THORNDIKE — It is a year of firsts for the Mount View High School varsity boys soccer team.
The Mustangs are under the guidance of Jeremy Von Oesen for the first time, are playing in a state championship for the first time since 1980, and could win its first boys soccer title in school history.
“The whole community is excited, supportive and ready to cheer us on Saturday,” said Von Oesen. “The boys have worked hard right from the start of the summer season and during the season getting them ready to play Saturday. It has been a long time and that is why the players and fans are hungry for the match!”
On Saturday, Nov. 9, the Mustangs (15-2) will challenge third-seeded Waynflete, a 15-2 team who claimed the Class C South regional crown.
The Class C state championship game will be held at 3 p.m. at Falmouth High School.
The Mount View roster includes Brennan Grant, Anthony Lepore, Hayden Porter, Atlas Hubbard, Noah Jacobs, Draedyn Furrow, Aiden Hubbard, Levi Winslow, Elijah Allen, Dylan Gallager, Max Eastham, Kevin Kinney, Cole Ripley, Zachary Suitor, Cameron Rae, Connor Aitken, Gunnar Martin, Isaac Widmer, Sean Raven, Tyler Russell, Declan Knowlton, Joe Grassi, Logan Strout, Ruben Schofield, Nicholas Cobb, Nicholas Finley, Jake Hamel, Jaden Von Oesen, Ricky Nelson and Ryan Oliver.
Though this is the first season Von Oesen, who is assisted by Art Farris, is guiding the Mustangs, it is not his first season as a soccer coach.
In fact, Von Oesen splits his time in the fall leading the Mustang boys as well as the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Unity College, something Von Oesen says has benefited him as the Mount View head coach.
“I think my experience coaching at Unity allowed me to bring consistent messages, drills, training sessions, and give them a chance to get better individually but also bring this group together as a confident collective team,” he said. “I’m able to help increase their soccer IQ and put game plans in place that show our strengths and can give examples from a higher level to advance their abilities.”
The team concluded its regular season in third place of Class C North with a 12-2 record.
The Mustangs collected regular season victories over Nokomis (5-0), Belfast (9-0, 10-0), Erskine Academy (5-2), Lawrence (6-0), Oceanside (6-0), John Bapst (1-0, 3-1), Maine Central Institute (4-0), Maranacook (5-2), Waterville (6-2) and Morse (9-0).
Only Medomak Valley (1-0) and Winslow (2-1) were able to slip past the Mustangs.
In the playoffs, Mount View knocked off sixth-seeded Central (5-2) in the regional quarterfinals, Fort Kent (2-0) in the regional semifinals and George Stevens (3-1) in the regional championship.
The regional championship was the program’s first since 1980.
Looking ahead to the state title game, Von Oesen said the keys to victory Saturday will be marking and doing what they do best.
“We will play high pressure and control the pace of play,” he said. “We want to make [Waynflete] work for everything and we will play hard and work towards our goal of ending the season with a win.”
Reach George Harvey and the sports department at: firstname.lastname@example.org.