First-year Presque Isle High School boys soccer coach Joe Greaves will face the biggest test of his young career Wednesday when his 8-0-1 Wildcats invade Del Luce Stadium for a 5:30 p.m. game against 9-0 Ellsworth High School.
Ellsworth, ranked second in the Eastern Maine Class B Heal Points standings behind 9-0 Camden Hills, has outscored its opponents 38-1 while the third-ranked Wildcats have outscored their opponents 39-6.
Ellsworth coach Brian Higgins notched his 500th career win last week and he will be looking for win No. 502 on Wednesday.
Their game will follow another intriguing matchup between their girls teams.
The fourth-ranked Ellsworth girls are 6-3 while fifth-seeded Presque Isle is 6-1-1.
In analyzing the boys matchup, Greaves said “the biggest thing is we’re going to have to match their intensity and physical play.
“Whoever wins will have to grind it out. Ellsworth doesn’t make many mistakes,” said Greaves.
The Wildcat have been paced by 13-goal scorer Isaac LaJoie, 10-goal scorer Jake Player and Wilder York, who has eight goals and a team-high 10 assists.
Sweeper Cole Richards and marking backs Logan Good and Riley Norton anchor the dfense in front of goalkeeper Andrew Kofstad.
Kyle Haslam and Nick Holt have been two of Ellsworth’s offensive catalysts along with Maks Grover. Ben Curtis has been the mainstay in the back and Thomas Sawyer has been sharp in the net.
MDI’s ROSENFELD GOING STRONG
Mount Desert Island boys soccer coach John Rosenfeld is in his 34th year of coaching and is enjoying it just as much as ever.
“I’m still young at heart,” said the 60-year-old Rosenfeld, a native of Needham, Mass. and former University of Maine soccer player. “I love the game of soccer and I enjoy the kids. Soccer is a great sport. It’s a player’s sport.
“It’s not like basketball or football where you have time-outs. The kids have to make their own decisions on the field,” added Rosenfeld, who retired from teaching (MDI High School math department) last June.
He guided the Trojans to Eastern Maine championships in 1994 and 2000.
He feels the sport has changed for the better.
“There’s much emphasis on possessing the ball now and players handle the ball better,” said Rosenfeld. “It used to be kick-and-run or boot-and-scoot. Now you’ll see teams pass the ball out of the back now (instead of just kicking it as far as they can). They’ll move it through the midfield and build from there.”
His team is 5-5 after an important 2-1 win over John Bapst of Bangor on Monday.
“That win will give us a big boost,” said Rosenfeld, whose junior-laden Trojans have been led by 15-goal scorer NIck Shaw, seven-goal scorer Cai John, midfielders Audyn Curless, Jason Carbone and Chris Clemens, sweeper Richard Helmke and goalkeeper Steve Hanscom.