It’s been so long since the Messalonskee boys soccer team played Hampden Academy, today’s game can scarcely be based on that meeting.

“We played them the first game of the year,” Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan said. “It was almost August.”

For the record, Hampden won that game 1-0. The teams play again tonight on the turf in Hampden with an Eastern Maine Class A championship at stake. This is the second time Messalonskee has reached the Eastern Maine final. The last time, in 1995, the Eagles lost to Hampden.

In Western Maine Class D games, the top-seeded Richmond boys and girls each host second-seeded Greenville teams. The Richmond girls swept both games in the regular season while the boys have a win and a tie against the visiting Lakers.

Both Messalonskee and Hampden have knocked off solid teams to reach the finals. Sixth-seeded Messalonskee (12-2-2) defeated No. 3 Mt. Ararat and No. 2 Bangor while Hampden (12-3-1) stopped No. 5 Brunswick and No. 1 Lewiston.

“I think our kids feel they can play with them,” Sheridan said. “We’re playing much better now than we were then. Hampden got a lot better, too.”

Messalonskee senior Chris Hall, who was recently named Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference North Division player of the year, is one of the KVAC’s top defenders from his center back position. He’s also scored 10 goals.

“He can just take another team’s top threat right out of the game,” Sheridan said.

Nate DelGiudice leads the Eagles with 11 goals while sophomore center halfback Wyatt Omsberg is the team’s top playmaker. The Broncos have a number of dangerous scorers led by Ben Clark and Cameron Libbey as well as top goalkeeper in Logan Poirier.

The Richmond boys (12-2-1) will face two big guns in Greenville’s Henry Hersey and Tristan Richards, each with 22 goals this season.

“They’re on a roll right now,” Richmond coach Joe Scribellito said. “We can’t make mistakes, they take advantage of every shot they take.”

The teams have played four straight overtime games, including a tie in Greenville (9-4-2) and a 3-2 win for the Bobcats in Richmond. In that one, sophomore Nate Tribbett scored all three goals for Richmond. Peter Lorbeski leads the Bobcats with 21 goals while Sam Lorbeski has 14 and Tribbett 13.

“It’s hard to shut one of our guys down because none of our guys are afraid to shoot,” Scribellito said.

The Richmond girls (13-1-0) are aiming for a second straight Class D state title. They defeated the Lakers (11-4-0) twice this season.

“We beat them 3-1 and 3-0 but they’re a good club,” Richmond coach Troy Kendrick said. “I expect we’ll have our hands full.”

The Bobcats return a veteran team from a year ago led by senior Danica Hurley, who has 33 goals and 11 assists. Junior Sadie Gosse has 11 goals and 20 assists. Miranda Drinkwater leads the Lakers with 14 goals.

Due to wet field conditions, both Richmond games will be played on the girls field beginning with the girls at 1 p.m. followed  by the boys at 3.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638
[email protected]

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