PORTLAND—The 2021 Cape Elizabeth girls’ soccer team rolled to a state championship behind unstoppable senior superstars Maggie Cochran and Emily Supple.
The 2022 Capers might not boast such big names (yet), but they have tremendous balance and when all is said and done, they might be even better.
That scary thought for the rest of league continued to be hammered home Tuesday afternoon at Fore River Fields, when Cape Elizabeth took on host Waynflete in a battle of unbeaten teams and the game became a showcase for just how deep, talented and promising the Capers are.
It took less than seven minutes for Cape Elizabeth to get the only goal it would need, as sophomore CC Duryee finished.
In the 14th minute, freshman Noelle Mallory, a star-in-the-making, headed home junior Evelyn Agrodnia’s corner kick to double the lead.
The Flyers then shut down the potent Capers for 18 minutes, but Cape Elizabeth ended all doubt with three goals in just over four minutes late in the first half, as Mallory set up Agrodnia, senior Caroline Concannon scored on the doorstep and Mallory fed sophomore Heather Campbell to make it 5-0 at the break.
The Capers then added two more goals in the second half, as Mallory again set up Agrodnia with 30 minutes to play, then Agrodnia completed her hat trick with 18:43 on the clock and Cape Elizabeth went on to a decisive 7-0 victory.
Five different players scored as Cape Elizabeth improved to 6-0, won its 14th consecutive game over two seasons and in the process, dropped the Flyers to 4-1.
“We’re getting goals all over the place,” said Capers’ fifth-year coach Graham Forsyth, who is now 65-2 in his career. “Maggie and Supple led the way last year, but this year, we have four or five or six girls who can score any game. Evelyn’s had a few goals. Noelle is as strong a freshman as you can get. Heather Campbell has stepped up. (Senior) Piper (Duryee) has stepped up massively. It’s great to have that much of a threat attacking.”
Since the start of the 2018 season, when Forsyth took over, Cape Elizabeth has simply run roughshod over Class B, winning state titles in 2018, 2019 and after the 2020 campaign was shortened and the postseason was wiped out by COVID, again in 2021.
Even with some new faces in new places, the Capers haven’t missed a beat in 2022. After edging visiting Yarmouth, the team expected by many to dethrone them, 2-1, in the opener, Cape Elizabeth shut out host Greely (4-0), host Wells (8-0), visiting York (7-0) and visiting Freeport (4-0).
Waynflete has been a pleasant surprise in the early going this fall, beating visiting St. Dom’s (5-0), host Sacopee Valley (7-0), visiting Richmond (5-0) and visiting Traip Academy (3-0).
Last year, the host Capers blanked the Flyers, 6-0.
Tuesday, on an overcast and chilly afternoon (58 degrees with a light breeze), Cape Elizabeth continued to simply dazzle.
Cape Elizabeth senior Juliet Moore heads the ball away from Waynflete senior Iris Stutzman early in the Capers’ 7-0 victory Tuesday. Hoffer photos.
The first shot of the game actually went to Waynflete, as senior Iris Stutzman set up senior Lucy Sarno for a bid which deflected off a defender on frame, but Capers sophomore goalkeeper Libby Hooper made the save.
Cape Elizabeth then went on the attack and was initially stymied, as a rush from Agrodnia was broken up in the box, Mallory missed high and Flyers junior goalkeeper Leah Noone denied Mallory on a one-timer off a corner kick.
Then, with 33:08 to go in the first half, CC Duryee won possession to Noone’s right, made a nice move around a defender, then lofted a shot over the keeper’s head and off the far post and in for a 1-0 advantage.
Noone, who was filling in for freshman Ayla Stutzman, who is away this week at a surfing competition, then denied both CC Duryee and Mallory, but with 26:05 to go, off a corner, Agrodnia served the ball in and Mallory headed it into the net for a 2-0 advantage.
The goal was Mallory’s 10th of the season.
“I didn’t think I’d play this big a role this quickly, but it’s been really fun,” said Mallory. “I’ve played for Graham before and I think all the girls are really nice.”
