FALMOUTH—Olivia Cochran didn’t want to let go.

Cape Elizabeth’s senior captain didn’t want to let go of the moment, of her high school career and most of all, following Saturday afternoon’s 4-0 victory over Hermon in the Class B state final, Cochran didn’t want to let go of her younger sister, sophomore Maggie Cochran.

And for good reason.

That’s because Maggie Cochran etched her name in state game lore with three goals, including a pair in the game’s first seven minutes, which led the Capers to a repeat state title at Falmouth High School.

Cochran gave Cape Elizabeth the early jump and the Capers’ defense completely held the Hawks at bay to produce a 2-0 halftime lead.

Cochran then completed her hat trick with 20:49 to go and for good measure, Cape Elizabeth’s Captain Clutch, senior Karli Chapin, the hero of last year’s state game, scored one final goal to slam the door and lift the Capers to the pinnacle.

Cape Elizabeth closed the season on a 16-game win streak, finished the year 17-1, handed Hermon its first loss in 18 outings and in the process, won the program’s second championship in a row and eighth all-time.

“I’m speechless watching (Maggie),” said Olivia Cochran. “She’s always been amazing. We’ve played together our entire lives. I’m her biggest supporter, 100 percent. I’m sad this was our last game together.”

Sweet 16

Cape Elizabeth went 18-0 in 2018, then lost some top-notch talent to graduation, most notably standout Prezli Piscopo, to graduation, but developed into a juggernaut again this fall.

The Capers beat visiting Greely in their opener, 5-2, then suffered their first loss in 20 games, 2-1, at Yarmouth. Cape Elizabeth didn’t lose again and conceded just four goals the rest of the way, bouncing  back with shutout wins over visiting Wells (8-0), host Gray-New Gloucester (3-0) and visiting Freeport (1-0), then handling visiting Waynflete (6-1), visiting York (2-0), host Greely (2-0), visiting Yarmouth (4-1), host Lake Region (5-0), visiting Poland (8-0), host Fryeburg Academy (10-1), host Freeport (3-0) and host York (2-1) to finish atop the Class B South heap again.

In the quarterfinals, the Capers took it to No. 9 Greely, advancing by a 6-0 score. In the semifinals, Cape Elizabeth blanked visiting No. 4 Freeport, 4-0, and Wednesday, in the Class B South Final in Biddeford, the Capers didn’t even surrender a shot in beating No. 2 Yarmouth, 3-0.

Hermon was even better in the regular season, winning all 14 games, and as the top seed in Class B North, the Hawks advanced by eliminating No. 9 Ellsworth (6-1) in the quarterfinals, defending regional champion and No. 4 seed Presque Isle (2-0) in the semifinals and second-seeded Waterville (2-1, in overtime, on Sydney Gallop’s golden goal).

Hermon entered the game 0-3 in the state final, losing to Windham (3-0) in 1994, to Falmouth (2-1) in 2012 and to Greely (6-0) in 2015.

Cape Elizabeth, meanwhile, was 7-2 (see sidebar, below, for previous state game results and links to stories).

The Capers and Hawks had never before met in the playoffs.

Last year, Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ soccer team entered the state final expectating a coronation, not a battle and as a result, the Capers nearly got upset before rallying to beat Presque Isle in overtime.

Saturday, the Capers took a different approach, jumped on Hermon early and this time, needed just 80 minutes, and a lot less stress, to win another Gold Ball.

Cape Elizabeth’s first shot produced the game’s first goal.

With 37:13 to go in the first half, Maggie Cochran took a pass from sophomore Emily Supple, dribbled around two defenders, then launched a shot past Hawks’ sophomore goalkeeper Megan Tracy and into the right corner of the net for a sudden 1-0 lead.

“Our first priority was to score right away and get a leg-up,” Maggie Cochran said. “When I’m right there, wherever the ball goes is good. It’s amazing to score anytime, but to do it in a state game feels really, really good.”

“It was very important to score early,” Chapin said. “It set the tone for the rest of the game. Maggie is unbelievable. We see her every day at practice, so we’re not surprised when she does that stuff in games. She’s such a great player.”

Before Hermon could recover, Cochran struck for a second time, this time taking a cross from junior Abbey Agrodnia and sending the ball past Tracy and into the goal for a 2-0 lead with 33:30 still to play in the first half.

“The girls knew the key was to start fast this year,” said second-year Capers’ coach Graham Forsyth, who has won 35 of his 36 games with the program. “We were confident and we knew what we had to do. We were able to get two quick goals, which was great. Maggie is special. Everyone who watches her play knows how special she is. She never fails to amaze. She’s really undefendable.”

Cape Elizabeth didn’t add to its lead before the half, but it wasn’t for lack of opportunities.

Sophomore Penny Haydar twice missed high, Chapin set up Olivia Cochran for a shot which hit the football crossbar right above the goal, Maggie Cochran weaved through the defense, then had a shot saved by Tracy and Chapin missed an open net.

