FREEPORT — Freeport High’s field hockey team was coming off one of the best seasons in its history in 2019 – a No.2 regular-season ranking and a Class B South semifinal appearance. And with 14 seniors returning, the Falcons had great expectations for this fall.

Everything changed with the coronavirus pandemic. There would be no playoffs, no championships to contend for. Heck, for much of August, no one was sure there would be any games. So the Falcons have had to find other motivation for this strangest of seasons.

“There’s no like, ‘We’ll get them next time’ mentality anymore,” said senior forward Hannah Groves. “Because there might not be a next time, because you never know when our last game might be.”

“And we want to go out and have fun,” said senior forward Aynslie Decker.

Both those sentiments were evident Monday night when Freeport defeated Cape Elizabeth 5-0, as Decker and Ally Randall each scored two goals. The win was Freeport’s third in a row to lift the Falcons to 3-1 while the Capers, with 12 freshmen on the roster, dropped to 2-3.

Freeport Coach Marcia Wood, who missed the first two games of the season while in COVID-19 quarantine because one of her students had tested positive, said the Falcons try not to think about what could have been.

“It’s a hard balance. We’re very fortunate to be playing,” said Wood. “And I need to keep remembering that. I think it was at one of our first scrimmages where one of our seniors on the sidelines said, ‘This could have been our year, couldn’t it?’ And I was, ‘Yeah, very much so.’

“And you feel bad for that because you want to play for something at the end. But then I can’t be selfish because there are teams not playing. So I’ve got to be happy with what we’ve got.”

Against the Capers, Freeport kept the pressure on throughout, using crisp passing and steady defense to pull away. It was scoreless until late in the first quarter when Decker scored off a scrum in front and Randall swept in a rebound of an Autumn Golding shot.

Goldman scored early in the second on a nice pass from Kyla Havey and Decker made it 4-0 just before the half with a goal of a penalty corner.

Just being on the field together is plenty of motivation for the Falcons.

“We’re together for one last time,” said Randall, a senior forward. “We can have closure playing together.”

And the Capers, who were coming off impressive wins over South Portland and Portland, have their own motivations. They played a much stronger game in the second half, getting several scoring chances in the fourth quarter.

“We just want to make it the best season we can for our seniors,” said junior Camden Woods. “They deserve to have one. And also, it’s just fun to go out there and play.”


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