High school girls soccer

Oceanside has new coach, solid talent throughout roster

By Staff | Sep 01, 2017

Thomaston — The following is a synopsis of the 2017 Oceanside High School girls soccer team:

Coach/years coached current team: Rene Dorr, first year.

Last year's record/playoff information: 10-1-3, third in Class B North. The Mariners defeated No. 6 Erskine Academy of South China 1-0 in the quarterfinals and lost to No. 2 Waterville 4-0 in the semifinals. The Mariners also lost to the Purple Panthers in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Coference Class B championship game.

Roster: Seniors Cassidy Boynton (halfback), Casey Pine (forward, wing), Gabby Simmons (sweeper, fullback) and Gabby Straka (forward, halfback); juniors Hope Butler (forward, halfback), Sara Dorr (forward), Myla Fernald (fullback), Kalli Grover (goalie), Chloe Jones (stopper), Raechel Joyce (goalie), Abby Veilleux (center half), Bea Weinand (fullback) and Claire Zittel (fullback); sophomores Hannah Benner (halfback, stopper), Cyra Fait (forward, halfback), Skylar Prior (fullback, halfback) and Molly Gould (left half); and freshmen Katherine Freeman (forward), Autumn Harvey (fullback), Hannah Robinson (halfback) and Grace Woodman (fullback).

Known graduation losses: Jillian Brooks, Kelsey Brooks, Lily McVetty, Lauren Hatch and Haylie Witham.

Significant impact athletes: Veilleux, Boynton, Pine, Simmons and Straka.

Team strengths: Possession, ball movement and general overall soccer IQ.

Team goals: “If we can stay together as a team and keep [our] composure and go into it with a team mentality, I think we can make some noise,” said coach Dorr. “Our goal is to get into the playoffs and try to make a deep run.”

Top league opponents: Morse of Bath, Waterville and Winslow.

Outlook: The Mariners lost five talented starters from last year’s team — in addition to coach Darryl Townsend — who stepped down after amassing more than 250 victories.

However, Townsend did not leave the cupboards bare for coach Dorr, as a wealth of talented athletes — and an influx of new players — will be on display this season for Oceanside.

Coach Dorr said while Pine, Simmons and Straka will be the anchors of the team — with Simmons leading the defense and Pine and Straka up top at forward — Veilleux will be a focal point for most defenses this season at center half.

“She’s been doing a lot all summer and all preseason. She’ll be taking our corners and she takes most of our free kicks in the attacking third. We’re going to put a lot of weight on her this year.”

An interesting wrinkle for this year is the return of the Oceanside’s rivalry with Camden Hills of Rockport for the first time since the 2014 season. Camden Hills, which now toils in Class A, won its first state championship last season.

“That will be fun,” said Dorr. “That’ll be midseason so we’ll be geared up for that one.”

The first-year coach said, “If we stay healthy and stay on the same page, I think we can play with anybody.”

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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