MORSE HIGH SCHOOL’S Paige Martin.

MORSE HIGH SCHOOL’S Paige Martin.

BATH

The Morse High School girls soccer team is currently 7-2 and trying to make it to its third straight appearance in the Western Maine Class B championship.

The road has been a little bumpy.

“The first thing that we, the coaches, try to do is to put things into perspective,” said Morse coach Steve Boyce. “For the last two years we have great success, which often exposes us to more challenges as we move on to the next game. During those years we had the soccer ‘gods’ on our side. The ball seemed to bounce in our favor most of the time, injuries were down and the talent level was high. This year we have a bigger target on our backs and the ‘gods’ are more neutral.

“We still have a good record and with any luck would have only one loss at this point. I am sure most coaches would like to be in that position.”

Morse has outscored teams 17-12, led by Miracle Trimble (7 goals), Ruth Nadeau (2), Sophie Sreden (2) and Lauren Pelletier (2), while the assist leader is Nadeau with two.

Defensive standouts have been Morgan Cram, Nichole Laggan, Baylie Cram, Leia Graves and Anna Simmler, while goaltender Alesha Aucoin has racked up four shutouts.

There have been some pitfalls along the way, however.

“We have encountered two challenges on the field earlier than in the past two years,” allowed Boyce. “Each of those years we happened to meet the most talented team in the state at a time, when a loss ended our season. This year we have met several strong teams, Waterville easily the best, and with the experience gained we should be better prepared for the step up in talent if we make our run for the playoffs.

“We have to manage our expectations and that of our supporters. We strive to win every game, but when we don’t we need to learn from the experience. The season is too short to have players or supporters point fingers or place blame anywhere, we all need to learn from the past and move on quickly.”

Boyce is constantly trying to tweak.

“There are many factors in play during a match, and we have to identify and deal with them as positively and quickly as possible,” said Boyce. “Against Waterville (7-0 loss), we felt, after the game, we could have held our own if we would have played to win rather than not to lose, while maintaining our focus for the 80 minutes. Against Camden (a 2-1 defeat), the players felt good about our second half and realized that, if we would have challenged for 80 minutes, the outcome could have been different. We have tried to learn from our setbacks and know that if we manage those things that we can control, we significantly improve our chance of winning.”

Playing as a team is what the ’Builders must do to continue being successful.

“We have learned that there is no single individual that is the key to our success,” said Boyce. “We are strongest when we play as 11 connected players on the pitch. We have many lineup options from which to choose, our job is to find the one clicking best for each game.

“Our senior leadership will be a key as we enter the last half of the schedule, as they have been to the regional finals twice and will help the younger players keep their eyes on the prize.

“We are now finding our identity and are confident that, when playing up to our potential, we can compete with any team we will face.”

Morse is scheduled to visit Erskine Academy on Saturday.


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