The Capers didn’t allow a shot on frame in the first half and held a two-goal advantage, but they felt like they should have been up by even more.

“We talked at halftime about taking advantage of opportunities,” Olivia Cochran said. “We were tired at halftime, but we realized we had to fully take advantage. We knew we had to come out strong.”

“We were frustrated at halftime only being up 2-0 with all of our chances,” Forsyth said. “We knew we had to keep going and the goals would fall.”

Frustration continued to reign for much of the second half, however, as Chapin missed just wide and Maggie Cochran was denied early.

Then, with 36:16 to go, the Hawks had their best chance to answer, as junior Natasha Cowan got to a deflected ball and broke in on Capers’ junior goalkeeper Katie Haines, but Haines came up huge and made the save.

Chapin then had a shot saved, junior Laura Ryer’s header hit the post, Maggie Cochran missed just wide and Olivia Cochran and Chapin had shots saved.

Finally, with 20:49 remaining, Maggie Cochran completed her hat trick and got a gift to do so.

Off a header from Chapin, Tracy couldn’t hold the ball and Cochran only had to tap at the rebound to send it over the line for a 3-0 advantage.

“Scoring a third goal wasn’t a major priority, but I was happy to do it,” Cochran said. “That was a lucky one.”

“I challenged (Maggie) at the start of the year to step up and score,” Forsyth said. “I told her she’d still get her assists and I think she wound up with 31 goals and 20 assists. That’s a great year for her.”

Cape Elizabeth’s final goal was fittingly scored by Chapin.

With 16:19 on the clock, in transition, Ryer set up Chapin for a one-timer that Tracy couldn’t stop and the lead was 4-0.

“I wanted to win either way, but I wanted to score too,” Chapin said. “It was special to score in my last game.”

“Karli missed some easy chances, but it was good to see her score a goal in her last high school game,” Forsyth said.

Down the stretch, Cape Elizabeth senior Julia Thoreck nearly got a goal as well, but her header went just wide and one last bid for the Hawks saw sophomore Madison Higgins’ shot saved by a sprawling Haines.

The Capers ran out the clock from there and at 2:14 p.m., celebrated their 4-0 victory.

“This is what I’ve worked for four whole years and to do it with my (sister) and my friends, it’s the best feeling ever,” Olivia Cochran said. “Karli and I talked this year about the team taking a turn in a really positive direction. Everyone was there 100 percent.”

“It’s sweet,” Chapin said. “It doesn’t matter how much we win by, all I care about is the outcome. It’s a great team win. This has been our goal all season and it’s so satisfying to achieve it at the end. It means so much to go out as champion as a senior.  We had a team meeting after losing to Yarmouth. We weren’t ranked as high as them, but we ignored it and played our game. This is the best possible way to go out.”

“There were a lot of challenges this year,” Forsyth added. “The aim at the beginning was to get in the playoffs. To get to states and win it is a very good feeling. It was all the girls. It was a special group. To not concede a goal in four (playoff) games is just unbelievable. That speaks volumes about the girls’ hard work and their defensive ability.”

The Capers enjoyed a commanding 13-2 advantage in shots on frame, got two saves from Haines and took eight corner kicks to none for the Hawks.

Hermon got nine saves from Tracy, but couldn’t overcome its early deficit.

“The problem for us is we didn’t start well,” said Hawks’ coach M.J. Buck. “We didn’t play our best today and it’s frustrating because on the game’s biggest stage, you need to show up. I think our girls will regret it. (Cape Elizabeth’s) a very good possession team and we don’t see that a lot. It’s frustrating to see that at the end of the season.

“This was a good lesson to learn. We have to improve. We only graduate two starters. I think we’ll be back.”

History awaits

One thing Cape Elizabeth has never done is win three straight state titles and that won’t come easily in 2020.

The Capers have to say goodbye to seven seniors, with Olivia Cochran and Chapin the biggest departures.

Cape Elizabeth returns plenty of talent, however, starting with its nonpareil, hat trick-scoring midfielder, and has to be viewed as the team to beat again next fall.

“It’s going to be tough to lose these captains, but the juniors now will step up and we’ll get some good freshmen too,” Maggie Cochran said.

“The seniors will be missed, but we have enough talent coming back to challenge again next year,” Forsyth said.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Previous Cape Elizabeth state game results

2018
Class B
Cape Elizabeth 2 Presque Isle 1 (OT)

2014
Class B
Waterville 1 Cape Elizabeth 0 (OT)

2013
Class B
Cape Elizabeth 2 Waterville 1 (4-2 PKs)

1999
Class A
Cape Elizabeth 2 Waterville 1 (2 OT)

1997
Class A
Cape Elizabeth 2 Waterville 1

1996
Class A
Cape Elizabeth 1 Brunswick 0 (4 OT)

1992
Class A
Mt. Ararat 4 Cape Elizabeth 1

1989
Class A
Cape Elizabeth 2 Mt. Ararat 1

1988
Class A
Cape Elizabeth 3 Caribou 0

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