Oceanside stopped cold by Gardiner in first official varsity matchGarver tallies first official varsity goal in Mariner history
Thomaston — Oceanside girls lacrosse coach Angie Vachon fully understood the Mariners, in their first year as a varsity sport, would face difficult tests against much more experienced and skilled opponents.
That first challenge came on Tuesday afternoon, April 29 in the form of top-ranked Gardiner in the Mariners' season-opening match on Sam Pendleton Field.
The Tigers departed town with a dominating 12-1 victory, but the young Mariners gained valuable experience in the match.
For Oceanside, Bailee Cox (19 saves) played in net and Isabelle Garver tallied the team's lone goal. The Mariners finished with seven shots on goal, three from Lily Vachon.
For Gardiner, Nickyia Lovely tallied four goals; Allyson Day and Brooke Curtis, both two; and Claire Crocker, Abby Dunn, Emma Hickey and Kathryn Wright, all one. Lovely finished with six shots on goal and Curtis five, as the Tigers peppered Cox with 27 shots on goal.
Early in the spring season, Gardiner is unbeaten and the top-ranked team in Eastern Class B, the same region the Mariners will play in.
Oceanside was a club sport in the program's previous and first two years of existence.
"The first foray in the realm of varsity was a great learning experience for us all and Gardiner was a great teacher," coach Vachon said. "Speaking with the [Gardiner] coach, they have been playing a lot of Class A teams due to the nature of the KVAC team structure in years past and they brought that to Pendleton Field on Tuesday.
"Their field sense and ball movement was terrific, along with their take-no-prisoners-attitude, which was a wakeup call for us all. Unfortunately, we ended that game with two sprained ankles, bloodied knees and three yellow penalty cards.
"In the practices to come, we will be working on better communication, going after and to the ball and continue working on taking our team mindset to that higher level of play and, as coach, I need to work on recognizing the threats sooner and communicating that to the team.
"We will take one game at a time and work to build on our skill, like all good programs do; together. I look forward to meeting Gardiner again in three weeks and what that contest will bring."
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Ken Waltz has been member of the media 30 years and has received hundreds of Maine Press Association and New England Press Association awards for his writing, photography and page design. He studied journalism at the University of Maine in Orono. He lives in South Thomaston with his wife, Sarah. The couple has an adult son, Brandon.
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