The Fort Kent High School girls soccer team’s 7-7 record is misleading.
You would be hard-pressed to find a team that has played a more difficult schedule.
Ten of their games have come against teams that are boasting a combined record of 61-9.
The Class C Warriors have played two games each against the top two seeds in the Class B North Heal Points standings: 13-1 Caribou and 11-3 Presque Isle. They have also played a pair of games against Class C top seed Houlton (13-1) and the number two and four seeds in Class D in Ashland (13-1) and Madawaska (11-3), respectively.
They have gone 3-7 in those games with two victories over Madawaska and one over Presque Isle.
They also have two wins over Class D teams Fort Fairfield (2-11-1) and one apiece over the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone (4-4) and Katahdin of Stacyville (5-8-1).
The Warriors are ranked sixth and travel to Corinth to face No. 3 Central (10-3-1) in a 3 p.m. Tuesday quarterfinal.
“With the schedule we had, going 7-7 was a huge accomplishment for our girls,” Robby Nadeau, who is in his seventh season as the Warriors’ head coach, said. “This was one of the toughest schedules I have ever seen.
“The girls have had to get through adversity, and they’ve done a real good job with that,” Nadeau added. “You have to have mental toughness. They haven’t shied away from the great teams.”
The highlight of the season was the 2-1 win over Presque Isle on Sept. 19. The Warriors had lost to Presque Isle 3-1 on Sept. 6.
“That was big for us, confidence-wise,” Nadeau said.
He added that they also benefitted from some of their losses to top-caliber teams.
“It was a little disheartening, but we remained positive and we stayed motivated,” Nadeau said.
He also said having a battle-tested team could serve them well in the playoffs.
“We’ve played some really good, really talented teams, so I don’t think the girls are going to be surprised when they see how good the other teams are,” Nadeau said.
The four games against teams that finished in the bottom half of the D standings were also helpful he said because he got to give some younger players valuable playing time.
Fort Kent has only five seniors so Nadeau said the future is bright.
Two of those seniors have played integral roles in their success.
Cassidy Lovley is a four-year starter in the midfield and Alisha Guimond complements her in the midfield.
The leading scorer is a freshman, Gabby Martin, and the defense is headlined by two juniors: sweeper Mikayla Pelletier and stopper Lexi Lovley, Cassidy’s sister.
Nadeau said he knows the Warriors face a quality opponent in Central and must defend well and pass effectively to beat them.
“I think we’re peaking right now,” he said.