BAR HARBROR — Senior Night was always going to be an emotionally charged night for the Mount Desert Island High School boys’ soccer team. This time, though, had even more significance.
It was really the last regular season game, but it was important. In what Head Coach Tyler Frank called “the first playoff game,” the Trojans faced their biggest rivals, the Ellsworth Eagles.
Goals from Griffin Maristany, Trevor Morrison, Owen Mild and Jose Chumbe gave the MDI boys a 4-0 win over Ellsworth on Monday. The win completed a season sweep of the Eagles and cemented the Trojans’ place in the Class C North playoffs.
The game started off slowly with both teams playing tight defense, but that changed midway through the first half. Zach Harris nearly gave the Eagles the lead with 19 minutes, 28 seconds left in the half before missing to the right, and Ellsworth goalkeeper Hunter Fernald was forced to make a leaping save moments later to keep the game scoreless.
After MDI’s Nate Philbrook made a key save with 11 minutes left in the half, the Trojans took the lead 9:08 before halftime. Maristany scored the goal for MDI (4-10) when he pounced on a ball Ellsworth’s defense failed to clear and poked it into an empty net.
MDI put the ball in the net a second time 50 seconds later, but the goal was waived off after the referee ruled the Trojans had committed a foul on the play. Yet MDI bounced back and scored again when Morrison fired a volley into the top-right corner off a corner kick with 2:50 left in the half.
“He had a nice, solid hit off the cross and fired it in there just right,” Frank said. “It was the perfect angle and a perfect finish.”
The Trojans increased their lead to 3-0 when Mild scored with 32:18 to play in the game. The senior dribbled past the entire Ellsworth defense and put the ball in from close range to send the home fans wild.
“There were kids coming at me, but I saw an open lane and thought I had enough room,” Mild said. “I was feeling it, and I was ready to put it away.”
The Trojans rode the momentum from Mild’s goal by producing numerous opportunities and controlling the ball the rest of the game. The team got its reward with the game’s final goal when Chumbe caught Ellsworth (5-7-2) out of position and rolled the ball into the net with 10:57 to play.
With the win, MDI finished the season in 13th place in Class B North. The Trojans will face either Winslow or Mount View on the road in a game that likely will be scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 21.
Either of those teams would provide a difficult challenge for the Trojans, as they were a combined 24-3 and as each was riding eight-game winning streaks as of Tuesday.
Nevertheless, the Trojans have played their best soccer with their backs against the wall this season and are prepared to do so again.
“We’re the most dangerous team there is with this type of record,” Frank said. “In the playoffs, it’s a whole new season. These guys will go anywhere to take on anybody, and if they play like this, there’s no limit to what they can do.”