Aside from a few rule adjustments, mainly five players allowed per side in the box on corner kicks, and no slide tackling, high school soccer was able to pretty much go on like usual this fall with regionalized scheduling.

“All things considered, I think the season was a success with all of the modifications,” said Morse girls soccer head coach Branden Noltkamper. “Everyone involved did a great job to make this season happen, and we’re all thankful that they were able to do so.”

Both coaches and players had to make the adjustment of staying socially distanced and masking up during practice. It was difficult at first, but teams made the necessary adjustments in order to have a season.

“Our athletic director and administrators really hit it home that we had to follow the guidelines, and I think that really sent a message to the team,” said Freeport girls soccer coach Dave Intraversato.

For seniors like Rachel Wall of Freeport, the opportunity to have a season was more than enough to fill the void of no postseason.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity I got to have my senior season and all of the work that was put into making it possible,” said Wall. I loved getting to share senior night and this final season with my fellow seniors.”

Teams had to get creative on and off of the field to follow the protocols put into place. Mt. Ararat boys soccer coach Jack Rioux recalled the first practice of the season. The Eagles had just three seniors on their team this season, so Rioux looked at this year as a building block for the future of the program.

Davis Young of Yarmouth, right, battles for possession with Nathaniel Smith of Mt. Ararat during a boys soccer game earlier this season at Riverside Park in Topsham. Eli Canfield/The Times Record file photo

“The guys knew that we would normally condition in the end of August before we would even touch a ball,” Rioux said. “Instead of running, I had them scrimmage. The guys were just so happy to be able to play, and that meant a lot to them and myself.”

Teams got creative when it came to their activities off the field as well. End of season banquets were modified, and annual charity drives were either done differently or held virtually. Instead of holding their usual banquet, the Morse girls soccer team held an end of season game with all three teams in the program involved. For Morse senior Mary LaRochelle, it was the final time she would get together with her team.

“It was such a memorable moment to have fun with the entire program one last time,” said Larochelle. As a senior I couldn’t be more thankful for that.”

Because of no postseason, teams switched players around and played them at positions they normally wouldn’t have played.

“I think at one point during the season everyone played a position they weren’t comfortable at which is exactly what you want,” said Freeport senior Carly Intraversato. “You want players that can play all positions well and we saw that a lot from our team.”

Keigan Shea of Freeport was surprised but proud of the way the team bonded off the field this season.

“We couldn’t do any team bonding activities that we would normally do, but we all made some good connections that will translate on the field and help us be successful going forward,” said Shea, a junior midfielder.

Shea’s teammate, Cameron Strong, agrees.

I think practices were a great time for us as players to get to know each other better and to just have fun,” Strong said. “By the end of the season, we were most definitely a closer group overall.”

Comments are not available on this story.