One goal's enough to send Cape past Greely

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CAPE ELIZABETH—Cape Elizabeth’s field hockey team keeps finding a way to win one-goal games.

The Greely Rangers, meanwhile, are wondering what they have to do to get in the win column.

Monday evening at Hannaford Field, the Capers played their fifth one-goal game of the season and for the fourth time, they came out on the winning end, handing the Rangers another painful defeat in the process.

After generating no offense in the first half, Cape Elizabeth came out sizzling in the second, but it took until 13:40 remained in regulation before it finally broke through.

The goal came off a penalty corner.

Senior Taylor Herrera, who inserted the ball, managed to get her stick on a blast from classmate Caroline Garfield and redirect it into the goal and the Capers made it stand up as they improved to 4-2 with a 1-0 victory, which handed Greely its fifth loss in as many outings this autumn.

“It’s just energy and spirit with us,” Herrera said. “The more fired up we get and the more intense we play, the better we play. I think we have some serious potential this year.”

Different directions

Cape Elizabeth has returned to prominence as one of the top programs in Western B, reaching the semifinals a year ago for the first time since 2002.

So far this fall, the Capers have shown glimpses of brilliance at times, but have also stumbled on a couple occasions. Cape Elizabeth opened with a 1-0 home win over Gray-New Gloucester, then sprung a minor upset with a 2-1 victory at Falmouth. The Capers weren’t able to enjoy prosperity, however, losing at home to Poland (2-1) and at Fryeburg (4-0) before bouncing back Saturday with a 2-1 home win over Lake Region.

“After the two games we lost, we had a team bonding session where we talked about our goals,” Garfield said. “It was a big reality check. Since then, we’ve had really great energy, even in practice.”

“We were just flat against Poland,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Darci Holland. “We were incredibly flat at Fryeburg. We had a big sit-down session Friday to see what was working and what wasn’t working and we came to play on Saturday. Something clicked.”

The Rangers got to the playoffs last fall, but lost at Freeport in the preliminary round. After the season, Kristina Lane Prescott stepped down as coach and was replaced by her assistant, Becki Belmore.

So far on the field this autumn, it’s been a struggle for Greely, even though the Rangers have been competitive in most games. Greely opened by falling at Lake Region and Poland by 3-2 scores (the loss at the Knights came in overtime). After a 1-0 home setback against Falmouth, the Rangers lost at York, 6-1.

The rivalry has turned in recent seasons. After Greely won 17 times and tied once in a 20-game span between 2003 and 2011 (see sidebar below), Cape Elizabeth had captured the last four outings, including a 3-2 overtime win on the road and a 2-0 home victory last fall.

Monday, the Capers made it five straight.

There were few chances in the first half as Greely had the better of the play.

In the fourth minute, Rangers junior Kayla Barry fired a long shot which forced Cape Elizabeth senior Mary DiPietro to make a save. On an ensuing corner, DiPietro blocked a shot, then saved a rebound bid by senior Gina Richard.

With 19:09 to play in the first half, Herrera was sent to the sidelines for 10 minutes after receiving a yellow card.

While there, she vowed to make her presence felt before game’s end.

“That got me really fired up,” Herrera said. “I just watched as the ball went back and forth. I wanted to go in and do something.”

Late in the half, Greely senior Sophie McMonagle appeared to have a good look on a corner, but Capers senior Julia Ginder blocked the shot.

The Rangers had all four of the first half shots and both corners, but two DiPietro saves and strong defensive play from the likes of Ginder, seniors Rachel Garrity, Lily Jordan and Michaela Pinette and junior Jillian Peterson kept the game scoreless.

Then, immediately into the second half, Cape Elizabeth’s offense awakened.

The Capers put pressure on Greely and got a couple shots off, but Rangers freshman goalie Elizabeth Brown made the saves.

With 25:07 to play, Cape Elizabeth sophomore Hannah Bosworth had a good look off a corner, but Brown made the save.

Greely then went the other way and had some good looks, but DiPietro denied bids from junior Danita Storey and McMonagle and McMonagle sent a bid on a corner just wide.

Finally, with 13:40 remaining, the hosts broke through.

Herrera had the honor of starting and finishing the goal sequence, as she inserted a nice ball to Garfield, who sidestepped a defender, then sent a shot toward the near post where Herrera got a stick on it and redirected it past Brown for a 1-0 lead.

“Usually I take it and shoot straight at the goal,” Garfield said. “I noticed that their (defender) flies out, so I took a pull to the left and that caught them off guard.”

“I inserted it to Caroline, she got some separation from the (defensive) flier and got a really good shot off,” Herrera said. “I just got a piece of it. I tipped it in. I think it was going a little wide and I redirected it. Coach pumped us up a lot at halftime. We were fired up to get a goal.”

“I told the girls at halftime to pick up the steam,” Holland added. “We increased our intensity, which was awesome. I was confident we’d score. Greely’s defense was good. Their goalie was good. It wasn’t easy to get one in.

