FRYEBURG, Maine — The Fryeburg Raiders (5-5-1) boys’ soccer team is riding a four-game win streak to move up Western Maine Class B standings all the way to sixth place. Over the past eight days, the Raiders have posted three shutouts, over St. Dominic’s, 3-0, York, 2-0, and Wells, 7-0.
On Tuesday, the Raiders took care of business against overmatched St. Dominic’s (4-5-2) in an away game at Auburn.
Coach Bob Hodgman-Burns said his team controlled most possessions, with central midfielder Kenyi Musembi doing a great job of orchestrating the offense.
In the first half, Fryeburg jumped ahead with two goals.
New addition Loyd Djossre used his strength and size to hold off multiple defenders in the box, then turned and fired a shot to the lower right corner back of the net.
Later, freshman speedster Jacob Adams made a brilliant dribbling run from midfield into the penalty area, only to be brought down by a harsh tackle.
On the resulting penalty kick, Caden Daigle missed but was blatantly harassed by a St. Dom’s player during the attempt. On the retake, Daigle calmly buried the PK to the upper right corner.
Coach Hodgson-Burns felt his team coasted a bit in the second half, rather than put the game away with more aggressive play. Coach remarked, “We played much better against York overall.”
In the final 10 minutes, the Raiders tacked on an insurance goal when Djossre dribbled past a Saints defender along the end line and laid a simple pass for an open Raider to assure the victory with a simple tap in to the back of the old onion bag from six yards out. Despite the somewhat lethargic play, Hodgson-Burns noted, “That was the type of game we would have lost a month ago.”
Last Thursday, the Raiders shut out a talented York (4-5-1, 8th) side with a solid 80-minute effort. The Raiders used their quick ball movement and possession game to great advantage, perhaps earning 70 percent of the ball control during the game, according to Hodgson-Burns.
Aggressive attacking play also forced the Wildcats to outfoul the Raiders by a 10-2 margin. Fryeburg gained a one goal lead in the first minute of play when Adams gained possession in the defensive half and took a clean breakaway in to score.
Jil Sehr gained the end line and put a cross to a streaking Adams for his second of the day midway through the second half. Alex Neilson recorded seven saves for York, while Fryeburg’s Chander Adams made three.
The previous Tuesday, the Raiders thoroughly dominated during a 7-0 thrashing at Wells (1-8-0). The Raiders started slow, going 20 minutes before breaking the scoring ice. But once the Warriors were broken, Raider goals began flowing for a 4-0 halftime lead. Thirty players made the bus trip and all 30 got on the field, most all for significant playing time. Goalscorer included: Jil Sehr (two), Louis Sehr, Pablo Lozano, Tatu Lozano, Daigle and Musembi.
Defensively, Hodgson-Burns has been most impressed with the unselfishness and tenacious marking of Will Galligan, who volunteered his starting spot among the attacking front six in order to shore up the Raiders defense back line when they fell to 1-5-1.
In net, while Chandler Adams has been called upon for fewer saves, two of the three against York were approaching sensational. Even more important, Adams has been commanding his defense, communicating and holding his line more conservatively to allow his defenders to do their job. Hodgson-Burns praises his goalie’s improvement as critical to the recent winning streak.
With three regular season games remaining, the Raiders look set to earn a playoff spot, and maybe climb even higher in the seedings with wins over challenging, high value Heal Point opposition at Waynflete (9-1-0, 1st place, Class C) today and hosting Freeport (7-2-2, 4th place) next Tuesday.