The girls high school soccer rivalry between Orono and Houlton has been one of the most compelling in recent years.
The last six games between the two has either been decided by one goal or wound up in a tie.
That includes last fall’s 2-1 win for Orono in the Class C North championship game and Houlton’s 3-2 triumph earlier this month.
They square off again Saturday at noon in Orono.
The Shiretowners (9-0), thanks to the early-season win over the defending two-time Class C state champs, go into the game atop the Heal Point standings by nearly 12 points over the second-place Red Riots (7-1).
A Houlton victory would all but ensure the top seed and home-field advantage throughout the regional playoffs. An Orono victory would make things interesting down the stretch.
The Red Riots facing a Shires team that has posted five consecutive shutouts.
“I’m looking for an exciting game between two good teams who will hopefully play fun, attractive soccer,” said Orono coach Cid Dyjak, who admitted he has been surprised at his team’s start.
The Riots lost influential midfielders Brinsley Chasse and Lizzie White, standout goalkeeper Katelyn Richards and dynamic, fleet striker Becky Lopez-Anido to graduation.
“I wasn’t sure we’d be able to put it together quite as rapidly as we have,” said Dyjak. “I thought we’d be a work in progress. I’m happy with the progress we’ve made and, hopefully, we’ll keep it going. We’re a young team.”
Sophomore Izzy Baker and freshman Brynn Kenney, who are both strikers, are Orono’s top scorers. Senior Becca Gallandt has joined junior Brooklynne White to control the midfield.
White is in her…