Maggie Cochran, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring a first-half goal against Hermon in the Class B state championship game in November. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

Ask Cape Elizabeth High senior Maggie Cochran to list the different ways opponents tried to defend her on the soccer pitch this fall, and her answer will start with a laugh.

“There was definitely a lot,” Cochran said.

Most of the time, Cochran saw a simple double- or triple-team. But that left a teammate open to shoot, and as long as the Capers were winning, Cochran didn’t care who was putting the ball in the net. Of course, Cochran still scored her share of goals (21), including one in Cape’s 3-0 win over Hermon in the Class B championship game. That helped the Capers win their third straight state title (no state championships were played in 2020 because of the pandemic).

Cochran finished her high school soccer career with 73 goals and 51 assists. For the second season in a row, Cochran was an all-America selection, making her an easy choice as Varsity Maine Player of the Year for girls’ soccer.

“Maggie is a very tenacious player. In two years coaching her I’ve seen her decision-making really improve,” said Graeme Blackman, Cochran’s coach with FC Stars, a soccer club based in Lancaster, Massachusetts. “I think she’s one of the best players in New England.”

From an early age, Cochran had to adjust to extra defensive attention. This season, she saw it as an opportunity to set up her teammates to score. Even if opponents double-teamed more than one of the players, they couldn’t double-team everybody. Somebody was going to be open for a scoring chance. Often this season, it was Cochran’s best friend, Emily Supple. One of the state’s top players in her own right, Supple scored 30 goals this fall as defenses worked overtime to make sure Cochran didn’t beat them.


“We had so many great forwards and midfielders, we were able to work around it,” Cochran said.

Cochran learned how to work without the ball. Often, she and Supple would switch positions, making defenders hesitate just long enough to allow them to get open and make a play. Cochran never stood still, looking to shake her defensive shadows for the smallest opening.

“I have to be constantly moving. Up and down and all around,” Cochran said. “I’d take (defenders) one way and then cut in.”

Blackman said he’s seen Cochran’s ability to make penetrating runs and passes improve as she’s adjusted to the near-constant defensive pressure she attracts. Cochran is an unselfish player, he said, eager to do whatever’s necessary in the flow of the game.

Winning three state championships with Cape Elizabeth was important to Cochran. One of her favorite things about soccer is the joy she gets playing with her friends.

“I’ve grown up with all these girls. It was important to play with them,” she said.

Cochran will continue her soccer career at Northeastern University.

“I love the campus. I love Boston. I love everything about it. I really connected with the coaches,” she said.

“I think she’ll be an impact player at Northeastern right way,” Blackman said.

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