Nick Clifford. Contributed photo.

MALE:

NICK CLIFFORD, Senior—Soccer

  • Southern Class B regional all-star

Clifford was the heart and soul of a Capers squad that remained competitive all season against some of the top teams in the region.

Clifford first made his presence felt in the midfield as a freshman and by sophomore year, was a league all-star. He repeated on the all-star team as a junior, then made the most of an abbreviated senior season.

In an eight-game campaign (down from the normal 14), Clifford paced Cape Elizabeth with four goals and four assists, not just being a major factor on offense, but capable of making his presence felt on defense as well.

Clifford had arguably the finest debut of anyone this fall, scoring twice in the game’s first nine minutes in a 2-0 home victory over rival Greely. Clifford also scored the lone goal in a tie versus Class A power Gorham and also found the net in a second game against Greely.

While there was no playoff run to be had for the Capers this year, after they reached the semifinals Clifford’s freshman campaign, the regional final his sophomore season and the quarterfinals his junior year, Clifford and his Cape Elizabeth teammates were thrilled to be able to play.

“I think this season was obviously unlike any of my previous three, but we were lucky to get to play and we all had a lot of fun and enjoyed our time,” Clifford said. “We got to play some really good teams and having a strong opponent every game helped us stay motivated. Our coaches helped me a lot in a challenging season. The best part was getting to play super-competitive games with my friends this season.”

Clifford also played basketball and lacrosse in high school.

Nick Clifford, Cape Elizabeth’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, embraced the moment this unique season and produced a memorable final act to his high school soccer career.

Coach Ben Raymond’s comment: “Nick led the team in scoring on the field and led the team off the field as well. He was our most skilled player and is a great competitor. Nick had a huge impact on our team during his high school career. He was able to raise the competitiveness level in practice each and every day which made all those around him better. He cares deeply about improving as an individual, but more deeply about us improving as a team. He played multiple positions on the field. Wherever he was needed most at that time. He was our biggest threat to score goals and also our biggest threat to set up his teammates. When he plays in the midfield, he is a box-to-box midfielder, defending as well as he attacks, and he communicates well with his teammates. I have been super-impressed with Nick’s growth over his high school career and he has made a difference for our team.”

Nick Clifford. File photo.

Prior winners:

2019 Jack Bassett (cross country)

2018 John O’Connor (soccer)

2017 Austin Legge (golf)

2016 Ben Ekedahl (football)

2015 Jack O’Rourke (football)

2014 Jack Drinan (football)

2013 Liam Simpson (cross country)

2012 Reese McFarlane (golf)

2011 Tim Lavallee (soccer)

2010 Jack Queeney (soccer)

2009 Ezra Wolfinger (football)

2008 Nate Lavallee (football)

2007 Jim Bump (football)

2006 Graham Egan (cross country)

2005 Mike Kertes (football)

2004 Ron Kelton (golf)

2003 Elliot Cohen (football)

2002 David Croft (soccer)

2001 Jeff Hodge (soccer)

Maggie Cochran. Contributed photo.

FEMALE:

MAGGIE COCHRAN, Junior-Soccer

  • All-State
  • Southern Class B regional all-star

Cochran didn’t get to steal the show in the state final this year like she did as a sophomore, but there was enough of an abbreviated season for Cochran to remind everyone why she has no peer in the state, turning heads once again, never more so than on a record-setting afternoon last month.

Cochran, who was also named Cape Elizabeth’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year in 2019, made an immediate impact on the Capers her freshman season, playing more of a set-up role than goal-scorer during a state title campaign, but the goals came with abandon her sophomore year, when she erupted for 32 of them (while setting up 14 others) in Cape Elizabeth’s march to another championship. Cochran capped that run by scoring three goals in a state final victory over Hermon.

The Capers weren’t able to go for the three-peat this fall, but there’s little doubt they would have ascended the mountain-top again. With Cochran leading the way.

Cape Elizabeth was only able to play seven countable games, but they won them all with Cochran leading the way, scoring a dozen goals and assisting on seven others.

She started slowly, by her standards anyway, with just three goals in the Capers’ first four games, but in the fifth game, on the afternoon of Oct. 17, Cochran produced a prolific six goals, setting a program record in the process, in an 8-0 victory over Greely. Cochran scored four times in the game’s first 16 minutes and might have wound up with eight, nine or even 10 goals if it wasn’t for a few unlucky bounces.

“My teammates found the spaces to get me the ball right near the goal,” said the typically modest Cochran, after the win.

Cochran then scored twice in Cape Elizabeth’s second win of the season over three-time Class A South champion Scarborough before closing with a goal and two assists in a victory over South Portland. She also scored an overtime goal to beat the Red Riots earlier in the year. The Capers’ scheduled finale versus Yarmouth was cancelled, but Cochran was happy to focus on what she and her team were able to accomplish.

“I would say even though the season was cut short and we didn’t have the excitement of playoffs and states, it was still a great season,” Cochran said. “We still managed to go undefeated and that is because as a team we’re so close and our chemistry is so strong. We’ve developed so much over the years and having that connection among the girls really helps us work hard and ultimately win for each other.”

Cochran has verbally committed to attending and playing at Northeastern University in Boston, but first, she’ll have a senior campaign to produce even more memories.

Maggie Cochran, Cape Elizabeth’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, has already established herself as one of the finest players to come out of Maine. Be sure to witness her wizardry next fall before she takes her talents to the next level.

Coach Graham Forsyth’s comment: “Maggie’s relentless approach to improving and developing allows her to come back each season and improve her performances. Her driven personality and ability to thrive under pressure to perform in every game makes her the best player in the state and someone I’m extremely proud to get the chance to work with each season. Maggie’s a star.”

Maggie Cochran. File photo.

Prior winners:

2019 Maggie Cochran (soccer)

2018 Prezli Piscopo (soccer)

2017 Maggie Dadmun (volleyball)

2016 Mariah Deschino (soccer)

2015 Maddie Bowe (volleyball)

2014 Tess Haller (volleyball)

2013 Kate Breed (soccer)

2012 Kathryn Clark (soccer)

2011 Melanie Vangel (soccer)

2010 Karyn Barrett (soccer)

2009 Karyn Barrett (soccer)

2008 Emily Attwood (cross country)

2007 Emily Attwood (cross country)

2006 Marla Houghton (soccer)

2005 Dana Riker (soccer)

2004 Elise Moody-Roberts (cross country)

2003 Elise Moody-Roberts (cross country)

2002 Clare Egan (cross country)

2001 Addie Rintel (field hockey)

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

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