WATERVILLE — Freshman Fotini Shanos scored three goals to lead Waterville to a 4-1 win over Hampden on Tuesday afternoon at Webber Field in an Eastern Maine Class A girls soccer game.

After a sloppy first half of play and in need of a win, Waterville (6-3-3) came out with plenty of intensity in the second half, taking the lead early and playing strong aggressive defense. Hampden (9-3-0) was forced to shoot from the perimeter.

Waterville’s victory shot the Purple Panthers into the No. 4 spot in the Eastern A Heal point standings with two games remaining.

“We had a decision to make at halftime, about what kind of team we wanted to be,” Waterville coach Ian Wilson said. “We’ve had periods of time this year where we didn’t work hard and at this point it was a matter of how we wanted to be defined.”

Paced by the outstanding play in the back of senior Melanie Bureau, Waterville exploded in the second half, defending with speed while presenting chances for the attack to run forward in transition. Bureau, along with defenders Marisa Jolicoeur, Cody Veilleux and Morgan Pellerin slowed a powerful Bronco attack.

“We lost in overtime to Hampden, the first time we played them and it was heart-breaking,” Bureau said. “It was devastating and since then we have been playing in a turtle shell. I think today we came out of that and showed our fitness level was high.”

Hampden controlled play through much of the first half, outshooting Waterville 7-3 along with generating a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks.

“We were lucky to come out of the first half tied,” Wilson said. “Fotini was phenomenal and everyone picked it up and played an outstanding second half.”

Shanos gave the Purple Panthers the lead for good just 55 seconds into the second half, nodding a header into the back corner off an excellent cross from Pellerin. Four minutes later, Sarah Shoulta gathered a through pass in the middle from Morgan Tortorella and buried a shot from 10 yards for a 3-1 advantage.

Waterville continued to pressure with Shoulta sending balls into the penalty area from her right wing position, causing plenty of problems for the Hampden defense.

Lurking at the back post, Shanos nudged a loose ball into the goal from two yards when Bronco keeper Sami Bouler and defender Kristi Reichel misfired on an attempted clearance. Shanos’ goal pushed the lead to 4-1 with 19:41 left in the game.

“I was really nervous out on the field,” said Shanos, who got the start when teammate Jayme Saulter was forced out of the lineup due to illness. “I wanted to prove myself and show that I could do the job.”

Waterville goalkeeper Gabrielle Martin finished the game making six saves on 12 shots while Bouler managed four saves on 10 shots.

 

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