Boys soccer at Thornton Academy traces its roots to 1973 when longtime track and field coach Larry Bowie started the first boys team. Today the program is coached by Andrew Carlson, who will begin his twenty-second season at the helm of the program in the fall of 2021. He is also the winningest coach in the history of Thornton Academy soccer with 115 victories.
The Thornton Academy girls soccer program offered its first varsity team during the 1992 season under Scott Nason. The Golden Trojans were immediately successful upon entering Western Maine Class A and captured conference championships in only their second and third seasons. Christopher Kohl coached the program from 2006-2016, winning 125 games over that span and a regional championship in 2009. Today the program is coached by Natalie (Berry) Sharland, who served as team captain in 2002 prior to playing a four-year career at the University of Maine.
Some outstanding “futbolers” have donned the Maroon and Gold for both the boys and girls programs. Simon Trcka dazzled SMAA foes with his scoring prowess from 2014-2015 and was named to the Maine Soccer Coaches Association All-State Team in both seasons. Dalton Moore (2015), Noah Niles (2016), Frantisek Vondrak (2017), and Maxamus Spaulding (2019) were also named by that organization to its regional all-star team.
The top scorer in the history of the girls program is Amanda Arnold, who tallied 178 points (69 goals, 40 assists) from 2010-2013. Jami Ladakakos scored 50 goals in a Thornton Academy uniform in the early 1990’s and later returned to coach the Golden Trojans. Tori Daigle and Haley DaGraca were talented scorers who later went on to play at Merrimack and Saint Joseph’s College of Maine respectively; DaGraca graduated as the all-time leading scorer in the history of her college. Sydney Proctor anchored the 2009 regional championship team in goal and had a career grade point average of 0.64 in 45 career games; she later was the goalkeeper for a national championship collegiate team at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Alexis Nason is the all-time program leader in victories and shutouts and plays goal for Assumption College. More recently standout defender Hazel Stoddard was selected by the Maine Soccer Coaches Association as an all-region player.
The typical Thornton Academy boys and girls soccer season consists of fourteen regular season games and five non-countable exhibition dates. The Thornton Academy boys program traditionally plays in a preseason tournament at Marshwood or Noble and also hosts an annual game against some of the program’s alumni. The girls program also competes in one or more preseason tournaments as a means of preparing for the regular season. For regional post-season purposes, the Golden Trojans are grouped in the Class A South region and traditionally compete against some of the top programs in southern Maine.
All home boys and girls soccer contests take place at Dr. Paul S. Hill, Jr. Stadium. The boys program also utilizes the Eastern Trail facility located on the west side of the school’s campus, for most of its practices. The girls program alternates between Hill Stadium and a grass facility located to its west for its practice sessions. Participation in Thornton soccer is a six-day per week commitment with occasional regular season games taking place on Saturdays. Practices generally occur immediately after school.
Tryouts for Thornton Academy’s soccer teams take place during the month of August. The varsity level is reserved for the school’s most highly skilled players. Students still developing their skills and novice players are assigned to the junior varsity or first teams.
Thornton Academy Middle School has offered soccer since the school’s inception in 2006. The team competes in the Southern Maine Middle School Athletic Conference (SMMSAC) against York County competition. All of the team’s practices and the majority of its home games are played at the field adjacent to the middle school building.
The school also fields a boys entry in the Maine Association of Independent School Athletic Directors (MAISAD) league. Boys not earning a spot on one of the other school teams may participate on the MAISAD squad. Many of the students who compete for the MAISAD soccer team are members of the school’s residential life program, but that team is also open to interested day students as well. Practices generally take place after 4:30 PM.
2023 Opening Date:
Varsity, Junior Varsity, First Team, MAISAD
Varsity, Junior Varsity, First Team
Varsity Boys Coach: Andrew Carlson
Varsity Girls Coach: Natalie Sharland
Junior Varsity Boys Coach: Peter Benham
Junior Varsity Girls Coach: Allison Mains
First Team Boys Coach: Colin Benham
First Team Girls Coach: To Be Announced
MAISAD Boys Coach: To Be Announced
Middle School Boys Coach: Dave Pasquarello
Middle School Girls Coach: Dave Pasquarello