Halloween comes early but Windham survives 3-2 over Portland

Ciera Berthiaume unleashes the game winner versus Portland in the Class A West quarterfinals

Ciera Berthiaume unleashes the game winner versus Portland in the Class A West quarterfinals

Portland GK Taylor Crosby had 24 saves in a very busy night.

Portland GK Taylor Crosby had 24 saves in a very busy night.

(Windham ME) It wasn’t Halloween but the scare was real for the Windham girls’ soccer team.

Serious underdog Portland had the #1 seed Eagles down, 2-0, eight minutes into the second half but the home team rallied its way to a 3-2 win in wet conditions on Wednesday night.

Windham (14-0-1) will host a semifinals game on Saturday.

Portland (9-7) was the #9 seed and needed to defeat #8 Deering on the 24th to even get into the tournament.  It was hard to think that the Bulldogs would have much of a chance against high-scoring Windham.  The Eagles already had a 2-0 win over Portland this season and the last time the Bulldogs had even scored a goal against Windham was back in 2009!

Portland celebrates a 2-0 lead in the second half

Portland celebrates a 2-0 lead in the second half

But on this night, Portland put up the first two goals (Madison Bolduc and Ella Altidor). Both WHS coach Deb Lebel and Holy Cross commit Cassie Symonds admitted afterwards that the thought that the season might end early went through their heads.

“I knew we had kids who would dig deep but it was worrisome to trail by two goals,” said Coach Lebel.

Maggie Symonds collides with Portland GK

Maggie Symonds collides with Portland GK

There was, however, one thing that was consistent during this game and it wasn’t the drizzle/stop, drizzle/stop weather.  It was the persistent attack of the defending Class A state champs.  Portland GK Taylor Crosby ended up with 24 saves and there were plenty of other Eagles’ shots that went high and wide.

“Their keeper (Taylor Crosby) deserves all the credit in the world,” said WHS Coach Lebel afterwards.  “She had an amazing game.”

Portland had few scoring opportunities but they were glittering chances as the visitors poured into the Windham end with player advantages.  Senior Madison Bolduc put Portland on the board at 15:40 of the first half.

Freshman Ella Altidor added to the Portland lead eight minutes into the second half.  Ella made a terrific hustle play in front of the Portland bench to keep the momentum going toward the Windham goal.  Ella later ended up in front of the Eagles’ goal and put home a juicy rebound.  The vision of the biggest upset in Maine’s 2014 girls’ soccer season started dancing through my head.

Melissa Morton (9) goes high to head

Melissa Morton (9) goes high to head

But the never-ending pressure of the Windham attack finally caught up to Portland in the second half.  It seemed as if every Bulldog goal kick was immediately controlled by midfielder Cassie Symonds and her teammates and another Eagles’ attack initiated.

At 23:27, junior Ciera Berthiaume finished off a long run, with Merritt Ryan defending, beating Taylor Crosby on a low shot.

That goal just added to the Windham persistence.  Freshman Maggie Symonds had a great setup from her sister Cassie in close and missed high.  Jenna Soucy shot from long range and Taylor Crosby deflected the shot off the crossbar and over the net.

Jenna Soucy watches her shot sail into the net

Jenna Soucy watches her shot sail into the net

At 7:13 Jenna launched a long shot into the upper left corner and the teams were even, 2-2.  It was Jenna’s 30th goal of the season.

Two minutes later GK Taylor Crosby made her best save of the night robbing Ciera Berthiaume from in close and preserving, for the moment, the 2-2 tie.

Forty seconds later (4:33) Ciera broke away from a tiring Portland defense in the middle and took the equivalent of a running penalty kick to notch the game winner.  Taylor never had a chance on Ciera’s second goal of the game and 17th of the season.

(I can edit this blog so if there is a mistake let me know.)

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Chesa Hoekstra

Chesa Hoekstra

Madison Bolduc scored the first Portland goal

Madison Bolduc scored the first Portland goal

Rachel Glover

Rachel Glover

Cassie Symonds (13) eyes a corner kick

Cassie Symonds (13) eyes a corner kick

Hayleigh Blanchard

Hayleigh Blanchard

Ciera Berthiaume gets Windham on the board

Ciera Berthiaume gets Windham on the board

Ella Altidor put Portland in front by two goals

Ella Altidor put Portland in front by two goals

Portland GK Taylor Crosby

Portland GK Taylor Crosby

Ciera Berthiaume congratulated after goal that put Windham in front 3-2

Ciera Berthiaume congratulated after goal that put Windham in front 3-2

 

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Undefeated Newtown knocks off Brookfield 21-14 in South-West Conference football

Action in the trenches at the Newtown-Brookfield SWC game

Action in the trenches at the Newtown-Brookfield SWC game

Julian Dunn hauls in what turned out to be the game winner

Julian Dunn hauls in what turned out to be the game winner

(Newtown CT) Losing the first one is always tough.

