KENNEBUNK — The Kennebunk field hockey team had an interesting motto going into Monday’s field hockey game against Cape Elizabeth: Stay afloat.

The Rams did more than that, sinking the Capers with a pair of first-half goals from freshmen twins Lindsey and Britney Gregoire and adding a third from Jackie Murphy in the second on the way to a vital 3-0 victory in a Western Maine Conference game at Kennebunk High School.

Kennebunk (5-5) outshot Cape Elizabeth (5-5) by a 14-1 total and won the corners battle 8-0 ”“ statistics that were a fair representation of the Rams’ complete dominance throughout.

“Everything came together for us today,” Kennebunk coach Kayla Billings said. “In the past, we’ve given teams four or five minutes of a game, but today we controlled the entire time.

“There was a lot of thinking that went into today’s game. We decided how we wanted to play as opposed to letting them dictate what we were going to do. That was a big goal for us, not giving them an inch the entire time.”

Cape Elizabeth and Kennebunk had met four times previously since the Rams moved back down to Class B in 2013, with each game decided by one goal. That included 1-0 wins for the Capers in last year’s playoffs and earlier this season on Sept. 19, an evenly matched overtime game in which both teams had eight shots on goal.

“We really wanted it after last time’s loss,” Britney Gregoire said. “We were more heads up. Last time, we were just kind of floating. This time, we wanted it really bad. We don’t want people to come to our field and dictate the game to us, so we just needed to convert possession into goals.”

“We just needed our communication to be better,” added Lindsey Gregoire, Britney’s identical twin sister. “Our team has come together a lot more than the last time we saw them, and you saw that today.”

It showed as the Rams controlled play early, as they had solid chances by Lindsey Gregoire and Tiffany Weeks saved by Capers goalie Mary DiPietro in the first seven minutes.

Cape Elizabeth then created its one chance of the game on the break as a long hit by Catherine Pellegrini bounced over a Kennebunk defender’s stick and into the path of Hannah Bosworth. In on goal alone, Bosworth was cut off by Rams goalie Liv Kudas, who sprung out of her goal to make a sliding save and keep the game level.

“She doesn’t hold back on coming out and challenging,” Billings said of Kudas. “That set a tone that she was in it, and she wasn’t going to let anyone just kind of take our circle. That was an important moment in the game.”

Kennebunk then took a stranglehold with two goals ”“ the Rams had failed to score more than one in all of the previous four games against the Capers ”“ by the Gregoires in a span of 3:36.

Britney got the Rams on the board first, turning in a cross across the goal mouth that bounced off the hand of a Cape defender and right on to her stick.

Soon after it was Lindsey’s turn, as she hit a hard shot from left side of the circle that made it through a pair of defenders and hit the back of the cage.

“Those girls just define the word ”˜hustle,’” Billings said of the Gregoires, whose sister Allie, a sophomore, also plays on the team. “They’re fierce, competitive and they just don’t give up. That’s something that has been missing on our team in the past, and as freshmen, they’re still learning the skill parts of the game, but they make up for it in hard work and just pure intensity out there. And it’s nice to have two of them.”

Kennebunk continued to dominate field position throughout, using a strong midfield led by Weeks, Olivia Sandford and Stephanie Sullivan to continually stop Cape Elizabeth’s attempted breaks up the field and recycle the ball back toward the forward line.

“Even when we were playing defense, we had the composure to get it out and move it right back up to where it needed to be on offense, and we put some goals in,” Billings said.

Murphy added a third score for the Rams just 76 seconds into the second half, tipping in a cross from Weeks amid a tangle of bodies right in front of the Capers cage to give Kennebunk a 3-0 lead, one the Rams would comfortably hold on to in the final 28 minutes.

“This game really shows that we’re able to do more than what maybe other teams hold us accountable for, and what we hold ourselves accountable for,” said Billings, whose team will face 7-3 Freeport at home on Wednesday. “This was exactly where we needed to be. We started off a little slowly in our season, but we’re progressing every game. I think we needed a little bit to get going, and now they’re just looking up.”

Staff Writer Cameron Dunbar can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 323 or [email protected]

        Comments are not available on this story.

        filed under: