WATERVILLE — When Waterville captain Michael Oliveira heard a new student who might be able to help the soccer team had moved to Waterville last December, his imagination took him to soccer hotbeds around the globe such as Brazil, Spain, England or Germany.

Oliveira eventually learned the student, Peter Mayhorn, was from a land known more for its cheese and football of the pigskin variety — Wisconsin.

But it turns out Oliveira’s initial instincts, if not his geography, were spot on.

“He was honestly a really big surprise,” said Oliveira, a senior midfielder. “I was hoping to get a foreign exchange student or something. But coming from Wisconsin, I was pretty hyped about that. He’s definitely been a big help.”

Mayhorn, a speedy junior striker, is already making a big impact for the Purple Panthers, scoring two goals in each of their first two games.

He scored twice in the season-opener, a 5-2 win at Nokomis, then helped the Purple Panthers rally from a two-goal deficit with two goals and an assist in their 3-3 tie with Winslow in their home debut on Tuesday.

“Having a dangerous striker like that who can run and finish is huge, especially because they have to double- and triple-team him. It opens up opportunities for other people,” Waterville coach Kerry Serdjenian said. “We have two really dangerous wings, and it kind of frees things up for them outside because they have to pay so much attention to Peter.”

Mayhorn hails from Wausau, a city of about 40,000 in central Wisconsin. He got to know some of his teammates (and other central Maine soccer players) as a member of the Central Maine United U16 squad last spring. But he has been champing at the bit to put on the Waterville kit since last winter.

“I wanted to play earlier but since I came after the season, I was just looking forward to playing this season and worked my hardest,” said Mayhorn, who lists basketball and track and field as his other sports.

“It definitely helped me to come here. I like the smaller school. It helps me to get to know a lot more people,” he said. “I love the team. Our chemistry is great.”

• • •

Monmouth Academy opened its season on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Oak Hill, five days after the official start of the regular season.

The Mustangs were scheduled to open the season last Friday at home against Mountain Valley, but the Falcons had to cancel due to bus problems. Monmouth hoped to make the game up on Saturday, but Mountain Valley players and coaches had other commitments. So they couldn’t play their first official game until Wednesday.

“We had three weeks of preseason,” Monmouth coach Gary Trafton said. “I’m still not sure when we’re playing Mountain Valley because I thought we had rescheduled them to Oct. 3, but talking to the Oak Hill coach after the game, she said they were scheduled to play them Oct. 3. We’ll have a hard time getting them in because nobody wants to play four games in a week.”

The Mustangs, who started the preseason with unexpectedly low numbers, played their opener in heat and humidity with just 12 players due to injuries.

“We had, I guess, six kids who never came out of the game. We rotated the rest whenever we could,” Trafton said. “The kids did really well.”

• • •

Monmouth’s scheduling headaches don’t end with Mountain Valley, not that the Mustangs are alone in that regard. Girls teams in the Mountain Valley Conference had to scramble to fill their 14-game schedules after Telstar opted on Sept. 2 not to field a team this year due to low numbers.

Monmouth had to replace two games it was supposed to play against the Rebels. It added second matches with opponents already on their schedule — at Boothbay on Oct. 7 and home against Madison on Oct. 19 in the season finale.

Other local teams besides Madison had to fill one vacancy in their schedule. Winthrop will now play at Lisbon on Sept. 21. Hall-Dale and Mt. Abram will meet under the lights at Mt Abram on Oct. 19. Oak Hill added a road trip to Rumford to take on Mountain Valley on Oct. 3. Carrabec will play at Wiscasset. The date has yet to be announced.

• • •

Cony coach Jon Millett was pleased with his team’s 1-0-1 start heading into Thursday’s game with Camden Hills. He also knows it will take some time for the Rams to figure out where they stand in the tough Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference.

“There’s a lot of parity in the league this year and I guess we’re part of that parity,” he said.

With nine goals in its first two games — a 6-1 win over Lawrence and a 3-3 tie with Mt. Blue — Cony’s offense has already shown how far it’s come from last year’s 2-11-1 campaign. Nate Parlin exploded for four goals in the season-opener. Connor Perry has three goals through the two games.

“We won’t get shut out of too many games. It’s just a matter of scoring more goals than we give up,” Millett said.

• • •

Hall-Dale’s Melvin H. Simmons Athletic Complex is undergoing a facelift that will be most immediately noticeable to fans attending soccer games this season. The project includes a new 255-seat stadium bleacher between the softball field and soccer field/track. The bleachers are ADA accessible and are set up next to a nearly-completed storage/press box building. Two pedestrian access gates will be installed near each of the complex’s main gates and a 150-foot walkway leading to the bleachers will also be added.

Additional work has been completed around the complex, including a wireless PA system on all fields, a new and larger baseball backstop, and a new solar-powered field hockey scoreboard.The tennis courts were re-patched, re-sealed and re-painted. The Melvin H. Simmons Complex sign will be re-installed at a later date.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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