Tigers have depth to challenge
FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine — Tom Towle has been blessed with having a deep bench in his first year as head coach of the Tiger girls’ varsity soccer team.
The squad has 23 players and Towle said the ability to bring players off the bench each game has helped contribute to the team’s success, which is evidenced by a 6-3-2 record and a solid No. 6 ranking in the Eastern Maine Class D standings.
“We oftentimes play up to 20 players during a game without losing much strength on the field,” Towle said. “This has proven to be an asset when starters have become sidelined due to injury.”
Fort Fairfield starts senior Megan Jellison in goal. Senior Sarah Owens, juniors Sarah Watt, Autumn Parady and Kayla Giberson make up the starting defense. The midfield has senior Toni Libby, junior Alexis Coiley, sophomore Kailany Hernandez and freshman Kayla Tisdale; while up front are the team’s leading scorers in junior Chelsey Pelkey, a transfer from Limestone-MSSM, and junior Taylor Churchill.
The Tigers’ reserves are senior Kalena Pierce, junior Morgann Towle and sophomores Gabbie Wortman, Sydney McShea and Gianna Potter. The roster also has numerous other freshmen, many who have made an impact. The group of ninth-graders includes Gracie Griffeth, Mackenzie MacDougal, Sadie Edgecomb, Sara Edgecomb, Marissa Brouette, Emma Campbell and Jaydyn Fox.
Fort Fairfield has been consistent throughout the season, never having lost two in a row. Heading into Tuesday’s match at Van Buren, the Tigers had won three of their last four and have averaged five goals per game in the process.
Towle served as an assistant coach the past two seasons, with each year ending with semifinal playoff losses — last year to Ashland and the previous year to Washburn. The Tigers are hoping to match that and perhaps advance farther as the post-season gets underway later this month.
“We are hoping to consistently practice and compete to the best of our ability the rest of the season, both individually and collectively, with our emphasis on being a little better today than we were yesterday,” Towle said. “If we continue to do this as a team the rest of the way, I think the Lady Tigers are capable of adding a little excitement to the 2014 playoffs.”