Cape’s Mariah Deschino logged a standout performance at Gorham on Saturday afternoon, April 30, even scoring the team’s final goal – the difference-maker goal, as it turned out: The Capers wrestled the Rams through 50 full minutes and only escaped narrowly with an 8-7 W.
“We’ve been battling; we’ve been in some close games,” said Cape assistant coach Kurt Chapin, filling in for head coach Alex Spark, who was unable to attend the matchup. “And we’ve been talking about keeping our heads and not making silly mistakes. We had like 13 turnovers in the first half, and I think the difference was, we protected the ball a lot better in the second half. So we were able to get better looks at the goal.”
“Hopefully we can learn a lot from this game,” said Gorham head coach Mary Guimond. “Take that, move forward, and make our future games better.”
The action bounced back and forth all game. The Rams got up 3-1 early on goals by Marina Pappalardo, Pappalardo again and Audrey Perrault; Cape’s lone tally came via Emily Healy. But then the Capers sailed back, Susie Graham notching a pair to even the field.
Jen Darasz put Gorham ahead again, 4-3, on a free position with 5:11 remaining in the first half, but Deschino answered with just 12.5 seconds to play before the break, and the teams went to their corners for a breather all tied up.
Cape struck first in the downhill half: lingering in close on Gorham keeper Allison Sinnett, Chloe Chapin picked up a pass from outside for a quick trigger-pull and 5-4. It took the Rams roughly five and a half minutes to respond – but they did, Darasz tallying her second of the day.
Ninety seconds later, give or take, Marina Pappalardo inched Gorham ahead again on a high-to-low shot from 30 feet out-right of Cape netminder Erin Foley. The Rams wouldn’t hold the lead for long, however, as Caper Grace Gillian balanced the books again at 9:38.
Cape pulled ahead just 15 seconds later – Madison Sarka pulled in a pass near Sinnett’s right side, turned and fired for the 7-6 notch – then pulled further ahead with 3:32 remaining, when Deschino hashed another.
Guimond put a finger on what cost her girls: “We had a lot of turnovers,” she said. “Anytime they had the ball on their stick, it didn’t go well for us. By giving them the ball on all those occasions, it just gave them more opportunities. A lot of sloppiness on our end.”
Guimond elaborated. “It’s basics,” she said. “Making sure we’re going to and through the ground balls, and passing and catching. We’ve got a really young team, and we’re expecting a lot from them this year. Hopefully, once we get a couple games under our belts, it will go a lot better for us.”
Gorham didn’t have much time to work with, but they still had plenty of fight. Caper Tori McGrath pulled a card for cross-checking at 1:36, and the Rams wasted little time capitalizing. Audrey Perrault did the honors, and even won the ensuing draw, putting her squad back on the attack. The Cape defense promptly thwarted Gorham’s advance, however, and now time was running low. All the Capers needed to do was play keepaway for 30 seconds or so to secure the win, and they did.
Chapin lauded his girls’ end-of-game steel: “Being able to keep our composure in those last five minutes or so…and to play a man down for the last two minutes certainly puts a little pressure the team.”
Chapin went on to applaud a number of his players. “Our defense played a great game, and Erin came up with some good saves in the second half to keep us in it.”
“On the attack, Susie did a good job controlling the ball; Mariah, obviously, running in the midfield, she’s the x-factor; if she can create some opportunities – she had a nice fast break, got it to Madison, Madison scored a nice goal – we have some momentum change,” he said.
Chapin also praised the opposition, and in particular Sinnett: “Their goalie was impressive; she made some good saves in tight. And [Marina Pappalardo], she’s a good player. We were able to focus in on her in the second half a little more; obviously we weren’t ready for her in the first half.”
Guimond had great things to say about Sinnett as well. “Allison always comes up huge for us; she just needs a team in front of her to make that happen consistently. There were points when she had a great team in front of her, and there were times when we just kept giving them back the ball.”
Cape dropped a close one to a tough Waynflete gang to begin the season, then dropped another to a likewise-strong Yarmouth team two weeks later, so the triumph at Gorham is their first win of the year. It for sure will not be their last, however.
The Capers traveled to Greely on Wednesday, May 4, after Current Publishing’s print deadline. They host Falmouth on Friday the 6th.
Gorham opened its schedule with a victory at South Portland, 9-5, meaning it slips to 1-1 with the loss to Cape. The team traveled to Thornton on Tuesday, May 3, hosted Marshwood on Thursday the 5th and visit Scarborough on Tuesday the 10th.
Rams keeper Allison Sinnett turns away a shot in Gorham’s matchup on Saturday afternoon with Cape Elizabeth.
Gorhamite Hallie Shiers drives on the attack versus visiting Cape Elizabeth Saturday morning.
The Rams’ Marina Pappalardo, looking to pull the trigger, curls around Grace Gillian of Cape Elizabeth on Saturday morning.
Gorhams’ Caitlin Chasses drives with the ball while a shouting Julia Lennon of Cape Elizabeth defends.
Kaylin Apt of Gorham loses control of the ball in a scrum on Saturday. Behind Apt, her teammate Jen Darasz tries to shuttle Cape defender Caroline Coburn out of the way.
Caper Caroline Coburn shoulders past Gorham’s Audrey Perrault.
Athena Pappalardo of Gorham tries to slow down an advancing Susie Graham of Cape Elizabeth.
Mariah Deschino of Cape Elizabeth pulls the trigger on a shot at Gorham on Saturday afternoon. Deschino figured critically into the Capers’ 8-7 win over the Rams.