January 19, 2018
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Hermon, Presque Isle career scoring leaders gearing up for soccer playoffs

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff
Updated:

Alex Allain and Maddi Michaud aren’t very tall.

Allain, a Hermon High School senior, stands 5-foot-4 and Presque Isle senior Michaud is two inches shorter. But don’t let their size fool you.

They are two of the state’s most prolific goal scorers and own their respective schools’ scoring records.

Midfielder Allain has scored 102 career goals while Michaud, a striker, has found the back of the net 80 times in just three seasons.

Allain scored 43 goals last year as a striker but Hermon coach M.J. Ball put her in the midfield this season after graduating several key midfielders. She has tallied 20 goals.

Michaud has scored 28 goals, including two in a 2-1 win over Brewer to end the regular season. That ties the school’s single-season record. She also holds the single-game mark with six, which she has done twice.

Both said they have been humbled by their accomplishments.

“When I was a freshman, I never thought I’d end up with 102 goals four years later,” said the 17-year-old Allain. “It’s crazy to think about it.”

“It’s pretty great, to be honest,” said Michaud. “When I came in my freshman year, my goal was to set the school record.”

Both players credit their teammates with playing vital roles in their success.

“Everyone I have played with in four years and their abilities have enabled me to score the goals,” said Allain. “I’ve improved every year because of my teammates and my coach. M.J. has been my coach since middle school and he has definitely been one of the big reasons I’m the player that I am today.”

Michaud has been closely marked this season as opposing teams try to neutralize her, but her teammates have enabled her to shake her markers.

“I’ll pass it to them and they’ll give it right back to me and I’ll be able to beat (my defender) one on one,” said Michaud.

Ball and Presque Isle coach Ralph Michaud know they are fortunate to have Allain and Michaud and also respect the talent of the opposing standout.

“Alex has great technical skills and great awareness,” said Ball. “She has confidence with the ball. She is deceptively fast. Her first three steps are very quick.”

Ball said she benefitted from having talented players around her who set her up during her first three seasons, but they have a youthful team this season which prompted a move to the midfield, where she has flourished.

“She has really been creating her own chances but she has also been a very good provider. She has 15 assists this year and probably has 75 in her career,” said Ball.

Six of Allain’s goals have come on headers this season, but she also can convert off volleys or cut around opponents and score.

“She is a phenomenal player,” said Ralph Michaud. “She’s very skilled. She can hit the ball with her left foot and her right foot and she has speed.”

Ralph Michaud said his striker is a pure goal scorer. He explained that Maddie Michaud was the leading scorer for the high school summer team — when she was going into eighth grade.

“She finds ways to score goals,” he said. “If it’s with her left foot, her right foot or with a header. She finds a way to score.”

Ball said Michaud is “dangerous every time she gets the ball. She has incredible speed, she’s athletic and she’s a great finisher.”

Fort Kent coach Robby Nadeau said Michaud is, “as tough as nails. We game plan for her but she still scores goals.”

Ball said Allain has shown what a team-oriented player she is by willingly moving to midfield, knowing her scoring opportunities would be reduced.

Allain said she knew how important it was for her to make the move to midfield.

“I’ve had to be more of a distributor. I’ve had to find the open gaps. I have a view of the entire field. As a striker, you only see the goal from the middle of the field,” she said.

The team captain, the daughter of Luc and Sue Allain, also has become more of a vocal leader.

Hermon (10-3-1) is an uncharacteristic No. 9 seed facing Friday’s 3 p.m. Class B North preliminary playoff game at No. 8 Mount View of Thorndike (10-4).

“It has been rewarding because we’ve had to work for everything. We haven’t been crushing teams by 10 goals. Not finishing high and getting the home-field advantage will make us work a little harder,” she said.

Presque Isle (11-3) earned the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in Class B North and will host a quarterfinal next week.

Michaud said she has been able to improve every season.

“I have more skill this year. I’m smarter and more patient,” said the daughter of Chuck and Kristan Michaud. “I’m a little more confident, too.”

Michaud has benefitted from playing club soccer during the spring with the Dutch Soccer Academy’s United Premier Club based in Warren. The club also has roots in Presque Isle.

“I’ve played with them since I was 4 years old,” said Michaud who, like Allain, is also a basketball player.

Michaud hopes PI can make a deep playoff run.

“We’ve got a tough bracket. It’s going to be very competitive,” she said.


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