BUCKSPORT — Two local girls’ soccer teams picked up big wins in their recent contests with one squad continuing an early-season scoring spree and another opening the campaign with two decisive victories.
The Ellsworth girls’ team kicked off its 2021 season Wednesday with a 6-1 win over George Stevens Academy before posting a 6-0 victory Saturday against Foxcroft. Elsewhere, the Bucksport girls’ team claimed a 12-2 victory over Orono on Friday before overcoming its biggest challenge to date with a 5-3 road win against Central on Monday.
Ellsworth, which had been scheduled to open the season Sept. 4 against Caribou prior to COVID-19 issues at the Aroostook County school, instead did so Wednesday against GSA in Blue Hill. The visitors got three goals and one assist from Addi Laslie, a goal and an assist each from Paige Sawyer and Tori Watkins and one goal from Miah Coffin (first varsity goal).
Playing in its first home game Saturday, Ellsworth combined a strong defensive effort with a four-goal second half in a commanding win over Foxcroft. Laslie led the way with three goals and two assists for the Eagles, who also got one goal and one assist from Sawyer, a goal each from Coffin and Morgan Clifford and two assists from Megan Jordan.
The wins mark the first time in more than a decade that Ellsworth has started a season 2-0. After an unbeaten preseason in which the team scored at will during both exhibition games and a play day at Hampden Academy, the Eagles are emerging among the prime contenders in Class B North.
“I think we saw a lot of what we wanted to see from our first two games,” Ellsworth head coach Eric Terrill said. “We have some real veteran leaders on our team and some talented younger players as well, and they’re all playing really hard. You can see that they’re really taking in what we’re teaching them as coaches.”
The Bucksport girls’ team continued its prolific start to the season with a 12-2 victory over Orono in Friday’s contest at Bucksport High School. The Golden Bucks found the net nine times in the first half en route to their second consecutive 12-goal effort.
Ella Hosford, who scored a program-record seven goals in Bucksport’s 12-1 win last Monday against Sumner and six in the team’s Sept. 3 season opener against Mattanawcook Academy, bagged four for the Golden Bucks in the win. Bucksport also got three goals from Samantha Cyr, two goals each from Natasha Monreal and Meg Morrison and one from Lily Chiavelli.
On Monday, Bucksport faced its stiffest competition yet this season as it traveled to Corinth to take on an ever-consistent Central squad. The Golden Bucks answered the call by handing the Red Devils (1-1-1) their first defeat of the season to improve to 4-0.
Bucksport has now scored 38 goals in just four games this season. Thanks to their scoring prowess, the unbeaten Golden Bucks, who went from an 11-5 campaign in 2019 to an 8-1-1 mark in last year’s abbreviated season, have taken another step forward in 2021.
“We’ve been lucky to have some really athletic groups over the years, and we have that again this year,” Bucksport head coach Mike Garcelon said. “The girls started that process last year and became soccer smarter, and they’ve been pushing hard over the course of the winter and the summer to keep improving at their game.”
Bucksport’s game against Orono, which kicked off at 6 p.m., was the team’s first regular season game under the brand-new lights at the Miles Lane soccer field. With fans back in full force, the atmosphere under those lights was a vast improvement from last season’s limited-capacity, tightly regulated contests.
“A lot of people worked really hard to get us lights so that we could have this opportunity,” Garcelon said. “I think the kids are more excited this year. They were fine last year because they were just happy to get a chance to play, but now that their parents and friends are all here, it has just made a world of difference.”
Ellsworth is scheduled to face John Bapst (0-1) at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, at the University of Maine before playing home games at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, against Caribou and 6 p.m. next Tuesday, Sept. 21, against GSA. Bucksport will host Dexter at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18.