FREEPORT

The Freeport High School field hockey team needed this one.

In the five matches prior to Tuesday’s Western Maine Conference clash with Cape Elizabeth, the Falcons were outscored 21-3 — their lone win a narrow, one-goal edge of Gray-New Gloucester on Sept. 20.

On senior day, it was senior Bailey Coffin notching the eventual game-winning goal and getting Freeport back into the column, 2-1, but it was a stressful one.

With a 1-0 lead coming out of the halftime break, Coffin found the back of the cage just four minutes in and Freeport (5-6-1) looked to be well on its way to a comfortable home win. Cape Elizabeth (4-8) managed to clear a couple more penalty corners in its own half, but looked completely out of the game.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the script flipped and the Falcons were backtracking. The Capers tested cage-minder Megan Seymour with multiple shots on target and started racking up penalty corners of their own. Five blocked shots and five penalty corners later, Erika Miller broke through and suddenly it was 2-1.

For the final few minutes of the game, the ball didn’t leave the Freeport half, as the play was getting chippier and the benches louder. Two more penalty corners were cleared in traffic before the final whistle blew and the Falcons exhaled.

Finally, another win.

“Better things are happening,” Freeport coach Marcia Wood said. “We had a tough four games, so for them to get come back here and persevere against an aggressive team, that was nice for them.”

“It’s been a tough few weeks, but this win is pretty good for us,” Coffin said.

Bunched up

It was a slow start to the game for both sides, with limited danger and back-and-forth possession changes across midfield. With the only real chance being Cape Elizabeth’s midway through the frame, Wood called a timeout and told her players to spread out and use the width of the field.

“At first we were a little bunchy and we just had to clear it up a bit,” Wood said.

The break paid off quickly, as the Falcons’ first penalty corner was earned just four minutes later. Three minutes before halftime, two more were taken before the game’s opening score.

Sophomore forward Natalie Anderson got herself into space in front of the cage and was ready when a rebound bounced her way. She gathered and firmly punched it in past Kinnon McGrath for the much-needed score.

Coffin’s goal, scored nine minutes into the second half, was also right off a penalty corner in traffic. The Falcons managed just four shots on McGrath’s cage, but made them count.

“Usually I just stay on the post and hope it will go past me,” Coffin said. “Usually if it does, I just hit towards the goal.”

At times this season, Freeport has struggled for goals — specifically on penalties corners, where Wood said her team simply wasn’t capitalizing on chances in the circle.

The two goals on Tuesday coming on penalty corners in the final home game of the season, after losing four straight games? Perfect timing.

“You know what’s funny? We haven’t been working on corners, oddly enough,” Wood said. “All you need is a shot on goal. One thing and get a shot off on goal. It doesn’t have to be this beautiful back-and-forth thing. Just get a shot off, that’s all you need.”

McKinnon finished with two saves for Cape Elizabeth, while Seymour tallied five for Freeport. The Capers took eight penalty corners to the Falcons’ five.

The final two games of the season will be on the road for Wood and company, beginning with a trip to Fryeburg Academy on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. There isn’t much time to build momentum.

“It’s huge,” Wood said of the final two games. “We want to get in a good spot for playoffs. Fryeburg on Thursday is going to be a very big game.”

Freeport 2, Cape Elizabeth 1

At Freeport High School
Cape Elizabeth — 0 1 — 1
Freeport 1 1 — 2

Goals — (CE) Erika Miller; (F) Natalie Anderson, Bailey Coffin. Shots on goal — Cape Elizabeth 6; Freeport 4. Saves — (F) Megan Seymour 5; (CE) Kinnon McGrath 2. Penalty corners — Cape Elizabeth 8, Freeport 5. Records — Freeport 5-6-1, Cape Elizabeth 4-8. Up next for the Falcons — Thursday at Fryeburg Academy, 3:30 p.m.



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