“I think Caroline is our silent but deadly player. She has great stick skills, great field awareness. She’ll sneak up on you. I was excited Taylor got her stick on that shot. It might have gone wide otherwise.”

Cape Elizabeth had three excellent chances to double its lead, but Brown denied a Garfield blast on a corner, Bosworth redirected a cross from Herrera just wide and another Garfield shot on a corner was saved.

A final Greely rush was broken up by the Capers defense and the hosts got to celebrate their 1-0 victory.

“We’ve been working on forward pressure during practice,” said Garfield. “Today, we knew we could get it in, but it wasn’t clicking until the end when we got our energy up. At halftime, we talked about getting hungry and connecting passes. We started to do that.”

Cape Elizabeth finished with a 7-5 shots advantage. The Capers had nine corner opportunities to three for the Rangers. DiPietro made five saves.

Greely got six saves from Brown, but still fell short.

“It is getting frustrating,” Belmore said. “We’re right there in every game. We just couldn’t capitalize. The girls are seeing the importance of that. We came in pretty pumped and excited. We were intense in the first half.

“Lizzie, for a freshman goalie, has kept the games close. She’s come a long way.”

Work to do

Greely needs to turn it up and quickly. The Rangers are home against Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday and Lake Region Friday.

They believe that good things are right around the corner.

“We’re waiting for that key game that swings it for us,” Belmore said. “We’re right there. We alternated goals with Lake Region in that opening game. We have them on our field, so hopefully it will be different this time .”

Cape Elizabeth hopes to earn a high playoff seed, but needs to keep winning. The Capers visit dangerous Freeport Wednesday, host Kennebunk Friday, then have a showdown at Western C power Yarmouth Tuesday of next week.

“I think we can have an even better season than last year,” said Garfield. “Even though we lost good seniors, we have really good chemistry this year. Going forward, we still need to get shots in. We have to play ping pong with the defense.”

“We’re still working on scoring opportunities,” Holland said. “We had more tonight. It’s not so much creating scoring chances as it is finishing them. Our forwards have to get hungrier, the mids have to make sure they’re supporting. I hope we can keep coming out with the Ws.”

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

Greely freshman goalie Elizabeth Brown stands tall on a corner as Cape Elizabeth sophomore Taylor Young tries to bang home a rebound.

Greely junior Alyssa Casarez sends the ball away from Cape Elizabeth sophomore Hannah Bosworth.

Cape Elizabeth junior Megan Nicholson is chased by Greely senior Juliette Cavanaugh.

Cape Elizabeth senior Lily Jordan plays the ball away from Greely senior Maura Perry.

Cape Elizabeth senior Julia Ginder tries to slow Greely senior Sophie McMonagle.

Greely junior Kayla Barry lines up a shot.

Greely junior Danita Storey rockets a shot as Cape Elizabeth sophomore Taylor Young tries to get her stick on it.

Cape Elizabeth freshman Charlotte Emerson tries to get around Greely sophomore Danielle Rice.

Cape Elizabeth sophomore Taylor Young and Greely senior Danielle Rice fight for a loose ball.

Recent Greely-Cape Elizabeth results

Cape Elizabeth 3 @ Greely 2 (OT)
@ Cape Elizabeth 2 Greely 0

Cape Elizabeth 5 @ Greely 4
@ Cape Elizabeth 2 Greely 0

Greely 4 @ Cape Elizabeth 1
@ Greely 2 Cape Elizabeth 0

@ Cape Elizabeth 2 Greely 1
@ Greely 1 Cape Elizabeth 0
Western B quarterfinals
@ Greely 4 Cape Elizabeth 3

@ Greely 1 Cape Elizabeth 0
Greely 1 @ Cape Elizabeth 0

Greely 1 @ Cape Elizabeth 0 (OT)
@ Greely 2 Cape Elizabeth 0

@ Cape Elizabeth 3 Greely 2
@ Greely 2 Cape Elizabeth 0

Greely 2 @ Cape Elizabeth 1
@ Cape Elizabeth 0 Greely 0 (tie)

@ Greely 4 Cape Elizabeth 0
Greely 4 @ Cape Elizabeth 0
Western B quarterfinals
@ Greely 3 Cape Elizabeth 0

Greely 2 @ Cape Elizabeth 0
@ Greely 1 Cape Elizabeth 0

@ Greely 6 Cape Elizabeth 2
Greely 3 @ Cape Elizabeth 2 (OT)

Greely 3 @ Cape Elizabeth 1
Cape Elizabeth 3 @ Greely 2
Western B semifinals
@ Greely 6 Cape Elizabeth 0

Cape Elizabeth 3 @ Greely 2
Greely 2 @ Cape Elizabeth 1

Sidebar Elements

Cape Elizabeth seniors Caroline Garfield (left) and Julia Ginder celebrate after Garfield set up senior Taylor Herrera for the lone goal of Monday’s 1-0 home win over Greely.

Mike Strout photos.

More photos below.

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