ELLSWORTH — A swarm of Mount Desert Island High School girls circled together before the start of the varsity soccer match against archrival Ellsworth Monday morning. Each member of the team stuffed a small piece of paper into one of their green socks and then went on to defeat the Eagles 8-0 at Del Luce Stadium.
“It’s a little quote that someone always finds, and they read it and talk about it,” explained Coach May Dow after the game. “Then they each have a little piece with them. It’s just something small, but at the same time, it brings everyone together.”
With a hat trick and two assists from Opal Curless, a first career goal for Lily Turner, two from Darcy Kanu and another from Ally Bender, the Lady Trojan outshot their rivals and improved to 6-2 for the season.
“It was a very anticipated game for us, especially for me,” said Dow, an alumna of Ellsworth High School, where she played four years of soccer and served as the assistant soccer coach. “I was happy with the performance.”
Curless’ first goal came with 32:32 left in the first half when Bender chipped the ball up and over the Eagle defense and finished by getting by their goalie.
Curless helped set up Bender with 10:38 remaining before half time when she gave her a through ball at the 8-yard line.
Dow said the hard field made the ball travel faster in first touch. The team had to adjust their play accordingly.
In the first half, the Trojan squad was on their heels, with slower reaction time. But that improved in the second half when “they did a better job in adjusting and making more combination plays,” the coach said.
With a 3-0 lead just three minutes into the second half, Paige Mason redirected a clearance from the Eagle defense from 30 yards out and sent a well-struck long ball up and over Ellsworth’s goalie for the score.
Kanu got her first of two goals with 26:09 remaining in the game from the right side just outside the 6-yard line.
Turner registered her first career goal at the 13:38 mark from Curless’ second assist.
“The girls did a good job picking each other up,” added Dow. “I’ve been stressing that from day one. You have to have each other’s back. Don’t bail out on each other when things get tough.”