Noell Acord and the Richmond girls soccer team got what they wanted: A chance at redemption. The Hall-Dale boys got what they longed for: A chance for a first gold ball.

The next batch of state soccer champions will be crowned today.

Western C top-seed Hall-Dale (16-0-1), which has never won a boys soccer state championship, will play Eastern C champ Houlton (14-2-1) at 10 a.m. in Scarborough.

The Shiretowners are making their second consecutive appearance in the Class C state game — they lost to Waynflete 2-1 last year.

“They’re coming back as a champ,” Hall-Dale coach Andy Haskell said. “We’ll have to be ready, and I fully expect us to be.”

The two-time defending Class D state champion Bobcats (15-0-1) are also ready for Eastern D champ Washburn (15-1-1). The Bobcats and Beavers will play at 5:30 p.m. at Hampden Academy.

There is some history between some players on both teams.

Washburn defeated Richmond in the Class D girls basketball state title game in each of the previous two seasons. The Beavers won both contests by a combined 103-65.

Several athletes on both teams also play on the soccer teams.

“They can’t take another from us,” said Acord, a senior who also plays basketball. “We have a chance to make history with a third straight gold ball. We want this.”

Added Richmond senior defender Brianna Snedeker: “Two years in a row they’ve beat us in basketball. It can’t not be in the back of your mind.”

Richmond will try to become the first Class D team to win three consecutive state titles since Waynflete did it from 1995-97.

“I know the girls have faced them in the basketball season,” Washburn coach Marcy Barbarula said. “They have some quick girls we have to be aware of.”

Richmond features a balanced scoring attack. Acord leads the way with 24 goals while Amber Loon (22) and Sadie Gosse (15) follow.

“We brought back eight starters,” Richmond coach Troy Kendrick said. “We were fortunate. This is what the kids planned on. We wanted to go for it again. It’s nice that our offense can come from different players.”

Added Gosse: “They are quick and we will have to be first to the ball. We want to go out there and keep this going.”

The Beavers, who’ve never won a Class D state title, lean on Mackenzie Worcester for their scoring. Worcester is the school’s all-time leading goal scorer with 60 — and she’s just a sophomore. She scored 27 goals last year and has 33 this fall. Senior goalie Rayah Saucier has 20 career shutouts and needs just one more to break the school record.

“We have our work cut out for us,” Barbarula said, “but we are peaking at the right time.”

So, too, are the Hall-Dale boys.

The Bulldogs survived a thriller against Waynflete in the Western C title game, winning 1-0 in a game that went to penalty kicks. They’ll bring a potent offense to Scarborough today.

Hall-Dale scored at least six goals in 13 of its 14 regular-season games. It hasn’t slowed much in the postseason, winning three games by a combined 12-0.

“We score a lot of goals,” Haskell said. “We have a potent attack.”

Senior Colin Lush and sophomore Nat Crocker, both midfielders, have 26 goals. Senior captain Zack McNaughton has 25.

The Bulldogs also rely on senior goalie Sam Shepherd, who has yet to allow a goal in the playoffs.

“Anytime you have three 20-plus scorers, it’s a good thing,” Haskell said. “McNaughton plays all over the field for us, too. He plays up top, in the back and at midfield. He’s probably our best all-around player.”

Senior striker James Fitzpatrick leads the Shiretowners with 38 goals.

“We have to get into a possession game,” Haskell added. “We need to be strong defensively. If we do those two things we should be in good shape.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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