Shires, Warriors to battle in ‘C’ North semifinal

FORT KENT, Maine — A rainy, blustery Monday has forced officials to move the Class C North semifinal match previously scheduled for today between the top-ranked Fort Kent boys and No. 5 Houlton to 4 p.m Tuesday.

The Warriors (12-1-2) advanced to the semifinals with a 6-3 win over No. 8 Piscatquis Community High School on Oct. 24. Houlton (8-6-1) upset No. 4 Dexter 3-2 on Saturday to advance to the semifinals.

The Shires and Warriors have met twice during the regular season, with Fort Kent winning 4-1 Sept. 21 at Fort Kent and 2-0 Oct. 6 at Houlton.

“Fort Kent is certainly the most talented team that we’ve played,” Houlton coach Caleb Byron said Monday, “but we have played to their strengths of strong ball movement and control the past two times we’ve played them.”

The Shires have rattled off four consecutive wins and appear to be playing some of their best soccer of the season at just the right time. To be successful against the Warriors, Houlton will have to continue that stellar play.

“We need to work on moving the ball up as a unit and not playing kick and run,” coach Byron said. “We tire ourselves out by making bad passes and playing on our heels. We need to push the ball up offensively with numbers, or we can expect a similar result. A strong team effort and good finishing will bring us a playoff win against Fort Kent for the second year in a row.”

Last year, Houlton was the No. 4 seed and knocked off No. 5 Fort Kent 2-0 in the quarterfinals.

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