Wildcat boys exit in semifinal round

11 years ago

Wildcat boys exit in semifinal round

By Kevin Sjoberg
Sports Reporter

    With tempered expectations entering the season, the Presque Isle Wildcats put together a brilliant run during the regular season and their first two playoff games.

Contributed photo/Dave Allen Graphics

    ANSU MORROW of the Presque Isle Wildcats gets a shot off against Old Town defenders Garvey Melmed (8) and Jacob Ketch during last Wednesday’s Eastern Maine Class B quarterfinal match played in Presque Isle. Morrow scored both goals in the 2-1 win.  SP-piotbsocDA-dcx2-sh-45

    However, injuries decimated PI during the post-season and the squad was exploited by Ellsworth, the undefeated and No. 1 team in the Class B ranks, by a score of 5-0 on the Eagles’ home field Saturday.
    The Wildcats lost two senior midfield starters in their preliminary playoff win over Gardiner Oct. 26. Devin Schinhofen went down with a severe knee injury, while Aaron Kofstad suffered a concussion and neither competed in the two matches that followed.
    Presque Isle survived its quarterfinal match against Old Town last Wednesday, although it looked bleak with 10 minutes to play in regulation and the team down, 1-0.
    Senior Ansu Morrow came up with a clutch performance, netting the tying goal with 9:04 left in regulation before notching the game-winner with 4:12 to play in overtime.
    “We knew someone was going to have to step up big for us with our two guys out, and Ansu did exactly that,” said PI coach Joe Greaves. “He showed great leadership out there and put the ball in the net for us when we needed it most.
    “He scored the goals, but our whole team stepped it up and played a great game. That was a good team we played and we couldn’t have beaten them without everyone playing great for us,” Greaves added.
    Ben Nickerson and Chase Norton had the assists on Morrow’s tallies.
    Cody Lyford had another strong game in goal with nine saves, many coming on athletic plays, while facing 15 shots.
    Three days later, PI went up against an Eagle team that Greaves admitted was just “too big, fast and athletic for us.”
    “We had a lot of young players starting and it’s a tough environment to play in down there. It was a very rough, physical game and we just never got comfortable,” he said.
    Ben Haslam scored twice and assisted on a third goal as Ellsworth jumped out to a 3-0 lead at halftime and was never threatened in recording its 12th shutout of the season.
    Despite the season-ending loss, Greaves was pleased with his over-achieving team which ended up with a 13-3-1 overall record.
    “Our guys fought hard and earned everything they achieved this year.  They truly defined the word team and achieved much more than many thought they would,” said the third-year coach. “We had a great regular season and did a good job at setting ourselves up for an Eastern Maine championship run, but things just didn’t go our way down the stretch with some key injuries happening.
    “I’m very proud of our guys, though. Even with the injuries, they never made any excuses and just went out and played hard,” he added.