9 seniors lead boys soccer into quarterfinals
“We needed this game,” said coach Ayala, entering the Ponies’ final regular season game on Tuesday, October 20. “You want to go into the playoffs with momentum.”
The Ponies did just that, defeating the Hermon Hawks 1-0. The score was close, but the Pony seniors, who were playing in their final home game, played like they had something to prove, dominating time of possession and shots on goal.
“This is definitely a special group of seniors,” said Ayala. “They have worked hard to make FA soccer what it is now. This group of 9 seniors and 2 managers will have a special place in my heart.”
Foxcroft outshot Hermon 27 to 11, and it was fitting that on senior night, senior Blake Arno was the one to score, securing the Ponies the 9th seed in the very competitive Class B North playoffs. “I am so proud and happy for Blake, said Ayala. “He has worked so hard to get to this point–to be a starter and a leader on the team. Those things just don’t happen without hard work.”
As the 9th seed, Foxcroft travelled to Medomak Valley to play the 8th-seeded Panthers in the first round of the Class B North playoffs. The Ponies used momentum built in their game against Hermon to jump out to an early lead just five minutes into the game on a Tobias Hogfeldt goal. The Panthers pulled even, but Dylan Harmon-Weeks put Foxcroft back on top, and Hogfeldt extended the lead to give the Ponies a 3-1 win and a trip to the Northern Maine quarterfinals for the second consecutive year.
Foxcroft will travel to Ellsworth to play the top-ranked Eagles on Wednesday at 5 pm. Foxcroft is looking for a big Pony crowd as they attempt to knock off the team that ousted them from the playoffs last year.
Football wins final two games, surges into playoffs
It was another must-win game for the Foxcroft football team on Friday, October 23, against John Bapst, and they played with a ferocity that would not allow another outcome, scoring on their first four possessions and limiting the Crusaders to only 37 yards of offense through 10 possessions to run away with a 46-13 win.
Nick Clawson rushed for 99 yards with a score and added two more touchdown passes to lead the Pony offense. Jeremy Richard and Zachary Caron each had a touchdown reception, Evan Chadbourne added a rushing touchdown and returned a kickoff for a score, and Brandon Brock rushed for 117 yards and two scores on a modest 11 attempts.
The Pony defense was also formidable, forcing 8 three-and-outs and a turnover through 10 possessions.
“Many guys contributed to a total team win,” said coach White. “We have some nice confidence heading into the postseason.”
The Ponies, who have come into form in the last few weeks, have registered three sacks, forced two turnovers, had 8 players score, and have outscored their opponents by a combined 77 points over their final two games en route to a 4-4 record and 5th seed in the Class C Big 10 Conference.
The Ponies will travel to 3rd seed Madison on Saturday to play the Bulldogs at 1 pm.
Field Hockey battles hard but falls short in semifinals
The Foxcroft field hockey team won their Class B North quarterfinal matchup against the Belfast Lions in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, scoring in the eighth round of penalty corners after forcing overtime with just five minutes remaining in the second half.
The win advanced the Ponies to the Class B North semifinals where they ultimately lost a hard fought and close contest to the Winslow Black Raiders.
The Ponies who lost 7 starters to graduation last year and moved up to Class B exceeded all expectations of the season and have the ingredients for a strong future as they return 8 starters and 12 players will significant experience next year.
Piquette and Clawson qualify for cross country state championship
The Foxcroft cross country team competed at the Class B North Regional Championship on Saturday, October 24, in Belfast. Both the boys and girls teams were shorthanded as the Ponies were without their dual-sport athletes who were competing in playoff games for the boys soccer and field hockey teams. Coach Pearsall was impressed, nevertheless, with his team’s performances. “The boys team was down to what I call the everyday seven,” said coach Pearsall. “They represent the seven boys I have at practice everyday. I think it’s very fitting that they ended up being the seven boys that ran on Saturday. They along with Jenny and Virginia from the girl’s team have put in a lot of work, and with them, I knew I was in good hands.”
Gabe Piquette led the way for Ponies with a 14th-place finish that qualifies him for the state championship meet. Piquette’s time of 17:43 for 5k was his best and marked only the second time a Foxcroft runner has broken 18 minutes since 2006. “Breaking 18 is a great achievement,” said Pearsall. “Gabe is running with a lot of confidence, and it’s translating to some fast times.”
Joining Piquette with all-time bests on the day were freshman Nicholas Daneman (19:28), senior Hunter Giacomuzzi (19:49), junior Ethan Poland (20:56), sophomore Kazu Kawashima (21:40), and senior Blaine Robinson (24:28).
Jen Clawson led the girls, finishing 21st in 21:56 to capture one of 30 individual state qualifying spots. Jenna Clukey had an all-time best of 23:34 for 50th and Virginia Macomber (28:34 for 82nd) rounded out the shorthanded girls team.
Clawson and Piquette will travel to Cumberland to compete in the Class B State Championship meet at Twin Brook Park on Saturday, October 31. “Gabe and Jenny are very deserving of their qualifications,” said Pearsall. “They’ve run very well and consistent all season, and I’m excited to see how they rank against the state’s best.”
Clawson will run at 12:30 and Piquette at 1:15.
Girls soccer concludes season of firsts
The Foxcroft girls soccer team may have missed the Class B North playoff bracket and a chance to compete for a championship by less than one heal point, but their play during the regular season proved that they could play with the region’s best.
“This was a season of firsts,” said second-year coach Chris Wesley. “The team had its first win in over four years, its first Class B win, and its first win over a top-ranked team.”
The up-and-coming squad finished the regular season 6-8 and tantalizingly close to a playoff berth, but the Ponies showed great progress for a team that had previously gone 4 years and 10 months without a win. The Ponies went on two three-game win streaks and had 12 girls score at least one goal.
“The FA girls soccer program has finally arrived,” said Wesley. “They’ve earned the respect of the community, school, family, friends, and most importantly of themselves. I truly believe that our program has finally turned the corner, and the sky is the limit!”
The Ponies, who return their top two goal scorers, goalie, and many starters, will look to take another step forward next season under the continued direction of coach Chris Wesley.