FALMOUTH – Here’s what the Cape Elizabeth girls’ soccer team had in mind heading into its rematch with Falmouth: If we win the ball, we win the game.
Cape Elizabeth won the ball often enough to earn a 2-1 victory in a Western Maine Conference match Wednesday night at Falmouth High.
The victory avenged the Capers’ only loss, a 2-0 Falmouth win at Cape Elizabeth on Sept. 18.
“The difference between the first game and this one was tonight we did the little things well,” said Cape Elizabeth forward Kathryn Clark. “We got the scrappy balls, we definitely won the 50-50 balls in the air and on the ground. All in all it was a much better performance from us.”
Capers Coach Craig Fannan agreed. “We talked about not making it about revenge, or Falmouth, or our seniors’ last game here,” he said. “We tried to make it, ‘Let’s relax, go out and play the soccer we know we can play.’ “
Which is to say, take away Falmouth’s long-ball passing game and win tackles.
“We talked about hitting our attacking midfielders,” Fannan said. “We got the ball to Addie (Wood) and Montana (Braxton) a lot more than we did in the first game. That was important for us.”
And it factored into both Cape goals. Clark put the Capers up 1-0 4:52 into the game, converting Wood’s hard shot from 23 yards.
Falmouth keeper Maggie Seitz (13 saves) made the stop but the ball came free.
“It was a great shot from Addie. If it wasn’t so hard I don’t think it would have (come loose),” Clark said. “I was lucky enough to be there to finish it.”
The goal seemed to energize the Capers, and they methodically began to take control of the 50-50 balls, both in the air and on the ground.
“The early goal set the tone,” Wood said. “We were excited but we stayed composed and tried to control the game. Falmouth is a great competitor and I think it was a great game.”
About nine minutes into the second half, Wood dug the ball free and fed a pass to Lizzy Raftice.
Raftice laid off the ball to Montana Braxton, who unleashed a shot from 30 yards for a 2-0 lead.
Four minutes later, Falmouth cut it to 2-1 when back Laura Bauer knocked Megan Miller’s corner kick past Cape keeper Mary Perkins (four saves).
Falmouth (7-1) held the advantage in corner kicks (4-3), but Cape Elizabeth (7-1-1) had a decided edge in shots on frame (15-5).
“They’re probably the best team on our schedule,” Falmouth Coach Andrew Pelletier said. “We lost 2-1 but we worked our tails off for 80 minutes. Our decision-making in the final third was a little off and I think that was the biggest issue.
“In the second half you couldn’t have asked for more from the girls.”