High school soccer squads look to improve playoff seedings

2 years ago

With the regular season rapidly coming to an end, local high school soccer squads are busy jockeying for key playoff positions for the postseason.

The final countable day for regular season games is Tuesday, Oct. 18, with the preliminary playoffs set to begin Oct. 21-22. The quarterfinal round begins Oct. 25-26, followed by semifinals on Oct. 28-29 and regional finals Nov. 1-2.

Presque Isle Middle School will serve as the site of the Class C and D North regional championship games this year, so County squads fortunate enough to be playing in those games will not have as far to travel.

Unlike last year, there will be no “open tournament” format, meaning teams will have to finish with a high enough seeding to make the playoffs.

As of Tuesday morning, the Houlton girls remained perfect on the season, boasting an 11-0 record. The Shires are one of three undefeated teams in Class C North, joining Maine Central Institute and Bucksport, all with 11-0 records. Based on the standings, the Shires are currently third in the region and would receive a bye in the prelim round.

In girls Class D North, Hodgdon is 8-3 on the season and ranked fifth, while Southern Aroostook (4-7-1) is 13th; East Grand (1-7-1) is 15th and Katahdin (0-9-1) is 16th. Hodgdon should host a prelim, while SA should be on the road for the prelims. East Grand and Katahdin are currently outside of the playoff bubble.

For Class C North boys, Houlton is 4-7 on the year and presently ranked 14th. Only the top 11 squads qualify for the tournament in this region.

In Class D North, Katahdin (9-3) is ranked 10th, while Hodgdon/East Grand (4-8-1) is ranked 15th and Southern Aroostook (0-12) is 19th. In this region, only the top 13 teams make the playoffs. Katahdin will likely be on the road for the prelims, while the other two squads are not in contention.

The following is a recap of games reported to the newspaper. 

Girls Soccer

Houlton 2, Fort Kent 1 – At Fort Kent Monday afternoon, the Shires completed the season sweep of Fort Kent with the 2-1 victory. Mylee Sylvia and Lydia Byron each scored a goal, while Ella McCarthy added an assist for the Shires. 

Emlyn Nadeau scored the lone goal for the Warriors, off a pass from Julia Cyr. 

Emma McCarthy had nine saves on 10 shots in goal for Houlton, while Mia Voisine made 12 saves on 14 shots for Fort Kent.

Hodgdon 4, MSSM 0 – At Hodgdon Saturday, Hodgdon scored three first half goals and added an insurance goal in the second half to shut out visiting Maine School of Science and Mathematics. 

Hodgdon’s Ella Suitter scored the game’s first goal off an assist from Faith Howland.  Gracie Little converted a penalty kick after MSSM was called for a hand-ball inside the scoring area. She later scored her second goal of the game with an assist from Aleyah Matheson to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead.

In the second half Suitter scored her second goal off an assist from Matheson. 

“After a much more stout defensive effort from MSSM things remained scoreless (in the second half) until 1:09 remaining,” MSSM coach Lucas Hafford said. “Aliyah Matheson made another great run from her defensive position and again got the ball to the middle where Ella Suitter was able to get the first touch on it, squeaking it past the keeper.”

MSSM goalie Elena Wirth made nine saves on 13 shots and Hodgdon goalie Madison had 11 saves on 11 shots.

Boys Soccer

MSSM 3, Hodgdon/EG 2 – At Hodgdon Saturday, the Maine School of Science and Mathematics received a pair of goals from Anthony Jordan, and another from Niko Theriault, with an assist from RoyBoa Nguyen to earn the win over Hodgdon.

The host-Hawks received a pair of goals from Oisin Gardiner, while Drew Duttweiler added an assist.

MSSM keeper Connor Start had 10 saves on 23 shots, while Hodgdon once again used a pair of goalies. Gardiner had seven saves on 10 shots and Hunter Duttweiler had three saves on five shots.

Katahdin 8, Southern Aroostook 1 – At Stacyville Thursday, Oct. 6, the Cougars scored early and often en route to the victory. Kyle McNally and Calvin Richardson both had two goals and an assist to lead the charge for Katahdin. Grady Ritchie, Kalan Mann, Clayton Pocock, and Bryton Hartsgrove 1 goal each. Bradley Swallow and Cole Chickering 1 assist each. 

Gram Siltz scored the lone goal for Southern Aroostook.

Brennon Burpee had 25 saves in goal for the Warriors, while Kalan Mann had two saves for Katahdin.