Madawaska Owls Boys Soccer Team Prepares for Title Defense with Young and Determined Squad

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 7:02 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2023 at 7:08 PM EDT
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Madawaska, Maine (WAGM) - The Madawaska Owls Boys soccer team enters the new season as reigning Class D Regional champions. With a young roster, they aim to meld their talents and adopt a fresh playing style while seeking to defend their title.

Nick Poitras, Madawaska Senior:” So losing six seniors, I mean, we’re obviously going to be a young team. We’re all going to keep good attitude, though. We’re going to play the same same type of play we played last year. It’s going to be the same thing and we’re hoping for the best.

Chris Boucher, Madawaska Senior: " It was rough. We were all, I’m pretty sure we were all very scared coming into the season because that was they were a big backbone to our team last year. But I think with the upcoming freshmen and the way we’re being taught right now, it’s really pulling together and I think we have a very good chance of going back”.

Madawaska comes into the season looking to defend their regional champion title. Last year, the Owls lost a close one to North Yarmouth Academy in the state title 2-1. Coach Gagnon will once again lead this team onto the pitch and he says the major lesson he took away from last seasons trip is the the importance of prepared and keeping their foot on the gas.

Ben Gagnon, Head Coach: " I think the way we prepared, I think the game was played a lot faster than we had been used to. We played a few games and a few practices on turf, but turf is a totally different animal than grass. We were fortunate that we were able to practice in Canada in Edmundston but, it still wasn’t quite the game style field that we played. Essentially, we played a club team in that North Yarmouth team and they were extremely well coached and all the boys were big and all and they were all strong and they knew exactly what they were doing” .

On the field, the team’s size will vary, leading them to focus on the small ball strategy for success.

Chris Boucher:” A lot of our play is going to be coming from the back, No more sending long balls. We’re just going to try and possess and and tire out our other opponents and try and win it that way” .

Nick Poitras:” Our team, we work on a lot of passing. We like the small ball. It’s we’re all getting pretty good at it and you know we just keep putting the work in”.

While some of the players are playing soccer year round such as playing for clubs in the Edmundston area or picked up a futsal ball and played all winter, they will have many challenges ahead of them

Ben Gagnon:” The biggest thing is going to be just to start believing in themselves. When we played in; Caribou has a 7 v 7 tournament, the beginning of the season, it was a wake up call for them. I think that’s when they realized that those big brothers that they had last year aren’t going to be here. So they kind of put it more on their shoulders, the seniors, and they pushed through it and, you know, we had a couple good wins. And I think as the season goes on, they’re going to bear more of that burden. And I think we can be successful through them” .

Its still a long season ahead but this team hopes that they have what it takes to finally take home that gold ball.

Jonathon Eigenmann, Newssource sports.