Boys’ soccer team off to hot start
Coach Luis Ayala’s soccer team is off to a tremendous start, ripping off wins over John Bapst and Caribou to open the 2014 campaign.
Tino Ayala’s pass sprung Justin Diamond for a breakaway goal in the first half to deliver the Ponies a 1-0 win at John Bapst in Wednesday’s opener. “We may have been a little nervous heading into that game and didn’t quite play to our potential early on,” said Coach Ayala, “but once we scored that first goal, we settled in and played much better.”
The Ponies held a tailgate party Saturday morning in advance of the home opener against Caribou, and the team came out with a lot of energy, seizing a 1-0 lead just five minutes in when Eli Olson assisted Tino Ayala on a beautiful goal from the top of the penalty box. The score remained the same until halftime, but the Ponies came roaring out of the break and quickly increased their lead to 3-0 on a direct kick goal from Ayala and a deflected Matt Baiamonte shot from the top of the box. The Vikings sliced the lead to 3-1 and appeared to capture some momentum, but Nick Boyd’s lovely volley off a precision cross from Diamond put the game out of reach for good. Logan Butera (4 saves) and Woojun Kim (4 saves) split the game in net for the Ponies, who impressed Coach Ayala with their play. “Finishing the way we did, that was very impressive,” he said. “What showed today is that the kids worked hard during preseason and that we’re a better conditioned team than we’ve been in the past.”
The Ponies will look to build on their early season success with games at Dexter Tuesday, vs PCHS Thursday, and vs Hermon Saturday. Coach Ayala is delighted with his team’s effort so far but realizes there is a long way to go. “It’s always great to come out with two wins, but I know it’s still early in the season and there are tougher teams down the line. Our objective is to continue to work hard and take it one game at a time.”
Football team bounces back with big win over Camden Hills in home opener
The football team forced eight turnovers and piled up 409 yards of offense en route to a 46-16 victory over Camden Hills at Oakes Field Friday night. Four different players scored for the Ponies, who improved to 1-1 with the victory and will face undefeated Belfast on the road Friday.
Chris Storer threw for 145 yards and two touchdowns and added 73 yards and a score on the ground, Hunter Smith had touchdown receptions of 60 and 31 yards and accounted for 154 total yards from scrimmage, and Pete Boyer carried the ball 28 times for 151 yards and three scores. Freshman Nick Clawson added a 44-yard rushing touchdown as time expired, and Nate Church remained perfect on extra points, knocking in all four of his attempts to improve to 6-6 for the season. “It was good to see balance on the offensive side of the ball, with four different players accounting for our seven touchdowns,” said Coach Danny White.
The Pony defense allowed a 12-play, 52-yard scoring drive to open the game but stiffened considerably from there, forcing a turnover or punt on the Windjammers’ next 11 possessions. Caleb Edgerly picked off two passes; Hunter Smith, Abe Simpson, and Kaleb Faloon had interceptions; Billy Brock had eight tackles, two forced fumbles, and a sack; and Isaiah Kennell led the team with nine tackles. “Our defense got better as the game unfolded,” said Coach White. “We had a couple breakdowns on a few plays we’d like to have back, but overall I’m pleased with the effort. You have to be happy any time you force eight turnovers.”
Coach White knows his players will need to take another step forward if they hope to compete with the Lions, who ended the Ponies’ season last November. “We’ve got a huge game coming up with Belfast on Friday, and we’ll need to get better this week and come out with more intensity if we want to beat such a quality opponent.”
Balanced golf team grinds out three more victories
The Pony golf team reeled off three wins last week to improve its season mark to 6-2. Coach Pete Caruso’s squad defeated Dexter 186-216 at Foxcroft Golf Club on Monday and then fired a 191 to best both Dexter (196) and John Bapst (208) at Foxcroft on Wednesday. Freddy Libby led the way on Monday with a 43, with Henry Chase (46), Racquel Bozzelli (48), and Bram Dennis (49) also posted contributing scores. Dennis and Emily Turner paced the Ponies on Wednesday with a 46 while Libby (47) and Nick Decker (52) chipped in.
