October 11, 2012

Girls' Soccer Notebook: Redesigned Dragons the dominant beasts of the East

By Paul Betit pbetit@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A change in formation has helped Brunswick to compile a perfect record.

click image to enlarge

Anna Cowan

PLAYER OF THE WEEK 

Anna Cowan, Brunswick junior: Scored three goals in a 5-1 win against Oxford Hills. Scored two goals in a 4-3 win against Hampden Academy.

HONORABLE MENTION

Ciera Berthiaume, Windham freshman: Scored two goals in a 3-1 win over Deering.

Ruby Cribby, York senior: Scored a goal and had two assists in a 4-1 win against Fryeburg Academy.

Lexi Genthner, Medomak Valley sophomore: Scored a goal and had an assist to lead the Panthers to a 2-0 win at Lincoln Academy.

AREA TOP FIVE

1. Thornton Academy

2. Brunswick

3. Windham

4. Cape Elizabeth

5. Scarborough

With two games left in the regular season, the Dragons are 12-0 and ranked first in the Eastern Class A Heal point standings.

If they run the table, the Dragons will be the only team in their region with a totally unblemished record going into the playoffs. 14 wins. No losses. No ties.

Brunswick has switched to a 4-5-1 formation this season, similar to the alignment it used during the 2004 season, when it won the first of its two Class A state titles.

"This year we're playing a little bit more defensively because we're a little bit weaker in the back," said Martyn Davidson, in his 10th season as the Dragons' coach.

In the past, the Dragons have used the more customary 4-3-3 formation.

In the new scheme, the outside wings in the midfield move into the striker position during the attack. In the case of a counter-attack, they must quickly move back to their positions in the midfield to defend.

The strategy has enabled the Dragons to outscore their first 12 opponents by a 55-13 margin while posting five shutouts.

Anna Cowan leads the Dragons with 21 goals. Paige Tetu and Rachel Moroney each have 13.

"We're conceding a lot of goals but we're scoring a lot of goals, too," Davidson said.

"We've got a good attack. We've just had to tighten up the defense."

Brunswick finishes the regular season Friday at Edward Little (7-5) and a home game Tuesday against Lewiston (2-8-2).

On Sept. 11, the Dragons posted a 5-3 victory against the Eddies. On Sept. 13, they defeated Lewiston, 3-2.

THORNTON ACADEMY also is working on an unblemished record.

The Trojans are 12-0 after beating South Portland on Wednesday night.

Coach Chris Kohl is not surprised by the success his team has had.

"I thought we would be contenders but we can't take anything for granted," he said. "There are a lot of good teams out there, and we've got to continue to work hard and improve."

Still ahead are regular-season games at Sanford (10-1) on Saturday and at Portland (2-8-2) on Tuesday.

Kohl, in his seventh season as coach, said there are lots of reasons why the Trojans have done so well.

"We're playing well in all phases of the game, offensively, in the midfield, defensively and in goal," he said. "To have contributions in all four phases of the game has been a key."

The squad's depth also has been a factor.

"We haven't had to ride someone the whole game," Kohl said. "We play 17 or 18 players a game. What's really been a key is the depth and balance we have."

Team chemistry is another reason.

"It's one of the closest teams I've ever coached," Kohl said. "They really fight for each other. You can't really tell who starts and who doesn't." 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

pbetit@pressherald.com

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH

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