ORONO, Maine — The John Bapst High School Crusaders were dealt a humbling 7-0 defeat at the hands of the Foxcroft Academy Ponies on Sept. 9 in Dover-Foxcroft.
The vastly-improved Crusaders from Bangor were much more competitive on the artificial turf at the University of Maine Monday night but the undefeated Ponies prevailed 2-0 on a pair of goals from junior right wing Julia Annis.
It was Foxcroft’s seventh straight win as the Class C Ponies improved to 7-0-1. Foxcroft has yet to yield a goal.
Class B John Bapst fell to 2-6 and the Crusaders have been shut out in all six losses.
Foxcroft junior goalkeeper Brianna Skolfield, who transferred to the school after spending two years at Corinth’s Central High School, was forced to make just three saves but two of them were gems.
She made a potential game-changing save off a Lauren Tribuzio breakaway early in the game before Annis opened the scoring.
Rachel Graves made the pass to Tribuzio and she sprinted down the right wing.
Skolfield charged off her line and was able to get her left pad on the shot.
“I had to time it right. I wanted to come out to decrease her angle,” said Skolfield.
“She made a good save,” said Tribuzio. “Originally, I wanted to shoot it to the far post. But I kind of freaked out [when Skolfield came out] and shot it [quickly] and it didn’t work out like I wanted it to.”
“She made a nice play. She timed it beautifully,” said John Bapst coach Gina Schuck.
A few minutes later, with 21:20 left in the half, Annis scored what proved to be the game-winner off a flurry in front.
Standout John Bapst junior goalie Karen Noble made a pair of rapid-fire saves before Annis converted on the third shot.
“It came off the goalie’s pads and I put it in the open side,” said Annis.
“I dove one way and turned around and dove the other way. I got it both times but, after the second dive, it went in,” said Noble.
Fern Morrison also had a shot in the flurry and notched the assist.
The Ponies totally dominated the first half but Noble came up with eight saves off their 17 shots to keep her team within striking distance.
Tribuzio’s breakaway was the only shot of the half for the Crusaders.
But the second half was much more evenly played.
Annis extended the lead 3:02 into the half, again off a scramble in front, with Madison Fadley assisting.
Annis and Fadley had shots before the Annis tucked it past Noble.
“[The rebound] came off [Noble]. She was on the ground. I had had a couple of shots and Madison had one. I moved it around [Noble] and put it in,” said Annis.
Skolfield came up with her second nice save with 10 minutes left in the game when Courtney Prue fed a pass to Alice Podolsky, who one-timed a shot only to have Skolfield kick it out with her right pad.
The Crusaders held Foxcroft to three second-half shots while generating three themselves.
“I think we played really well,” said Annis. “We passed really well and cut onto the ball well.”
Foxcroft coach Stephanie Smith thought her team worked hard and played well in the first half but not nearly as well in the second half. She praised the efforts turned in by Annis, sweeper Aliviah King, right back Abby Simmons and left midfielder Jenny Boyer.
Schuck said her team “definitely did better than we did in the first game against them” and lauded the play of Noble, Tribuzio, right back Shaylyn Cyr and center back Sam Ballesteros.
“I thought we played quite well, especially in the second half,” said Noble, who wound up with nine saves. “We’re making progress.”
JV: Foxcroft 2-1