(Paris ME) Brunswick may have started slowly but when the game versus Oxford Hills was over, they owned a 5-0 shutout on Thursday afternoon in the season opener for both squads.
“I thought we were second to the ball in the first half,” said Brunswick coach Martyn Davison post-game. “It’s our first game and we’re not as fit as we need to be. Once we got up to the speed of the game we dominated.”
The Vikings were only down by a goal after a half, but things went south after the break.
“The majority of the possession in the first half was in their defensive end,” explained OH coach Brittany Moore afterwards, “but that penalty in the first half changed the tempo of the game. Then they immediately got another penalty kick to begin the second half.”
Freshman Alexis Morin played a key role in the Dragons’ victory in just her first game on the team.
Alexis’ persistent toward-the-net style forced Oxford Hills into the second penalty shot.
Alexis would go on to score Brunswick’s next two goals.
“I coach youth soccer in Brunswick, so I had seen her (Alexis) play,” recalled Coach Davison. “She does a fantastic job.”
Senior Mia Klimash took and made both of Brunswick’s penalty kicks.
I asked Coach Davison about the PKs, noting that both times Mia had shot to the right.
“I never watch,” he told me, “I’m superstitious.”
Mia’s first penalty kick was awarded after an OH handball in the box, nine minutes into the game. Mia drove home a low ball to the right corner. That was the only first-half goal for the Dragons.
However, in the closing seconds of the half, Brunswick came very, very close to getting another when Alexis Morin got in behind the Vikings defense. She was one-on-one with OH goalie Maddy Herrick but came away empty.
“I told Maddy before the game that ‘once you make a decision, go with it,’” said Coach Moore. “She made some good saves.”
Maddy’s remarkable save kept the deficit to one goal but that changed quickly in the second half after a second penalty call.
Alexis’ aggressive style led to a trip in the box by an OH defender just 1 ½ minutes into the second half.
Mia Klimash again was selected for the PK. This time her kick was to the upper corner of the right side.
Now down, 2-0 the Vikings didn’t go away. They persisted, had chances, but couldn’t find a finisher.
“We took care of our chances, and they didn’t,” said Coach Davison.
Alexis scored her first goal after getting a long lead pass from Riley McAlister on the left side. Alexis finished her run with a shot that looked (to me) to have deflected off a defender. That was at 28:15.
Later, more pressure from Alexis from the left on a clean break in. Her second goal made it 4-0 at 13:09.
Senior Molly Taub tallied Brunswick’s final goal at 3:50. Molly approached from the right and pounded a shot into the upper left side.
Brunswick was impressive but they have two games ahead with Camden. “They have won four straight titles,” said Coach Davison. “We don’t play them for a while.”
Two weeks ago, Coach Davison thought he had a great team set up for this season. “I still think we can be great but my top goalie and striker both transferred to private schools. I also lost my center defender.”
Coach Moore is in her first season coaching at Oxford Hills. “I coached boys’ soccer at Vinal Tech in Middletown (CT) last season.”
Coach Moore: “I have been impressed with the girls I’m coaching. They learn fast and they want to get better. Those PK fouls are definitely things we can work on.”
Fans yelling at the referees. It never gets old…..but it should.
The name of the Oxford Hills goalie is Maddy Herrick. I heard the name and thought it sounded familiar. I hope I have this right but I’m quite sure that Maddy also races in the Rookie Division at Oxford Plains Speedway. She knows how to make quick decisions!
Nice weather, a working scoreboard, and rosters……….what more could I ask for?
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)