Monday, December 9, 2013
By Paul Betit email@example.com
The Morse High girls' soccer team is flying a little under the radar again.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Emma Turton, Poland senior: Turton scored two minutes into overtime to lift the Knights to a 1-0 win at Freeport. She also scored all of her team's goals in a 4-0 win against Fryeburg Academy.
Biziuwork Pree, Camden Hills junior: Scored with 40 seconds left in overtime to lift the Windjammers to a 2-1 win against Nokomis.
Shae O'Brien, South Portland junior: Scored three goals in a 4-3 win over Kennebunk.
Miracle Trimble, Morse sophomore: Scored three goals in a 3-0 win against Belfast and three more in an 8-3 win over Gardiner.
AREA TOP FIVE
1. Thornton Academy
The Shipbuilders are riding a nine-game winning streak and are sitting on top of the Western Class B Heal points.
Last season, Morse appeared to come out of nowhere to grab the top seed in the regional tournament. The Shipbuilders went all the way to the regional final, losing to Falmouth.
"We were up 1-0 at the half, and we had a bad first 10 minutes in the second half, and we lost 2-1," Morse Coach Steve Boyce said.
Falmouth went on to win the state title.
The Shipbuilders, members of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference, were an unknown quantity going into last season's tournament. Only two teams on their schedule are in Western Class B. Most of their opponents are in Eastern Class B, so their playoff opponents seldom get a chance to face them during the regular season.
Last year's squad simply overwhelmed its opponents, but graduation claimed players who produced 86 of the team's 103 goals.
This season, the Shipbuilders have taken a different approach. They are possessing the ball more and building from the back, rather than trying to connect with the long ball.
"Our passing, I think, is our strength," said Sadia Crosby, a senior in her second full season as goalkeeper. "It's usually spot-on. We get the ball to each other, and it helps set (it) up; booting it and following it helps us get up the field quickly."
Minus six starters from a year ago, Morse got off to a slow start. It opened the season with a 3-2 loss to Camden Hills and a scoreless tie with Maranacook.
"At the beginning of the season, it was a little rough," said Megan Hixon, a senior defender in her second full season with the varsity. "We were all starting to play together, and we are a real young team, so there were a lot of varsity spots that had to be taken by the youngsters. Once we started working as a team and really bonding well, we started really picking up the pace and winning all of our games."
The Shipbuilders can still score goals, but just not at the same clip as last season. They've outscored opponents 42-8 and have posted eight shutouts.
"Our defense is really critical," Hixon said. "The offense has a lot of opportunities, but if you make one little mistake it could cost you the whole game."
GAMES OF WEEK: Maranacook (5-2-3) plays Camden Hills (9-1) on Friday in a key Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference matchup. The visiting Black Bears are jockeying for home-field advantage in the first round of the Western Class B playoffs, while Camden Hills is trying to slide past Hermon into the top spot in Eastern Class B.
On Saturday, Waynflete (6-0-3) visits two-time defending Class D state champ Richmond (11-0) for a big nonconference matchup. The Flyers, who play at North Yarmouth Academy on Friday, are ranked fifth in Western Class C, while the Bobcats are the top-ranked team in Western Class D.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: