THE BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL girls soccer team features a pair of sisters in its starting lineup. From left are Dragons Isabella Banks, Emma Banks, Sara Scrapchansky and Lea Scrapchansky. The 11-0 Dragons host 10-0-1 Camden Hills tonight at 6 p.m.

THE BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL girls soccer team features a pair of sisters in its starting lineup. From left are Dragons Isabella Banks, Emma Banks, Sara Scrapchansky and Lea Scrapchansky. The 11-0 Dragons host 10-0-1 Camden Hills tonight at 6 p.m.

BRUNSWICK

The Broadway and movie hit “Sister Act” is a “divine musical comedy,” but Brunswick High School’s version of “sister acts” is proving to be a real fall blockbuster for the girls varsity soccer team.

 

 

A pair of sister duos is fueling this season’s edition of soccer talent that is making a real quest in a run for what could be a state title.

Isabella and Emma Banks, along with Lea and Sara Scrapchansky head a bevy of underclass booters that has proven to be a pleasure for Dragon fans, along with being a formidable threat to the opposition.

Coach Martyn Davison, in his 15th year at the girls’ helm, lauds the “cohesiveness and camaraderie of this year group. They are a together group of enthusiastic and talented players who seem to understand the game better as each contest goes by.

DRAGON EMMA BANKS (4) dribbles past Reece Turcotte of Mt. Ararat in a recent girls soccer game.

DRAGON EMMA BANKS (4) dribbles past Reece Turcotte of Mt. Ararat in a recent girls soccer game.

“We are lucky to have the leadership of the Banks and Scrapchansky girls as such a central part of our effort in such key positions,” said Davison, whose Dragons face a stern home test against 9-1-1 Camden Hills tonight at 6 p.m. “This is as good a group as I have had in my tenure here at Brunswick.”

Brunswick soccer is no stranger to the postseason. Davison coached the Dragons to state titles in 2004 and 2009 and finished as the runner up in 2002.

The Banks girls hold down midfield positions and are the link between a potent Dragon offense and a solid defense. Both players are year-round participants in the sport, playing for a regional contingent based in Epping, N.H. Izzy’s team was among some 50 contingents that went to Nationals in Indianapolis two years ago, where it won four out of five games, losing only to the eventual winner. Both young athletes have had international experience as well as taken trips to Brighten, England, in 2015 for Izzy and in 2016 for Emma.

Izzy notes, “Even with all the so-called big time soccer exposure, the most fun we have had is coaching the little kids during the Seacoast annual summer soccer camp. We both started playing in third grade, so working with these little players and hoping they might just end up doing the same things we did makes it so worthwhile.”

She also likes to tell the story of sister Emma, who was so nervous before her first starting game this year as a freshman against Mt. Blue:

“She was so out of it in the morning, but when we got on the field she actually got the first assist of the year, which coincidentally enough was to me,” said Izzy. “She followed this up with the second goal of the game. That was all she needed. She has been fine ever since.”

It seems this may have been the initial scoring hookup of what could very well be an awesome combination in the next two years. And their leadership in all aspects of the game, whether it be instructing at a soccer camp or helping to direct their teammates on the field, seems to have carried over into their high school careers. Izzy has been BHS freshman and sophomore class president the past two years, while Emma is the current freshmen class head.

As for soccer, both have two and three more years, respectively, for Davison on the Dragon pitch.

Sara and Lea Scrapchansky also spend their summer months with Seacoast United Mariners age group team based locally in Topsham. Additionally, they are members of a group of elite players from across Maine participating in the Olympic Development Program.

“Sara and I get plenty of soccer time throughout the seasons, but for sure playing here at Brunswick High is the high point of our year especially with this group,” said Lea. “I would love to play at the next level and am looking at some college possibilities.”

Sara adds, “Our father videos parts of many of the games, and when we get home we go over mistakes we made as players and as a team. That sure has helped us improve our game and hopefully has helped the team as well.”

While the Banks sisters anchor the midfield and are key in distributing, the Scrapchansky duo leads in the offensive end of things. Lea tops the team in goals, while Sara does the same in assists.

“Emma and Izzy help to make things happen for us and we just finish it off as much as we can,” noted Sara. “And Anna (Kousky) is really important in our game as well with her scoring.”

With only one senior on the squad, Davison and the Dragons seem to be set for several years to come.

“But what a senior she is.” says Davison, extolling the talents of Maeve Arthur. “As one of the captains she has been such a great leader for us and is right up there as a potent offensive threat.”

Arthur, a four-year starter, likes to credit “community” as the key to the Dragon success.

“We are like a community. We know each other so well and really like each other so it is so much fun to get out there every day and be part of this group,” Arthur said.

Rian Sachs, another captain and a strong defender, says, “The team has great dynamics. The three H’s get us through our games — heart, hustle and hard work.”

The third captain is another defensive player, Mikaela Aschbrenner, who adds a bit of humor to the Dragon efforts. “Our favorite song is ‘Get Your Head in the Game,’ by Troy Bolton. That helps to get us psyched up.” (If only Bolton knew the effect he was having on a bunch of teenage soccer players!!).

With the playoffs right around the corner, the Dragons hope their magic will continue.

“Injuries, of course, are always an issue, but the key is to maintain the momentum we have established. We have to keep our focus on what we want to achieve.” stressed Davison.

Izzy and Lea have been somewhat hampered by some leg issues, but appear to be healthy down the stretch.

Davison adds “From our keeper Beth Labbe to the front line of strikers, we seem to have a good balance. The goal is to maintain this balance of play while continuing to again keep out focus.”

The “sister acts” and the rest of the Dragon sisterhood may actually be on what could be a “divine” mission, and they certainly hope to continue to generate some joyful noises, leading to a State Class A title this season.


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