HODGDON, Maine — The Hodgdon girls notched their second win of the season Wednesday with a 3-1 victory over East Grand.
It has been a difficult start to the season for the Hawks. Third-year coach Brian Barton has had to juggle his starting lineup multiple times due to injuries. And with 18 girls on the team, with no junior varsity program, finding enough playing time for everyone is a constant challenge.
The Hawks are 2-5 on the season and are currently ninth in Eastern Class D. The top 13 squads make the postseason. Hodgdon’s other win on the season was a 5-0 road victory against Katahdin Sept. 5.
Against East Grand last Wednesday, Jill Gough scored a pair of goals and Sydney Crane added a solo goal as Hodgdon notched the victory. Hannah Sherman, Maddi Merritt and Rachel Harmon each had an assist for the Hawks.
Morgan Crone scored the lone goal for East Grand of Danforth.
Hodgdon has a plethora of players on the team, representing a wide array of experience with four seniors, two juniors, four sophomores and eight freshmen.
Members of the Hawk squad include seniors Jessi Tracy, Rachel Harmon, Molly Veysey and Hannah Sherman; juniors Anna Neher and Deanna Foster; sophomores Jessica Drew, Jill Gough, Lizzy Neher and Mercedez Brown; and freshmen, Janelle Goff, Lexi McGuire, Sydney Howell, Sidney Crane, Shelby Sanders, Maddi Merritt, Katherine Rediker and Brooklyn Brown.
“The younger ones have really met my expectations,” coach Barton said. “We have had a lot of injuries to overcome with some of our more experienced players missing time.”
Among those missing time has been Tracy, a team captain and offensive leader. Tracy injured her knee during a women’s alumnae game prior to the start of the season and has yet to take the field. Barton was optimistic Tracy would be back for Friday’s game at Limestone.
Foster, a fullback, has been out with a concussion suffered in the Hawks game versus Katahdin Sept. 5. She too is expected to be back in action soon, the coach said.
Coming into the season, Barton said he wanted to focus on his team’s passing skills.
“I prefer to play soccer instead of just kick-and-run,” he said. “They have come a long way the past few years.”
The coach also started the year trying to find a replacement in goal following the graduation of last year’s keeper — Valerie Estabrook.
Drew has answered the call thus far and has taken over goaltending for the team. She has grown by leaps and bounds since the beginning of the year, the coach said.
“She stepped up and said she would try it and I have been impressed,” Barton said. “She has gone from not being able to drop kick the ball nor able to throw it more than five feet to being very respectable.”
The coach added while the team may be very young, it has improved in each game.