POLAND — Popeye had spinach to give him an extra boost. Gray-New Gloucester forward Emma West has an energy drink before games to get her superpowers.

The senior had two first-half goals and added another goal in the second half for a hat trick in the 6-1 WMC girls soccer victory over Poland.

“I did have an energy drink, and my team was really excited before the game,” West said. “We were all a little nervous of the cold. Our feet were frozen. We just went out there and had some fun knowing it was our last regular-season game.”

Patriots (5-9) coach Marcella Francoeur said everything was clicking on Monday.

“It seemed everything we were working on all season came together for today,” Francoeur said. “The passing, the through balls, the defending and the possession.”

The game got off to a blistering start with Gray-NG’s West Duffy putting a free kick on goal in the first minute, but Poland keeper Kadie Coutts-Farrington made the save.

Poland (1-13) then went down the field, and Knights forward Arianna Gammon beat Patriots goalie Isabelle Ross to a 50-50 ball and had an open net to shoot at two minutes into the game.

A dream start for the Knights evaporated quickly.

“We had a perfect start, we played with a lot of energy,” Poland coach Tyler Connors said. “We kind of shocked (Gray-New Gloucester) in the beginning. They kind of got momentum on their first goal, and a couple of mistakes defensively led to a couple of more goals. Then, it became an uphill battle.”

Duffy scored a similar goal to Gammon’s to tie the game at 1-1 in the 10th minute.

“West is a huge part of our team. We missed her all summer due to an injury, and she battled her way back,” Francoeur said. “It’s great to have her back, and she’s a huge part of this team in the midfield.”

With 13 minutes remaining in the first half, Gray-New Gloucester’s Brooke Martin made a nice pass from the right sideline to Ashleen Perkins, who finished the play to give the Patriots a 2-1 advantage.

West used the right sideline to put home two boots that curled into the back of the cage. The first one, with 10 minutes remaining, went inside the far post for a 3-1 lead.

Her second goal found inside the near post with seven minutes remaining to make it 4-1.

“This was my first game actually playing on the wing; usually, I am a midfielder,” West said. “I wasn’t trying to score (those goals), I was trying to give it to my teammates, and they happen to curve in.”

Martin put home the Patriots’ fifth goal early in the second half off a corner kick.

West’s chip cleared the crossbar to complete the hat trick to extend Gray-New Gloucester’s lead to 6-1.

“It was definitely a good ball. I don’t have a good foot. I think it was my adrenaline and the other two goals I scored earlier,” West said.”

The Knights changed formation to a 4-4-2 in the second half to try to get something going.

“In the second half, we tried to pressure them on their backline a little bit more,” Connors said. “We tried to keep the ball up there a little bit after playing in our defensive end for most of the first half.”


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