Saturday, April 19, 2014
By Greg Reid
Special To The Press Herald
CAPE ELIZABETH — Keep calm and pass the ball.
WHO: Cape Elizabeth (14-2-1) vs. Waterville (16-1)
WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Hampden Academy
That outlook, and big nights from Kate Breed and Montana Braxton, led Cape Elizabeth to a 4-2 victory over Greely in a physical Western Class B girls’ soccer final Wednesday night at Hannaford Field.
Breed scored two goals and Braxton had two assists to help the Capers (14-2-1) reach the state final for the first time since they won the Class A title in 1999. Cape, the No. 1 seed in the West, will face the Eastern champion, Waterville (16-1), at 3 p.m. Saturday at Hampden Academy.
Greely (11-5-1) was the No. 2 seed in Western Maine.
“It’s a big step forward for the girls,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Craig Fannan said. “It’s important to enjoy tonight but the job’s not done. We’d like to step up and show we’re the team we’d like to be. We have a chance to do that Saturday.”
Mirroring its first two games this season, emotion played a big part in Wednesday’s matchup.
In the first game, Cape rode an early 2-0 lead to a 2-1 win. On Oct. 12, Greely rallied with three second-half goals for a 3-2 win.
The difference for the Capers this time?
“(Emotion) was something we spoke long and hard about after the (3-2 loss) and before this one,” Fannan said. “We pulled some of the girls aside and told them, ‘The others look to you to remain calm and lead us.’ Lizzy Raftice was one and she did that for us today.”
Raftice, a senior midfielder, shook off hard tackles to squelch Greely’s attack, hitting the turf repeatedly.
“We were playing the way we play, passing the ball, switching fields,” she said. “Not getting caught up in the emotion and the personal battles helped us pull out the win.”
Cape held a 6-1 edge in corner kicks and shots (20-13). Cape keeper Mary Perkins made three saves and Elyse Dinan had 12 for Greely.
Kathryn Clark scored the winning goal 11 minutes into the second half when Braxton’s through ball found her making a hard diagonal run into the penalty area.
“(Scoring then) was the best feeling ever,” Clark said. “It was just a one vs. one with the goalie. She took a very good angle and I just had to place it.”
Four minutes later, Braxton found Breed, who tapped the ball in to make it 4-2.
Elise Flathers opened the scoring for Cape 10 minutes in. She was credited with a goal when her 25-yard direct kick bounced off a defender and into the goal. Three minutes later, Breed headed Flathers’ corner kick just inside the back post to make it 2-0.
But the Rangers rallied as Isabelle Hutnak scored twice in 3:05.
Kristina Volta assisted on the first goal and Mia Lambert set up the second to make it 2-2.
“You fall behind sometimes, really have to dig yourself out of the hole,” Greely Coach Josh Muscadin said. “Overall we played pretty well. (Cape) scored on an opportunity we made a mistake on. That’s the name of the game.”