Sunday, December 8, 2013
Unbeaten regular seasons are nice, but the Maranacook boys soccer team has its sights set on one goal — a state championship.
• Hall-Dale senior Konnor Longfellow scored a goal to lead the Bulldogs to a 1-0 win against previously unbeaten St. Dominic and twice in a win over Telstar.
• Hall-Dale senior Emily Maynard scored with nine seconds left in regulation to help the Bulldogs to a 2-2 tie against Monmouth.
• Monmouth senior Kyle Fletcher scored a goal in a 1-0 win against Carrabec.
• Monmouth senior Kasey Smith made 20 saves in a shutout over Carrabec.
• Cony senior Hayley Quirion scored two goals and added an asisst in a win over Skowhegan.
The Black Bears were unbeaten for the second regular season in a row heading into Thursday night’s finale against Erskine at 11-0-2. Last year they were 13-0-2 before falling to eventual Class B state champion Falmouth in penalty kicks in the semifinal round. Falmouth has since moved to Class A while the Black Bears have dropped to Class C while maintaining their Class B regular season schedule.
Maranacook is in first place in Western Maine Class C, three points ahead of North Yarmouth Academy. A win against Erskine should guarantee the Bears home field throughout the playoffs. Tuesday, Maranacook preserved its unbeaten mark with a 1-1 tie at Camden Hills, also unbeaten.
“I think both teams had their chances,” Maranacook coach Don Beckwith said. “We just didn’t have many. It was a little more physical game than I expected. It was a good test for us.”
Conventional thinking has Maranacook as the Class C favorite, both because of its schedule and its tradition. But Beckwith has seen most of the top Class C teams play and believes any of them could win the regional title.
Of NYA he said, “they’ve got some offensive punch. They’re the real deal. And I don’t think anybody should overlook Hall-Dale.”
St. Dominic, Waynflete and Mt. Abram are all Class C teams that could challenge the unbeaten top three as well.
Beckwith said just about everyone on his team this season has met expectations, citing defender Christopher Beckwith and goalie Brad Worster as two players who have come a long way this season. Worster is a senior playing his first year of varsity soccer. He decided to come out for the team when there was an opening in goal.
Maranacook has outscored its opponents 49-3 this season which has allowed Beckwith to play as many as 25 players in a game. In the tougher games the Black Bears have developed a solid rotation of six substitutes.
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The Gardiner girls soccer team is assured a trip to the Eastern Maine Class B playoffs following its 2-1 upset against Morse on Tuesday. The Tigers were 3-6-2 and in 10th place in Eastern Maine Class B entering Thursday’s regular-season finale at Leavitt.
The Tigers lost 4-0 to Morse at home last month, registering just three shots on goal. Coach Chad Kirk has since changed his formation, moving junior Morgan Carver up front and freshman Lauren Chadwick to center mid. Carver and sophomore Marisa Quirion each scored a goal against Morse.
“We’re finally getting it,” Kirk said. “They just try to have fun and play the game. There was too much thinking involved.”
Effort also played a key part in Tuesday’s outcome.
“We’ve been preaching heart and winning the 50/50 balls,” Kirk said.
The coach as also employed a double stopper and is putting junior Emma Hickey on the opposing team’s top scoring threat. Senior goalkeeper Ally Day has been solid all season and was a key in stopping a late surge by the Shipbuilders on Tuesday.
“I consider us a scary team in the playoffs,” Kirk said. “You never know what you’re going to get.”
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The Cony boys are 3-8-1 heading into Saturday’s game against Brewer on the turf at Husson University in Bangor. The Rams are one spot out of the Eastern Maine Class A playoffs in 10th place but wins over Brewer and Tuesday at home against Oxford Hills would get them in the tournament. A win against Oxford Hills alone might also be enough.
(Continued on page 2)