BAR HARBOR — After scoring just once in their home opener early last week, the Mount Desert Island High School girls’ soccer team has given the nets at Alumni Field quite the pounding.
In the aftermath of MDI’s defeat to Hermon last Monday, the Trojans have sought to correct what went wrong both offensively and defensively. There were quite a few things that needed improvement following the team’s 5-1 loss to the Hawks, and the team was determined to fix them.
“We’ve been working on refining our movement and possession as well as our combination passes and our touches instead of just ball-watching,” head coach May Dow said. “We need to be able to be there and capitalize on opportunities that come to us.”
In the two contests since then, the MDI’s improvements have been evident. The team’s blowout wins Wednesday over George Stevens Academy and Saturday over Old Town have seen the Trojans excel in front of goal while frustrating their opponents’ offensive threats.
On Wednesday, MDI produced a dominant effort all around to defeat GSA 9-0. The Trojans got five goals and three assists from Daisy Granholm, two goals from Lelia Weir, one goal and one assist from Zoe Olson, one goal from Jaiden Scott (her first varsity goal) and one assist each from Sophia Anderson, Cadi Howell and Julia Rush.
MDI was back in action again Saturday and breezed to a 7-0 win in a Class B North showdown against Old Town. Granholm had four goals and one assist for the Trojans. Weir (two goals and two assists), Hannah St. Amand (one goal) and Mei Cook and Rachel Leonard (one assist each) contributed offensively as the Trojans reached 3-1.
The Trojans’ first goal against Old Town came as Weir found the back of the net on a long-range strike from near midfield. That goal seemed to ignite MDI, which went on to score four more first-half goals en route to victory.
“[Lelia] sometimes makes it look so effortless,” Dow said. “She’s a very technical player, and she sees the field well. When you add in the range she has, she’s even more of a dangerous weapon for our team to have.”
MDI also enjoyed strong play from its defenders and goalkeepers in both wins. The team tried a number of different defensive combinations against GSA and Old Town and gave both goalkeepers, Sabine Costello-Sanders and Haley Leonardi, opportunities in net.
“We have a couple new girls in our back line this year, and it takes a team effort on that back line with everyone rotating in,” Dow said. “In that Hermon game, we didn’t do a good job of clearing balls out of our 18[-yard box], but in the past few games, we have.”
MDI was scheduled to play on the road against Brewer (0-3) and John Bapst (1-2) on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The Trojans will host Caribou at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24.
Those games will be big ones for a third-place MDI team looking to maintain its place toward the top of the Class B North standings. Dow thinks this year’s field is as competitive as ever, and with only 10 teams eligible for the playoffs rather than 14, there is little margin for error.
“Every game is going to count, and we have to come ready to play every night,” Dow said. “For us, what helps is that our team dynamic right now is in a really good place right now. There’s no drama with this group, and they want what’s best for each other.