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Alumni squad dumps Muskies in exhibition tilt

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The Muskie girls’ alumni soccer team took advantage of a strong first-half wind to score three times—all by forward Keira Main—in a 4-1 victory here Friday night over last season’s squad.

The wind seemed to dictate the territorial play at the Westfort field, with the alumni squad controlling field position in the first half and the younger Muskies playing in the offensive zone most of the second half.

Mary Montgomery also scored for the alumni while Laureen Cousineau replied for the Muskies.

The exhibition game was played in conjunction with the “Borderland Ball Blast ’97,” which featured a six-team men’s soccer tournament and a 10-team adult mixed slo-pitch one.

Jodi Johnson, president of the Women’s Borderland Soccer League here and who helped organize the game, said it was a chance for them to take part in the weekend event, with the intent of organizing a women’s soccer tournament next year.

“The idea was to have an opener for the tournament so we chose to have an alumni team play against the Muskies,” noted Johnson, who plays with MEC in the local women’s league.

Johnson said the idea of the exhibition game was well received by the players, and the fact many of the alumni still play in the women’s league made it easy to round up players.

“Usually you play against these girls in the league but it was nice to play on the same field with them,” she enthused.

For Struchan Gilson, who holds the distinction of having coached every single player on the field Friday, the game was a chance to see how far women’s soccer has progressed here in recent years.

“I really like the idea of an alumni game," said Gilson, who helped start the girls’ program here. "You can see the level of play has gone up considerably in the years.”

Main, who played under Gilson until the 1994-95 season, agreed.

“There’s definitely a higher level [of soccer played]. You can tell a lot of the players out there have played youth soccer,” she said.

“The level of play has really improved, and I think if we had mini soccer [when we first started the game], the play would be twice as good,” echoed Johnson.

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