GARDINER — Twenty years ago, a little-known Tejano musical group that went by the name “The Texas Tornados” made the mainstream when one of its songs landed on the soundtrack for the 1996 Kevin Costner golf film “Tin Cup.”

The title of that song: “A Little Bit Is Better Than Nada.”

That’s exactly how the Gardiner girls soccer team felt after a 0-0 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B draw against Nokomis. While a win (and perhaps more importantly a goal) would have been nice, splitting the points with the Warriors temporarily moved the Tigers (3-9-1) into the 13th and final playoff spot in Class B North with one regular season game remaining.

“I’m in the green. We’re good,” Gardiner head coach Chad Kirk said, noting the Maine Principals’ Association web site’s ranking of teams that denotes seedings within the playoff structure in green. “There’s still a lot of big games that have to be played, The good part of it is that we had playoff atmosphere today and we had a playoff atmosphere on Wednesday, and we’ve got a good opportunity to move up still.”

Nokomis (8-3-3) dipped slightly to eighth in the Heal point standings, but the Warriors did extend their current unbeaten streak to seven games. Though they were shut out for just the second time all season, the Warriors’ current form has head coach Todd Pelton pleased.

“They’re ecstatic about that tie, whereas we need to really step up our level of play for our last couple of games,” said Pelton, whose side has tied each of its last three outings. “We really want to get to that sixth seed. If I’m going to take anything good away from this it’s that we still haven’t lost. We’re not giving up goals.”


Nokomis senior Austin Taylor echoed her coach’s sentiments, believing that the Warriors could have had more than a draw.

“I really think we just had a flat game. I don’t think this is an obstacle in our season at all,” Taylor said. “Frustrated? Yes, for today, but tomorrow’s a new day. Tuesday’s a new game and we have to move forward.”

The first half generated little attack from either team, which was just the way the Tigers wanted it. Playing with five backs and only one striker on the top, Gardiner allowed Nokomis to enjoy most of the possession while limiting everything to the outsides.

From there, Nokomis couldn’t get the volume of services it wanted. When the Warriors were able to put crosses into the 18-yard box, they found themselves unable to get clean touches for a finishing strike.

“They had seven people behind the ball. It’s hard to penetrate that,” Pelton said. “We played the ball really wide, we were getting crosses. But, again, when you have seven people behind the ball, it’s hard to score against that.”

The game opened up in the second half, though only marginally.


Gardiner generated its best opportunity in the 56th minute when Lauren Chadwick flicked on to the feet of her cousin Anna Chadwick, who was making an overlapping run along the right touchline. Anna Chadwick’s cross was cleared feebly, allowing Logan Granholm to step into an ambitious shot from 30 yards away that fell straight into the arms of Nokomis goalkeeper Aren Herrick (eight saves).

Ten minutes later, the Warriors had perhaps their best chance to end things in regulation when a hard foul by Tiger goalkeeper Tabytha Hembree just outside the box set up Nokomis’ Ashley Connor to the right side of the box. Connor’s bid was deflected in traffic in front and kept out.

“We just had a hard time putting the ball in the back of the net, that’s all there is to it,” Taylor said. “I think we came out a little flat, but it’s not a big deal. We’re moving on and looking forward to the next game.”

Much like the second half had been, extra time saw each team with spells of possession but little on the attacking end. A short clearout of the Tiger end went straight to Alyssa Ellis, and Ellis launched a rocket ticketed for the top of the net before Hembree leapt and knocked the shot just over the crossbar.

Hembree finished with nine saves and was the busier of the two keepers.

“She was good,” Kirk said. “I wish she wouldn’t be so aggressive outside the box, but inside the box, she’s great.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

Twitter: @TBarrettGWc

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