Cape Elizabeth didn’t allow Hermon to take any time to get its bearings during Saturday’s Class B girls soccer state championship game.
The Capers went into attack mode right out of the gate as sophomore Maggie Cochran scored the first two of her three goals in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the contest on their way to a 4-0 victory over the Hawks at the Falmouth High School field.
Cape Elizabeth capped its campaign with a 17-1 record while North titlist Hermon suffered its only loss after 17 consecutive wins. The Capers did not allow a goal in their four postseason victories.
It was the Capers’ second straight state title and the eighth in program history.
Cape Elizabeth dominated throughout with its quickness, skill and persistence. The Capers were able to move the ball around effectively and keep the Hawks on their heels.
Hermon made only a handful of brief forays into the Cape end and mustered only one shot, which was not put on goal. The Capers could have built a larger lead, but failed to get the ball on frame in a few other potential scoring situations.
“Our girls are very disappointed. We didn’t play to our best,” Hermon coach M.J. Ball said. “The first two goals hurt us and they weren’t good goals. They were defensive errors.
“But [Cochran] is a very, very good player,” he added.
Cochran quickly put the Capers on the scoreboard only 2:47 into the game. She got the ball near the top of the penalty area and used her left foot to sneak a shot inside the post to the left of Hermon goalie Megan Tracy.
Cochran made it 2-0 only 3 minutes, 43 seconds later. Abbey Agrodnia’s long pass from the left side eluded the defense and Cochran was positioned about 10 yards out. She wheeled for a shot the ticked off Tracy’s hand and into the goal for a 2-0 Cape lead that held into halftime.
Ball said he made some changes at halftime designed to try to get his Hawks back into the game.
Less than four minutes into the second half, Hermon’s Natasha Cowan found herself on a partial breakaway. The closing Cape defenders forced her to make a decision and shoot from the left side and her hard, low shot was stopped by Cape Elizabeth ’keeper Katie Haines.
Ball said that was a pivotal save.
“That would have made it 2-1. [Haines] made a great save,” Ball said.
Cochran completed her hat trick with 20:48 to play. Laura Ryer floated a soft shot that was knocked down under the crossbar by Tracy, who finished with nine saves, but she could not control the rebound and Cochran poked it home to make it 3-0.
The Capers expanded the advantage to 4-0 with 16:15 left when senior captain Karli Chapin converted a Ryer pass.
Ball explained that he had to put more numbers up into the attack in the second half to try to cut into Cape Elizabeth’s lead and it left his team vulnerable in the back.