Two Friday nights in a row highly regarded, undefeated teams have squared off against Newtown at Blue and Gold Stadium.  Both teams (Ansonia and Brookfield) left the stadium unhappy and no longer undefeated.

On this night it was Brookfield’s turn.  The Bobcats (6-1) certainly made things interesting but fell short, 21-14, to the undefeated (7-0) Newtown Nighthawks on a cool Friday night.

With numerous reasons to be happy afterwards including; control of the South-West Conference, winning 28th straight regular season game, and winning 29 of last 31 games, NHS coach Steve George was under-happy afterwards.  Why?  In the closing minute, with Newtown in possession and Brookfield out of timeouts, a skirmish broke out after a play in front of the Newtown bench.  According to reporters closer to the action, Newtown’s Jared Pearson was ejected and there was some pushing and shoving between the teams.

(Just before the controversial roughing the passer call late in the game.

(Just before the controversial roughing the passer call late in the game.

“What happened at the end was not characteristic of my team,” said Coach George.  “I’m a little upset with them now.”

Meanwhile back at the game I was intending to describe!  Newtown scored three straight touchdowns after Brookfield converted a fumble into an early score. Newtown had what I thought was a commanding 21-7 halftime lead.  Brookfield, however, had the only score in the second half (8:56 of the 4th quarter) but never had a real threat for more, thereafter.

Both teams benefited from opponent miscues in getting their first TDs.  Ethan Carpenter tried to return a punt in heavy Brookfield traffic and ended up fumbling.  Matt Biondi recovered for the Bobcats.

Bobby Drysdale (9) gets into the Newtown secondary

Bobby Drysdale (9) gets into the Newtown secondary

Later, Bobby Drysdale (118 yards/1 TD) reached the Newtown end zone from five yards out for his 13th touchdown of the season at 8:14 of the first quarter.

Consecutive turnovers led to the first Newtown score.  First Hafeez Yussuf intercepted a Jacob Burden pass intended for Julian Dunn at the Brookfield 16.  Bobby Drysdale, however, fumbled the ball back to Newtown (Ryan Shaw) on the next play setting the Hawks up in terrific field position.

Less than a minute later (5:02) Nick Rubino rolled left untouched for a 4-yard TD.  Bryce Mather added the kick to tie the score.

Jaret DeVillis scores

Jaret DeVellis scores

Early in the second quarter (11:14) Jaret DeVellis (7th TD) finished a long Newtown drive bouncing off Austin Reich to score from 3 yards out.  The kick gave Newtown a 14-7 advantage.

Because Newtown was content to run the ball, and did often, fake handoffs gave QB Jacob Burden plenty of time to throw.  Ethan Carpenter and Julian Dunn were spread wide to either side most of the game.  Julian (6’3″) was being covered one-on-one by Hafeez Yussuf (5’9″).

Early in the game Julian’s passing route was straight down the right sideline.  On Newtown’s 3rd TD drive, Julian ran an up-and-in and was wide open for a long gain.  Later in the same drive, Julian had the time to add an “out” to the pattern and ended up alone in the right side of the end zone from 17 yards out at 5:27 of the second quarter.  The completion to Julian was Jacob Burden’s 10th touchdown pass in 2014. The kick put Newtown further in front, 21-7.

Johnny Roscigno finds the end zone

Johnny Roscigno finds the end zone

Punting dominated the early going in the second half.  I thought at the time that Newtown had the horses to get a few more scores and also could keep the visitors off the board the rest of the way.

The Brookfield defense, however, surprised me.  It gave up yards and first downs but came up big when they needed to.  Certainly Newtown penalties helped put the Nighthawks in bad field position in the second half.

One Newtown penalty (Jake Lambert – roughing the passer), was key in Brookfield’s fourth quarter TD drive.  A heavy dose of Bobby Drysdale moved Brookfield to the Newtown 15.  From there, QB Johnny Roscigno faked a handoff to Bobby going right and instead rolled left.  There was a still a Hawks defender in the left side of the secondary but Johnny faked outside and then cut inside for a free lane to the end zone at 8:56 of the final quarter.

