The Gorham High girls soccer team is likely still celebrating their third straight state soccer championship after a 1-0 win over Mt. Ararat. And there is one player without whom, the Rams would not be as successful.

Caitlyn Butterfield has been anchoring the Ram defense for all three championship seasons. And she was a big reason the Rams got past Mt. Ararat this year.

“I just think Caitlyn’s a great leader,” says teammate Kelsey Wilson. “She doesn’t say much, but she really does. She’s a leader through the stuff that she does.”

One of the things she does well is not letting any opposing player get a clean shot on net. And she prevents most teams from ever finding the net at all. In the state championship game, Mt. Ararat managed only four shots on goal and that was due in large part to Butterfield clearing the ball out of her own zone.

“She’s an amazing player,” says teammate Rachele Burns. “She saves our butt a lot. I’m so thankful she’s on our team. It’s a good feeling that she’s always there.”

At one point in the championship game, Danielle Plourde of Mt. Ararat got in behind the Gorham defense. Butterfield chased her down and forced her to shoot the ball too hard and over the net. The game was scoreless at the time and Butterfield’s play kept it that way. Minutes later the Rams would score the game’s only goal.

“I was nervous, but I was thinking this is where Caitlyn Butterfield is at her best,” said her coach Jeanne Zarrilli. “I have not seen, in the three years that she has anchored our backfield, I haven’t seen anyone get in past her. I was nervous that time because Danielle’s a really strong player. But Caitlyn won’t let that easy shot get off. She’ll be on the ground. She’ll be anywhere she has to be.”

That style of play, giving up everything to prevent a goal, is why the Rams are one of the top teams in the state. Some of her teammates are still amazed at the way she plays.

“I swear I thought they were going to score,” Wilson said of the Plourde breakaway. “I can’t believe she was there and stepped it up like that.”

Her teammates know they can count on her to make the big plays when they need them the most.

“I’m not really going to have heart failure if the ball is all the way down there, says Burns. “Because I know she’ll end up somehow clearing it.”

Burns is quick to point out that Butterfield also propels the offense by providing suffocating defense.

“That’s where we started,” she said. “That’s probably where all our goals started. She’s just an amazing player.”

An amazing player who now has a third straight championship to celebrate.


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