Patriots netminder Ivy Abrams leaps after a high ball. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

GRAY—Cape sophomore Maggie Cochran scored a pair – that’s one in the first half and another in the second half – at G-NG on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 21. Meanwhile, the Patriots struggled to ever settle in on offense. Final tally: 3-0 Capers.

The sun oppressed on Saturday – that not-so-mythic “second summer” one sees mentioned in memes about New England weather. But G-NG head coach Marcy Francoeur wasn’t about to blame her girls’ defeat on the temperature.

“The heat always plays a factor,” Francoeur said, “but Cape has to play in the same conditions as us, so I don’t like to blame it on the heat. Just, not as prepared as we normally are today. That’s what I would say.”

Isabelle Brindley tracks an airborne ball. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

In particular, the Patriots appeared to lose the contest in the midfield: G-NG’s middies are good players, no doubt about it; most of the team’s lineup just lacked the awareness and zip on Saturday that they’ve displayed at other times. They gave up too many 50-50 balls in that third of the field, failing to get the first touch or the second touch and then to pick up possession.

“Definitely not in the first half,” Francoeur said, asked if her girls had what they needed in the midfield that day. “We improved for the second half, but that was definitely an area of weakness for us today.”

Karli Chapin notched Cape’s initial strike of the day, punching the ball past G-NG keeper Ivy Abrams on a rebound out of a melee. That goal came at 30:16 of the uphill half.

Patriot Jordan Grant crashes into a Capers opponent. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

16 minutes later, Cochran contributed her first, scoring on a through-ball , on a feed by teammate Emily Supple.

“We were going in trying to play our game, possess through the midfield, get the ball out wide, and it just wasn’t happening for us today to be honest,” Francoeur said, asked what G-NG hoped to do vs. Cape, the reigning State Champs.

The Patriots upped their play for the latter 40 minutes: G-NG never get on the board themselves, but they nearly held the Capers silent – nearly.

Maddie Soule settles a ball for the Patriots. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

Abrams turned in a couple great diving saves at the left side around the 13:00-12:00 mark; she checked out injured after that, and Sydney Rodrigues replaced her. Rodrigues stood strong until 1:16 remained in the bout, when Chapin struck again, this time from the top-left, following a corner.

“Ivy gave up two goals – great goals, you can’t say anything about that,” Francoeur said. “And then she came off with an injury, and Sydney gave up one goal that was a beautiful corner kick. No one even touched it.”

Francoeur readily applauded some of her girls’, despite the squad’s defeat. “Our back line did amazing,” she said. “Samantha Fortin, Amber Fortin, Lydia Espling, Abby Michaud – just spectacular in the back line. It would’ve been a different game without them.”

The loss bumped G-NG to 2-3. “I think this will be a good motivator,” Francoeur said. “Definitely they know they can play better than this, so this is going to be a good show of, we need to do better – especially with Yarmouth coming up. It’s going to be a real test there.”

The Patriots host Fryeburg on Thursday the 26th, then travel to Wells two days later.

Madysen West battles for the Patriots. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

Emma West charges ahead. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

Lisa Sturgis (17), Ashley Wilson (10) and Eliza Hotham (21) wall-up for the Patriots. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

G-NG’s Sam Fortin pounds the ball away – a pass. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

Patriot Amber Fortin tangles with a Capers opponent. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

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