The Bobcats would get the ball back but there wasn’t time to grind with Bobby Drysdale and there also wasn’t enough time for QB Johnny Roscigno to find receivers.

BHS coach Rich Angarano questions the roughing the kicker call

BHS coach Rich Angarano questions the roughing the kicker call

The Bobcats burned timeouts late and would have gotten the ball back one last time with a minute left but Andrew Collins collided with punter Julian Dunn.  The penalty gave the ball back to Newtown for the rest of the game.

Brookfield has now lost five straight times to Newtown.  The talk afterwards by BHS coach Rich Angarano to his team was that, “We can play with this team,” and “We could face them again in the SWC championship game.”

Newtown defeated the Bobcats, 28-7, in last year’s title game.  Julian Dunn caught two TDs in that one while Bobby Drysdale was limited to 43 yards.

Brookfield had only allowed 53 points in their first six games.

Bobby Drysdale (1 TD - 118 yards)

Bobby Drysdale (1 TD – 118 yards)

Bobby Drysdale (6’1″ – 200) is obviously the key to any team’s defensive schemes versus Brookfield.  He had 27 touchdowns in 2013 and rushed for 2,096 yards.  Gang tackling Bobby is essential as he added extra yards several times when in the grasp of one tackler.  Bobby’s presence also set up the second Brookfield TD because the Newtown defense followed him and gave QB Johnny Roscigno plenty of room the other way.

I’ve seen Newtown twice now and can see why it is so hard to prepare for their offense.  They are very content to take what a defense allows.  NHS coach Steve George said afterwards that the play calling (many runs) may have looked conservative but, “It was just too tempting to run the ball.”

Ethan Carpenter was the blocker near punter Julian Dunn.  His block on Andrew Collins may have had something to do with Andrew’s running into the kicker.  Julian did a pretty good job of selling the hit.

Excellent Homecoming crowd as well as the usual spectacular halftime show.

(I can edit this blog so if there is an error please let me know so that I can correct it.)

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Julian Dunn makes a reception

Julian Dunn makes a reception

Peter Manesis

Peter Manesis

pumpkin wager

pumpkin wager

Jaret DeVillas (1 TD - 21 carries - 109 yards)

Jaret DeVellis (1 TD – 21 carries – 109 yards)

 

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Liam Bell (4 goals) leads Wells past Lake Region 6-1 in WMC Class B boys’ soccer

Liam Bell gets a clean look for his first of four goals for Wells

Liam Bell gets a clean look for his first of four goals for Wells

Freshman Liam Bell

Freshman Liam Bell

(Naples ME) The Wells Warriors finished the regular season with four straight wins after defeating Lake Region, 6-1, on a cool Monday night of WMC boys soccer.

Freshman Liam Bell lit up the Lakers for four goals despite being on the Wells bench for nearly half of the game.  Liam had three goals in the Warriors 4-1 win over LR earlier in the season.

Wells (6-6-2) tallied three goals in each half.

Lake Region (1-13) clicked on a penalty kick in the first half and carried a 2-1 deficit down to the last two minutes of the half.  However, Liam Bell finished his first-half hat-trick to boost the Wells margin to 3-1 at the half.

The Warriors added three more goals in the first twenty minutes of the second half and never looked back.

Lake Region honored its seniors before the game.

No question that Liam Bell can finish but in this game his teammates put him into a position to finish all night long.

Lakers GK Michael Rust saw plenty of shots.

Lakers GK Michael Rust saw plenty of shots.

Liam’s first goal was nicely assisted by Hatim Sharaf.  His second goal was a header off of TJ Wright’s corner kick.  The third goal was set up by Alec Pinette who dribbled down the right side and could have taken a shot.  Lakers GK Michael Rust moved his way expecting a shot but instead Alec centered the ball into the middle to an uncovered Liam Bell.  The net was wide open.

LR picked up its goal after Magnus Holm was tripped in the box.  Michael Rust took the kick and put it into the upper left corner.

In the second half, Liam Bell was quick to cash in a rebound (33:42) of Hatim Sharaf’s point-blank shot.

The Warriors would convert two more rebounds in the second half.  Both shots were taken by senior Daniel Quint.  Peter Valentino put in one rebound while Alex Pinette put in the other.

