

@ Cape Elizabeth 1 Yarmouth 1 (tie)
Cape Elizabeth 3 @ Yarmouth 0

@ Cape Elizabeth 3 Yarmouth 2
Cape Elizabeth 2 @ Yarmouth 1

Western B Final
Cape Elizabeth 1 @ Yarmouth 0 (OT)

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