North Yarmouth Academy 2011 Fall Sports Preview

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There’s a different look at NYA this fall. Two varsity teams welcome new coaches and a third, golf, won’t be fielding a team. Boys’ soccer fell one goal shy of a Class C championship in 2010 and looks to be right back in the hunt this time around. The girls’ squad has a new coach and looks to bounce back from last year and go on a playoff run. Field hockey has had no peer the past three seasons, two of which ended in championships. This autumn, the squad will once again be formidable under a new coach. Boys’ cross country looks for another title. The girls’ team will also compete. Volleyball hopes to make some noise in Class B.

BOYS’ SOCCER

COACH: Martyn Keen (third year)

2010 Record: 10-6-1 (Lost 2-1 to Ft. Kent in Class C state final)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Asad Dahia (Senior), Sam Leishman (Senior), Forest Milburn (Senior), Ryan Rousseau (Senior), Ryan Salerno (Senior), Jackson Cohan-Smith (Sophomore), Oliver Silverson (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 2 (H) TRAIP, Sept. 10 @ Freeport, Sept. 14 @ Waynflete, Sept. 16 @ Traip, Sept. 22 (H) GRAY-NG, Oct. 1 (H) WAYNFLETE, Oct. 6 @ Yarmouth, Oct. 11 @ Greely

COACH’S COMMENT: “Taking the team one step further would appear to be an unrealistic expectation this year. Having gone to the conference final in 2009, then the state final last year, I was at least hopeful of going all the way in 2011. However, aside from the normal graduation process, I have lost some key players to boarding school or public school which has left us decimated in terms of depth. Regardless of how we ultimately fare, this is a wonderful group and school to work with and I am proud to be their coach.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: NYA enjoyed a fantasy run to the state game a year ago, upsetting rival Waynflete in the process. A first championship since 2005 wound up just out of reach thanks to Ft. Kent, but the season was a resounding success. This time around, the Panthers won’t sneak up on anyone and they’ll have their hands full thanks to graduation losses combined with the departures of Isaac Lipton, Matt Michaud and Noah Seely to boarding schools and four other players to other schools. Of course, the cupboard isn’t bare and Keen should have no trouble molding a contender by October. Dahia could have a breakout year at striker. Cohan-Smith is expected to become a household name as well. The midfield is in good shape behind captains Leishman (a WMC first-team all-star in 2010), Milburn, Rousseau (a league and regional all-star last season) and Silverson. Salerno is battling sophomore Austin Kidder for the goalkeeping spot. NYA has its share of challenging games, but should be able to compete throughout. Look for this team to peak late, like last year. The Panthers have what it takes to again be one of the best teams in Class C and if they can catch lightning in a bottle again, perhaps they’ll finish the job this time around.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

COACH: Matt Andreasen (first year)

2010 Record: 4-6-3 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Moira Lachance (Senior), Ally Morrison (Senior), Hannah Twombly (Senior), Mallory Ianno (Junior), Chloe Leishman (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 14 @ Waynflete, Oct. 1 (H) WAYNFLETE, Oct. 6 @ Yarmouth, Oct. 11 (H) GREELY, Oct. 13 @ Freeport

COACH’S COMMENT: “Basically, we’re experiencing a bit of a transition period. Not only have I been on the job for less than a month’s time, but we lost a handful of potential returning impact players to either other schools or a different sport. We’ll be young, but the girls work incredibly hard and they listen well, so I envision us getting stronger as the season progresses. Long term, my goal is to reestablish NYA as a girls’ soccer power. Our short term goal is to reach the postseason and hopefully make a playoff run.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: NYA is coming off a rare season which saw it fall short of the playoffs (for the first time since 1997), but that will likely be an aberration. It’s hard to keep this program down for long. This year’s squad will have a new look as several key players either graduated or departed for other schools. There’s also a new coach in Andreasen, who played at Greely and helped coach girls’ soccer at his alma mater before coming to NYA. He has great bloodlines as his father, Mike, has been the longtime boys’ coach at Greely. This year’s squad will be led by Lachance and Leishman up front, Twombly (a quick, terrific playmaker) in the midfield and Ianno and Morrison in the back. The goalie position will be manned by freshman Scout Fischman. As always, there are several players waiting to make a mark who should emerge as the season progresses. The Panthers should better last year’s mark and make it back to the postseason, which has been their playground for many years. This squad might still be a year or two away from winning a Gold Ball, but NYA will once again be relevant and if all goes well will be a very difficult out in the playoffs.

