Ponies knock off Dexter and Old Town to finish regular season 13-1, set to host Winthrop in playoff opener on Tuesday
The Foxcroft field hockey team avenged its only loss of the season on Monday, downing the Dexter Tigers 1-0 behind a dramatic overtime winner from junior Avery Carroll. The left defensive back’s goal, her first of the season, was assisted by Julia Annis and came with 4:43 remaining in overtime. Madison Chadbourne had three saves in net to earn the shutout for the Ponies, who had two goals wiped off the board in regulation. The victory ended a 12-game Dexter winning streak that included a 4-0 win at FA back on September 13.
“The Dexter game was electric,” said Coach Stephanie Smith. “The girls were dialed in and played an intense game for the entire 65 minutes of regulation and overtime. We stuck to our game plan, marking their top player and limiting her touches on our defensive end. I was very proud of their team play and extraordinary efforts by all, which made it a well-deserved win with icing on the cake when Avery scored the winning goal in OT.”
Coach Smith’s team was right back at it in the season finale on Tuesday and looked every bit as strong, defeating Old Town, the #4 team in Class B East, 4-1 behind three goals from the Bourget twins (two for Alli, one for Abbi) and one from Annis. Fern Morrison had an assist for the Ponies while Chadbourne and Abby Simpson split the game in net. Alli Bourget’s strong finish increased her goal total to 10, giving the team four players in double digits for the season. Morrison paced the squad with 12 while Madison Fadley had 11 and Annis had 10 to go with a team-leading 15 assists.
The Ponies wrap up the 2014 regular season at 13-1 and are now 44-4-1 under Smith, who stepped in for Hall of Fame Coach Gene Philpot in 2012. They have outscored opponents 49-6 and will enter the postseason as the #3 seed in Class C East behind 13-0-1 Winslow and 13-1 Dexter. “This postseason will be very tough,” said Coach Smith. “The top three seeds have only two losses. It will be an extremely tough battle! We must improve our high level of play, our intensity, and our focus upon stepping on the field. We are up for the challenge. Pony Pride!”
The Ponies will host #6 Winthrop in a quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday, October 21, at 3:00. The Ramblers, who were beaten just once at home all season while only winning twice on the road, went 4-1-1 over their final six contests to finish 7-4-3. They did not share any common opponents with Foxcroft. The winner of tomorrow’s contest will advance to play either #2 Dexter or #7 Central in the semifinals on Saturday.
Photo taken by Matthew Kim ’16. Click here to see more from the Old Town game.
Ponies outlast physical Nokomis team, move to 5-2
Pete Boyer, Chris Storer, and Hunter Smith combined to rush for 314 yards and five scores to lead the Foxcroft football team to a 33-14 win over Nokomis at Oakes Field Friday night. The Ponies improved to 5-2 with one game to play while the Warriors fell to 3-4.
The Ponies had trouble moving the ball early against Nokomis’s huge defensive front and trailed 8-7 heading into the break, their one score coming on an electric 80-yard dash from Storer. Things opened up considerably in the second half, as Boyer was able to break off touchdown runs of 40, 28, and 58 and Smith took one to the house from 57 yards out. It was yet another massive game for Boyer, who finished with 167 yards on 15 carries and now has 1119 yards and 18 scores on the ground. Smith carried the ball eight times for 57 yards and completed two passes (both to Billy Brock) for 45 yards while Storer finished with 86 yards on just three touches.
The Pony defense was on the field for 67 plays and 32 minutes and did an excellent job containing Nokomis’s physical rushing attack, holding the very dangerous Noah Kerschner to 155 yards on 32 carries. The Warriors piled up 245 total yards on the ground but needed 56 carries to do so. Clay Carroll (18 tackles) and Boyer (14) were very active from their middle linebacker spots while defensive tackle Connor Holmes had his finest game as a Pony, delivering 11 big tackles. Nine other Ponies had at least five tackles: Billy Brock (9), Abe Simpson (8), Gaige Pleninger (8), Kaleb Faloon (8), Brandon Brock (7), Hunter Smith (5), James Smith (5), Sean Cody (5), and Isaiah Kennell (5).
“We remained patient on the defensive side of the football,” said Coach Danny White. “We stayed true to our game plan coming out of the break and were able to open the third quarter with two straight three-and-outs, which gave our offense great field position and put them in a much better position to operate.”
The Ponies close out the regular season at 3-4 MDI Friday at 7 pm and will be looking to lock down the #3 seed in the Big Ten Conference. Fans unable to make the trip will be pleased to hear that the action will be broadcast live on WABI TV5.
“MDI is a highly-competitive team that has been in all of its games this year,” said Coach White. “Their offensive efficiency will force us to be very sound on defense, and we’ll need to play a very aggressive style of football to come out of their with a win.”
Photo taken by Holly Ly ’15. Click here to see more of her great work from Friday, and click here to see the game film (courtesy of Daniil Grishko ’16).
Cross country team excels at PVC meet, eyes first state berth in six years
The Foxcroft Academy cross country team finished third out of nine teams competing in the large school division at the PVC Championship Meet in Bucksport on Saturday, marking the Ponies best finish at the PVCs since Coach Brett Almasi took over the program in 2009.
