Friday, March 7, 2014
By Steve Craig email@example.com
In the Western Class B standings first-place Greely and second-place Yarmouth have the same 2-0-1 record and played to a 2-2 tie.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jacob Nason, Greely sophomore: Scored two goals to lead the Rangers to a season-opening 7-0 win against Fryeburg Academy. Also scored two goals to help Greely forge a 2-2 tie with Yarmouth.
Owen Gillis, Westbrook senior: Scored two goals and had an assist in a 5-2 win over Biddeford.
Eric Kousky, Brunswick junior: Scored 46 seconds into overtime to lift the Dragons to a 1-0 win against Mt. Ararat.
Luke Velas, Falmouth sophomore: Scored with 26.5 seconds left in overtime to lift the Yachtsmen to a 2-1 win against Kennebunk.
AREA TOP 5
Third-place York (2-0-1) and fourth-place Cape Elizabeth (1-0-1) played to a 0-0 tie.
Then there was Falmouth's 2-1 double-overtime win against Kennebunk. Those teams are playing in Class A come tourney time, but will have home-and-away series against Greely, Yarmouth, York and Cape Elizabeth.
Is there a trend developing?
"Well, certainly if you look at those six teams including us, you had one game decided with 20 seconds left in overtime and two draws," Kennebunk Coach Nate Bean said. "If that's any indication, our league is going to be really competitive every night out and that's what we were looking forward to this year."
"I would be shocked if any of us are left standing undefeated at the end of the regular season," Greely Coach Mike Andreasen said.
It's conceivable all six teams will lose by the end of the week.
Wednesday, York is at Yarmouth, Greely at Kennebunk, and Cape at Falmouth. On Friday it's Falmouth at York and Kennebunk at Yarmouth. Greely is at Cape on Saturday.
"We beat each other up annually and then having Kennebunk come in this year, boy, there's no nights off in this league," Andreasen said.
The Western Class B playoffs will have a different look this year. For the first time since 1976, Greely will be in the tourney instead of Class A. So too, Cape Elizabeth has moved to B after numerous seasons in A.
Meanwhile defending Class B state champion Falmouth has moved to Class A.
Kennebunk's Bean said regardless of which tournament the top Western Maine Conference teams are in, they will have earned their spot.
"When you consider we'll play each of those teams twice, that's as high a caliber 10-game schedule as you can get in any league," Bean said. "It's also really exciting to know you're going to be really battle-tested. But the flip side of that schedule is you could be a very good team and go 5-5."
Andreasen said he would prefer to play in the Class A tournament.
"We wanted to stay in A because we've had the success. We've won five state titles in A and most recently in '07, but the school made the decision. It wasn't what we wanted necessarily but it's not about Mike Andreasen and the boys' soccer program, it was about the (whole) school program."
PORTLAND'S 1-0 WIN against defending Class A champion and still-stacked Scarborough has been the surprise of the early going in the SMAA. The Bulldogs also soundly beat Sanford 5-0 in their opener and were looking Tuesday to reach 3-0 by beating Noble. Not bad for a team that wasn't in the Press Herald's preseason Top 10.
BRUNSWICK COACH Mark Roma is in just his second year with the Dragons, who are 2-1 and ranked third in Eastern Class A. But he's been having an impact on the program for several years due to his work with goalies.
A 10-year goalie coach at Bowdoin College prior to taking the Brunswick varsity job, Roma also was the goalies coach for Coastal Soccer Club in Brunswick until it was bought out by Hampton, N.H.-based Seacoast United. While working with youth players, Roma trained former Brunswick goalies Peter Morrell, Zachary MacMillan and last year's starter, Greg Walton. Morrell, a senior, is the starting goalie at NCAA Division III's second-ranked Williams College. MacMillan, who split time with Morrell in high school, is a lacrosse midfielder at Norwich University. Walton has earned the starting keeper position at Eastern Connecticut State as a freshman.
"Greg was a real weapon for us last year. He's one of the best keepers to come out of the state in years," Roma said.
The current Brunswick goalie, senior Ryan Brescia, has had less direct coaching from Roma but looked worthy of being part of the team's goalie lineage with his nine-save, 1-0 overtime shutout of Mt. Ararat, the defending Eastern Class A champion.
"I've been working with him trying to get him up to speed," Roma said. "I'm always telling him that all he needs to do is come up with one or two big saves a game and he had two big saves against Mt. Ararat."
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at: