Goals have been tough to come by this season for both the Cape Elizabeth and Gray-New Gloucester field hockey teams. Entering last Thursday’s game between the two teams, the Capers were 2-4-1, being outscored 5-0 in their four losses. The Patriots were 0-5-1 with only one goal scored on the season.

For the first half, the drought continued for both teams, as they entered the break scoreless. But Cape scored two goals in just over a minute early on in the second half and held on for a 2-0 win in Gray.

Ruth Perkins put the Capers on the board 6:52 into the second half. Following a Cape penalty corner, there was a furious skirmish in front of the goal. With Gray-New Gloucester unable to clear the ball following a couple saves by goalie Megan Trafford, Perkins was able to put home a rebound.

Sixty-six seconds later, Cape’s Colleen Martin made it 2-0 by rifling a shot into the back of the cage from the left wing.

The Capers had plenty of chances to score in the first half, but missed opportunities and strong play by Trafford kept them off the board.

“We need to finish more because we had 11 shots on goal in the first half and we didn’t finish any of them,” said Cape coach Darci Holland. “That’s one of our weaknesses this year.”

“I think we were in a little slow motion at first,” Holland added. “It’s a little bit harder to get used to the grass for us because we are a turf team. (The grass) kind of slows our game down a little bit. We picked it up a little bit. Gray played strongly. Their goalie had a great game.”

Cape finished with a 21-8 edge in shots and a 9-6 advantage on penalty corners, including a 5-0 advantage in the first half. Katie Mowles made seven saves in goal for Cape for the shutout. Trafford, a recent addition to the varsity roster, made 13 saves for the Patriots.

“That was the second game that she played today,” said Gray-New Gloucester coach Debra Downing. “Our usual goalie (Bethany Haines) is out sick. Megan filled in and did a wonderful job. She had some great saves in there.”

The Patriots appeared to cut the lead in half 12 minutes into the second half, but a goal off a penalty corner was disallowed after the referees huddled. After the game, both coaches were curious as to the infraction and met with the refs for clarification.

“What the refs explained was that a drive needs to be at the 18-inch mark or below, which is the level of the boards (at the rear of the net),” Downing said.

Since the initial shot on goal after the corner was too high, it was ruled “danger” by the referee closest to the play, nullifying the goal. The referee explained that the rule is in place to protect the goalie.

Gray-New Gloucester continued to put pressure on offensively late in the game, getting four of its six penalty corners over the last 10 minutes of action. But Mowles made several saves and the Cape defense didn’t allow many second-chance opportunities, clearing the ball quickly.

“Our defense is amazing,” Holland said. “They’ve played really well. We played York the other day (a 1-0 loss last Tuesday). They had 18 corners and we only allowed one goal in. We had multiple opportunities to score, we just couldn’t put the ball in the goal. That elusive goal, that’s been our problem.”

The Capers fell to 3-5-1 with a 3-0 loss at York on Friday.

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