It's so important for athletic teams, regardless of the sport, to be able to play full out the entire game because a momentary lapse in play can prove to be very costly.
Just ask the Mountain Valley boys' soccer team who had played extremely well through out a majority of the first half against Dirigo. The Falcon defense had rotated back, with Garret Carver, Mike Theriault and Chris Bouret, to keep the rival Cougars at bay.
"But really for us to hang with Dirigo was sort of unexpected," said MV coach Todd Papianou. "We just really played good soccer, but not for 80 minutes. Garret Carver was assigned (Dirigo's Chad) Snowman as a one on one and he admitted he had him covered for 38 minutes and the one chance Snowman slipped him he scored on a corner header."
Dirigo was unable to generate a sustained offensive attack, mainly because of the Falcons' strategy, until scoring twice in the final 3:16 of the first half. Hunter Ross set up both goals with his kicks into the crease. Snowman and TJ Frost each headed a ball past Falcon goalie Dakota Jacques (15 saves) .
The Falcon realized Snowman is not the whole Dirigo team and they had to really play with cushion on defense to not get burned by the other players.
"I was happy with my D still," said Papianou. "But when those two goals went in they really had a tough time finding their game again. Dirigo smells blood like a Piranha frenzy. It got ugly quick."
MV continued to battle with Austin Glover, Andrew Phelps on the right side, left wing Alex Witas and Josh Rainey. It was Phelps who scored in the second half as Mountain Valley got on the scoreboard following an outstanding play. Exchange student Nicklas Dupont intercepted a pass, Phelps, dribbled left, then rotated and booted the ball past goalie Mike Chow (seven saves) into the far corner.
"Been working to help Phelps mature and be more than a one trick pony," said Papianou, who had a vision to move the senior on wing. Inside was clogging his run, but now he is getting the type of runs I expect will help the team and him be more effective. He agrees and likes it now after adjusting to the change."
There were numerous moves being made by the Mountain Valley field hockey team. However, it was done as part of a well calculated plan. The team had five games in six days last week, so the objective was trying to keep the players healthy.
This included Peyton Provencher to left inner, Alyson Carlton to right wing and Alexys. Duguay to left wing instead of right; she gets her feet around better to get a shot off on the left. Put Kayla Pingree at left midfield, with Kaitlyn Radcliffe. Maddy Kaubrys and Nicky Couch sharing the right midfield position, to keep them all fresh and strong. Seniors Lexi Fryover and Taylor Dickson are also in MF.
"I am trying to match skills with positions," said coach Melissa Forbes, frontline or midfield, left or right. "Trying to keep the ball moving up the field. One touch pass or shoot on goal. Correct positioning on defense to force the ball on to our sticks."
The Falcons are adding depth, along with freshmen Duguay, Kaubrys and Radclif,f who can hold their own very well in a varsity game.
Injuries can be a risk of playing athletics and Addy Fuller has firsthand experience. The Dirigo senior soccer player suffered a torn meniscus in her knee, surgery is pending, but has vowed to be ready for tennis, next spring.
Meanwhile, Fuller has remained active during soccer games, by singing the National Anthem and keeping the home scoreebook.