Pilar Elias, Lydia Roy and Sarah Shoulta can poke and prod to find or even create holes in the best defenses in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference. So if Waterville coach Ian Wilson wants to scout his own defense’s weaknesses, he knows where to turn.

“We try and match our attack against our defense in practice and see what holes we have,” Wilson said.

Therefore it should be no surprise the Panthers have been just as good at stopping goals as their offense has been at scoring them through the first quarter of the season. Waterville has outscored its opponents, 25-0, and is unbeaten.

One of the defensive keys has been sophomore midfielder Jordan Jabar, Wilson said.

“We gave her some very difficult defensive assignments last year at outside back. We’ve moved her to center-midfielder this year and given her a tremendous amount of responsibility and she’s responded beautifully,” Wilson said.

And, yes, the vaunted Waterville offense is still relentless. Elias leads the way with 12 goals. But Wilson doesn’t want the Panthers to get overly reliant on the senior forward or any particular brand of attack.

“We try to address both sides of the ball,” Wilson said. “We work on being able to do a lot of different things on offense. You don’t want to be one-dimensional because good teams will see that one dimension and stop it.”

Some of those good teams are in the Panthers’ immediate future. MCI (3-1) hosts them at homecoming Saturday. Maranacook (3-0-1) travels to Waterville on Tuesday. Both games present an opportunity for the Panthers to pick up some Heal Points. Despite their perfect record, they find themselves looking up at teams with as many as two losses in the Class B East standings.

“These are really, really big Heal Points-worthy games for us,” Wilson said. “We have to focus on our better rivals and not be complacent just because we’ve gotten off to a strong start.”

• • •

Erskine Academy boys coach Phil Hubbard is pleased with his unbeaten team’s play heading into what he calls the “heat” of the Eagles’ schedule.

“We’re finding the net. We’re scoring and we’re scoring with multiple players,” he said. “I’ve been very happy with how the offense is flowing.”

The Eagles have scored five or more goals in each of their four victories, 26 overall. Luke Peabody leads the way with seven goals. Sam Wilkinson has six and Ryan Rodrigue five. But the Eagles have been able to score in bunches because someone different is ready to contribute to the offense from game to game.

Two of the Eagles’ co-favorites for the KVAC Coastal Division are up next — at Camden Hills on Friday and home against Oceanside on Tuesday. Lincoln Academy, which played Camden Hills to a 0-0 tie Sep. 12 and lost to Oceanside, 2-0, three days earlier, also looms for Sep. 30.

• • •

A quirk in the schedule gave Maine Central Institute five consecutive home games to start the season. The Huskies went 3-1 through the first four and complete the homestand with Saturday’s homecoming game against Waterville.

The Huskies make their road debut Tuesday at Spruce Mountain in Jay, return home for one more game next Friday against Gardiner, then hit the road again for five games in a row. They aren’t scheduled to play in Pittsfield again until their final home game on Oct. 17 against Spruce Mountain.

With freshmen comprising one-third of his roster, coach Carl Jones is interested to see how his team reacts on the road.

“When we go on the road, who knows? Maybe we’re a good road team. Maybe we’re not,” he said. “It’s a young enough group where you’re not too sure what’s going to show up every day.”

Home has been kind to the young Huskies, who have wins over Nokomis, Leavitt and Winslow under their belt before suffering a 3-1 loss to Maranacook on Tuesday.

“We’ve got a lot of freshmen out there. We start three and we’ve got five on the team, so we’re subbing them in, too, and they’re at key positions,” Jone said.

Freshman forward Sydney Morton has had the biggest impact among the rookies, scoring at least once in each game and leading the Huskies in goals.

Jones said the speedy Morton can get even better before the season is over.

“Soon she’s going to break out because she can play,” he said. “She’s been hampered with leg cramps and hasn’t been able to play (at 100 percent) in a lot of games. If she ever gets it all together, there’s no question she can play.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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