The Hall-Dale and St. Dominic boys soccer teams continue their budding rivalry on turf at 7:30 tonight at Thomas College in Waterville.

Both teams are unbeaten in Mountain Valley Conference competition despite graduating several valuable players.

“We’re both rebuilding,” Hall-Dale coach Andy Haskell said. “We both lost 14 players from last year.”

From a fan’s point of view, the rebuilding process has been seamless for both teams. Hall-Dale (10-0-0) is not as explosive offensively as it was a year ago, but has allowed just three goals this season. St. Dom’s (10-0-1) has allowed four.

“I think we’re playing well,” Haskell said. “We just have to be consistent and stay disciplined. The team that causes the other team to be unbalanced will be the team that wins.”

The teams have traded MVC championships the past two seasons. Hall-Dale won 2-0 two years ago while the Saints won 2-1 last year before the Bulldogs went on to win the Western Maine Class C title. Given their positions in the Heal point standings, they’re on course to meet again this year for the conference title.

“The way it will play out we should both be at Hall-Dale on the 24th,” Haskell said.

The Bulldogs have a pair of goal scorers in junior Nat Crocker, who has 13, and senior Konnor Longfellow, who has 20. The Saints are a little more spread out with several goal scorers but none in double figures. Ryan Lutrzykowski, Chase Hainey and Anthony Rotolico are three of their better returning players, but Haskell said it’s a mistake to key on one or two.

“They spread the offense around,” he said. “All the kids on their team can put the ball in the net.”

The Bulldogs upset Waynflete in penalty kicks in the Western Maine final at Thomas last fall, but they don’t hold any home-field advantage.

“I think it’s going to help both teams,” Haskell said. “It’s going to be a fast-paced game with strong midfield play from both teams. I think the top players will neutralize each other. The key is going to be the complementary players.”

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The Erskine girls were 7-2-1 heading into Thursday’s game at Winslow and playing well. The Eagles dropped games to Maranacook and Leavitt and last week tied Morse and have a chance to redeem those decisions in their final three games.

The Eagles are getting solid play front to back. Up front, senior Jade Canak has come on strong after a slow start and is scoring well. She’s using her speed more judiciously, according to coach Ryan Nored.

“She’s become more patient,” Nored said. “Now she is either looking for a teammate or beating the goalie one-on-one.”

At midfield, junior Avery Bond, senior Emma Wilkinson and sophomore Emma McCormac are offensive catalysts. Wilkinson and Bond are veteran players who see the field well and create space for themselves and their teammates while McCormac has been a pleasant surprise.

“The last four or five games, she’s turned it on,” Nored said. “She can place the ball on a dime.”

In the back, goalkeeper Cassandra Ray has improved steadily since taking over in the fourth game of the year for Mattie Lajoie after she sustained a concussion.

“She saved us (Tuesday) night,” Nored said of Erskine’s 2-0 win over MCI. “MCI should have beaten us. Cassandra stopped two breakaways.”

• • •

The Gardiner boys remain in the tournament picture despite a 3-7-1 record heading into today’s game at Medomak Valley. The Tigers are in the 13th and final tournament spot in Eastern Maine Class B and have played better than their record indicates.

“We’ve lost two games 1-0 and two games 2-1,” Gardiner coach Nick Wallace said. “Our biggest issue is we’ve got to find someone to put it into the back of the net.”

Wallace describes junior Alex LaPointe “as the hardest working guy up top,” and has tried pairing him with several different combinations in an effort to spark the offense

The defense has been solid with seniors Trevor Quirion and Bobby Rose and junior Gabe Brown in front of first-year goalkeeper Kenneth Moore. After Medomak Valley, the Tigers finish with Morse and Leavitt at home.

• • •

The Kents Hill girls are playing well, primarily with Maine talent. The Huskies are 2-2-1, with their only losses coming to undefeated New Hampton School. Sunday, they lost 1-0 to New Hampton in the closing minutes.

“We have some talented players, but we have a small number of kids,” Kents Hill coach Steve Bell said. “All but three or four are from Maine.”

Senior Sara Grenier, who transferred from Messalonskee after her sophomore year, leads the team in scoring while former Lawrence High School player Faith Forsythe is strong at midfield along with Riley Kirk of Gardiner. Marissa Tarrio of Augusta plays sweeper and Carmen Adams of Kents Hill is a forward.

Junior Emma Curnin, at 6-foot-1, is strong in goal.

“She’s been great,” Bell said. “She allowed one goal in the last four games.”

The Huskies are 2-0-1 in Maine Association of Independent Athletic Directors (MAISAD) play and Bell said they have a good shot at the title.

“It’s going to be between us and Gould,” he said.,

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

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