Friday, December 13, 2013
By Dale Duff
Special To The Telegram
HERMON — Hermon girls’ soccer coach Adam Leach has kind of a scruffy beard these days, but it’s for a couple pretty good causes.
One is to support the bearded Red Sox as they seek a World Series title. Second, his team made school history with a 14-0 regular-season record, and now it’s playoff time.
The Hawks have been dominant in the Penobscot Valley Conference, recording 13 shutouts while outscoring opponents 71-1.
“The key is I haven’t had to do a blessed thing,” jokes Leach, who is in his third year as coach.
Then he gets serious.
“Every game, every practice, the girls play with the same passion, fun and enthusiasm.”
Perhaps it’s because Hermon’s climb up the soccer ladder has truly been a step-by-step process. Hermon was the Eastern Class B runner-up in 2011, then won the regional title last year before losing 2-1 to Falmouth in the state championship game.
“We talked on the bus trip back from Scarborough last year (after the 2012 state final),” said senior Kaitlyn Saulter. “We have one step left to go and want to take that step.”
Saulter is doing her part by scoring less this year, enabling the Hawks to have a more balanced attack. She scored 29 goals last year and has 21 this year. The benefit for the team is that four other players have scored at least eight goals.
Saulter and the four other seniors – Amanda Allen, Maddie Page, Kaylin Rogers and Molly Roy – have played a lot of soccer together dating back to the fourth grade. She says togetherness is a big part of why the Hawks went unbeaten through the PVC.
“Fourteen-and-0 is a big accomplishment,” said Saulter. “Every game we play 110 percent as a team. We all want the same thing.”
That thing is a state title. And that’s where Coach Leach comes in.
He knows a thing or two about state championships. Back in 2006, Leach coached the Bangor boys to their first Class A state championship.
“They like that I’ve been there before and they trust me that I can bring a little bit of that experience to help the team,” said Leach.
In fact, a referee remarked to Leach that his current team looks and plays a lot like his Bangor boys’ teams, only with pony tails. Leach says his players grabbed on to that slogan and got him a special present.
“They made me a T-shirt and on the back it says ‘my boys have pony tails.’”
OLD TOWN: For the first time in 25 years the school’s football team, boys’ and girls’ soccer teams and field hockey team have all earned playoff spots in the same season.
WASHBURN: Mackenzie Worcester joined the 100-goal club in the last game of the girls’ soccer regular season – and she’s a junior.
Shelby Pickering of Lee Academy is Maine’s all-time leader with 178 goals (from 2001-04). The Beavers are the No. 1 seed in Eastern Class D.