“(Noelle’s) a great goal scorer and a great ball distributor,” said Agrodnia. “It’s nice to have someone that good and fast up top. We had an immediate connection.”
“Noelle’s up there (with the best freshmen I’ve coached here),” Forsyth added. “If teams hadn’t game-planned for her, they should probably start. Having a game plan and executing a plan are two different things. It’s a combination of her being strong, quick and extremely smart. Most importantly, as a striker, she can finish. She just knows where to be. A lot of teams have to tried to stop Noelle, but even if you stop her, you still have CC, Evelyn, Piper, Heather Campbell. We’re pretty deep across the front line.”
Waynflete then held Cape Elizabeth in check for a long stretch, as Noone denied Campbell, Agrodnia shot high and Mallory headed CC Duryee’s cross wide.
But these Capers are bound to break out eventually and in a 4 minute, 21 second span, they extended their lead from two goals to five.
With 8:03 remaining before halftime, Mallory made a couple nice moves to freeze the defense, then set up Agrodnia to make it 3-0.
With 5:05 left, CC Duryee crossed the ball in front and it sat free for Concannon to poke home.
Then, with 3:42 to go, Mallory set up Campbell for a shot which Noone couldn’t save, making the score 5-0.
Waynflete had a couple chances to answer late, but junior Morgan Earls missed wide and a corner kick was cleared away.
The Capers put eight shots on frame in the first 40 minutes and five of them found the mark.
Early in the second half, Noone denied Agrodnia and saved a shot from Mallory and at the other end, junior Lucy Hart attempted to put the Flyers on the board, but Hooper made the save.
With 30:08 to play, Agrodnia scored for the second time, taking a perfect through-ball from Mallory then firing just inside the left post into the net.
“I think we’re working really, really well as a team and we have a good connection,” Agrodnia said. “I have a great group of people around me.”
After Mallory hit the crossbar, Agrodnia scored her third goal with 18:43 left, this time weaving through the defense before beating a diving Noone to her left for her ninth score of the season.
“Evelyn’s all over the place,” said Forsyth. “You have to applaud her effort. She’s had a lot of goals and could have even more if she’d just relax a little more. She’s stepped up massively.”
The Flyers had one final chance, but Earls’ long free kick was saved and Cape Elizabeth went on to a 7-0 victory.
“We play really well together,” Mallory said. “Games like this are fun, scoring a lot of goals.”
“It was a scrappy game,” said Forsyth. “We were clinical when we got our chances. We had some great finishes. It was a tighter field than we’re used to, so it didn’t really suit our possession game.”
The Capers out-shot the Flyers on frame, 14-3, got three saves from Hooper and had a 5-1 edge in corner kicks.
Waynflete got seven saves from Noone, but couldn’t match Cape Elizabeth’s firepower.
“We needed to do simple things like marking up in the box and that hurt us, but I thought we matched their physicality,” said Carrie Earls, who co-coaches Waynflete with George Sherry. “I thought we had a couple good chances in the end and we played a full 80 minutes.”
More tests await
Waynflete’s slate gets no easier, as it goes to three-time reigning Class D champion North Yarmouth Academy, also riding a long unbeaten streak, Friday.
“We learned what we needed to learn,” Earls said. “We hadn’t had our weaknesses pointed out and now we have just in time for some important games coming up. We have a big one on Friday. We’re looking forward to showing (NYA) what we’re made of.”
Cape Elizabeth looks to keep the good times rolling when it hosts Lake Region Friday.
“Coming into this game, our warmup was a little rough, so we just have to make sure that we’re always prepared and focused,” Agrodnia said. “As long as we keep working, I think we have a great shot.”
“We’re slowly getting to where we want to be,” Forsyth said. “I think people look at our results and say it’s the same old Cape, but for teams that have played against us, there’s a little bit of fragility there. We go through spells where we’re easy to play against. The girls are willing to learn. We’re trying to get to a level where every game is domination.”