The Mount Desert Island defense clears the ball during a high school boys’ soccer game against Bucksport on Oct. 10 in Bar Harbor. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS POPPER/WDEA

With game cancellation, MDI boys soccer finish unbeaten

BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island boys’ soccer team has finished the 2020 season undefeated following the cancellation of its final game. 

MDI’s game against Ellsworth, which had been scheduled for Monday, was called off as a result of an increase in COVID-19 cases in the area. This ended the Trojans’ season at 7-0 with two wins apiece over Bucksport, George Stevens Academy and Hampden Academy and one over Ellsworth. 

MDI succeeded at both ends of the pitch, scoring 19 goals and allowing just three over the seven-game span. The Trojans had their success despite a roster that lacked a single senior player. 

“The proudest I am of the program is to have achieved this result with the group of boys who were committed to the MDI soccer program,” head coach Tyler Frank said. “The entire team has stepped up to fill the leadership void, and I now have juniors with senior leadership experience going into next year.” 

Between the lack of a postseason, delayed start, mask requirements and games with limited spectators, the season was anything but usual. But for a team that was just happy to be able to play, taking the added precautions to do so was more than worth it. 

We all adapted quickly and understood the reasons for the new protocols,” Frank said. The toughest part was waiting for the beginning of the season to be decided and trying to make it as normal as possible for all those involved. … This certainly was a strange a season. 

In addition to canceling the boys’ game against Ellsworth, MDI also called off the girls’ game against the Eagles that was scheduled for Friday, as well as the school’s participation in the junior varsity cross-country championships Saturday. That decision followed a four-day stretch that saw a total of 22 new COVID-19 cases reported in Hancock County. 

“I sincerely apologize to the Ellsworth [administration], players and coaches for this decision, along with the MDI coaches, athletes, parents and the community,” MDI Athletic Director Bunky Dow said. “This was not an easy decision, but a decision made for the safety of the players, coaches, family members and community.” 

After a Northern Maine runnerup finish a year ago and unbeaten season this year, Frank is ready for MDI to take another leap forward next year. When that time comes, he’ll have essentially his entire roster back to do it. 

One thing about unique experiences [is that] they are history only for those who went through it,” Frank said.” I can’t say enough about this group of boys that faced each challenge, each change, each day with the commitment and desire to make the most of each soccer moment. I am excited for next season and look forward to continuing the journey on our goal to be the first MDI boys’ soccer Class B state champions. 

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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