Chandler Bridge

Chandler Bridge

The aggressive Warriors won most of the one-on-one battles.  I thought the big difference between the two teams was Wells ability to be able to face the goal in scoring position over-and-over.  Lake Region had very few good looks at Wells GK Chandler Bridge.

I was impressed with LR’s exchange student Magnus Holm.  He was very skilled.

Wells coach Sean Bishop was not sure when the last time was that the Warriors made the playoffs.

Lake Region didn’t win a game last year and ended up with one win (Poland) this year.  But there was significant improvement statistically.  In 2013 the Lakers tallied only 2 goals and gave up 129.  This year LR scored 13 goals and gave up 62.

(I can edit this blog so if there is a mistake let me know and I will do it.)

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Magnus Holm

Magnus Holm

loose ball in a crowd

loose ball in a crowd

GK Michael Rust celebrates scoring a penalty kick

GK Michael Rust celebrates scoring a penalty kick

Matt Stenger makes a save for Lake Region

Matt Stenger makes a save for Lake Region

Hatim Sharaf had two assists

Hatim Sharaf had two assists

Kolin Wyman (12) clears the ball away for Lake Region

Kolin Wyman (12) clears the ball away for Lake Region

GK Michael Rust

GK Michael Rust

Alec Pinette (on the right) sets up Liam Bell

Alec Pinette (on the right) sets up Liam Bell

Lake Region seniors recognized

Lake Region seniors recognized

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Undefeated Newtown ends Ansonia’s streak 14-8 in Connecticut showdown

Jared Pearson finds a huge hole in the Ansonia defense for an easy touchdown.

Jared Pearson finds a huge hole in the Ansonia defense for an easy touchdown.

Tim Krapf tries to wrap up Tyler Bailey

Tim Krapf tries to wrap up Tyler Bailey

(Newtown CT) No doubt Ansonia’s 48-game win streak was a motivator as Newtown prepped for the game.

That “motivation” ended after the Nighthawks dropped the Chargers, 14-8, on a mild Friday night before a cast of thousands (three at least).

Asked about the significance of the victory afterwards, NHS coach Steve George dropped, “We won,” and, “We’re 6-0,” on the gathered media.

The week of media attention repeated the size of Ansonia’s streak and how one more win would enable the Chargers to tie Cheshire for the state record.  Lost in that concentration was the fact that Newtown (6-0) had won 27 of their last 29 games including 26 straight regular season games.

The point?  These were TWO good teams both used to winning whether a streak was involved or not.

Julian Dunn (15) signals the end as the clock winds down

Julian Dunn (15) signals the end as the clock winds down

When the game ended Newtown celebrated as if they had won something more than a regular season game while Ansonia fans/players wept in disappointment.

Newtown moved to a 14-0 lead late in the third quarter and you wondered if they might double that score in the final frame against the tiring Chargers.

But Ansonia (5-1) quarterback Jai’Quan McKnight tossed a terrific TD spot-pass to Tyler Bailey with ten minutes left.  When Jai’Quan squirmed in for two extra points the Chargers were in position to make things interesting the rest of the way.

But the Newtown defense, despite (“way too many mistakes/penalties” – Coach George) prevailed in Ansonia’s final two possessions to get the win.

JaiQuan McKnight

JaiQuan McKnight

For certain, the Nighthawks defense kept the visitors from running organized offense most of the evening.  Ansonia QB Jai’Quan McKnight, however, seemed at times to be more comfortable improvising than running set offense.

Jai’Quan paid a heavy price several times dropping back to pass getting nailed by Ben Mason and Nick Samuelson on separate occasions.  Nick’s hit ended the first half.

Two keys to the Newtown win: (1) depth, and (2) team speed.  Most of the Chargers played both ways including all their playmakers.  There was no rest for them.  The media during the week attempted to describe the matchup as Newtown’s size versus Ansonia’s speed.  Chargers coach Tom Brockett wasn’t buying it, “I thought coming in that man-for-man they might be faster than us.  They never let us break anything big.”

To back up Coach Brockett’s point, I had several pictures of Chargers breaking down sidelines with no Newtown defenders in front of them.  Each time Newtown players closed fast from the middle to angle the Ansonia players out-of-bounds before there was a breakaway.

No question Ansonia missed having Arkeel Newsome in their backfield.  Arkeel ended his Chargers career with the Connecticut state record in rushing yards.  He is now at UConn.

