Lady Shires eyeing playoff spot

13 years ago

By Gloria Austin  
Staff Writer

    Challenging is a word that Houlton varsity coach Tim Tweedie used to describe this year’s Houlton Lady Shires’ season.
     “I expect every opponent to give us their best,” said Tweedie, whose team went 12-2 a year ago. “We need to be ready to play every single game.”
ImagePioneer Times photo/Joseph Cyr
PRESSURE — Houlton’s Chelsi Murray puts pressure on Hodgdon goalie Kim Levesque, while Cierra Willette moves in.

    The Lady Shires opened their season against perennial powerhouses Madawaska and Fort Kent, coming away with two losses.
    “In our first game, we actually outshot Madawaska,” said Tweedie, “but they just hit the corners better than we did. It was a tough loss to take because I know we played as well as they did.”
    The Lady Shires suffered a 4-1 defeat.
    In their next outing, the Lady Shires faced what Tweedie believes to be his team’s “toughest competition” in Fort Kent.
    “That was a hard fought defensive battle,” he said. “I felt our team really came to play and I was extremely proud of their effort.”
    The Lady Shires were shut out 1-0.
    Last Tuesday, the Houlton girls finally cracked the winning column with a 3-1 victory over host Lee Academy, as Abby Kinens, Amanda Fogarty and Makala Folsom scored unassisted goals. Marina Cameron turned back five of 22 shots faced.
    For Lee, Alana Hamilton kicked in the lone tally and goalie Felicia Thornton rejected eight of 15 shots.
    “We may have stumbled a little bit out of the gate, but I expect nothing less than 10 to 12 wins and a playoff spot again this year,” Tweedie said. “Because we are counting on so many young players, I think we will be a different team by the end of the season.”
    The Lady Shires are led by a strong core of returning players, including four-year varsity players, Taylor Bailey and Chelsi Murray.
    “Taylor and Chelsi are the glue of the senior class,” Tweedie said. “Taylor anchors the defense at both stopper and sweeper positions. She is rock solid in the backfield. Chelsi is returning from an injury-plagued junior year, but has come back strong. She will play minutes at both forward and midfield. I am looking for double digits in both goals and assists.”
    Two other keys to Houlton’s success are Fogarty (a double-digit scorer) and Kinens, who is coming back from a broken ankle.
    “Amanda is coming off a stellar sophomore season where she led all of Eastern Maine in assists,” Tweedie said.
    At the time of Kinen’s injury a year ago, she had already scored 14 goals in nine games.
    “Abby is a natural goal-scorer,” said Tweedie. “We need Abby to return to that form if we plan on being successful this season.”
    Tweedie is also expecting returning starters Makala Folsom, Mikaelah Tracy, Tara Beals and Marina Cameron to provide added depth to the ranks.
    “I’m also counting on contributions from several freshmen,” Tweedie added. “This year’s freshmen group is big with eight kids. They are very hardworking and talented. The freshmen should win a lot of games before they graduate.”
    Rounding out the Houlton squad are: senior, Collette Ritchie; junior Ashley Drew; sophomores, Ally Carmichael, Emily Fitzpatrick, Emily Hanson, Rebekah Holmes and Sarah Bouchard, with freshmen Abby Deveau, Alana Pratt, Bre Longstaff, Caitlin Miles, Chenise Tingley, Sam Keegan, Jessy Dickison and Tanika Toby.
    As the Lady Shires continue progressing through the season, Tweedie envisions a potential playoff run.
    “Once we get rolling, I expect good things from the 2010 Lady Shires,” he said. “It’s not how you begin … it’s how you finish.”