Cape Elizabeth junior Maggie Cochran lines up a free kick early in Saturday’s home contest versus rival Greely. Cochran scored on the play and added five more goals in the Capers’ 8-0 victory.

CAPE ELIZABETH—It might have started at a matinee hour, but the Maggie Cochran Show was a tour de force performance for the ages Saturday afternoon at Hannaford Field.

Cochran, a Cape Elizabeth junior, who is staking her claim quite convincingly as the state’s finest girls’ soccer player, scored four times against rival Greely in the game’s first 16-plus minutes, propelling the undefeated, defending Class B state champion Capers to a 4-0 lead.

Cochran then added two more second half goals and two of her teammates found the net as well, as Cape Elizabeth won by the stunningly decisive margin of 8-0.

Cochran set a likely program record with six goals and it isn’t hyperbole to suggest she could have wound up with nine or 10, as she led the Capers to their 21st consecutive victory, improved their 2020 mark to 5-0 and in the process, dropped the Rangers to 1-3.

“We went into this game very excited, with a new formation, and I think everyone adapted to the new formation really well,” said Cochran, who had three goals in Cape Elizabeth’s four games, then doubled that total on a single afternoon. “My teammates found the spaces to get me the ball right near the goal.”

Simply unstoppable

While Cape Elizabeth’s game against Scarborough Thursday marked the teams’ first countable meeting in 18 years, the Capers and Greely meet twice on an annual basis (see below, for previous results) and often a third time in the playoffs (they’ve split 20 postseason meetings dating back to 1985, with Cape Elizabeth’s 6-0 win in last year’s Class B South quarterfinals the most recent).

The Capers, of course, went on to repeat as Class B state champion last fall and if there was a postseason this year (there isn’t one, due to COVID-restrictions), they’d be prohibitive favorites to three-peat.

Regardless, Cape Elizabeth is up to its usual winning ways this autumn, opening by blanking host Greely (5-0), then shutting out visiting Falmouth (4-0), surviving visiting South Portland’s upset bid (2-1, on Cochran’s overtime goal), then winning at Scarborough Thursday (2-0).

Greely, meanwhile, started with losses to visiting Cape Elizabeth (5-0) and at Falmouth (5-1), then upset visiting Yarmouth, 3-2, on senior Kaci O’Grady’s overtime goal, in its most recent outing, last Saturday.

Saturday featured rain in the morning, but by the time the Capers and Rangers kicked off, the sun was out, although it was very breezy and the temperature was a mere 54 degrees and plummeting.

The Rangers sought to beat the Capers for the first time since Oct. 5, 2017 (4-3 in Cape Elizabeth), but instead, thanks to Cochran’s brilliance, the Capers made it eight straight in the series.

Cape Elizabeth, which wasn’t happy with its performance in its two most recent outings, came out sizzling and nearly went on top two minutes in, but Cochran’s first shot, after a long run, rolled just wide of the near post.

Suffice it to say she more than made up for it.

After junior Emily Supple missed just high, then Supple had a shot saved by Greely sophomore goalkeeper Elise Ekowicki, the Capers earned a free kick after a foul just outside the box and Cochran stepped to the ball.

Cochran then ripped a shot to Ekowicki’s right into the net and with 34:24 to play in the first half, Cape Elizabeth was on top to stay.

“(An early goal) boosts our confidence,” said Cochran. “Myself and the team. When we get up like that, we get excited to keep going.”

And for Cochran and the Capers, the fun was just beginning.

After Ekowicki again denied Supple, the Rangers had their first shot, but O’Grady was denied by Cape Elizabeth junior keeper Elise Branch.

Cochran then struck again, beating a defender to a loose ball, finding some space, then firing a shot past Ekowicki into the net to make it 2-0 with 30:40 remaining in the half.

“We’ve been a little unhappy with how we played recently in the South Portland and Scarborough games,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Graham Forsyth, who has lost exactly one game in his two-plus seasons with the program. “We were wasteful with chances and we didn’t start well. Unfortunately for Greely tonight, they were on the receiving end of our frustration from the last couple games.”

Capers senior Laura Ryer, who celebrated her birthday Saturday, had a chance to add to the lead a minute later, but her shot was saved by Ekowicki.

Cochran then got her hat trick (the first one) with 27:54 on the first half clock, taking a pass from Supple, taking a step to her left, then ripping a shot with her left foot just inside the right post for a 3-0 advantage.

Cape Elizabeth didn’t let up, as Cochran served in a corner kick and senior Samantha Olsen got to the rebound, but her promising shot hit the crossbar.

Greely then had a great chance to get back in it, as sophomore Elle Jowett pounced on a turnover and fired a high shot that Branch was only able to tip away at the last moment.

“We had some pretty good chances,” said Rangers coach Josh Muscadin. “If we capitalized, we would have been in the game.”

The Capers then roared back into the offensive zone and this time, junior Caroline Gentile fed Cochran, who ran in and finished with her left foot for the second time and with 23:59 to go in the half, Cape Elizabeth had a commanding 4-0 lead.

“(What I do with the ball) depends on where I am,” Cochran said. “As I’m going, I know Caroline, Emily or Laura will be up there with me. If I’m close to the goal, I’ll keep going, but if not, I know they’re with me and I can find them to score as well.”

The Capers appeared invincible to neutral observers, but even after its superb start, Forsyth disagreed.

“Tonight, we got to the sanitation break and it was 4-0, and I can’t really complain, but we still had issues we had to work out,” said Forsyth. “We weren’t keeping possession or connecting passes. We, as coaches, and the girls, as players, wanted to do better.”

The rest of the first half featured many near-misses.

After Branch saved a shot by Rangers junior Kathleen Carson, Gentile got a feed from Cochran and headed the ball on target, but Ekowicki dove to make the save.

Cochran had a great look at her fifth goal midway through the half, as Ryer delivered a perfect cross to her at the back post, but Cochran couldn’t quite control it and wasn’t able to finish.

After O’Grady was denied by Branch, Cochran broke free and was primed to score, but Ekowicki shocked everyone by racing out of the goal, diving and taking the ball right off Cochran’s foot.

Ekowicki then made a sprawling save to rob Ryer and at the other end, Carson appeared primed to get Greely on the board when her shot deflected past Branch, but Cape Elizabeth senior back Nicoletta Coupe was able to clear the ball from harm’s way.

In the waning moments of the half, Supple was denied by Ekowicki, O’Grady missed just wide after a nice move and senior Chelsea Graiver had a shot saved by Branch.

Cochran then hit the crossbar in the final minute and the score remained 4-0 at the break.

In the first 40 minutes, the Capers put 11 shots on frame, while the Rangers managed six shots on goal.

Cochran had four goals at that point, but had a legitimate claim at twice that many.

“How can I not regret those (misses)?” Cochran said. “It’s a shame, but I had to keep going.”

With the competitive phase of the contest essentially over, all eyes turned to Cochran in the second half and she wasn’t finished with her dazzling performance.

Not by a long shot.

Early in the half, Greely pressured, but O’Grady’s promising free kick was saved by a leaping Branch and Carson missed just wide.

After Ekowicki broke up a feed from Ryer to Cochran, Cochran got her elusive fifth goal with 29:54 remaining, as in transition, Supple got her the ball and Cochran fired a shot past a diving Ekowicki for a 5-0 advantage.

“(The Capers) have a player who can do some serious damage,” said Muscadin. “She can do magical stuff with the ball.”

After Ekowicki saved a shot by Ryer, Cochran got what’s likely to be a program-record sixth goal with 26 minutes still to play.

Cochran received a pass from senior Riley Knupp, eluded a defender, then finished in the same spot she registered her previous goal.

That was it for Cochran’s afternoon, as she watched the rest of the contest from the bench, but her performance will long live in Maine soccer lore.

“Tonight is probably the finest goal-scoring effort in one game I’ve ever seen,” said Forsyth. “It’s not as if it was three good goals and three good tap-ins. All six goals were exquisite. The through-balls to set her up were great stuff. She had to finish those and she was clinical. She’s a junior captain this year. She always wants to know how to improve and what she can do to get even better. We’re now seeing her make runs and threatening to get ball to feet. Defenders don’t know what she’s going to do. She’s so dangerous dribbling at you, but tonight, four of her six goals were on runs.

“Maggie has a lot of (colleges) looking at her. Some of the biggest programs. She’s grounded. She knows she’ll get attention. Everything she’s doing right now is helping her in the recruiting process. Wherever she goes, it’ll be a hard decision, because she’ll have a lot of choices to make.”

Ryer finally got her birthday present with 14:12 on the clock, as sophomore Juliet Moore played a nice ball into the box and a split second before running into a defender, Ryer dove and poked her shot into the net to make it 7-0.

With 4:35 left, junior Penelope Haydar set up junior Victoria Hews, who scored one final goal, and Cape Elizabeth went on to an 8-0 victory.

“These girls don’t want to lose a game and after five games, they haven’t,” Forsyth said. “They hate conceding and they hate losing even more and that’s why they’ve been successful.”

Cape Elizabeth out-shot Greely, 18-7, and got seven saves from Branch. The Capers also took eight corner kicks to none for the Rangers.

Greely got 10 saves from Ekowicki, many of them of the spectacular fashion.

“You have to hand it (Cape),” Muscadin said. “They’re definitely better than we are. They didn’t panic and they moved the ball. We’ll learn from this. I think today what was different (than the first time we played them) was the turf, versus grass. We train and play on grass the majority of the time. They play here on the turf a lot. By the time we got accustomed to how the ball rolls, it was the second half.”

Nearing the end

The clock is ticking on the short but sweet 2020 campaign.

Greely is back in action Thursday at Freeport. The Rangers also host Falmouth Friday, then close with a home game against Freeport and a trip to Yarmouth.

“I want to allow the freshmen to get their feet wet,” said Muscadin. “Cape won’t win every year, so we have to be ready. Some of our games have been videotaped, so we can see them and the kids can see their mistakes and get better. It’s great to play teams like Cape this year.”

Cape Elizabeth hosts Scarborough Tuesday, then welcomes South Portland next Saturday before closing at Yarmouth Oct. 29.

“The cap is 10 games, so we hope to find a couple scrimmages or an end-of-season jamboree,” said Forsyth. “We want to keep the girls on the field as long as possible and extend the seniors’ high school careers. Normally, we might have six or seven competitive games, but this year, every game has been competitive. We’ve had to show up with the right attitude and do everything right.

“We have an aim of looking to the future and seeing with what we’ve got. We’re happy with what we see. We’re set up for a successful future. Some of girls coming in next year are strong. I want the seniors to have fun. They’re thankful to be out here. A lot of them want to play in college and they’re not doing themselves any harm.”

“I’m just so glad we’re able to play this season,” Cochran added. “We lost some players from last year, but we’ve picked it up and started over. We have a great group of girls. We want to keep winning and since we’re Class B, it’s really fun to beat the Class A teams. It’s fun to have some different opponents. It’s too bad we can’t win states, but we’re motivated to play for the seniors.”

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

Recent Cape Elizabeth-Greely meetings

2020
Cape Elizabeth 5 @ Greely 0

2019
@ Cape Elizabeth 5 Greely 2
Cape Elizabeth 2 Greely 0
Class B South quarterfinal
@ Cape Elizabeth 6 Greely 0

2018
Cape Elizabeth 2 @ Greely 1
@Cape Elizabeth 5 Greely 1

2017
Cape Elizabeth 3 @ Greely 2
Greely 4 @ Cape Elizabeth 3
Class B South semifinal
Cape Elizabeth 3 @ Greely 2

2016
@ Cape Elizabeth 2 Greely 1
@ Greely 2 Cape Elizabeth 1

2015
@ Greely 1 Cape Elizabeth 0
Greely 4 @ Cape Elizabeth 1

2014
Greely 3 @ Cape Elizabeth 0
@ Greely 2 Cape Elizabeth 1 (2 OT)
Western B Final
Cape Elizabeth 2 @ Greely 1 (4-2 PKs)

2013
Cape Elizabeth 2 @ Greely 1
Greely 3 @ Cape Elizabeth 2
Western B Final
@ Cape Elizabeth 4 Greely 2

2012
Cape Elizabeth 1 @ Greely 0
@ Cape Elizabeth 0 Greely 0 (tie)
Western A quarterfinals
@ Cape Elizabeth 3 Greely 0

2011
@ Cape Elizabeth 2 Greely 0
Cape Elizabeth 1 @ Greely 0

2010
@ Cape Elizabeth 2 Greely 1
@ Greely 4 Cape Elizabeth 0

2009
@ Greely 3 Cape Elizabeth 2
Greely 2 @ Cape Elizabeth 0

2008
Greely 1 @ Cape Elizabeth 0
@ Greely 2 Cape Elizabeth 1
Western Class A quarterfinals
@ Greely 2 Cape Elizabeth 1

2007
@ Greely 2 Cape Elizabeth 2 (tie)
Greely 2 @ Cape Elizabeth 0

2006
Greely 1 @ Cape Elizabeth 0 (OT)
@ Greely 0 Cape Elizabeth 0 (tie)

2005
@ Greely 1 Cape Elizabeth 0
@ Cape Elizabeth 1 Greely 0

2004
Cape Elizabeth 3 @ Greely 2
Greely 1 @ Cape Elizabeth 0
Western Class A semifinals
@ Greely 2 Cape Elizabeth 0

2003
@ Greely 3 Cape Elizabeth 1
Greely 1 @ Cape Elizabeth 0
Western Class A quarterfinals
@ Greely 1 Cape Elizabeth 0

2002
Greely 5 @ Cape Elizabeth 1
@ Greely 2 Cape Elizabeth 2 (tie)
Western Class A semifinals
@ Greely 1 Cape Elizabeth 0

2001
@ Greely 3 Cape Elizabeth 0
Greely 3 @ Cape Elizabeth 1

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