Qualify for District Soccer Playoffs
By John Anderson
The AHS boys varsity soccer team defeated Oxford 4-0 on their Senior Night this Wednesday. The Rockets’ eighth victory gave them enough points to be seeded in the MIAA playoff games for Division 3. Teams must gather enough points – 2 for a win and 1 for a tie – to equal the number of games played during the season. The Rockets fell short of this number the past 2 years and were eliminated in the first playoff game the year before. Their SWCL record is 8-2-2.
Oxford, 0-9 in SWCL, has been struggling this season and is very short on players. They reportedly aren’t fielding a junior varsity team, and 2 eighth-graders are on the varsity roster. Their 20 man roster includes 2 seniors, 6 juniors, 3 sophomores, and 7 freshmen. MIAA allows Oxford to use eighth-graders in their varsity sports, but our photograph shows why it’s not a good idea. Contact between Auburn’s Steve Racine and one young Pirate resulted in a yellow card as the young man went flying. Cards should not be issued because of a player’s size, and this would have just been a foul with a larger competitor.
Six seniors were recognized by Auburn: Captain Connor Aubuchont, Captain Jake Frotten, Jaime Vera, Matt Bissaillon, Captain Liam Gribbons, and Matt Blais. Coach Bailey started all the seniors and in the second used them as mids and forwards while freshman worked at defense. Junior Scott Williams directed the backs and sophomore Adam Cook took over in net. This was an excellent learning opportunity, and it was great to see the seniors taking on new roles.
Two minutes into the first, Alex Strafer scored with a Steve Racine assist. Racine would score 14 minutes later with a Strafer assist. 15 minutes into the second, Strafer would score again with the help of Jacob McPherson. Finally, and on the first chirp of the game ending whistle, Connor Aubuchont scored with a Liam Gribbons assist. Not bad for two defenders. The Rockets outshot the Pirates 24-6.
Coach Chris Bailey said their team goal this season was to make it to playoffs, and the seniors were a huge part of it. Bailey, in his second year as head coach, credits last year’s seniors as well. “We’ve had two excellent groups of seniors. They’re the kind of kids who build a program.” The Rockets play away next week against Shepherd Hill and Tantasqua. They return home on the 28th to face Grafton for their final game of the regular season.
Great job guys!