Nick Samuelson ends the first half with a hard hit on JaiQuan McKnight

Nick Samuelson ends the first half with a hard hit on JaiQuan McKnight

Those planning to attend this game were warned to get there early and many bought into it.  I was there an hour early and ended up parking behind the high school.  Leaving afterwards?  I was on the field afterward recording interviews for at least a half hour.  When I returned to my car none of the cars around me had yet moved.

The Chargers didn’t arrive until 35 minutes before game time………at least I thought it was all of them.  I was talking to an Ansonia fan and he asked me where the rest of the team was.  The second bus didn’t arrive until about 20 minutes before game time.  The “arrive early” word didn’t reach Ansonia?

The Nighthawks scored in the first quarter.  Jared Pearson caught a pass to get Newtown to the Ansonia 20.  Several plays later Jared took a direct snap and, instead of following the flow to the right, shot straight up the middle.  The Ansonia defense bit for the flow and Jared ran nearly unnoticed into the end zone at 1:13.  Bryce Mather’s kick was good.

Nick Rubino put together two straight solid runs deep in Ansonia territory in the third quarter to notch Newtown’s second score.  Nick, who was in the game in place of starter Jaret DeVellis, carried a defender into the end zone.  Bryce Mather had his second PAT.

Nick Rubino scores in the third quarter for Newtown

Nick Rubino scores in the third quarter for Newtown

The Chargers cut into the 14-point deficit early in the final quarter.  In pregame I watched quarterback Jai’Quan McKnight throw pass after pass to a spot near the corner of the goal-line.  No question in my mind that he had the arm and accuracy.  The trouble during the game was lack of time to even look to throw most of the time.  Somehow, early in the 4th quarter Jai’Quan found the time and sure enough passed to the spot near the goal line.  Teammate Tyler Bailey ran under the ball closely defended by Joe Santella.  The ball arrived as Tyler and Joe collided.  Down went Joe as Tyler caught the ball and finished the yard or so into the end zone.anne A8 QB JaiQuan pass on the wayanne A10 ball about to be caughtanne A11 Joe Santella bounces offanne A12 Tyler Bailey heads to end zone

Jai’Quan improvised his way into the end zone over the right side to get Ansonia within six points with plenty of time (ten minutes) remaining.  But on this day the Newtown defense took charge the rest of the way and ran their regular season streak to 27.

Newtown nearly scored a razzle-dazzle TD in the second quarter.  QB Jacob Burden rolled left and handed off to Jared Pearson running to the right.  Jacob kept on running around the left end while Jared suddenly stopped and tossed a pass in Jacob’s direction.  Jacob was as wide open as you’ll ever get in a football game but Jared’s throw was high.

anne A18 flags flyWhat a show at halftime!  It was twenty minutes of wonderfully choreographed and executed performance that you should have to pay extra for……..it’s that well done.

I can make changes in this blog so if I have been inaccurate please let me know and I’ll do the necessary editing.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

JaiQuan McKnight converts 2-point conversion

JaiQuan McKnight converts 2-point conversion

Ben Mason wrapped up by Larry Cafaro

Ben Mason wrapped up by Larry Cafaro

Jaret DeVillis

Jaret DeVellis

battle in the trenches

battle in the trenches

JaiQuan McKnight down the sidelines

JaiQuan McKnight down the sidelines

Joe Santella

Joe Santella

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Undefeated Windham routs Marshwood 7-0 in Western Maine Class A girls’ soccer

Ciera Berthiaume slides by the Marshwood goal after scoring in the first twenty seconds.

Ciera Berthiaume slides by the Marshwood goal after scoring in the first twenty seconds.

Jenna Soucy (3 goals) congratulates Caitlyn Winn after she scored the 7th Windham goal

Jenna Soucy (3 goals) congratulates Caitlyn Winn after she scored the 7th Windham goal

(Windham ME)  That was way easier than expected.

The undefeated Windham girls’ soccer team routed Marshwood, 7-0, on Friday night in a Class A Western Maine matchup.

Marshwood (7-2-1) was touted pre-game as a team that could give the defending Class A champions trouble.  However, twenty seconds into this game it was the visiting Hawks in trouble, quickly down by a goal.

The Eagles (11-0) displayed a terrific short-passing game on all parts of the field.  That passing accuracy kept threatening shots away from GK Liz Mycock and set up scoring chances down the other end all night long.

Senior Jenna Soucy had the hat trick for Windham.  Teammate Ciera Berthiaume added two scores while Melissa Morton and Caitlyn Winn registered one each.

Those seven Windham goals had to be a shock to MHS coach Luke Edgar since in the first nine games the Hawks had only allowed seven goals.

