Saturday, December 7, 2013
By STEVE CRAIG Staff Writer
FALMOUTH - The only sure thing in Western Class B field hockey this year is that there is no such thing.
That was in evidence on a misty Thursday night in Falmouth as the Yachtsmen controlled the game from the start, and made first-half goals from Mikey Richards and Jillian Rothweiler stand up for a 2-0 victory against Cape Elizabeth.
The surprise wasn't that No. 6 Falmouth (7-4-2) beat No. 7 Cape (7-6). Falmouth had beaten Cape early in the season. Thursday's surprise was the lack of offense (2 shots) from the Capers, who were coming off a dynamic 3-0 win over previously once-beaten Fryeburg on Wednesday.
"This league has been so close so it's anybody's game on any day. That's a big piece of it," Falmouth Coach Robin Haley said. "Given that (Cape) beat Fryeburg 3-0, I think that added some fire to us that the potential is certainly there."
Both teams have one game remaining. It is likely they will stay in their current positions in the standings. If so, both will host preliminary-round playoff games Oct. 13.
Falmouth had an earlier 0-3-2 stretch, but with Thursday's crisp connections and strong defense, those troubles seemed far removed.
"Our team has always been close. I don't know what the funk was but we've sure got it back. Whatever we're doing is working, that's all I can say," said senior captain Bri Hughes.
"We can't say that we're going to be No. 1 but that's our goal right now."
Falmouth's first goal came on a quick transition after Cape Elizabeth had completely flubbed its first penalty corner (the Capers had only two). The Cape insertion pass went only about halfway to the edge of the circle -- the ball must go out of the circle then re-entered before a shot is taken. Falmouth's Leika Scott jumped on the opportunity and sent the ball ahead to midfield where Ellie Fitzgerald forwarded it to Richards, who was alone behind the defense. Richards had time to collect the ball before she faced down Cape goalie Julianne Ayers (10 saves).
"It was a great long ball by Leika Scott. She's a great player and she knows where to go with the ball," Richards said. "Ellie made a great pass to me and I saw the goalie approach and hit it and it went in."
As a left wing in a right-side dominated sport, Richards is used to scoring goals on quick tips and deflections. "This one I had time to settle, which is really nice," Richards said.
Ayers kept the margin at one goal with a flurry of three saves on one penalty corner bid, but was unable to stop Rothweiler on an ensuing corner. Rothweiler took a rebound and worked a quick left-to-right maneuver to free up a forehand shot.
The Falmouth defense, led by Hughes, Sarah Jane Bennett and Katherine Cooleen, bottled up Cape's forwards.
Cape's only true challenge on Falmouth goalie Hillary Nash came with 30 seconds left in the game, but Nash stuffed a reverse-stick bid from a sharp angle by Abigail McInerney.
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at: