Waterville girls coach Ian Wilson hopes for a test today against unbeaten Camden Hills in Rockport. So far, the Purple Panthers have breezed to 12-0-0 record relatively unchallenged.
“We’re anxious to see where we stack up against Camden (11-0-2),” Wilson said. “We know they haven’t lost. As a team we’re very excited. We’re not really resting anybody or coasting into the playoffs at this point.”
Wilson and his team conclude their regular season Tuesday against Oceanside and wins against both teams would give them the top seed in Eastern Maine Class B. Going into today’s game the Panthers are a point behind unbeaten Hermon for the top spot.
“It’s a goal of ours to get the No. 1 seed,” Wilson said. “In soccer there is some advantage to being a home seed.”
Waterville lost 1-0 to Hermon in a preseason game and Wilson said his team has used that for motivation this year. His team has improved steadily as it has integrated junior striker Pilar Elias into its system. Elias transferred from Winslow and is one of the top offensive players in the state.
“It took a while for her to know and trust the kids on the team,” Wilson said. “The area we’ve improved the most is just our offensive rhythm.”
Elias scored seven goals against Maine Central Institute on Tuesday to run her season total to 37. Neither is a team record. Jordan Pellerin, currently playing for the University of Maine, holds the single-game record with eight goals and the single-season mark with 51.
The list of improved players is a long one that includes junior defender Morgan Tortorella, forward Lydia Roy and midfielders Colleen O’Donnell, Sarah Shoulta and Emily Dufour. O’Donnell took last year off after playing as a sophomore.
“She’s been a real pleasant surprise,” Wilson said. “She’s been a solid midfielder.”
Wilson calls this year’s team one of the best passing squads he’s ever coached.
“They’re incredibly unselfish, being willing to not really care who scores,” he said. “It’s one of the funnest years I’ve ever had as a coach of a soccer team.”
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Mt. Blue boys soccer coach Joel Smith recalls a playoff game three years ago when his sixth-seeded Cougars got smoked by No. 3 Brunswick, 7-0. Those were the days of the haves and have nots in Eastern Maine Class A soccer. That’s not the case this season.
“This year it’s definitely been competitive,” Smith said. “We played Hampden very tough and Mt. Ararat (too).”
Hampden is the top-seeded team while Mt. Ararat is fourth and the Cougars lost both games 2-1.
They’re 6-7-0 heading into tonight’s final regular-season game at home against No. 3 Bangor, another of the top teams in Eastern Maine. Win or lose, Mt. Blue will likely remain in eighth place in the standings.
“I think this game is important,” Smith said “(Win or lose) there’s a lot we can get out it.”
The team has just three seniors — Ike Doiron, Gage Kennedy and Sam Taylor — all of whom play key roles on the field and off.
“We have a lot of underclassmen,” Smith said. “I feel like the guys have adjusted . . . understanding how the game is played and adjusting to the speed of play.”
Junior back Wes Thompson returned from an injury after missing the first half of the season and has helped solidify the defense. Sophomores Devon Hoyt plays center back while Dylan Roberts, another sophomore plays on the outside along with Thompson.
“The three backs, they’ve all just developed confidence,” Smith said.
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The Rangeley girls have overcome injuries this season and find themselves on the cusp of the playoff berth in Western Maine Class D if they can split their weekend series at home against Vinalhaven.
“We have to win one of two to get in,” Rangeley coach Chip Smith said.
Smith expects all his players to be available this weekend if not at full strength. Sophomore Michaela Shorey is expected to see limited action as she’s recovering from a sprained ankle while midfielder Seve Deery-DeRaps also missed time with a sprained ankle but is back in action. Goalie Taylor Esty missed some action during midseason.
The Lakers (4-6-2) have played well the second half of the season. They handed Pine Tree Academy one of its two losses, and Esty made over 20 saves in a 2-1 double overtime loss to top-seeded Richmond.
Esty, at 6-foot-1, moved from the field last year to goalie this season and has been effective for the Lakers.
“You’re not going to beat her over the top,” Smith said.
The Lakers play Vinalhaven on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday morning.
“We need to take care of business Friday,” Smith said. “We can play with anybody if we want to show up and play.”
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The Carrabec girls are one of the hottest teams in Western Maine Class C, having won six straight. The Cobras were 7-4-1 heading into Thursday’s game against Spruce Mountain.
“We’ve been kind of under the radar,” Carrabec coach Silas Bell said. “It’s just an all-out effort of a great group of senior leaders.”
Among those leaders is forward Brooklynne Lewis who has 18 goals .
“She’s a great influence on all of them,” Bell said. “She’s willing to offer them a lot of support.”
Senior goalkeeper Macy Welch has three shutouts while defender Katie Lacroix is another valuable senior.
“We’re really well organize defensively,” Bell said, citing sophomores Liberty Chestnut and Bianca Beaulieu. “They’re just solid.”
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The Mountain Valley Conference playoffs will be held Wednesday at Thomas College. The boys will play at 3 p.m. followed by the girls game at 5. The boys game will likely pit Hall-Dale against St. Dom’s. Last year, St. Dom’s best Hall-Dale 2-1 for the title while Hall-Dale beat the Saints 2-0 two years ago in the championship game. Hall-Dale beat Dom’s 1-0 last week at Thomas in their regular-season meeting.
St. Dom’s and Madison are the current Heal point leaders in line to meet in the girls game. The Saints handed Madison its only loss in the regular season, winnng 3-0.
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638