To everyone’s surprise but their own, the girls on the Cape Elizabeth High soccer team have gotten off to a great start.

Going into Wednesday night’s game against Lake Region, the Capers were unbeaten and on top of the Heal Point ratings in Western Class A.

“Before the season started, I said I wanted to be competitive every single game,” said Luke Krawczyk, in his first season as head coach. “It’s not a case of me saying we’re going to win every game, but the girls want to win, and the girls are working hard from game to game to try and make that happen.”

In the first four weeks of the season, the Capers beat highly regarded York and Greely, and played defending Class B champ Falmouth to a 1-1 tie.

“The girls are very determined,” said Krawczyk, a 23-year-old Englishman who began coaching for his club team in his native Peterborough seven years ago. “They obviously read the papers and everything, and the girls were not (expected) to do anything. The girls want to prove everybody wrong.”

Abby Houghton, one of only five seniors, said the team has really come together.

“I definitely think we’re doing well because we’re so united,” she said. “Unfortunately there have been times when we haven’t been as one, but right now we’re all on the same page. We’re all friends and we’re just having a fun time.”

Melanie Vangel, a sophomore transfer student from Camden Hills, has provided a lift. In the first seven games she scored 12 of the team’s 19 goals.

But the Capers, who have a number of talented sophomores playing key roles, have shown they can win without their top scorer.

On Monday, an ankle injury kept Vangel on the sidelines during a 4-1 victory at Freeport.

“There’s not a lot of premier players on the team, but the most important thing is the girls get along and they trust each other,” Krawczyk said. “We don’t have a massive pool of players, but the girls are playing to their strengths and they’re playing for each other.”

IT HASN’T TAKEN the girls at Oceanside High much time to prove they belong in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference’s Class B division.

Oceanside is in its first season in the KVAC following the merger of Rockland High and Georges Valley High in Thomaston.

Four weeks into the season, the Mariners are 5-2-1 and ranked third in Eastern Class B.

“I love the conference,” said Darryl Townsend, who coached at Georges Valley for 17 seasons, when the Buccaneers played in the mostly Class C Mountain Valley Conference.

“It’s more competitive. Every day it’s competitive for us, and that’s great.”

This season, Oceanside’s varsity is made up primarily of players from Townsend’s old Georges Valley team.

But there are a total of 52 girls playing on the school’s varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams, and Townsend said there will be less of a disparity in players from the two communities in the future.

“After this year it will be a much more equal mix,” he said.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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