FRYEBURG — The Fryeburg Academy boys’ soccer team (1-2) kicked off the season in fine fashion with a dominating 5-0 victory over Wells (0-2) before dropping an offensive shootout to Sacopee Valley (2-0) by 5-4 and
being unable to match the pace of Cape Elizabeth (1-2) in a 5-0 loss on the Capers turf field.
The Raiders treated their home fans and the visiting Wells Warriors to a clinic on Sept. 5, with an even performance highlighted by consistent ball possession, lock down defense and frequent goal-scoring opportunities created in a match which saw every Raider player contribute on the field.
The home side jumped to a two-goal lead at halftime and added three more in the second half. Goal scorers were: Will Galligan (2), Pablo Lozano, Thupten Sherpa and Pablo Batalia.
Coach Bob Hodgman-Burns (“HB") was particularly pleased with how three newly arrived Spanish dorm students fit right in to the team. Goalkeeper Chandler Adams was rarely tested in the shutout victory.
On Sept. 9, HB was disappointed in his boys first half response to the direct, physical style of the visiting Sacopee Valley Hawks. Consistent long balls sent into the Raiders defensive end kept Fryeburg on its heels for most of the half, as they fell behind 5-1.
HB moved Galligan to the back four at halftime to provide some more experience, and the Raiders battled back to trail by just one goal with 18 minutes to play. The last half hour HB noted, "We had great pressure, but it wasn't to be. We didn't deserve to win. Fortunately we have them again, (away on Oct. 12).”
Speedy freshman Jacob Adams led the Raiders attack with two goals; Lozano and Batalia chipped in one apiece.
Despite the scoreline against the Capers, Coach HB was more pleased with his team's effort in their shutout loss last Thursday. Despite a practice in the FA parking lot the previous day, the extremely fast speed of play was a revelation to several Raiders in their first experience on
artificial turf. The 120- x 80-yard field dimensions left plenty of spaces for Capers to exploit en route to a 4-0 halftime advantage.
Nonetheless, the Raiders defense held solid in the second half, shutting down the Capers starting 11. Coach HB cited sweeper back Bobby
LeBlanc, Galligan and defender Will Mercier for strong defensive matches.
Tuesday, the Raiders are scheduled to travel to Naples, Maine, for a 6 p.m. kickoff against Lake Region (1-3), with the opportunity to get back to .500 before hosting Western Maine Conference powerhouse Greely (1-0-1) on Thursday.
HB commented, "We're a young team. Hopefully we'll figure it out."
The meshing of playing styles among individuals with a broad international background is still a work in progress.