Blue Hill—The George Stevens Academy boys soccer team’s strong showing this season has been a “pleasant surprise” to head coach Mark Ensworth.
After losing eight starters and 11 total seniors last year, Ensworth said it was a bit of a toss up as to how the season could have started.
“It was a bit of a learning curve, but we have a talented group of young kids who have hit the ground running,” said Ensworth.
That young talent, coupled with a solid group of returning seniors, has played a key role in the team’s performance on the field. With five overtime games already this season, three of which ending in a tie, Ensworth said he has been happy with the way his team has been working.
“It’s been a pleasant surprise to see how quickly this group of kids has come together,” said Ensworth. “They’re really starting to understand where each other will be on the field and they’re trusting each other, which is great.”
With three games left in the regular season, Ensworth said he is hoping his team will finish strong and hold on to the third-place ranking.
“I don’t think we have enough points left on our schedule to move up much from where we are now, but we’ll just keep working,” he said. “We have a couple really tough games coming up, so we just have to dig in.”
Senior Taylor Schildroth and sophomore Owen Vinall have shouldered much of the scoring responsibilities this season for the Eagles, while senior goalkeeper Alec Witham has registered two shutouts and only allowed 16 goals in 11 games, as of October 3.
“A lot of our games have been close, they could have gone either way,” said Ensworth. “It really just shows how dedicated the kids are and how hard they’re working.”
2017 a ‘growing year’ for GSA girls soccer
George Stevens Academy girls soccer coach Steve Bemiss is deeming this season a year of growth, as his team of four seniors, nine juniors, four sophomores and seven freshmen are hanging on to the 9th spot in the Class C North standings.
“I think we’ve made progress from when we started,” said Bemiss. “The girls are still actively improving.”
With only three games remaining on the schedule, Bemiss is hoping for a 7th-place finish in the final standings, which would give them home field advantage in a preliminary matchup.
“At some point I think we’re going to figure out what we’re doing,” said Bemiss. “We’re just going to keep working hard and see what happens.”
Bemiss added that his players have been performing well at practice, but come game time some of the fundamentals go by the wayside.
“The things we do in practice are really outstanding, but when we get to game time we aren’t quite there yet,” he said.
The team is 3-6-2 entering the final three games of the season, and Bemiss said his team recognizes that there is still a chance at a successful postseason run.
“Everybody is working hard, and I think we all realize that if we stay where we are [in the standings] or better, we have a chance to do something,” he said.
The team has two home games, against MDI (October 5) and Deer Isle-Stonington High School (October 10), and an away game against Orono (October 12) remaining on the regular season schedule.