OLD ORCHARD BEACH — During a practice this week, Old Orchard Beach girls’ soccer coach Heath Floyd did something he hasn’t been able to do in a while. Floyd divided his team into two 11-player squads and began a full scrummage.

“I’m not going to coach you too much. I want to see what we’ve got here,” Floyd told the players as they got into position.

With 22 players, the Seagulls have their largest squad in recent years. It’s also one of the least experienced teams Old Orchard Beach has had in a while, with just five varsity players back. With that combination of inexperience and depth, the Seagulls are looking forward to playing in Class D for the first time.

“We’re usually been around 15 or 16 (players) the last few years. It’s nice to have the numbers to have a full field scrimmage. It makes practices a lot more intense, which is something we haven’t been able to do. This is something good,” Floyd said.

“We’re now actually one of the bigger schools in the conference, but it will definitely be a challenge. We lost five all-stars from last year, at every level (of the field). … If we can put the pieces together and make the playoffs, that’s where I think we can make some noise against some of the top teams.”

The addition of an eight-player soccer division this season required changes to the Maine Principals’ Association classification numbers for the four 11-player divisions. Class C went from enrollments of 175 to 375 students last year to 201 to 380 students this fall. With an enrollment of 193 students, Old Orchard Beach becomes the largest school in Class D South.


North Yarmouth Academy, which won the last four Class D state titles, has moved up to Class C. Floyd sees the top contenders in Class D South as Richmond, Buckfield and St. Dominic.

“I think we can definitely make a deep run (in the playoffs), especially with more practices and everyone getting everything,” said senior back Sarah Davis. “Freshmen, they’re transitioning from middle school to high school soccer, so it is a big transition. With time and practice we can go pretty deep.”

Along with games against traditional Western Maine Conference opponents such as NYA, Fryeburg Academy, St. Dom’s, Waynflete, Wells and Sacopee Valley, the Seagulls will play home-and-home games against Richmond and Buckfield, and will host Temple Academy of Waterville. All three of those teams are Class D opponents they could face in the playoffs.

“So by the time playoffs come around, we can gauge where we are competitively,” Floyd said. “I think we have a pretty good shot, but we have a lot of work to do.”

Old Orchard Beach went 21-12 over the last two seasons in Class C South, reaching the regional semifinals in each season. Among the stars the Seagulls lost to graduation were Elise MacNair and goalie Summer St. Louis.

Seniors Davis, a first-team all-WMC selection last season, and Cate Clark will give the Seagulls strength on defense. Midfielder Tessa Ferguson and Alaynah LeBlond, as well as forward Abby Roy, can provide offense, Floyd said.


Freshmen Madison Duplisea and Sierra Ordway are vying for time in net.

“It’s good competition. They both have good size and decent hands. They’re both raw and haven’t played at the varsity level,” Floyd said. “I’ve got four or five positions locked in and the rest are wide open. We’re figuring out some midfielders who might be playing defense, figuring out if a couple of those midfielders could be scorers. Some forwards who are actually better on the wings because they’re faster and can cross the ball. Who has the speed and foot skills to play certain spots?”

For now, a goal in practice is getting the large freshman class up to speed playing varsity soccer.

“I think we’ll get better. They just need to learn. We had the summer season and now we’re into the preseason. It’s definitely better than it was,” Clark said.

Six members of the girls’ soccer team also played on the OOB basketball team that won the Class C state title last winter: Davis, Clark, Ferguson, Roy, Megan Dow and Olivia McInnis.

“It’s definitely a motivation for us, to get there and get that feeling again,” Davis said.

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