Middle School Girls Soccer
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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 twentieth season at the helm of the program in the fall of 2019. He is also the winningest coach in the history of Thornton Academy soccer with 111 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 All-State Team in both seasons. Dalton Moore (2015), Noah Niles (2016), and Frantisek Vondrak (2017) 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.
The typical Thornton Academy boys and girls soccer season consists of 14 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 postseason 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.
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.