SOUTH HIRAM — Sacopee Valley High won the 2014 Class C girls’ soccer title on the back of a rock-solid defense.

The Hawks have added an explosive offense. Waynflete found that out Tuesday night.

In a rivalry that typically comes down to one hard-earned goal, the Hawks attacked relentlessly and with precision in a shockingly emphatic 7-0 Class C South victory.

It started with Olivia Ridley heading in a long-range cross from Abby Hughes just 1:14 into the game and continued.

“We know (Waynflete) is a good team every year, a team that always we have to battle against,” Ridley said. “We see this team year after year in the playoffs so getting an early one off of them just brushes off the nerves.”

McKenzie Murphy scored three goals. Courtney Ryan (two assists), Hughes and Annette Humphrey also scored.

The Hawks (10-0) have outscored opponents, 46-5.

Waynflete (7-3) only had close previous losses to Class A opponents Falmouth and Kennebunk.

“All the girls worked on some things,” Sacopee Coach Kevin Murphy said. “They wanted to get better on the offensive side. They shared the ball well. They got numbers to the box. Everything we’ve worked on the last couple weeks, they executed.”

There are reasons for Sacopee’s offensive improvement.

Most of the team has returned, a year older, stronger and wiser. Hughes and Ridley showed the speed on the wings to repeatedly put Waynflete’s defenders at a disadvantage. And a year ago, McKenzie Murphy was a defense-first midfielder who deferred to others in the offensive end.

Now she’s on the prowl for any loose ball, rebound or crossing pass and has the skill to finish. Her first goal was a sharply struck waist-high volley with her right foot that gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead in the 16th minute.

“We just found that through ball and made sure somebody took advantage of it, and it just happened to be me,” she said.

McKenzie Murphy also pointed out that the returning defense – center back Jade Jordan, outside backs Helen Ruhlin and Tayla Bradeen (who had an assist on Ryan’s goal), and defensive midfielder Jordan Miner – is as strong as ever, giving players more freedom to push forward.

Then there is the evolution of Ryan at the top of the offense. A year ago she was a dangerous weapon as the target. She scored Tuesday’s third goal in that type of fashion, collecting Bradeen’s long clear and beating a defender one-on-one. But as the primary scoring threat, Ryan could also be marked more easily and, at times, frustrated.

Against Waynflete, Ryan was just as apt to come back toward the midfield to receive a pass or win the ball, and then distribute to others.

“Me checking back to the midfield opens up a lot of space for the forwards on the wings,” Ryan said. “We’re successful when I’m checking back and I’ve been focusing more on passing than anything this year.”

Last year Waynflete and Sacopee played two ties in the regular season before the Hawks won the regional semifinal 1-0 – their first of three straight 1-0 wins en route to the state title.

The teams will play again in eight days in Portland.

“And we’ll probably see them again in the playoffs,” Waynflete Coach Todd Dominski said. “We’ll regroup and pull together, and make sure we’re better prepared for when they come to Waynflete. We’d rather lose this game today than later in the playoffs. It wasn’t a good night for us by any means.”