The Orono High School girls soccer team has played in five consecutive Eastern Maine Class C championship games, claiming back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009.
Don’t be surprised if they’re back in another one this season.
The Red Riots are 4-0 and have surrendered only three goals while scoring 24.
“We lost some key players but we’ve been blessed to get some freshmen who are very good even at this point [in their careers],” said Cid Dyjak, who is in his 31st season directing the fortunes of the Red Riots. “I’ve been very impressed by our young players.”
“I’ve been very pleased with their progress. It’s a wonderful group of girls. They listen really well and we’ve been able to really advance the cause very quickly … the cause of [ball] possession and playing good soccer. I’m really happy about that,” said Dyjak.
“I’m very proud of this team,” said junior midfielder Diana Tyutyunnyk. “We’ve come a long way so far and hopefully we can continue this trend and make it all the way.”
Dyjak lost three players off last year’s 11-4-2 team, which lost to Fort Kent in the EM title game, including his daughter, dominant midfielder Analies Ross-Dyjak, who is now playing at the University of New England in Biddeford.
Two of the impact freshmen are striker Becky Lopez-Anido and Brinsley Chasse, who can play a variety of positions.
Lopez-Anido is a swift, highly skilled striker and is a constant threat as a scorer or distributor.
Chasse, according to Dyjak, is a “wonderful player that we can use anywhere … we can play her as a flank midfielder or put her back in the middle of our defense.”
Back Daphne Murphy and midfielder Elizabeth White are freshmen who are also getting some minutes.
Tyutyunnyk and senior Hanna Renedo are “wonderful central midfielders” who make their presence felt offensively and defensively while controlling the midfield, according to Dyjak.
Senior Ellie Kass marshalls the back line with her quickness and instincts.
Senior Kate Fergusson and speedy sophomore Ali Pickering join Lopez-Anido up front.
Tyutyunnyk, Renedo and Chasse are complemented in the midfield by juniors Ali Gonyar and Bella DeSisto.
Kass is accompanied in the back by vastly improved sophomores Jordan Hernandez and Lauren Stoops.
Junior Vicki Goodwin won the goalkeeping job midway through the 2012 season and has made significant strides as she has gained experience.
Dyjak feels his team will be in the thick of the chase for the regional title.
“I haven’t seen most of the teams but I know on any given day, we have some players who can cause problems for anybody,” said Dyjak.