After graduating a large senior class, including one of his top players, Mt. Abram boys soccer coach Darren Allen wasn’t quite sure what what to expect this fall.

Now 12 games into the season, Allen has an answer. The Roadrunners are 11-1-0 and entered play Wednesday ranked second in Class C South Heal points.

“We had a lot of holes to fill from last year and I didn’t know how exactly we were going to do that, and we’ve also had some injuries we’ve encountered,” Allen said. “I’m really happy with how the boys responded.”

Entering the final week of the high school soccer regular season, the Mt. Abram boys are one of several central Maine squads gearing up for the playoffs. Others in the region will need a little help to qualify for the postseason.

Here’s a look at how the playoff field are taking shape …




Winslow (11-0-1), the defending B North champion, trails only John Bapst (10-0-1) in the playoff hunt. Winslow has overcome injuries and illnesses to stay in the hunt.

“Two games ago, we (only) had one sub,” Winslow head coach Aaron Wolfe said. “This past week, we played three games in four days. The first game, we had three subs. The second game, we had one sub and the last game, we were back to two subs. A lot of those players had to play every minute for three games in four days.”

Among the bright spots for the Black Raiders this season has been the play of senior forward Andrew Poulin, who has scored more than 30 goals this season.

“He’s definitely one of the players that has kept it together for us,” Wolfe said. “It’s nice having that constant player that’s going to do things for us that you can always count on.”

Cony (6-4-2) sits at No. 6 in B North. After going 3-3-1 in their first seven games, the Rams have started to heat up, going 3-1-1 in their last five.


No. 11 Waterville (6-6-0), playing under first-year head coach Colby Clarke, finds itself in a fight for a playoff berth. The Purple Panthers are 2-2 in their last four games, including a 3-1 win over Class A Messalonskee on Oct. 6.

Hall-Dale High School’s Jackson Leach knocks a Mt. Abram’s shot on net astray during a soccer game Tuesday in Farmingdale. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

“The kids have really tried to understand and develop what I teach them,” Clarke said. “To play soccer the right way and really capitalize on set pieces (of the game), throw-ins, corner kicks, free kicks. That’s kind of what I, growing up, learned what to do. We’ve really tried to hone in on those set plays. Soccer is a free-flowing game. On set pieces, you can kind of slow the game down, set up something and understand what’s going to happen, which you can’t do a lot of the time when the ball is just rolling around.”

No. 4 Gardiner (7-4-1) and No. 5 Erskine Academy (5-3-4) are firmly in the Class B South playoff mix.

Maine Central Institute, a No. 11 seed in Class C North last season, has become one of the surprises this fall. The Huskies (10-2-0) entered play Wednesday as the No. 6 seed. The Huskies have allowed 10 goals all season, five of which came in a season-opening loss to Winslow on Sept. 2. Mount View, the No. 3 seed in C North last season, is also in the hunt at 8-3-1.

In C South, several central Maine teams are jockeying for position. Mt. Abram, which reached the regional final last year, has allowed just two goals since a 2-0 loss to Lisbon on Sept. 7. Morgan Thibodeau has sparked the team,  scoring 19 goals while adding 12 assists. But Allen credited the entire team for how they’ve charged through the season.

“I didn’t know what to expect because we had a whole new crew in the back line, new goalkeepers,” said Allen, who lost top scorer Cam Walters to graduation. “They’ve responded excellently. I’m really happy.”


Annual contenders Monmouth Academy (9-1-1) and Maranacook (7-3-2) sit at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively in Heal points. The Mustangs opened the season with a nine-game winning streak, outscoring opponents by a 47-2 margin during that stretch.

Gardiner’s Patrick Mansir (10) and Erskine’s Cooper Grondin go after a ball during an Oct. 4 boys soccer match in South China. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“I’m just hoping we play our best and get our kids back from injury,” Allen said. “I just want to get the best possible seed. I don’t want the (No. 4 or No.5) slot at all, we’ve been stuck there a couple times. That’s a tough slot to be in. … Monmouth could surprise some people. They have some real offensive firepower, a good striker, and defensively they’re solid. It’s almost a mirror image of ourselves. Lisbon is tough, too. They give us a tough time. Anything can happen come playoff time. Anything. All it takes is one or two mistakes, you’re down and then you’re fighting for your playoff lives.”