The long night started early for the visitors from South Berwick.  Senior Melissa Morton broke down the right side into the open and sent a terrific pass across the goal to a breaking Ciera Berthiaume on the left.  GK Emily Robida never had a chance and Marshwood quickly trailed, 1-0.

Jenna Soucy shot goes through Marshwood GK Emily Robida

Jenna Soucy shot goes through Marshwood GK Emily Robida

On the second goal (29:00), Jenna Soucy made a long run down the middle getting past several defenders.  Jenna’s shot was a hard grounder that went through Emily Robida’s hands.

Senior Melissa Morton found space in the middle at 18:01 for the third Windham tally of the first half.

Less than three minutes into the second half, Ciera Berthiaume dribbled free down the right side and took a hard shot on goal.  The save was made but the rebound was picked up by Jenna Soucy.  She took a shot from in close and put in her own rebound.

Ciera Berthiaume made it 5-0 at 34:19 as the WHS junior broke free for an open shot on the right that went in.

Madison Mauro (2 assists)

Madison Mauro (2 assists)

Junior Madison Mauro set up the last two Eagles’ goals.  First it was Jenna Soucy (22nd goal of the season) and then sophomore Caitlyn Winn with 7:49 left.

Tough loss for Marshwood in the first of five straight road games.  The Hawks struggled to put passes together in the offensive end while being victimized by Windham’s ability to do that when they had the ball.

One thing I noticed was that there wasn’t any negative body language among the Marshwood team despite the way the game went.  I would expect them to recover nicely over the final four games.

Who can stop the Eagles?  They have now won twenty-nine straight games with on-paper mismatches ahead.  They face Scarborough next Wednesday.  Despite a loss to Marshwood, Scarborough will be a challenge.

Melissa Morton (15 goals)

Melissa Morton (15 goals)

I saw Windham’s final three games last season and couldn’t recall Melissa Morton.  I have since learned that the talented senior was injured.  Melissa’s goal tonight gives her 15 for the season.

Windham has netted 84 goals in eleven games.

Marshwood has now lost four straight to Windham and have been outscored, 17-0, by the Eagles.  The Hawks did defeat Windham, 1-0, in the playoffs in 2009.

Even GK Liz Mycock was part of the short-passing approach for Windham.  Rather than punting the ball, she would instead roll it to an open teammate.

Liz (Babson), Cassie Symonds (Holy Cross), and Shannon Valente (Southern New Hampshire) already have college plans.  They shouldn’t be the last of the Eagles to have a collegiate soccer future.

Because this is a blog entry, it is easy for me to edit it.  If there is a mistake let me know and I’ll change it.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Shannon Valente and Marin Smith

Shannon Valente and Marin Smith

incoming

incoming

Jenna Soucy (3 goals) with space

Jenna Soucy (3 goals) with space

National Anthem singer

National Anthem singer

Caitlyn Winn shoots the 7th Windham goal

Caitlyn Winn shoots the 7th Windham goal

Jenna Soucy fires a shot in the second half

Jenna Soucy fires a shot in the second half

Maggie Symonds on the move

Maggie Symonds on the move

Reagan Nichols

Reagan Nichols

Emily Robida leaves a rebound

Emily Robida leaves a rebound

Melissa Morton about to drive home the third Windham goal of the first half

Melissa Morton about to drive home the third Windham goal of the first half

Windham coach Deb Lebel

Windham coach Deb Lebel

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Late goal gets Gray-New Gloucester past Fryeburg Academy 3-2 in girls’ soccer

Emma Woods (#8) redirects the game-winner for Gray-New Gloucester with 3.5 seconds left

Emma Woods (#8) redirects the game-winner for Gray-New Gloucester with 3.5 seconds left

Maria Valente set up a goal and scored one

Maria Valente set up a goal and scored one

(Fryeburg ME) In the midst of the Fryeburg Fair and some fine foliage a pretty good girls’ soccer game broke out.

Visiting Gray-New Gloucester took the lead for the third and final time with 3.5 seconds left to defeat Fryeburg Academy, 3-2, on a cloudy Tuesday afternoon of Western Maine Conference Class B soccer.

Freshman Emma Woods headed in the game-winner off of a throw-in by senior Maria Valente in the closing seconds.

It was a tough loss for the (2-4-2) Raiders.  The home team was scored on early in each half but recovered each time.  Kaylin Delaney’s penalty kick produced the final tie with less than five minutes left in the game.

