Old Town's Alexis DeGrasse carries the ball into Caribou's defensive territory pursued by Ainsley Caron (left) and Jillian Zeigler in Saturday's 1-1 game. Credit: Hannah Catlin / St. John Valley Times

CARIBOU, Maine — Caribou and Old Town drew even in a 1-1 varsity girls soccer match Saturday evening at the Vikings’ home field.

The game was physical but ultimately well-matched, with both teams’ defensive lines putting in good performances to block charges down the wing. The first half was scoreless.

The draw was broken with exactly 25 minutes to go in the second half, when Old Town’s Saige Evans scored off a direct kick from Izabella Damboise into the middle of Caribou’s penalty box.

But it was less than five minutes later that Caribou came back to knot the score up again. Forward Libby Collier scored Caribou’s only goal off an assist from Abigail Leahy.

Two overtime sessions were not enough to break the tie.

The Vikings played a much more grounded game after a 10-1 blowout loss to Fort Kent last week to start their COVID-19 delayed season. Caribou is now 0-1-1 and Old Town remains undefeated at 2-0-1.

While the loss against Fort Kent was devastating, head coach Andrew Kirby said that the team had only had two full practice sessions beforehand, and he was glad to see his freshman-heavy team rally into game two.

The strength of the team is its speed, Kriby said. Success will be a matter of reining in the raw talent and coordinating players across the field.

“This season the team looks to improve on their ability to make quicker passes and smarter decisions on the field,” Kirby said. “We also look to work at improving our ability to play together as a team especially with many players entering the starting lineup for the first time of their career.”

In Aroostook County, only Presque Isle and Caribou are Class B soccer teams, which means a lot of travel to and from games throughout the season. Old Town made the 2 1/2-hour trek on Saturday, but Caribou will haul 200 miles to Ellsworth for a game next week.

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Hannah Catlin

Hannah Catlin is a reporter at the St. John Valley Times/Fiddlehead Focus in Madawaska, Maine.