(Fryeburg ME) Labor Day was a holiday for most of us.
Not the York Wildcats girls soccer team.
“We worked on finishing yesterday and put it into practice today,” said York coach Nick Hanlon following a convincing, 9-1, win over Fryeburg Academy.
It was the home opener for the Raiders (0-1) and things certainly didn’t go the way they hoped.
“There are a lot of things we have to work on,” admitted FA coach Dave Hart afterwards.
Senior Ava Giacobba had a big afternoon for the Wildcats (2-0) getting two goals in each half.
“We have been working hard in practice,” she said. “We have really improved.”
“The girls have dedicated a lot of time even on their own when we didn’t get to play at all in games as a group,” explained Coach Hanlon. “They also played in a league apart from the school. In the summer they were coming out 3-4 times a week to play.”
All that work seemed evident this afternoon. The Wildcats had a clear advantage in time of possession because of their movement to space and the accurate passes from teammates that found them in the open space.
York had very few long passes, just a series of connections. The Raiders ended up doing a lot of chasing as they tried to reclaim possession. When FA over-committed the Wildcats took advantage.
“We seized our opportunities,” said Coach Hanlon.
Ava Giacobba’s first two goals were on break-ins. Both happened in the first 2 ½ minutes and came on rebounds.
“They scored twice early,” recalled Coach Hart. “It’s hard to rebound from that.”
Freshman Alexis Osterhaus had the other two York first-half goals.
In the first one, Alexis intercepted a short goal-kick and returned it right back on FA goalie Ginger Priestman. In the second one, Alexis put in her own rebound.
Sophomore Ana Maillett got Fryeburg on the board with 3 ½ minutes remaining in the first half.
“Ana was in the right place at the right time,” said Coach Hart.
The Wildcats had a comfortable 4-1 halftime lead, but they used the halftime to set some goals for the second half.
“We wanted to score on a corner kick,” said Coach Hanlon, “and we wanted to have a couple of series where we were connecting 10-12 passes together.”
Mission accomplished on both counts.
Ava Giacobba scored her third goal on a long shot into the upper left corner.
Ava’s fourth goal was set up by Chloe Bourque’s corner kick (27:24). Chloe’s CK ended up in the middle and Ava headed it in.
Those two goals boosted the Wildcats advantage to, 6-1.
The rest of the way, York had goals from Ava Fontaine, Shea Haseltine, and Emily Rainforth.
Besides the goal-scoring, the Wildcats did string multiple connecting passes together as they had hoped to do.
“We’re trying to improve half-by-half and game-by-game,” said Coach Hanlon.
“We had our good moments,” said Coach Hart. “We knew that they were a strong team but I’m not going to let our girls off the hook. We’ll work on improving organizationally and defensively.”
York goalkeeper Allie MacDonald had a very quiet afternoon in net. Ginger Priestman, however, faced a host of tough shots in both halves as the Raiders goalie.
Ava Giacobba: “It feels great to be back out playing with my best friends.”
Perfect weather for playing/watching soccer.
Coach Hart is in his first season at FA. He coached boys soccer at Kennett High School for seven years.
Covering high school sports in the early part of a season is almost always an adventure for those of us attempting it. Why? Rosters. Coaches aren’t certain of their players, so they delay putting a roster together, or a roster is set up early and changes are added or subtracted without an update. I got one roster today at the game, while an online roster (from the Western Maine site) for the other team was missing a girl who scored a goal today. *The “missing girl” has now been identified (Ava Fontaine) thanks to help from the York Athletic Department.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)