BATH – Greely scored early and never looked back, netting four goals in the first 15 minutes en route to a 7-1 victory over Morse in girls high school Class B South preliminary action at McMann Field on Friday evening. 

The No. 9 Rangers improved to 7-7-1 and will face top seeded Cape Elizabeth (13-1) on Tuesday. No. 8 Morse ended its season at 5-9-1. 

“It’s the playoffs, it’s a totally different type of emotion. Their girls were prepared tonight, Morse coach Branden Noltkamper said afterwards. 

Greely received goals from six different players, including a pair from Kaci O’Grady. O’Grady also added and assist while Paige Evans and Ellie Holt each had a pair of helpers in the win. 

Greely opened the scoring just two-and-a-half minutes into the contest when Evans registered the score on Greely’s first shot on goal. Ten minutes went by before Greely scored again, this time a blast from O’Grady found the back of the net for the two-goal lead. 

Over the next four minutes, Katie Carlson and Ellie Jowett scored to push the lead to 4-0. Jowett’s goal came after a Holt shot drew Morse keeper Abby Sreden (nine saves) out the net for the save, but the freshman was there for finish it off for the score. 

“That goal early really set things off for them. I think we panicked right away, going down a goal three-minutes in set the tone,” Noltkamper said. “Kudos to them, they’re a good team, they play in the tough Western Maine Conference and play a tough schedule year-round, and they were prepared tonight. 

Greely held the advantage in shots, 8-2, and corner kicks, 4-0 through 40 minutes of play. 

Second frame 

Senior Katherine Clancy increased the lead to 5-0 less than five minutes into the second frame. Moments later, Morse’s Emily Martin nearly put the Shipbuilders on the board when the senior broke free from her defender, nailing a right-foot shot 35-yards out, but the shot sailed just over the net. 

Martin did play a part in Morse’s goal minutes later after sending a free kick across the field to Dory Kulis, where Kulis’ shot bounced off Greely keeper Elise Ekowicki and landed at the feet of Camren Jones, where the freshman promptly put it in the back of the net for the score. 

“I couldn’t be more proud of Emily Martin and what she means to Morse athletics and girls soccer,” Noltkamper said of his senior, who is recognized as one of the top players in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference by the league’s coaches. “These seniors have been a huge part of our team these two years I’ve been here. We won’t be able to replace these nine, they’ve been super important to us.” 

It was all the ‘Builders managed, as Ekowicki stopped the next four shots on goal, including a save off a Martin blast from point blank range after she sprinted past her defender. 

“I got a little nervous when would see here coming at me, but I knew I could take them,” Ekowicki, who finished with six saves, said of Martin. “My defense is amazing, they really keep the pressure off me, they’re great.” 

O’Grady and Holt capped off the scoring with each tallying goals to clinch the victory. 

Despite the score and being outshot, 16-7 for the game, the Morse squad battled to the end, something Martin was proud of and an attitude and mindset she will surely miss. 

“I like how we gave it our all, I’m going to miss this group so much,” the senior said. “Even though we were down at halftime, we said that we needed to come out in the second half and work 10-times harder because that’s the type of team we have, we don’t give up. We did it until the end, it just didn’t go our way.” 

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