High school girls soccer

Coach Ellis, Vikings boot way to first two pitch wins

Vikings beat Deer Isle-Stonington 3-0, George Stevens Academy 3-1
By Ken Waltz | Sep 10, 2019
Photo by: Ken Waltz Searsport's Kyla Perkins, right, and George Stevens Academy's Andrea Brooks vie for the ball on Sept. 6 in a high school girls soccer game. The host Vikings beat the Eagles 3-1.

Searsport — Briana Grant Ellis once played her heart out on the Searsport District High School soccer field but now stands on the sideline — and uses only her voice and not her legs and feet — to lead a new group of young Viking student-athletes to pitch success.

With the support of longtime SDHS athletic coaches John Frye and R.J. Robertson often by her side, Grant has helped inspire a relatively young group of Vikings to home victories in their first two games — a 3-0 decision over Deer Isle-Stonington on Monday, Sept. 9 and 3-1 season-opening victory over George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill on Friday, Sept. 6.

Watch video and see more photos below.

The following are recaps of both matches:

Searsport 3, Deer Isle-Stonington 0

At Searsport Sept. 9, the Vikings rolled to their second victory of the young season.

Searsport led 1-0 at halftime.

Mackenzie Alley (2 goals) and Ana Lang (goal) scored for the Vikings.

Searsport held a 19-7 advantage in shots. The Vikings finished with nine shots on goal in the first half and 10 in the second half, while Deer Isle-Stonington recorded five shots on goal in the opening half and two in the closing half.

Alley broke the scoreless tie at the 14:59-mark of the first half to put the hosts up 1-0, then, almost at the same mark of the second half — 14:53 to be exact — Alley notched her second goal of the day — and fourth of the season. Five minutes later to the second, Lang scored the Vikings' third goal to pad the lead.

Searsport 3, George Stevens Academy 1

At Searsport Sept. 6, Ellis and the Vikings earned their first wins as coach and team to start the regular season.

Ellis had been an assistant coach at the high school and coached subvarsity, middle school and youth teams before this fall.

Makenzie Alley scored goals in each half and Jordan Greeley a second-half goal to help the hots forge to a fun-filled, confidence-building, season-opening win. Amethyst Merithew and Greeley added assists.

"This helps the girls up in their brains because now they have a little bit of confidence going into [the season]," Ellis said. "I told them yesterday at practice we have the ability to win many games this year, but it is up to them. That doesn't mean it is going to be handed to them. So if they work together and stay together as a team they are going to do pretty good."

For the Eagles of Blue Hill Eleanor McMillan scored a first-half goal.

Both teams had 19 shots on goal. Sarah Gent played in goal for the hosts and Luna Perry-St. Peter was in net for the visitors.

Rosa Estes and Greeley had four shots to pace the sophomore- and freshmen-laden Vikings.

Clementine Bannon led the visitors with five shots on goal.

While last year was a struggle for the Vikings to field enough players, this year's Searsport squad has, when all players are healthy and available, a handful of substitutes for games.

The team includes 17 student-athletes, including seniors Amethyst Merithew and Abby Stemp; juniors Makenzie Alley, Rosa Estes, Sarah Gent and Emma Spiegel; sophomores Abby Donnelly, Sadie Golder, Jordan Greeley and Kyla Perkins; and freshmen Josephine Bragdon, Matteson Burbelo, Terrin Connor, Ana Lang, Samantha Lewis, Mykenzie Tripp and Laura Warman.

"I am so ecstatic," coach Ellis said of the team's and her first win. "I knew they could do it but you just never know with first-game jitters how it is going to go. They were nervous and some of them were trying out new positions and moving things around. We switched our formation last night in practice. It is so exciting, if you can't tell, I'm jittery. This is my first coaching win, other than like the jayvee team, and it is awesome. It is awesome to have some of these girls I have in a different sport and watch them grow in another sport."

Ellis has coaching in her blood, so to speak, as her father, Mel, has coached baseball and girls basketball at the high school for years.

George Stevens Academy at Searsport girls soccer
Searsport hosts George Stevens Academy on Sept. 6 in high school girls soccer. (Video by: Ken Waltz and Zack Miller)
Searsport's Makenzie Alley. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Sarah Gent. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport coaches Briana Ellis, left, and R.J. Robertson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Laura Warman, right, and George Stevens Academy's Andrea Brooks. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Sarah Gent. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Matteson Burbelo. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Matteson Burbelo. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Makenzie Alley. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Kyla Perkins. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Matteson Burbelo, left, and George Stevens Academy's Silas Murnik. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Kyla Perkins. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Rosa Estes. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Rosa Estes. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Jordan Greeley. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Emma Spiegel, right, and George Stevens Academy's Grace Whiting. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Jordan Greeley. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Jordan Greeley. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Jordan Greeley. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Matteson Burbelo. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Terrin Connor. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Sarah Gent. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Sarah Gent. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Jordan Greeley. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Amethyst Merithew, left. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Terrin Connor, left, and Samantha Lewis. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Ana Long. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport coach Briana Ellis. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport coach Briana Ellis, right, tells her players the time of an upcoming event. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
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