FIELD HOCKEY

COACH: Tracy Quimby (first year)

2010 Record: 17-1 (Beat Foxcroft Academy 2-1 in three rounds of penalty corners in Class C state final)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Katie Cawley (Senior), Katherine Millett (Senior), Jen Brown (Junior), Bailey Clock (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 3 @ Greely, Sept. 7 @ Freeport, Sept. 19 @ York, Sept. 21 (H) WAYNFLETE, Sept. 27 (H) FREEPORT, Oct. 7 (H) FALMOUTH, Oct. 11 @ Waynflete

COACH’S COMMENT: “We’re defending Class C state champions with a young team whose players will grow together, learning and alternating in both offensive and defensive positions.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: NYA has enjoyed the finest stretch in its history over the past three seasons as it won two Class C championships and fell a goal shy of making it three in a row while going 50-4 in the process (easily the best three-year period in program annals). Last year’s team pummeled just about everyone, then dug deep to edge Foxcroft in a stirring state final. The look is much different this fall, however. Coach Julia Sterling has retired and several of last year’s top players have departed. Sterling has been replaced by Quimby, who was a standout player at Dexter (an all-star selection in 1987 and 1988) and Tufts. She’s coached at Leavitt and NYA, where she served as the JV coach the past two seasons. She’s certainly familiar with the program, but the roster is vastly different this time around. Not only have four seniors graduated, but standouts Kylie Dalbec (Portland) and Megan Fortier (Falmouth) have transferred to other schools. While the road will be more challenging this fall, you can’t write off the Panthers. For starters, they have one of the state’s elite players returning in Millett, who scored 38 times and assisted on seven other goals in 2010 (when she was named a first-team league all-star and the school’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year). She’ll keep NYA in games all by herself. Cawley (NYA’s Spring Female Athlete of the Year) also brings experience and will see time at forward and midfield. Brown and Clock also return in the midfield and could emerge as top players. In goal, Elizabeth Coughlin steps in. If other players develop and the team stays healthy, the Panthers, even if they might not have their accustomed glowing record, will be one of the top contenders in the region by October. NYA’s reign of excellence isn’t over yet.

CROSS COUNTRY

COACH:

(BOYS) Peter Sillin (sixth year)

(GIRLS) Chris Mazzurco (10th year)

2010 Results:

(BOYS) Class C state champions

(GIRLS) 3rd @ Class C state meet

TOP RETURNING RUNNERS:

(BOYS) Rudy Guliani (Senior), Evan Kendall (Senior), Grant McPherson (Senior), Cam Regan (Senior), Brian Trelegan (Senior), Ian Moore (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) Hillary Detert (Senior), Hadley Gibson (Senior), Sarah Jordan (Senior), Maggie Meixell (Senior), Morgan Scully (Senior)

TOP FOES: Merriconeag, Waynflete

COACH SILLIN’S COMMENT: “We return six of our top seven from last year’s team, so I think it’s fair to say that we hope to be very competitive in Class C and in the WMC this year. The main thing is to stay healthy and keep having fun. From what I’ve seen in practice so far, it looks like the guys have done their summer homework pretty well. As a group, the team is fun to be around. It’s definitely a work-hard / play-hard culture and they are a pleasure to coach. We are fortunate to compete in the WMC, which has so many great programs, and it’ll be fun for the guys to see how they measure up this year.”

COACH MAZZURCO’S COMMENT: “We have our top five finishers back from last year. The majority of the girls on the team have been together for the past three years and are looking forward to seeing how far they can go as a team. Everyone has a role and if every member can work to play that role to the best of their ability, we’ll have a fun, successful season.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Both NYA cross country teams are poised for very good seasons.

The boys are defending state champions and have plenty of firepower returning. Regan was fifth at last year’s state meet (and was a first-team league all-star) and leads the way, while Kendall (eighth at states and a second-team all-star last fall) figures to push him. Guliani (10th) and McPherson (20th) are also returning scorers. Trelegan has experience and Moore (NYA’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year for his Nordic skiing dominance) also returns. Senior Alex Coffin is new to cross country, but his track background will come in handy. This team has all the pieces in place for another memorable season.

On the girls’ side, a strong senior core could lead the Panthers to the top spot. Detert was third in Class C a year ago. Meixell (seventh), Jordan (11th), Scully (24th) and Gibson (36th) also scored at states. This group has plenty of experience and would love to go out on a high note. If NYA stays healthy and the runners can move up a spot or two, it might win Class C for the first time since 2002.

VOLLEYBALL

COACH: Nora Krainis (seventh year)

2010 Results: 4-10 (no postseason)

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jae Jeon (Senior), Anna Lyden (Senior), Chelsea Muller (Senior), Grace Gilbert (Junior)

PIVOTAL MATCHES: Sept. 19 (H) CAPE ELIZABETH, Sept. 23 @ Jonesport-Beals, Sept. 24 @ Machias, Oct. 14 @ Yarmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “Our largest team yet, 30 players, includes 15 returners and 12 freshmen. We have a lot of energy and drive and are hoping to have a fun, upbeat, enriching season and win some matches. The players have already formed a “family,” and are very supportive of each other. And our trip out east is a blast. I am honored to work with such great girls.”

