FALMOUTH — Richmond senior Danica Hurley and her teammates wouldn’t be denied a second straight Class D soccer state championship Saturday, even with Van Buren goalkeeper Ashley Wilson putting on an acrobatic show.

Hurley scored twice and junior Sadie Gosse controlled midfield to lead the Bobcats to a 4-1 victory and their eighth title overall.

The game was a rematch of last year’s final when Hurley scored a second-half goal to give Richmond a 1-0 win. This one wasn’t nearly as close.

“Unfortunately, the first 10 minutes we were on our heels and we didn’t play as aggressively as we did the rest of the game,” Van Buren coach Jay Edgecomb said.

The Bobcats (15-1-0) rode a prevailing wind to two early goals, the first from junior Taylor Clapp following a corner kick and a scrum in front of Wilson. Five minutes later, Gosse and Hurley combined on a goal, with Gosse feeding Hurley a through ball on the right side.

Hurley, who scored her 100th career goal in a playoff game last week, buried the shot into the left

corner for her 36th of the season.
“Sadie and I work really well together,” Hurley said. “We always have, so I was pretty thrilled to see that come together today.”

The Eastern Maine champion Crusaders (12-6-0), who managed just one shot on goal during the first half, were outshot 18-5 by the Bobcats. But the 2-0 lead held up until late in the game thanks to several outstanding saves from Wilson, who finished with 14. She twice robbed Gosse on clean breakaways, coming 10 yards out of her goal to stop the second one.

“I think I got ahead of myself,” Gosse said. “I wasn’t thinking through which side I should go to.”
Wilson came up with the save of the game on Hurley with just over five minutes left to play, robbing her with a leg save after Hurley broke free behind the defense.

“Throughout the game she made some really good saves, and I think that kept them in it,” Hurley said.

Led by junior defender Bri Snedeker, the Bobcats did a nice job limiting the scoring chances of Van Buren sophomore Parise Rossignol, who scored 33 goals this season. But Rossignol did contribute an assist to make things interesting. With just under four minutes left, Rossignol took a hard shot to the left of Richmond keeper Lindsy Hoopingarner, who dived to make the save. She couldn’t control the rebound, though, and Natasha Bourgoin was there for the rebound.

“We talked at halftime that they’re too good of a team and they’re not just going to go away,” Richmond coach Troy Kendrick said. “It would have been nice if we could have scored that third goal before the half.”

With the Crusaders in desperation mode and Wilson coming way out of her net, the Bobcats scored a couple of late goals. Junior Noell Acord made it 3-1 when she got a foot on a rebound of a hard shot by Kayla Beaulieu.

“It nicked off the goalie, Amber (Loon) touched it and it was rolling across the line,” Acord said. “I just went in and took the shot before it rolled out.”

Hurley capped the scoring with an easy tap-in after Wilson gambled on a pass and missed 30 yards out from her goal.

“I definitely got a little frustrated, especially in the second half,” said Hurley, who was marked by Bourgoin. “She was all over me, even when the ball was on the other end of the field. I felt like I didn’t have a lot of chances because she was right on me all game.”

The Bobcats drew strong games from their outside backs — Clapp, Sage Strout, Beaulieu, Michaela Lewia and Andra Meagher — as well as midfielder Payton Johnson, who checked back to help Snedeker on Rossignol. And for much of the game, the ball was on Gosse’s foot.

“She’s a ball winner for us,” Kendrick said. “She really can control the flow of the game, and she did so again today.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638
[email protected]


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