MDI’s Natalie Rechholtz defends against GSA’s Hazel Sheahan during the second half of a high school girls’ soccer game Oct. 19 in Bar Harbor. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

Mount Desert Island girls’ soccer team nets first win

Mount Desert Island’s Hannah Ford defends against George Stevens Academy’s Clementine Bannon during the second half of a high school girls’ soccer game Oct. 19 in Bar Harbor. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

BAR HARBOR — After three games without a goal, the Mount Desert Island girls’ soccer team entered a new week desperate to find a breakthrough. 

Coming into Monday’s game against George Stevens Academy, it had been nearly three weeks since junior Lelia Weir scored the team’s only goal of 2020 in MDI’s season opener against Bucksport. Looking to find the net once again and secure their first win of the season, the Trojans succeeded in doing both. 

The MDI girls claimed a 5-0 win in Monday’s game against George Stevens Academy in Bar Harbor. The Trojans got two goals each from Lelia Weir and Emma Freudig and one from Sabine Costello-Sanders to top the Eagles in decisive fashion in what might be the team’s final home game this year. 

“It’s great for these girls to get a big boost to their confidence and having that feel-good of getting some goals,” MDI head coach May Chan said. “It’s a good feeling when you can put some balls in the net, and tonight, we were able to do that.” 

Weir opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game after receiving the ball just inside the final third, dribbling through the GSA defense and finishing with her left foot. The junior captain then made it 2-0 MDI moments later on a 35-yard screamer following good link-up play from teammates Gaia Daul and Sophia Anderson. 

MDI’s Finley Smith lunges at a loose ball as GSA’s Nevaeh Hodgkins rushes on to defend during the second half of a high school girls’ soccer game Oct. 19 in Bar Harbor. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

Although MDI (1-4) couldn’t find a third goal in the first half, the Trojans did so with 28 minutes, 11 seconds remaining in the second when Sabine Costello-Sanders netted the first of her career. Emma Freudig made it 4-0 with her own first career goal with 7:24 to play before finishing off the scoring with just over a minute left on a header from close range. 

Freudig’s goals were the products of excellent positioning and awareness in front of the GSA net. Her first goal came off a rebound that Blodgett had parried away from goal, and the senior’s second came after she maneuvered through a see of green and white jerseys to bundle a loose ball into the back of the net. 

“Emma was really strong out there in getting her two goals,” Chan said. “She showed great instincts on that first one, and then she was able to graze it in off her head on the second one after a corner kick from Lelia.” 

MDI’s flurry of goals came after the team made a few positioning tweaks and worked on improving its buildup play during practices. Between those adjustmentsthe team’s clinical efficiency in front of goal and goalkeeper Haley Leonardi’s solid play in net, the Trojans proved to be too much for GSA (1-2) in all facets of the game. 

“We’ve been working on our movements and combinations and taking some chances on longer shots,” Chan said. “We’ve also been working on crashing the goalie. I think we saw all of that pay off.” 

For the moment, the game stands to be MDI’s final home game of the 2020 season. Although the Trojans were originally scheduled to host Searsport on Wednesday, the game was called off after Waldo County schools paused athletics for a week following an increase in COVID-19 cases in the area. 

The win was also MDI’s first since the death of former head coach Tom Savage, who passed away last Monday in aaccident. A beloved figure within the program, Savage, who coached the Trojans from 2004-14, was honored with flowers and a moment of silence prior to the team’s home game against Ellsworth last Wednesday. 

“Tom was such a great mentor for the girls,” said Chan, who replaced Savage as head coach following the 2014 season. “He was always there for them and pushing them to learn that life was bigger than soccer. He gave them skills through soccer that they could carry throughout their lives.” 

MDI will face Ellsworth (4-3), which defeated the Trojans 6-0 last Wednesday, at 6 p.m. tomorrow, Oct. 23, at Ellsworth High School. The Trojans will then play a road contest against Hampden Academy at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27. 

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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