BAR HARBOR – The Mount Desert Island High School varsity girls soccer team fell to visiting Orono 0-2 in preseason action Thursday.
The Orono team played in Eastern Maine Class C finals last fall.
“They’re consistently good, whether they go really far in the playoffs or not,” MDI coach Tom Savage said, “you know you’re gonna have a good team.”
Sophomores Paige Mason and Deandra Kanu were center stage at midfield on the hot, windy afternoon. Strong passing and ball control on both sides kept play locked in the middle of the field. MDI senior sweeper Molly Carroll wasn’t letting anything past her. Senior outside midfielder Maeve Geary expertly brought the ball back down when it went in the air.
The Orono offense took their first shot on goal 20 minutes into the game. It went wide.
Three minutes later, the Lady Trojans took their first shot, which was knocked away by the Red Riot keeper.
MDI goalie Keely McConomy caught the second Orono shot and ran out of the box to kick the next one away. Another battle at midfield followed with passes intercepted on both sides.
With seven minutes left in the half, a foul on MDI led to an Orono penalty kick, which got past McConomy into the right side of the goal. Orono made several more shot attempts when play resumed. They all went wide, but ate up the clock.
MDI went back on the attack with Carroll, Kanu, Rachel Jacobs and Emma Fernald in on the play. But the Trojans couldn’t close the deal, and Orono was up 1-0 at the half.
The Lady Trojans were kept on the defensive in much of the second half. Orono forwards got behind McConomy for a moment, but the MDI defense had her back stopping them cold. Junior Opal Curless got a few looks at the goal with assists from Fernald. Kanu and Katie Guarino had impressive headers to keep the ball in play and get control.
The second and final Orono goal came with six minutes left on the clock. McConomy dove for it but missed.
“I’m excited,” Savage said. “There has to be a balance between wanting to improve when you lose and not being too frustrated. We’ve had a lot of games, and we haven’t had a lot of practice. I like that, but there are lots of things to work on.
The defensive players are all new to the team except Carroll. “We’re concentrating on defense a lot,” Savage said. “It takes a long time” for the new group to get familiar enough with their teammates and strategy.
The Lady Trojans are set to host Hampden Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. After that they’ll have nearly a week of practice before their season opener Sept. 10 in Old Town.