The Foxcroft Academy girls soccer team wasn’t content with just hosting a postseason game for the first time Friday and showed it when the Ponies beat Woodland 2-1 in an Eastern Maine Class C prelim for the first playoff victory of the school’s girls soccer program.
Lindsey Kousaie and Shee-Ann Sergeant provided the offense for coach Cindy Obrey’s seventh-seeded club, which earned a trip to the St. John Valley to face No. 2 Fort Kent Wednesday in a 1 p.m. quarterfinal match.
The game was originally set for today, along with the rest of the girls quarterfinals, but Fort Kent’s field is still fairly wet after last weekend’s rain, according to FA athletic director Tim Smith.
Since Obrey took over the program in 2004, the Ponies have made strides every season, qualifying for Class B postseason play in three of the last four seasons, dropping a 2-0 preliminary decision to Old Town in 2008.
But Foxcroft was determined to take that up a notch this fall, and posted an 8-5-1 regular-season record that enabled it to host a playoff game.
“They had the tempo poured on, they really did. It was pretty intense,” Obrey said.
When the clock finally ticked down to zero, it set off quite a celebration.
“They are just excited about it, and I had Tim check [Monday]. It was the first time the girls program had ever won a playoff game, so I think they were very, very excited,” Obrey said.
Smith said Foxcroft’s first schoolgirl soccer season was 1996.
Kousaie scored an unassisted goal in the first half to give FA an early lead while senior forward Sargent gave the Ponies some insurance late in regulation.
Kousaie, a junior center midfielder, had been playing at center fullback throughout the season, but Obrey saw her as more of an offensive-minded player.
“She’s very determined to score goals, she’s hungry,” Obrey said.
Junior Paige Hobbs has been another offensive catalyst for FA while fullback Vanessa Lougee and goalkeeper Sarah Whittemore, both seniors, anchor the defense.
Whittemore was stout in net against Woodland, considering she hadn’t had much practice time leading up to the game.
“She missed two days of practice because of music [activities], and she told me she’s coming out and playing, and she did,” Obrey said. “She’s been my four-year starter [in goal]. She’s not nervous about playing in playoff games.”
Neither are the rest of the Ponies, considering they’re playing a traditional power in Fort Kent, which they didn’t face during the regular season.
“We’re pretty happy to go up to Fort Kent, so we’re good,” Obrey said. “The kids are excited and so am I. I like the snow, so I’m all set. They’re just enjoying this.”
Part of the success the Ponies have had is thanks to Chris Parsons, who coaches at the University of Maine- Farmington.
“He comes up and does stuff with the kids in the summer and it’s really helped my program,” Obrey said.
The second season begins
While there was quite a bit of parity throughout the region this fall, four girls soccer teams managed to survive the regular season without a loss or a tie.
Three of those four teams — Brunswick in Class A, Presque Isle in Class B and Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook in Class D were all rewarded with No. 1 seeds.
And if that’s not enough, Winslow, the No. 2 seed in Class B, also goes in at 14-0-0.
Second-ranked Bangor (12-1-1) hosts No. 7 Morse of Bath in a Class A quarterfinal today at 4 p.m., as coach Joe Johnson’s club begins its drive for its first Eastern Maine championship since 2005.
The Rams’ No. 2 seeding is their highest since they went in with the top seed in 2006.
Also in Class A, Brunswick hosts No. 8 Edward Little of Auburn, No. 3 Waterville, the defending state champion, entertains sixth-ranked Cony of Augusta and No. 4 Mount Ararat battles No. 5 Messalonskee of Oakland in Topsham.
In Class B, Presque Isle will kick off defense of its regional championship against a familiar foe in eighth-ranked John Bapst of Bangor, which coach Ralph Michaud’s club defeated twice during the regular season.
These teams also met in last year’s quarterfinal round, with the Wildcats winning 3-0.
Other matchups have Winslow hosting No. 7 MDI, No. 3 Old Town taking on No. 6 Medomak Valley of Waldoboro and No. 4 Gardiner meeting No. 5 Caribou.
Orono, the No. 1 seed in Class C, opens defense of its Eastern Maine crown against No. 8 Searsport. No. 3 Central, one of only two teams — Old Town is the other — to defeat the Red Riots during the regular season, will host No. 6 Washington Academy of East Machias while No. 5 George Stevens of Blue Hill travels to No. 4 Houlton.
Southern Aroostook, a heavy favorite to repeat in Class D, kicks off its quest for a second straight state championship against No. 8 Fort Fairfield.
Easton, which compiled a 9-4-1 regular-season record to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 1997, earned the No. 5 seed and hits the road to face No. 4 Bangor Christian.
In other Class D action, No. 2 Ashland will host No. 7 Central Aroostook of Mars Hill in Presque Isle and No. 3 Deer Isle-Stonington takes on No. 6 Limestone/MSSM.