Black Raiders bounce young Mariners from postseasonTricky athlete: Veilleux wears hat to key host Winslow to quarterfinal victory
Winslow — In preparation for its Eastern Class B high school quarterfinal playoff game with Winslow, Oceanside girls soccer coach Darryl Townsend was quite aware the Black Raiders' top offensive player, Alliyah Veilleux, would be on the field.
“She’s an incredibly gifted player,” Townsend said after the Mariners prelim playoff win over No. 12 Gardiner Oct. 19.
In the quarterfinal playoff game between the Black Raiders and Mariners on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 23, it would be fair to say Townsend’s comment was an understatement as Veilleux made her presence known early and often against Oceanside.
Veilleux, who did not play in the lone regular-season contest between the squads (a 4-0 Oceanside win), picked up the hat trick for No. 4 Winslow, while No. 5 Oceanside struggled to get its offense going from the get-to, which propelled the Black Raiders to a 4-0 shutout victory.
The Black Raiders (12-2-1) move on to the semifinals on Saturday, Oct. 27 where they will face either top-seeded Presque Isle (13-1) or No. 8 Caribou (9-5-1).
Oceanside’s season ended at 10-4-2.
Pilar Elias also added a goal and an assist late in the second half and Devin Fitzgibbons and Kamryn Michaud each one assist for Winslow.
Kennadi Grover made eight saves on 12 shots in net for the Mariners, while Hillary Libby made nine saves on nine shots in goal for the Black Raiders. Winslow also held a 3-2 lead in corner kicks.
The Mariners bested the Black Raiders 4-0 Sept. 11 in Thomaston without Veilleux on the field. It was the last time Winslow lost a game.
“We didn’t play as well as we needed to [if we wanted] to win today,” said Townsend. “We played hard at times, [but] I don’t think we put together a full 80 minutes. We played well until after that second goal went in and after that we kind of fell apart a little bit.”
Winslow wasted little time getting on the board Tuesday when Elias served the ball into the box to Veilleux, who beat Grover with 35:01 remaining in the first half.
From that point, both squads played even into the second half, with the young Mariners standing pat against the Black Raiders, who had scored 38 goals as a team heading into Tuesday’s quarterfinal.
However, the tipping point came with 25:10 remaining when Veilleux booted a free kick from well outside the 18-yard line toward Grover. The senior keeper played the bounce, but misjudged the ball as it bounded over her head and through her fingertips for the game’s second goal.
“We were kind of back on our heels after that point and that was pretty much the end of it,” said Townsend.
Just over two minutes later, Veilleux emerged from a pack of players in the midfield and approached the rushing Grover and touched it past the keper and into the left side of the net with 25:02 remaining, which essentially put the game out of reach.
Elias added an insurance goal with 13:55 remaining, on an assist from Michaud, to round out the scoring.
Winslow runs a 4-5-1 formation with Veilleux on top as striker, which Townsend conceded his defense had a difficult time adapting to.
“Alliyah’s incredible,” said Winslow coach Shawn Carey. “She’s a great player and she controls the ball up top very well.”
The Black Raider defense also prevented the Mariners from getting anything going offensively. Despite the fact the visitors did complete a few quality crosses toward the goal, the Winslow defense swallowed up the Mariners in the middle and came up with many defensive clears.
Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 594-4401or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.