No. 1 and No. 2 Class C girls squads to meet Friday

12 years ago

By Gloria Austin
Staff Writer
    A year ago, the Houlton Lady Shires finished their season at 10-5-1, earning their way into the Class C Eastern Maine playoffs with a 2-1 preliminary win over No. 11 George Stevens Academy before falling to No. 3 Orono, 2-1.
    This year, the Lady Shires are back and off to a very good start as they are 6-1 on the season. The only loss they suffered so far has been a 3-2 defeat to Fort Kent, which scored the game-winner with five minutes left in the contest.
    “It was a bit of a heartbreaker,” said Houlton coach Tim Tweedie.
    The Lady Shires have outscored their opponents 29-4 and have outshot them 180-30 so far this year and are sitting as the number-two seed in Class C Eastern Maine with a 6-1 record.
    “There are many girls who are playing well,” explained Tweedie. “This group has really bought into working hard and playing as a team. We pride ourselves in our conditioning and our ability to play defense. We hate giving our opponents opportunities to score goals against us. So far we’ve done a pretty good job at eliminating chances.”
    Through the first six games, Houlton had eight different girls in the scoring column.
    “We are not really depending on one or two girls to do the lion’s share of the work on offense,” explained Tweedie. “It’s going to be difficult for our opponents to focus on any one individual.”
    Defense and dedication are two crucial components to the Lady Shires’ success.
    “Everyone on the team knows that if they want to play, they must be committed to defense,” Tweedie said. “If you come to play defense every day, you know you should be in every game. Another key to this year’s success has been the girls’ dedication over the summer.”
    The Lady Shires participated in two different summer tournaments and had 18 girls attend soccer camp in July.
    “That extra work and exposure to other talented players really helped elevate our level of play,” Tweedie said. “At this point in the season, I’m pleased with how we’ve played, but we do have a long way to go before the playoffs.”
    On Friday, the Lady Shires will go to Fort Kent to try to avenge their only loss to the  number-one ranked Warriors (6-3-1).
    “It’s a huge game,” said Tweedie.
    In last week’s action, the Lady Shires topped host Calais, 3-1 on Saturday.
    Katie Condon scored twice for Houlton, while Marina Cameron was credited with a goal scored by Calais on their own net.
    Last Thursday, the Lady Shires shut out Mattanawcook Academy, 2-0, behind Mikaelah Tracy’s game-winner with 4:52 left in the first half of action. Houlton’s Bre Longstaff added an insurance goal in the second half, while Alana Pratt and Natalie Hill each added assists.
    Houlton keeper Cameron picked up her fourth shutout by making one save.
    For the Lynx, Taylor Blood set back 12 of 23 shots faced.
    Last Tuesday, the Lady Shires blanked host Schenck of East Millinocket, 2-0.
    Abby Deveau set up a Hill goal with 26:15 left in first-half action, while Pratt scored unassisted with 9:48 left in the game.
    Houlton outshot Schenck, 36-4, with goalie Cameron making one save, while Schenck’s keeper Kristin Thompson made 27 saves.