WINSLOW — Midway through the season, an opposing coach remarked that the best way to keep Spencer Miranda from taking over a game was to make sure you never gave him reason enough to get into it.

Ironically, it was the Winslow High School midfielder’s ability to not get dragged into the emotional depths of big games that served him best in a spectacular senior season.

Miranda finished off the campaign with 12 goals and 21 assists, helping the Black Raiders reach the Class B North regional championship. For his efforts, Miranda is the Morning Sentinel Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Messalonskee senior James Kouletsis and Carrabec senior Paul Kaplan were also considered.

“I knew that we needed everybody to be on the field at once if we were going to make a good run,” said Miranda, who was also named the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B Player of the Year. “I tried to make sure everyone stayed focused on what we were trying to do and that everyone was held accountable. I knew that they were all going to hold me to the same things.”

Miranda had a remarkable ability to impact games in more than one way. He could score goals, certainly, with a deadly right foot off set pieces from long range. He was most valuable, however, in the center of the park as an option to relieve pressure out of the back and begin a deadly Winslow counterattack.

The 21 assists for the year are made all the more impressive when considering the Black Raiders won eight of 14 regular season games by four or more goals. Miranda could have spent more time on the pitch, and pressed into attack more, had games been closer.

Instead, he demonstrated an understanding of the game and situations within it.

“He was always involved in something we were doing,” Winslow head coach Aaron Wolfe said. “Beyond the numbers, his touch is great in the middle, he settles balls in the air, where that same ball might not get settled if it’s another player in that role.

“His junior year is where he took off. He had nine or 10 goals and 15 assists, and I thought he should have been all-conference. If he’d had the same season this year, he would have been great. But, as hard as it is for a senior to see that and do it, he did just that.”

He learned a great experience early in the season, during a 0-0 draw at perennial regional power Maranacook. Miranda missed an penalty kick in extra time in that match, something he made sure didn’t linger too long in the weeks to follow.

He didn’t let it derail him from his role, which was to be a catalyst for those around him and not a selfish player trying to carry the team all by himself.

“I’m really comfortable in that spot,” Miranda said of being a playmaking distributor. “I’m happy to have a shot when it’s there, but I’m just as happy to make the right pass.

“I’m a competitive guy. If it means passing the ball is going to win us games, I’m passing the ball.”

Miranda, who has thought about playing collegiately at Husson and the University of Maine at Farmington, said that it was Winslow’s style of play that suited him best.

“I was just trying to play my game,” Miranda said. “We played a style that really helped me this year.”

Perhaps most importantly, Miranda kept playing. He didn’t get caught up in hard challenges by the opposition or trash-talking when games were teetering on getting out of hand. Instead, he simply kept serving as a key cog in the Black Raiders’ possession game.

“One of the main things I get from a lot of people is how much soccer IQ he has and his maturity on the field this year,” Wolfe said. “He did a total 180. He was all about the game all the time, understanding that our focus needed to be on the field.”

And when it was, that focus was on Miranda more often than not.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC