Raiders exact revenge on Capers, advance to semis

PENALTY STROKE DENIED — Fryeburg Academy senior Christina DiPietro fires a strong drive on a penalty stroke Tuesday, but the shot was knocked aside by Cape Elizabeth goalie Julianne Ayers during first half quarterfinal playoff action. DiPietro did score in the first half to help lead the Raiders to a 3-1 victory. (Rivet Photo)

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

FRYEBURG — Revenge can be a great motivator.

One might think the stunning first-round playoff loss a year ago would be on the minds of veteran Fryeburg Academy players as they took the field Tuesday afternoon.

It wasn’t.

“Nobody even mentioned it,” FA Coach Dede Frost said.

Junior Makayla Frost’s focus was squarely on exacting a little revenge upon Cape Elizabeth.

“Oh, we definitely wanted to play them. For me, there were no nerves. It was exciting. We wanted to prove we could play well, which we didn’t do that last time we played them,” Frost said.

Admittedly, the 3-0 loss to Cape was the team’s worst, to date. FA players were eager to settle the score. And, they did.

Senior Christina DiPietro scored with 7:15 left in the first half of a pass from Frost to make it 2-0 as the Raiders defeated Cape 3-1 to advance to Saturday’s Class B West semi-finals against third-seeded Leavitt.

RAIDERS MOVING ON — Senior Alicia McDonald (left) congratulates Raider senior goalie Sage Antolin following FA's 3-1 victory over Cape Elizabeth in the Class B West quarterfinals on Tuesday. (Rivet Photo)

The Hornets (12-3) defeated sixth-seeded Falmouth 1-0 Tuesday. Game time at the Academy is noon.

Fryeburg wasted little time setting the tone. FA aggressively pressured the Capers in the opening minutes, and that heat paid off as senior Courtney Bartlett zipped a crossing pass from Kylie Locke into the left corner off a penalty corner chance at 21:07. Bartlett made a quick stop of the ball and showed a fast trigger as Cape goalie Julianne Ayers had no chance to make the save.

“Our goal was to score in the first minute, but that didn’t happen. You have to set high goals. Our goal each game is to score early,” Frost said.

Fryeburg continued to attack, which led to DiPietro’s goal. She nearly had a second score when the Raiders were awarded a penalty stroke with 3:57 left in the half. FA forced a major pile-up in front of the Cape net, just missing putting the ball in the cage. Play eventually came to a halt when the ball became pinned by a Cape defender.

“I thought it was going to be a goal. She (official Denise Morin) waited so long on her knees looking to see if the ball was going in. I really felt if we had scored the third goal, we would have been in full control of the game,” FA Coach Dede Frost said.

Instead, DiPietro was denied by Ayers on a flick shot that was batted away.

The save seemed to spark the Capers, who engineered a quick rush down the field and scored with 1:25 left until halftime.

Momentum shifted, big time.

“I saw a sense of panic rise a little in the second half. Cape knows how to swing momentum. There is a brief moment of adjustment, and if you don’t make it, it can lead to panic,” Coach Frost said. “We were comfortable and played our game early on, but the last minute of the half and the next 10 minutes, we couldn’t regain control. I called a timeout, which I usually don’t do, because I thought it was time to shift gears. Step back. Take a breath. I told them we weren’t behind 10-0, and we needed to relax and not let them dictate the pace.”

Coach Frost felt her team failed to challenge the ball and didn’t make good cuts to the ball, which gave the Capers new life.

“We were tentative. I don’t know why,” the coach said.

Neither did her daughter, Makayla.

“I’m not sure why that happened. It seems it happens to us at least once a game. We have a little lull,” she said.

Fortunately, the Raiders rediscovered “their game.” After a quiet first half, sophomore Skye Dole connected off a pass from Bartlett for an insurance goal with 8:42 left. The Raiders kept play in the middle of the field for the final five to six minutes, preventing the Capers to mount any serious scoring threats.

In the end, the Raiders dominated by out shooting the Capers 22-10 while holding a 14-4 penalty corner advantage. FA netminder Sage Antolin had four saves, including an aggressive kick out. Ayers finished with 11 stops.

Now, the focus is on Leavitt. The Hornets resume includes nine shutouts. Their losses were: 2-1 to Mt. Blue, 2-0 to Belfast and 3-2 to Winslow.

Coach Frost said the “unknown” will add to the excitement of the semi-final meeting as the Raiders see the Hornets for the first time.

Makayla Frost says the team’s approach will be no different than it has been all season.

“We need to remember to play as a team. We don’t play for ourselves, we play for each other,” she said.

 

 

 

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