(South Paris ME) The tough season for Skowhegan continues.
The winless Indians (0-4) were routed by Oxford Hills, 7-0, on a sunny Thursday afternoon.
“It’s frustrating,” said SHS coach Jordan Hale afterwards. “We went back to old habits that don’t work. It looked like a U10 game the way we chased the ball. Like a school of fish.”
Lousy game for the visitors but one to remember for the Vikings (3-2).
Oxford Hills has now won three straight.
“We took care of business,” said Vikings coach Matt Dieterich. “We came out strong.”
That’s for sure. Less than two minutes in, Tomas Mendieta cut in from the left and fired a shot at Skowhegan GK Zach Carrier. Before the shot got to Zach, senior Spencer Strong intercepted it and scored.
The Indians held their deficit to one for the next twenty minutes. Sophomore Keegan Mantor cleared a loose ball from the goal line to keep SHS close.
The bottom fell out, however, over the last twenty minutes of the first half. Spencer Strong started it by setting up junior Andrew Binette with a nice pass in front.
Then Will Dieterich took over. The OH senior tallied twice in thirty seconds and then completed the 3-goal half with another goal in the last two minutes. That 5-0 deficit at halftime took most of the mystery out of what the final outcome would be.
“That was my first hat trick,” Will told me afterwards. He now has seven goals on the season.
“I thought we played well,” Will added. “We controlled the ball and after we got up by a few goals we didn’t get goal hungry. We still played the right kind of soccer.”
In the second half, Spencer Strong collected his second goal. Later teammate Colby Ventresca posted the Vikings seventh goal of the afternoon.
The OH passing was impressive. They kept the ball on the ground and trusted teammates.
The OH finesse made Skowhegan’s lack of same stand out more than it might have. “Every first touch was up in the air and every pass was ten feet in front. It was a mess,” explained Coach Hale. “There were no positives.”
“Our defense was great,” said Will Dieterich. “Our keeper (Sam Morton) didn’t have much action but he was good as usual.”
Will credited teammate Andrew Merrill for a good screen on the Skowhegan goalie on his first goal. That goal was set up on Will’s header after a corner kick by Daniel Paine.
The Vikings are coming off a 2-10-2 2017 season. “That was disappointing,” recalled Will. “This year we have ten seniors and are in a win-now mode.”
Through four games Skowhegan has given up twenty-six goals and scored only one.
I was within hearing range of the players most of the time. I was impressed with the Indians leaders on the field. I heard nothing but instruction and encouragement from the players despite the lopsided score.
Will told me that his dream for next year would be to get into an Ivy League school. “I expect to play club soccer or intramurals soccer in college.”
I asked Will about being coached by his father. “It can be frustrating at times because more is expected of me, but it has really been a great thing to have him around as my coach for the past three years. By him coaching, I know he cares.”
Nice crowd on hand for a sunburn kind of afternoon.
Both teams are in Class A North.
Both schools helped me by emailing their rosters to me.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)