CAPE ELIZABETH — Hannah Bosworth put in a shot from just outside the left post with 2:50 left Wednesday night to lift Cape Elizabeth to a 1-0 victory against Gray-New Gloucester in a Western Maine Conference field hockey opener at Hannaford Field.
The Patriots, who were winless last season, played the Capers on even terms.
“We’re in the rebuilding phases right now but intensity is our No. 1 thing,” Gray-New Gloucester Coach Corinna Dick said. “The girls just didn’t give up. Even when (Cape Elizabeth) scored they just turned it up.”
Cape Elizabeth Coach Darci Holland wasn’t surprised by the Patriots.
“We saw them this summer and they were a decent team,” she said. “You can tell they’re dedicated and committed to the sport.”
Last fall the Capers reached the Western Class B semifinals – their best season since advancing to the state final 14 years ago.
Holland said her team still has to work to reach its full potential.
“We have a younger offensive line so we’re going to have to keep working on those scoring opportunities and circle play,” she said. “It’s back to the drawing board for the next two days of practice, for sure.”
Bosworth capped off a quick counterattack by turning a feed from Taylor Herrera into the goal following a turnover by Gray-New Gloucester near midfield.
“We worked our way up the field and everything kind of clicked,” Bosworth said. “We’ve been working on those quick one-time passes and we did it from the 50 on. Everyone was kind of feeling it. Finally it clicked and it just worked.”
Because of strong defensive play, neither team had many opportunities.
Gray-New Gloucester’s best opportunities came on two penalty corners midway through the first half, but Cape goalie Mary DiPietro came up big both times.
On the first penalty corner, DiPietro, in her second season as the starting goalie, stopped Sara Carder from point-blank range.
Moments later, on another penalty corner, she turned away a three-shot flurry.
“She’s incredible,” Holland said. “Being a senior, she’s full of confidence. She understands the angles. She can direct her defense to mark up, tell them where to go and not to go. She’s a vocal player and not afraid to get in front of the ball.”
“Our goalie is amazing,” Bosworth said. “She’s such a great leader on the team, both on and off the field.”
Despite the loss, Dick didn’t sound disappointed.
“Last year we had an 0-13 record so this (game) proves we can be some competition,” Dick said.
The Patriots held an 8-7 edge in shots on goal and a 6-4 edge in penalty corners.
“Right now, what the defense is doing is reading our corners, so this is something we have to improve,” Dick said. “We’ve got to start anticipating what’s going to happen next.”