With no overtime period played during the regular season, both teams pressed for the win in the final minutes.  In the closing minute, GNG’s Kaelyn Woods kept the ball in play down the right sidelines before the Raiders kicked the ball out-of-bounds with under fifteen seconds remaining.  Maria Valente had to really hustle to get from her defensive spot to the throw-in attempt.  She did and had the ball  in the air with few seconds left.  The ball came into the near-side of the box area with plenty of steam on it.  Emma Woods leaped high and redirected Maria’s throw-in to the far corner of the goal.

Sarah Giggey had two assists on corner kicks

Sarah Giggey had two assists on corner kicks

This was Emma’s second goal of the game and 8th of the 2014 season.  Maria’s assist was her 5th of the season and her 5th assist against FA over the past three seasons.

Gray-New Gloucester (4-4) had two of their goals set up by junior Sarah Giggey’s corner kicks.

Both goalies (GNG-Zoe Adams, FA-Makayla Cooper) faced numerous dangerous shots.  The most dangerous, of the dangerous, were long rips by the Raiders’ Esme Hernendez.

Esme did get a goal (14:15) in the first half.  A throw-in by Lexi L’Heureux-Carland from the left was headed by Kaylin Delaney and the ball reached Esme alone in front.  Esme applied the finishing touch.

Emma Woods headed in the opening goal of the game (33:07).  The freshman was parked in the middle and GK Makayla Cooper was centered in the net.  Emma was able to head the ball down and past Makayla to the FA goalie’s left.

The Patriots clicked early (36:22) in the second half.  Sarah Giggey sent a corner kick in from the left that found Maria Valente in traffic near the far post for yet another headed goal.

Julia Quinn dribbles ahead

Julia Quinn dribbles ahead

As the minutes wound down in the second half the Raiders turned up the pressure, especially Julia Quinn and Anna Manahor, and got what they needed at 4:52………….a penalty shot.

From where I was standing it looked as if defender Caitlin Holmquist got a hand on the ball in the box.

Kaylin Delaney took the PK and scored with a shot that went in on the left after caroming off the goal post.

Later Emma Woods, from Maria Valente, would collect the game-winner giving GNG their sixth straight victory over Fryeburg Academy.

Both teams resume play on Thursday at 6PM.  FA will be at Wells while GNG will host Poland.

Emily Hotham and Julia Quinn

Emily Hotham and Julia Quinn

A key to the victory for GNG was the return of senior Emily Hotham to the Patriots defense.  I am not certain when the injured defender returned but I saw the Patriots without her in their loss to Lake Region.  Her presence this afternoon made a difference.

I like to arrive at games at least a half-hour early.  Good thing this afternoon since the scheduled 3:30PM start turned out to be a 3PM start.

If you’re a defender and the pressure is on, it is usually a good idea to kick the ball out of bounds.  This gives the defense a chance to set up in front of the goalie.  That strategy can backfire, however, when a team plays Gray-New Gloucester.  Why?  Because Maria Valente takes the sideline throw-ins for GNG and is strong enough to throw the ball into the box almost every time.  Granted the defense is organized but so also is the Patriots offense.  With plenty of bodies in the area and the ball in the air, bad things can happen, and they did today for FA in the closing seconds.

Erasme Herendez (22) alone in front

Erasme Herendez (22) alone in front

The speed and hustle of Ori Inirio was noticeable.  Some forwards run hard when the ball in near them and then trot or walk.  Not Ori, she seemed to run from end to end.  She had a couple of pretty good chances as a result.

(I can add/subtract with this blog so if I messed up something let me know and I will change it.)

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

loose ball

loose ball

Emma Woods (8) nods in the first Patriots goal

Emma Woods (8) nods in the first Patriots goal

Ashley Moreau and Lexi LHeureux-Carland

Ashley Moreau and Lexi LHeureux-Carland

victory celebrating begins

victory celebrating begins

Kaylin Delaney takes a penalty shot

Kaylin Delaney takes a penalty shot

Erasme Hernendez and Kiersten Stritch

Erasme Hernendez and Kiersten Stritch

GNG goalie Zoe Adams jumps for a save

GNG goalie Zoe Adams jumps for a save

Izzy Detroy, Maria Valente, and Emma Woods celebrate a goal

Izzy Detroy, Maria Valente, and Emma Woods celebrate a goal

Maria Valente (18) in position to head in a goal

Maria Valente (18) in position to head in a goal

loose ball

loose ball

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Julia Quinn (4 goals) leads Fryeburg Academy past North Yarmouth 5-2 in girls soccer

Junior Julia Quinn netted four goals in the Raiders win

Junior Julia Quinn netted four goals in the Raiders win

NYA goalie Scout Fischman tries to stop Anna Manahor

NYA goalie Scout Fischman tries to stop Anna Manahor

(Fryeburg ME)  The drought is officially over……the goal-scoring drought, that is.