Cooper Nelson ran the 5K course in 18:45.63, good for sixth place in a field of 58, while Gabe Piquette (19:29.79–15th) and Noah Simpson (19:45.42–19th) also finished in the top 20. Nathnael Feleke (20:31.84), Liam Casey (20:34.62), Kohei Kotani (21:02.95), and Peter Xue (23:18.83) rounded out a Ponies’ varsity squad that finished behind Caribou and MDI while outperforming Old Town, John Bapst, Presque Isle, Ellsworth, Hermon, and Washington Academy.
Jen Clawson paced the shorthanded girls’ team with a time of 24:57.74 while Anna Sedlackova (28:09.54), Virginia Macomber (28:27.68), and Maria Cedeno (33:46.70) also ran well.
The Ponies will compete at the Eastern Regional Championship Meet in Belfast on Saturday, with a team berth in the state meet on the line. Coach Brett Almasi likes his team’s chances of qualifying for the first time since 2008. “Our strong finish at PVCs reflects how far we’ve come as a program this season,” he said. “We may never have the top runner at a meet, but we have seven guys with the ability to contribute to our team score each week. If a handful of those guys run their best next week, we’ll be competing with the state’s best on November 1.”
Team photo taken by Lauraine Piquette.
Turner, Bozzelli represent FA at state golf championship
Emily Turner and Racquel Bozzelli traveled with Coach Pete Caruso to Natanis Golf Course in Vasselboro to compete against 71 other players in the MPA Girls’ Individual State Golf Tournament on Saturday. Turner, a senior, and Bozzelli, a junior, each qualified on the strength of their scores at the PVC Tournament two weeks prior.
In her final high school performance, Turner came roaring out of the gate with a 42 on the front nine and finished with a 96, good for 26th place and nine strokes better than her score at last year’s tournament. Bozzelli was off to a solid start but had the very unfortunate break of being stung by multiple bees on the 7th hole. She was taken off the course for a precautionary examination and told that it was not in her best interest to continue. She is doing fine now and is eager to represent FA again at next year’s tournament.
“It was a pleasure to be able to bring these young lady golfers to this prestigious tournament,” said Coach Caruso, who did a terrific job in his return to the coaching ranks this season. “They both played well and demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship while on the course. FA is proud of their performance while representing the school.”
Boys’ soccer is first to slow Ellsworth
The boys’ soccer team may not have added any wins last week, but Coach Luis Ayala’s team played some of its best soccer in years, tying unbeaten Ellsworth 1-1 on Tuesday and falling 1-0 at #4 Old Town on Friday.
Perennial powerhouse Ellsworth rolled into town with a perfect 11-0-0 record, having outscored opponents 40-5 along the way. The game remained scoreless through the first half as the Pony defense and goalkeeper Logan Butera managed to thwart a number of Eagle scoring opportunities. Early in the second half, Justin Diamond made a spirited run through the heart of the Ellsworth defense and squeezed off a shot in traffic. The ball was deflected out to Blake Arno, who deposited it in the back of the net to give the Ponies an unlikely lead with 26 minutes to play. Butera made several outstanding saves over the next 15 minutes to preserve the lead, but Conor Maguire was able to break through and tie the game at 1-1 with 11 minutes remaining. The Eagles had several more excellent chances throughout the rest of regulation and both overtime periods, but the defense held and the Ponies emerged with a hard-fought tie.
“I am so proud of our defense,” said Coach Ayala. “They did an amazing job just keeping them in check throughout the game. They stepped up and played a physical and aggressive game. It was just an amazing game! Ellsworth is a quality team and for us to take them to overtime says a lot about our team. We played our hearts out and left everything on the field. This is the type of game that I hope we can build on and use to become the team I know we are.”
On Senior Day in Old Town on Friday, the Ponies played the 8-4-2 Coyotes to a scoreless tie until senior Tyler Gifford delivered a game winner with 13:46 left in the game. Butera repelled 14 of 15 shots to keep his team in the game.
The Ponies are now 8-4-2 and hold the #7 spot in the Class B East Heal Point standings. They’ll close out the regular season with a game at 6-7 Hermon Tuesday afternoon.
Photos at the Ellsworth game were taken by Perry Wang ’17 and Matthew Kim ’16. Click here to see more of their great work.
Girls’ soccer team fighting to the finish
The girls’ soccer team had a very busy week, traveling to Dexter on Tuesday, hosting Ellsworth Wednesday, and heading to Old Town on Friday.
The Ponies trailed 9-4 Dexter just 1-0 at halftime but were unable to overcome four penalty kicks and fell 5-0. Kendra Ewer stepped in at goalie and turned away eight shots, including a penalty kick. Shayla Bickmore, Grace Bickford, Cassidy Panciera, and Joanna Panciera all fired shots on goal, and Coach Chris Wesley singled out Emily Sprecher for “playing a fantastic game and being a force on the field.”
On Wednesday, the Ponies battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game before Ellsworth’s Kira Kennedy delivered the game-winner with five minutes left. Bickford and Joanna Panciera scored the Pony goals while Cassidy Panciera and Ewer picked up assists. Alisha Thomas had 15 saves in net to keep the game tight. “This was a great all-around effort by all the ladies in a very competitive game,” said Coach Wesley.
The Old Town Coyotes were too much for Foxcroft on Friday, celebrating Senior Day with a 9-0 win. The Ponies will close out the season at Hermon this afternoon.
Photo taken by Holly Ly ’15. Click here to see more from the Ellsworth game.