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Recap of Cougar boys' soccer team
DIXFIELD -- The return of the bulk of the personnel had raised expectations of the Dirigo boys' soccer team and this showed on both sides of the ball.
The Cougars produced plenty of highlights through the regular season and finished with an 11-3 record.
“We had a great season,” said coach Jack Rioux. “Our strengths was in our defense and how we played as a team. Our defense was anchored by our four-year starter in net, Caleb Turner. We knew with Caleb in net and our strong back line that we wouldn't give up to many goals and that would keep us in games.”
The defense included seniors Jeremy Briggs, Garret Carver and Josh Turbide, junior Trevor Newman and sophomore Brian Volkernick. Turner was strong indeed with eight shutouts and nine goals allowed.
The first half of the season had losses to Hall Dale, 1-0, and St. Doms. However, the Cougars won seven of their final eight games. The three losses (Lisbon) were against playoff teams.
The offense scored 35 goals, led by Chad Snowman 12 goals, six assists, TJ Frost (seven, five), Hunter Ross (six, four), Cody St. Germain (five, six) and Turbide (one, eight).
“Offensively we had four guys score five goals or more,” said Rioux, who returns Snowman, Frost and Ross. “So teams couldn't just mark up with one player.”
Snowman led the team with four gamewinning goals.
Two of the more memorable games were against rival Mountain Valley. In overtime, Briggs sent an advancing pass that bounced over the Falcon defense. Snowman broke for the net and blasted a line shot past the right shoulder of Falcon goalie Kyle Gauvin.
“I was just thinking score and get (game) over with quickly like coach had said,” said Snowman, who scored 41 seconds into overtime.
On a chilly night in Rumford, Frost and Ross scored goals 19 and 15 seconds into the start of each half and then the Cougars needed a combined effort to fend off a strong challenge. Still, the rivalry surely provided all the motivation between the neighboring Cougars and Falcons.
In their playoff game, Dirigo gave Hall-dale all they could handle but there overall depth proved solid in the Bulldogs 2-1 win.
“Overall we had an outstanding season,” said Rioux. “We are losing five seniors that were not only the backbone of our team and great players but they are also great young men and will be missed big time next year."