Led by the play of Max Viselli, Hunter Mason and Marco Ladner, Richmond (9-3-1) is No. 4 in Class D South. No. 7 Rangeley (6-5-0) should be in the field, while No. 10 Valley (4-5-0) will need a strong finish earn a berth.

Both No. 9 Mt. Blue (4-7-1) and No. 10 Messalonskee (2-9-1) are hoping to turn its regular season struggles into playoff successes. The Eagles, who have lost six straight, will look to upend No. 7 Brewer (6-4-1) and Skowhegan (0-10-1) in their final two games of the regular season.




Mt. Blue has been one of the top teams in Class A North all season. The Cougars (11-1-0) sit No. 2 in A North Heal points after dropping a 3-0 loss to No. 1 Brunswick (10-0-2) on Oct. 7.

“We feel pretty good heading into the rest of the season that if we catch (Brunswick) at a neutral site, or home, if it ends up being that way, that’s fine,” Mt. Blue head coach Griffin Conlogue said. “I’m happy we end our regular season with Bangor and Oxford Hills. They’re two of the stronger teams in our league and, regardless of the result, will prepare us for the playoffs.”

Senior KK Daggett has been a force offensively for the Cougars. Conlogue said the recent loss to the Dragons can help prepare Mt. Blue for the playoffs.

“We feel like we’re one of the top teams at this point,” Conlogue said. “We’ve won 11 games, so it’s hard to not consider yourself that. It kind of gives you a different perspective of what you kind of need to do to get over the hump or catch up and close the gap entering the playoffs.”

No. 8 Messalonskee (4-7-1) has shown improvement under first-year head coach Kirk Soule. The Eagles have won two of their last four games, including a 2-0 victory over Waterville on Oct. 6.

“I think the biggest thing for us is that there’s been a steady progression all year,” Soule said. “Right now, we’re playing our best soccer, no doubt, right at the right time.”


Soule credited the play of goalie Kiana Carrier, who had never played the position entering this season.

Messalonskee’s Emma Parsons, right, battles for the ball with Waterville defender Ava Moody during an Oct, 6 girls soccer game in Oakland. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

In B South, No. 8 Gardiner (7-6-0) has found the right time to heat up, winning three of its last four games, outscoring opponents by an 11-3 margin.

“We’ve had a few more lows than what we want,” Gardiner head coach Jess Prince said. “But there’s definitely been some highs in there, too. Our message to the girls has been, everything from here on out has serious playoff implications. Here we on, right on the bubble. We have to treat everything like, ‘Okay, do you want your season to end next week? Or do you want it to go a little bit deeper?’ I think they’re receiving that message well. Hopefully, we’re peaking at the right time here.”

Waterville (7-3-1) has continued its success this season under new head coach Ed Worcester. The Panthers entered Wednesday sitting fourth in B North. No. 7 Nokomis (5-6-1) also appears well-positioned to reach the playoffs, while No. 10 Winslow (5-5-1) and No. 11 Lawrence (2-9-1) are chasing berths.

MCI (12-0-0) is No. 2 in C North, trailing only Bucksport (11-0-0). The Huskies have allowed just six goals, while Olivia Varney has scored more than 30 goals on the season offensively. No. 11 Mount View (4-7-1) is battling with No. 10 Orono (4-8-0) for a playoff berth as well.

Hall-Dale (12-0-0) has been nearly perfect this season in C South, and sits at the top of the standings. The Bulldogs have scored 91 goals — with Rita Benoit, Marie Benoit and Hayden Madore among a plethora of playmakers for the team. No. 2 Maranacook (11-0-1), with standout play from Addie Watson, Natalie Mohlar, Phoebe Bell and Lily Caban, is No. 2. No. 3 Mt. Abram (8-2-1), No. 5. Monmouth/Winthrop (10-3-0) and No. 7 Madison (6-5-0) round out the field.

Richmond (9-4-0) — fresh off the heels of head coach Troy Kendrick’s 400th career victory — sits at No. 2 in D South. No. 3 Rangeley (7-3-0) and No. 7 Temple Academy (5-5-1) are also securely in the field.

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