PORTLAND — One of Maine’s top schoolgirl soccer players also may be the one of the state’s best teammates.

Alexis Elowitch is in her fourth season as the leading offensive threat for Deering, but doesn’t mind taking a back seat to a teammate if it helps the Rams win.

“To me it’s more about finding the best way so our team can win,” Elowitch said. “If someone has a great open shot in the middle, I will lay if off before trying to make an impossible shot. I’ll get the ball to the open man.”

Elowitch, who has a total of 23 goals the past two seasons, often draws special coverage from defenders and tries to take advantage of opportunities that creates for teammates.

“She draws a lot of attention and she trusts in her teammates, which is huge,” Coach Kevin Olson said. “We know a lot of people are going to double-team her, they might man-mark her, but the great thing about her is she’ll keep that ball at her feet and look for somebody, and has trust in her teammates making runs off her.”

Elowitch, who is stationed up front in the Rams’ alignment, isn’t content to wait for the ball to come to her; she often tracks back to help in the midfield.

“I’m someone who wants to help make things happen on the field, whether it’s to keep the pace going, helping shut people down or move the ball quicker,” she said. “I like coming back and then finding the open passes to get the ball down the field quick, and then help out keeping the ball down field.”

Olson said Elowitch has the skill, speed and knowledge to play anywhere on the field.

“Whether it’s been here at Deering, or a Portland Youth program team growing up, or on her club team, she’s played everywhere,” he said. “She’s played up top, she’s played the center mid position and she’s played center back. She knows every position and she knows them very well.”

Cole Spike, a senior midfielder who has been a teammate since they started playing soccer, said it’s like having a coach on the field.

“She’s extremely smart,” Spike said. “She knows what she’s doing. She always helps others around her. I think she’s definitely someone you can learn a lot from.”

Elowitch’s role with the team has evolved.

“In my first year I was trying to figure out how the program worked, and the upperclassmen really helped me get situated,” Elowitch said. “Now, as a senior, I’m considered one of the leaders on the team, helping the freshmen get situated. It’s been a lot of fun seeing the team build over the past four years.”

This fall, Elowitch is trying to reach a decision regarding her future in soccer.

“She wants to play at the highest level possible but the key is she wants to play,” Olson said.

“She wants to make an impact right away and she can. She’s got some great schools who are looking at her.”

Still, Deering remains uppermost in her mind.

“This year I think we’ve got a great chance to do well,” Elowitch said. “The goal is to make the playoffs, and then hopefully we can get that drive and make a great run.”

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

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