Cheverus freshman Ella Lemieux is defended by Waynflete freshman Lucy Hart while freshman Izzy Gleason looks on during the first half of the Stags’ 3-1 victory Monday.

PORTLAND—Cheverus’ girls’ soccer team didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard in either half during Monday afternoon’s game against Waynflete at Fore River Fields.

Just a minute into the contest, junior Julia Kratzer scored to put the Stags ahead, but they weren’t able to add to their advantage prior to halftime.

Then, 35 seconds into the second half, Kratzer struck again and this time, Cheverus wasn’t done, as Kratzer completed her hat trick with 31 minutes to go.

The Flyers fought hard to the end and were rewarded when senior Kilee Sherry scored with just over two minutes remaining, but it was too little, too late and the Stags went on to a 3-1 victory.

Cheverus improved to 5-1-1, beat Waynflete for the second time in three weeks and in the process, dropped the Flyers to 2-4-1.

“After the first goal, we were a little slow, but we picked it up in the second half and we came out strong,” Kratzer said.

Youth movement

Both Cheverus and Waynflete have a large number of younger players on the roster and have used the 2020 season as one of growth.

The Stags opened with a 10-0 home win over Westbrook and after a 1-0 loss at Portland, they blanked visiting Waynflete (3-0), won at South Portland (4-0), shut out visiting Deering, 4-0, and Friday, settled for a 1-1 home tie against Gorham.

The Flyers started with a 2-1 loss at two-time Class D champion North Yarmouth Academy, then defeated host Poland (7-1) and Gray-New Gloucester (1-0). After a 1-1 home tie versus Deering, Waynflete fell at Cheverus (3-0) and Friday, lost at home to NYA, 4-1.

The teams’ first meeting, Oct. 6, was the first-ever countable game between the programs. In that one, junior Olivia Bradford scored twice and Kratzer also found the net.

Monday, on a raw, drizzly 46-degree afternoon, the teams met for the second time, with a similar result.

The Stags opened the game with possession and nearly broke the ice 12 seconds in, but Bradford couldn’t finish.

Then next chance did result in a goal, as Bradford got the ball to Kratzer on the left side and Kratzer got close to the goal before firing a low shot which Flyers junior goalkeeper Jesse Connors couldn’t reach and Cheverus was on top to stay.

“A fast start was important, especially since it was wet out,” Kratzer said. “My team was able to get the ball all the way up to me and I was able to finish.”

“I thought the first five minutes we pressed really hard and did some things we needed to do to get behind them and get forward,” said Cheverus coach Craig Roberts.

“I feel like we sometimes to struggle to get going right out of the gate,” said Carrie Earls, who co-coaches Waynflete along with George Sherry. “We’re young and that’s something that happens.”

Kratzer nearly doubled the lead a minute later, when she took a pass from senior Helena Bolduc and sent a shot past Connors, but Waynflete sophomore Devan Sherry raced back and at the last moment, cleared the ball off the line.

The Flyers’ first good look came in the 24th minute, when Devan Sherry dribbled around a couple defenders and shot toward the far post, but the shot trickled wide.

The Stags then went back on the attack, but Connors saved a Bolduc shot, junior Kadynne Smith sent a shot just high, then had a bid saved by Connors.

Waynflete almost drew even in the 32nd minute, when freshman Morgan Earls got the ball after a turnover and shot, but Cheverus senior goalkeeper Neve Cawley made the save.

In the 38th minute, Earls set up freshman Lucy Hart for a shot, but Cawley stopped that one as well and the score remained 1-0 heading into the break.

The Stags then started the second half even better than they did the first.

Just 35 seconds in, after taking a pass from Smith, Kratzer took a low shot which Connors couldn’t handle and the lead was 2-0.

“Any shot is a good shot on a day like this,” said Kratzer. “Good things happen when you shoot and it’s wet out.”

“When you score a goal, you have to press hard the next five minutes,” Roberts said. “We didn’t do that against Gorham and they capitalized. We didn’t do that here and it took us a long time to get going again. We need to have a better sense of urgency throughout the 80 minutes.”

With 31:22 to play, Kratzer scored her third goal, this time getting to the ball in a scrum after her sister, senior Mia Kratzer, took a free kick, then finishing for a 3-0 lead.

“I’m having a lot of fun this year,” Julia Kratzer said. “I’m excited we got a chance to play.”

“Julia brings competitiveness,” Roberts said. “She’s technical, so she can set up other players. She’s unselfish. She’s developed into a confident leader. That’s been the biggest change in her. She’s a fun-loving kid, but she has a serious side. She really cares about her teammates and Cheverus girls’ soccer and her legacy. I’ve seen that maturity in her this season. She’ll be called upon senior year to be a team leader, so that’s a plus for us.”

Later in the game, Waynflete began to get chances and eventually put the ball in the net to avoid a shutout.

After frsehman Rachel Melendi missed just wide, a Devan Sherry rush was broken up in the box by Stags freshman back Reese Belanger, Devan Sherry missed just wide, junior Abby Shumway and Melendi were off-target as well and Devan Sherry and freshman Iris Stutzman forced Cheverus junior Emily Bontatibus, who replaced Cawley midway through the second half, to make saves.

With 2:35 to go, Bontatibus had to dive to deny Earls and in the process, she knocked the ball out, setting up a corner kick, which came out to Kilee Sherry, who fired a high shot that Bontatibus couldn’t reach to get the Flyers on the board.

The Stags then ran out the clock from there to wrap up their 3-1 win.

“We finished strong and that’s all you can ask and we got a goal to show for it,” Carrie Earls said. “Just getting games under these kids’ feet is going to put them a great position to really compete next year. I think they’ve done great. Our freshmen are gaining some confidence. Our sophomores and juniors are taking on leadership roles and our seniors are out here enjoying every last minute. ”

Cheverus enjoyed an 8-5 advantage in shots on frame, had a 6-2 edge in corner kicks. and got two saves apiece from Cawley and Bontatibus.

Connors made five saves for Waynflete.

Finishing strong

Waynflete plays host to Greely Thursday, then finishes its season Nov. 2 at Sacopee Valley and Nov. 6 at Freeport.

“We have three tough opponents ahead of us,” Earls said. “We just want to compete and get better every game and work toward next year.”

Cheverus plays at Deering Wednesday, then will join the Rams, along with Portland and South Portland, for the “Casco Bay Cup.” Matchups, dates and times are yet to be announced.

“We’re having so much fun this year,” Kratzer said. “We have a bunch of freshmen on the team who are fitting in really well and we want to give the seniors a good experience.”

“It’s a good way to end the season, playing rival teams,” Roberts said. “The seniors really hoped there would be playoffs and (the Cup), at least, gives some semblance of that. It’s kind of a cool way to end the season.”

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

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