FORECASTER’S FORECAST: NYA made some nice strides a year ago and looks to contend in Class B. The Panthers feature returners Gilbert (middle hitter), Jeon (outside hitter), Lyden (setter) and Muller (outside hitter). They’re joined by new sophomores Lily Dearing (setter), Charlotte Esancy (middle hitter) and freshman Anya Siviski (outside hitter), along with several other players hopeful of making an impact. The Panthers hope to match or better their record of a year ago and if all goes well, they could participate in the playoffs.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

NYA’s boys’ soccer team made a spirited and unexpected run to a regional title in 2010 and hope to go all the way this fall.

Sophomore Chloe Leishman hopes to play a big role as NYA’s girls’ soccer team looks to return to prominence in 2011.

Senior Hannah Twombly will be one of the top players in Class C this fall.

Senior Katherine Millett was an unstoppable force during NYA’s championship season and figures to rattle the cage with regularity again in 2011.

Senior Rudy Guliani strenghtens the pack for the defending Class C champion Panthers.

Senior Hillary Detert is a top returner for the girls’ cross country team.

Sidebar Elements


Exultation was the theme once again for the NYA field hockey program in 2010 as it won Class C for the second time in three seasons.

More photos below.

2011 schedules

BOYS’ SOCCER

Fri., Sept. 2 H TRAIP

Tues., Sept. 6 H SACOPEE

Thurs., Sept. 8 @ Wells

Sat., Sept. 10 @ Freeport

Wed., Sept. 14 @ Waynflete

Fri., Sept. 16 @ Traip

Tues., Sept. 20 @ Sacopee

Thurs., Sept. 22 H GNG

Wed., Sept. 28 H WELLS

Sat., Oct. 1 H WAYNFLETE

Tues., Oct. 4 H BUCKFIELD

Thurs., Oct. 6 @ Yarmouth

Tues., Oct. 11 @ Greely

Tues., Oct. 18 H LAKE REGION

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Fri., Sept. 2 @ Traip

Tues., Sept. 6 @ Sacopee

Thurs., Sept. 8 H OOB

Wed., Sept. 14 @ Waynflete

Fri., Sept. 16 H TRAIP

Tues., Sept. 20 H SACOPEE

Thurs., Sept. 22 @ Fryeburg

Thurs., Sept. 29 H OOB

Sat., Oct. 1 H WAYNFLETE

Tues., Oct. 4 H BUCKFIELD

Thurs., Oct. 6 @ Yarmouth

Tues., Oct. 11 H GREELY

Thurs., Oct. 13 @ Freeport

Tues., Oct. 18 H LAKE REGION

FIELD HOCKEY

Thurs., Sept. 1 H SACOPEE

Sat., Sept. 3 @ Greely

Wed., Sept. 7 @ Freeport

Fri., Sept. 9 H TRAIP

Sat., Sept. 17 @ OOB

Mon., Sept. 19 @ York

Wed., Sept. 21 H WAYNFLETE

Fri., Sept. 23 @ Sacopee

Tues., Sept. 27 H FREEPORT

Sat., Oct. 1 H OOB

Tues., Oct. 4 @ Traip

Wed., Oct. 5 H POLAND

Fri., Oct. 7 H FALMOUTH

Tues., Oct. 11 @ Waynflete

CROSS COUNTRY

Fri., Sept. 2 @ Falmouth

Fri., Sept. 9 @ Poland (Greely)

Fri., Sept. 16 @ GNG

Sat. Sept. 24 @ Manchester Invitational

Sat., Oct. 1 @ Belfast Invitational

Fri., Oct. 7 H FREEPORT, MERRIC, SACOPEE

Fri., Oct. 14 @ WMC Championships

Sat., Oct. 22 Western C Regionals

Sat., Oct. 29 Class C States

VOLLEYBALL

Tues., Sept. 6 @ Cony

Thurs., Sept. 8 H GORHAM

Thurs., Sept. 15 @ Lake Region

Mon., Sept. 19 H CAPE ELIZABETH

Fri., Sept. 23 H JONESPORT-BEALS

Sat., Sept. 24 H MACHIAS

Tues., Sept. 27 @ Falmouth

Mon., Oct. 3 @ Scarborough

Wed., Oct. 5 H KENNEBUNK

Wed., Oct. 12 H GREELY

Fri., Oct. 14 @ Yarmouth

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.