The regular season is quickly winding down, and local soccer teams are positioning themselves well for the upcoming playoffs.
The season’s final day is Monday, with the final Heal Point standings expected to be tabulated and released next Wednesday, Oct. 22.
In standings that came out Tuesday morning, the Presque Isle boys are in first place in Eastern Maine Class B with their 11-0-1 record. The Wildcats lead No. 2 Camden Hills (10-2-1) by 28 points and still have Fort Kent at home (tonight at 7 p.m.) and Caribou on the road (Saturday at 3 p.m.) remaining on its schedule. Medomak Valley (10-3) and Ellsworth (10-1-1) are currently running third and fourth, respectively, in the division.
The Wildcats shut out Bucksport Saturday, 4-0. Russ Mortland had a hat trick and capped it off with a header off a corner kick midway through the second half. Eric Morris had PI’s other goal and Carter Melendez-Christiansen and Nathaniel Postell picked up assists.
“We seem to be getting stronger and our schedule has played a big part in helping us with the Heal Point system,” said PI coach Scott Young. “We play a lot of the quality teams in Eastern Maine C and D, and that continues this week against Fort Kent and Caribou.”
In Class D boys, Easton is ranked second with its 10-2-1 record and 58.75 tournament index points. Katahdin, at 11-0-1, leads the way with 93.68 points.
Fort Fairfield is seventh at 8-5 and Central Aroostook eighth at 7-4-1. Yesterday’s match between the two teams in Mars Hill was expected to go a long ways in determining which team would host a prelim and which might find itself on the road for its first-round match. The Panthers, who haven’t played since before harvest, wrap up their slate at home against winless East Grand Thursday.
The Tigers beat Limestone/MSSM last Tuesday, 4-0, with Travis Noyes and Josh Churchill scoring two goals each and Josh Booth contributing a pair of assists to back the shutout goaltending of Austin Dufour, who saved three of nine shots. On Thursday, FF fell to undefeated Madawaska, the No. 1 team in Class C, by a 3-1 score. Booth scored a second-half goal to make it 2-1 at the time, but the Owls’ Shawn Parker completed his hat trick to hold off the upset-minded Fort squad.
Ashland, in ninth place at 8-5, could also surge in for a home preliminary contest with a victory Thursday at home against Wisdom. The Hornets blanked Van Buren Friday, 6-0, as the brother combination of Kenny and Jeremy Tarr netted two goals each and Tony Baker and Lucas Hafford had one each. Kevin Paradis said Carl Nemer still has a hairline fracture to his leg and will not return this season, but the coach noted his team is making adjustments to the defense prior to the playoffs.
“I still believe that our team has a chance to go deep into the playoffs, but our key to success will be our defense,” Paradis said.
For the girls, Winslow has overtaken Presque Isle for the top position in EM Class B. The Black Raiders are 12-1-1 and have 126.78 tourney index points, while the Lady Wildcats were 11-1 and with 119.51 points entering last night’s home game against Caribou. Since Winslow’s final game is against 0-13 Mt. View, PI should be able to regain the No. 1 slot by winning one of its final two matches.
PI finishes its schedule Monday at home against Fort Kent, the No. 1 team in EM ‘C.’ Medomak Valley is currently third at 11-1-1 and Caribou is fourth at 10-2, making last night’s match pivotal for both the Vikes and the Lady ‘Cats.
Presque Isle has been on a scoring rampage, having scored at least nine goals in four of its last seven games while allowing only seven goals all season. Coach Ralph Michaud’s squad eased past Old Town, the sixth-place team in EM Class B, at home last Tuesday, 9-1, with Brittany Bearden scoring a hat trick and Sarah Porter and Katrina Whittier both scoring twice.
PI went on to beat Bucksport Saturday, 13-0, with Porter, Kayla Richards and Kayla Legassie all notching hat tricks and Alyssa Huston and Amber Griffin chipping in with their first goals of the season.
Michaud said all 18 field players have now scored at least one goal this season for the ‘Cats.
Southern Aroostook appears to have the top seed wrapped up in Class D with their 10-1-2 record and 85.98 tournament index points. Ashland is currently in second at 9-3-1 and with 75.91 points and cannot climb any higher with only winless Wisdom left on its regular season schedule.
Washburn is fourth at 7-4-1 and could secure a place in the top four pending results of contests against SA (yesterday) and at No. 3 Van Buren Thursday.
Fort Fairfield is seventh (7-5-1) and Central Aroostook 12th (4-8). The two teams squared off yesterday in crucial match for the Lady Panthers if they want to be guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, as only the top-12 will qualify. CA entertains 2-10 East Grand Thursday night in its regular season finale.
Fort Fairfield beat Limestone/MSSM last Tuesday and then lost to Madawaska Thursday, 3-1. Kaitlyn McLaughlin scored Fort’s goal off a Rose-Mary Williams assist against the Owls.
Easton is 4-9 and out of the playoff hunt. The Bears closed out their regular season prior to the harvest recess.
The preliminary playoff round of the tournament is set for Saturday, Oct. 22, with the quarterfinals on Wednesday, Oct. 29.
Contributed photo/Dave Allen Graphics
PI FRESHMAN Josh Allen heads the ball to teammate Warren Zubrick during Saturday’s 4-0 shutout victory at Bucksport. The Wildcats are still unbeaten at 11-0-1 heading into matches this week against Fort Kent and Caribou.
Contributed photo/Steve Leighton
KATIE DONOVAN of the Fort Fairfield Tigers taps the ball away during her team’s victory over Limestone/MSSM last Tuesday.
Contributed photo/Dave Allen Graphics
ISAAC LAJOIE of Presque Isle attempts to move past Bucksport’s Shawn Powell during Saturday’s 4-0 victory by the Wildcats.