by Nettie Hoagland ‘16
Wednesday, October 21, Lincoln Academy. In the coming winter air, Lincoln Academy Eagle soccer players watched the KVAC Championship Games, not from the team bench, but bundled atop bleachers at the new Clark turf field. While still looking forward to Western Maine tournament games over the weekend, both boys and girls’ Eagles soccer were already out of contention for the KVAC title that was contested on their home field Wednesday night.
The KVAC Class B Championships were between the Maranacook and Winslow boys, and the Waterville and Oceanside girls. Watching the athletes prepare for play on LA’s turf, Athletic Director KJ Anastasio showed visible pride in Lincoln’s “top notch field and campus feel.” Anastasio, hoping that Lincoln will host future high profile games, was happy with Wednesday night’s large and spirited crowd.
Illuminated by the lights, jerseys moved across the field, while parents with crossed fingers exploded with sound. Divided by team allegiance, fans united under Lincoln’s warmly lit campus, while residential students peeked through dormitory windows overlooking the field. Across the field the hill and bleachers complement the fields’ structure and give a true campus feel to the facility. From its bright lights to colorful turf, Lincoln is becoming a hub of interest.
In the first game, boys from Winslow took on their undefeated rivals from Maranacook. Lining the field were Lincoln’s usual company of fans and players, joined by a host of spectators from across the State, supporting their team and admiring Lincoln’s facilities. The turf field, Lincoln’s newest addition on campus, offered an opportunity for Winslow and Maranacook play at a first-rate facility, and for Lincoln to showcase its new resource. Popular this season throughout the league, the turf field was proposed for the championship at a KVAC conference; Lincoln Academy’s Athletic director and Chairman of the KVAC Soccer Committee KJ Anastasio readily welcomed the KVAC Class B competitors.
While Maranacook pushed toward victory over Winslow, Lincoln players, “wishing it were [them] out there,” relived their season, yearning for another chance to play at home (LA varsity goalie Karan Nair). Excitement resonated from the Maranacook crowd, as “the team has worked hard and is beating Winslow to the ball,” (Kelly Wilkinson, parent of Maranacook player.) Suspense stirred in the game’s second half, when a throw in from Maranacook led to a volley over Winslow’s goalie. Maranacook’s 2-1 win victory over Winslow defended its state title, and impressed Maranacook parent, Alec Rodgers, who predicted that the game would end in penalty kicks. The turf field strengthened a statewide interest in Lincoln’s atmosphere and facilities.
As the boys’ game ended, spirit continued to permeate, signaling the girls’ rivalry between Oceanside and Waterville. While Waterville girls had trained hard, they would be challenged by an undefeated Oceanside team. In the midst of their game preparation, tying cleats and filling water bottles, Oceanside players Emma Lee and Hope Butler admired the awaiting turf. The girls were especially drawn to “the field’s cool beads and fun colors,” adding to the many attractions of the LA campus. Associate Head of School Andy Mullen hoped the game would, “draw exposure and demonstrate Lincoln’s seriousness,” and was reassured by the crowd’s interest throughout the KVAC event. Despite Winslow’s strong offense, Oceanside girls prevailed 3-1.
Though Lincoln’s soccer teams did not make the finals, the KVAC Championship games were a success for Lincoln. Not only did the LA Boosters profit from concessions sold to visiting fans, the school also had the opportunity to display its campus, as well as enjoy fast-paced games and well-played soccer on Clark field.
Nettie Hoagland is a Communications Intern at Lincoln Academy.