Updated with video

Snow, cold, no problem for Mariners in Thomas College play day

Oceanside girls lacrosse faces St. Dominic, Kennebunk in frigid early preseason field tests
By Ken Waltz | Apr 07, 2018
Photo by: Ken Waltz As snow falls around them, Oceanside's Gabby Straka, left, and a Kennebunk player focus on possession of the ball on April 6 during a high school girls lacrosse preseason play day at Thomas College in Waterville.

Waterville — Piles of snow stood 15 feet high just outside the confines of the two fenced-in, artificially-surfaced playing fields at Thomas College.

No problem.

Wind chills were in the 20s and, at times, snow whipped across the fields to make visibility a challenge and eventually footing, well, uncertain at best.

So what?

Despite those hard-to-shrug-off obstacles, hardy Oceanside student-athletes forged on, for the love of their game, and to continue the process of preparation for the upcoming spring season.

Their game is lacrosse and the Mariner girls, guided by veteran coach Angie Vachon, did not seem to mind facing a little "inclement" weather if it meant an opportunity to play the sport they love.

Watch video below.

The 21-strong Mariners were to play three 25-minute, running-time matches in the annual preseason play day event on Friday, April 6 at the college. However, after the first two Mariner affairs, as the snow started to make the field surfaces slick and potentially dangerous, officials cancelled Oceanside's third match.

Vachon said it was plenty cold, but the Mariners were determined to stay as focused as possible on play and to continue to work and improve as the regular season approaches.

Of course, terrible early-spring weather — namely, snow and cold temperatures — has kept grass field around the Midcoast mostly unplayable, so, more time in gymnasiums and perhaps a parking lot or two have been in order for most high school spring squads.

"Our first time on a field this season, and the first time ever for eight of our nine new players, was a test in all things Maine lacrosse with the lasting winter temps and snow," Vachon said.

Of course, also facing "some of the toughest competition in the state" in St. Dominic Academy of Auburn in the first match and defending state Class B champion Kennebunk in the second proved a test.

Vachon said after the team's third match was called off, "we headed back to the coast with a reaffirmation of love for the game from our veterans and a new-found one with our newest team members."

The coach said St. Dom's provided a goalie for the first match "to aid us on our defensive end."

Scores were not kept, but Oceanside was shut out by St. Dom's and tallied a goal against Kennebunk, which came from Gabby Straka, one of the Mariners top offensive players in recent seasons.

"We played against Kennebunk in our second game, so being warmed up and a little less nervous, I was pleased with our showing against last year’s number one Class B team," Vachon said. "Our defense picked it up and our movement was much more in-tune through the midfield and offensive end."

The Mariners include seniors Kristina Ferguson, Taylor Hamlin and Emily Tyler; juniors Straka, Hope Butler, Jackie Hall, Mattie Hooper, Lexie McMahan and Bea Weinand; sophomores Nicole Ladd and Carmyn Pease; and freshmen Jordan Beal, Grace Cody, Makayla Gleba, Lainie Hooper, Lydia Laslavic, Caileigh Pease, Lydia Ross, Emma Young and Gillian Lindsey (manager).

In all, the 75-minute, 52-mile bus trip to Waterville to play other teams and student-athletes with the same passion for lacrosse was well worth it, Vachon said.

"The team, although prepared for the weather, stood up tough against the elements and despite the weather, did have a great time together," the coach said. "We are all looking forward to a great spring season, team bonding, success and warmer temps."

Oceanside girls lacrosse
Oceanside girls lacrosse on April 6 in preseason action at Thomas College in Waterville. (Video by: Ken Waltz and Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Gabby Straka, right. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Emily Tyler, left, and Olivia Dougherty. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Grace Cody, left, and Bea Weinand, among others. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Nicole Ladd. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Carmyn Pease. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Taylor Hamlin, right. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Taylor Hamlin, right. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Taylor Hamlin, right. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Taylor Hamlin, right, and Bea Weinand, among others. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Emily Tyler, front. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Jackie Hall, right, among others. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Grace Cody. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Lydia Ross. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Olivia Dougherty, middle, among others. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside team members come together. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Gabby Straka. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Lydia Ross. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Bea Weinand. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Bea Weinand. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Bea Weinand. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Taylor Hamlin, right. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Lexie McMahan, middle, and Caileigh Pease, right. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Caileigh Pease. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Caileigh Pease, left. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Taylor Hamlin, left, and Bea Weinand. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Taylor Hamlin, left, and Bea Weinand. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Nicole Ladd. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Kristina Ferguson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Kristina Ferguson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Emily Tyler. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Gabby Straka. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Lydia Ross, right, among others. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Lydia Ross, right, among others. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Emily Tyler, left, and Olivia Dougherty, right, among others. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Olivia Dougherty. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Jackie Hall, left, and Gabby Straka. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Gabby Straka, left. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Gabby Straka, right, among others. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Gabby Straka, left, among another. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Nicole Ladd. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Nicole Ladd. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Nicole Ladd. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Oceanside's Gabby Straka. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Gerald A Weinand | Apr 08, 2018 23:04

Thanks Ken for making the trip to Waterville and braving the cold as well. Great photos!



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