The Fryeburg Academy girl’s soccer team displayed plenty of scoring ability as they defeated North Yarmouth Academy, 5-2, on a sunny Thursday afternoon.

Junior Julia Quinn had a career game with four goals, pacing the Raiders (1-2-1) to their first win of the season.

North Yarmouth (0-5) may still be winless but they were able to walk away with their first two goals (Emily Baker & Isabelle See) of the season.

FA had the wind and the sun in their favor in the first half and relentlessly attacked the Panthers side of the field.

Julia Quinn drives home her first goal despite close guarding by Emily Baker

Julia Quinn drives home her first goal despite close guarding by Emily Baker

Julia Quinn notched a goal early despite heavy defense by Emily Baker as she dribbled down the middle.  Somehow Julia found space for a shot that beat NYA goalie Scout Fischman to her left at 32:46.

Eleven-plus minutes later Julia broke in from the right under less pressure, took a hard shot, got the rebound and had Goal #2.

Julia’s other two goals, one in the first half and the other in the second half, were off of terrific setups by teammates Mackenzie Buzzell and Esme Hernendez.

Julia was in perfect position (to the goalie’s right) both times to head in the high crosses of Mackenzie and Esme.

Emily Baker (#29) drives home a penalty kick

Emily Baker (#29) drives home a penalty kick

After three straight Raiders’ goals the Panthers were awarded a penalty kick.  Emily Baker took the PK and fired a low shot past FA goalie Makayla Cooper.

The 4th Fryeburg goal of the first half went to junior Anna Manahor.  Katherine Parker set up Anna in very close to goal.  Anna shot, got her own rebound, and scored.

Ori Inirio heads wide

Ori Inirio heads wide

It was 4-1 after a half.

Two minutes into the second half Julia Quinn built the lead to 5-1.

With twelve minutes remaining in the game, sophomore Isabelle See intercepted a Raiders’ clearout and put a low shot past GK Makayla Cooper.

Snake-bitten throughout this game was Raiders junior Ori Inirio.  If she wasn’t being robbed by goalie Scout Fischman, her shots were going just wide.  Ori had a header that just missed.

The next game for both teams will be on Saturday.  FA visits Poland (11AM) while NYA hosts Old Orchard (10AM)

Isabelle See and Lexi LHeureux-Carland

Isabelle See and Lexi LHeureux-Carland

The Raiders had beaten North Yarmouth only once in the previous five years.

The Panthers were 7-5-2 in 2013.  The loss of Alex Wahlstrom (transferred) has hurt the 2014 squad.  The team dressed only thirteen players for the FA game.

The Raiders were 3-7-4 in 2013.  Only three players graduated off of that team and there are no seniors on the 2014 squad.

Junior Emily Baker made the Western Maine Conference first team in 2013.  She has a powerful left foot and handles the ball with confidence.

FA scored ten goals in all of 2013 getting five of them against Old Orchard.

Fryeburg is Class B while NYA is Class C.

captains meet

captains meet

The Panthers were Class C state champions for five straight seasons (2002-2007).

Ali Fraize and Lexi L’Heureux-Carland were impressive defenders.

The Raiders forwards led by Julia Quinn were aggressive to the ball and passed well.

(I can add or subtract from this blog so if there is a need to do that, let me know.)

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Julia Quinn (#5) heads in a second-half goal

Julia Quinn (#5) heads in a second-half goal

FA goalie Makayla Cooper

FA goalie Makayla Cooper

incoming

incoming

Nora Laprise and Charlotte Collins

Nora Laprise and Charlotte Collins

Isabelle See shoots

Isabelle See shoots

Emily Baker

Emily Baker

Sage Boivin in position for a header

Sage Boivin in position for a header

Mackenzie Buzzell

Mackenzie Buzzell

Esme Hernendez

Esme Hernendez

NYA goalie Scout Fischman

NYA goalie Scout Fischman

Julia Quinn heads home a first-half goal

Julia Quinn heads home a first-half goal

Adrienne Tracy

Adrienne Tracy

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