“We had a good week,” said Coach Caruso, whose Ponies will travel to MDI on Tuesday to compete against MDI and Bucksport before returning home for a meet on Friday. “I am pleased with the progress of the team and am looking forward to seeing how we play on some of the different courses we will be traveling to in the next couple of weeks. The PVC Championship Tournament and a top-four spot is our ultimate goal.”
Field hockey team remains atop Class C East
Coach Stephanie Smith’s field hockey team is ranked #1 in the Class C East Heal Point standings despite a disappointing 4-0 loss to #2 Dexter in the home opener on Saturday. The Ponies are 3-1 following a busy week that also included a 1-0 win at John Bapst on Monday and a 3-0 win at PCHS on Wednesday.
Madison Fadley redirected a Julia Annis shot into the net to deliver the Ponies a hard-fought victory on the University of Maine turf Monday night. The game was scoreless at the half as the Ponies struggled to adjust to the artificial surface in the opening 30 minutes but took control of the game down the stretch.
Fern Morrison got the scoring started Wednesday at PCHS with a beautiful flick to the inside corner, and Fadley recorded the second goal with an assist from Emma Tetlow. Abby Simmons capped the scoring with a rocket to the left-hand corner of the goal on a penalty corner that was set up nicely by Fadley and Annis. “The execution of the set up play off the penalty corner was picture perfect,” said Coach Smith.
Things did not go as smoothly on Saturday against the undefeated Tigers, who the Ponies will see again in the penultimate regular season game on October 8. “We had severe breakdowns in our defensive coverage and were slow in our recovery,” said Smith. “Dexter took advantage of the opportunities. We certainly had our own opportunities but could not capitalize. This kind of loss will determine what kind of team we will be. Hopefully, we will evaluate what we did wrong, learn from it, and work hard to eliminate our mistakes.”
The Ponies will be back in action at home against Mattanawcook on Tuesday and Hermon on Thursday before traveling to Central for a 3:00 game on Saturday.
Cross country team improving at remarkable rate
The cross country team made the long journey to Aroostook County Saturday morning to compete in the 12-team Caribou Invitational. Gabe Piquette paced the boys’ team to a sixth-place finish, completing the 5000 meter course in 19:28.86. He was trailed closely by teammates Nate Feleke (20:08.77), Noah Simpson (20:16.98), Kohei Kotani (20:13.46), Liam Casey (20:29.51), Hunter Giacomuzzi (21:29.64), Peter Xue (23:41.09), and Ethan Poland (24:23.03).
Jen Clawson ran a very solid 23:47.84 to lead the shorthanded girls’ side while Anna Sedlackova (26:32.21) and Virginia Macomber (27:25.68) shaved several minutes off their times from a week ago.
Coach Brett Almasi is thrilled with the progress his team has made in just one week. Despite competing on a longer, more challenging course, all 13 Ponies (including newcomers Todd Zhou and Mariaisabel Cedeno, who each ran their first career race) posted personal bests for the 2014 season, shaving a combined 18:46 off their times from a week ago in Ellsworth. “I’m really proud of the way our guys ran on Saturday,” said Almasi, “and we can’t wait to compete on our home course this coming Friday.”
Busy week ahead for girls’ soccer team
Coach Chris Wesley’s rebuilding soccer team dropped its season opener 6-0 at John Bapst on Thursday. Toiling in heavy rain and wind, the Ponies trailed just 1-0 at halftime but ran into trouble after the break. Freshman goalkeeper Kiara Prescott performed admirably, turning away 24 of 30 shots on net.
The Ponies hosted a very good Caribou team in the home opener on Saturday and fell 9-0. Prescott was under assault all afternoon and made an incredible 36 saves while Cassidy Panciera, Laura Shorey, and Shayla Bickmore all had shots on net.
“Our ladies fought hard this week and are beginning to realize what it will take to come out on top,” said Coach Chris Wesley. “The results haven’t been what we hoped for, but our team has played extremely hard and has fought to the last whistle in each game. We will continue to work hard and get better each game as the season moves forward.”
The Ponies will host 1-1 Hermon this afternoon at 4:00, will play 2-1 Dexter under the Oakes Field lights Wednesday at 7:00, and will travel to 2-1 PCHS on Friday.