PORTLAND — Lydia Roy thought her shot cleared the crossbar, although it’s possible the two bandages above her left eye altered her vision.

“At first, I thought it was going over, and I was like ‘Aw, shoot,” the Waterville senior midfielder said. “And then (fellow captain) Sarah Shoulta came sprinting at me. I looked over and the ball was in the net and I was like ‘Oh my God!”

Roy’s shot from 28 yards out found the top right corner with 38.1 seconds remaining in overtime and gave Waterville a 1-0 victory over Cape Elizabeth in the Class B girls soccer championship Saturday at Deering High School.

The win capped a perfect 18-0 season for the Purple Panthers and avenged last year’s state title game loss to Cape Elizabeth on penalty kicks.

“Part of the discussion going into overtime was we were not going into penalty kicks,” Waterville coach Ian Wilson said. “We felt that we controlled play most of the second half and we did not want to go into penalty kicks.”

The Purple Panthers collected their seventh state title overall, their first since 2008. The first six came in Class A before they moved to Class B in 2013.

“I have tears of joy,” said Roy, who needed the bandages after bumping heads trying for a header late in the first half. “I’m just so happy.”

Waterville is the first team from Eastern Maine to win the title since Winslow in 2000, snapping the West’s 13-game winning streak.

Cape Elizabeth (12-5-1) controlled the first half, but with four starters out — three due to injury and one due to a mandatory red card carry-over from the regional final — the Capers tired in the second half.

“We played 110 minutes with a player down Wednesday. Two days to recover probably wasn’t enough time for us,” Cape Elizabeth coach Craig Fannon said. “I think legs told the tale. Hats off to Waterville. They were excellent in the second half and really controlled the game.”

“At halftime, we just said we deserve this,” Waterville senior striker Pilar Elias said. “We need to go out there and win, and that’s what we did.”

Led by Brooke Ettinger, Morgann Tortorella, Cody Veilleux and goalkeeper Gabi Martin (four saves), Waterville’s defense withstood steady pressure from the Capers. Waterville fans also breathed sighs of relief after shots by Kathryn Clark and Mariah Deschino struck the face of the crossbar.

“We just needed a break,” Fannon said. “One of those goes off the crossbar and drops in instead of dropping out the other way and all of a sudden it’s a different game.”

With junior Montana Braxton controlling the midfield, the Capers were able to mount one more series of attacks early in the second half. But Tortorella and Veilleux each had big blocks to deny Deschino shots from close range.

“Defense is all about team. We stick together, communicate and we have each other’s backs,” Tortorella said.

“Our defense and our goalie kept us in it,” said Wilson, who picked up his fifth state title as a coach in 2014 after winning four in indoor and outdoor track earlier in the year. “That’s kind of the name of the game. When the bullets are flying, you’ve got to have a defense just to weather the storm, and you can try and look for your opportunities later.”

After being outshot 8-2 in the first half, Waterville’s opportunities came in bunches in the second half.

They kept the pressure on in the extra session. Elias took a feed from Shoulta and booted a blast from 25 yards that just missed to the right. Cape goalkeeper Tessa Goldstein (six saves) delayed Roy’s heroics with a diving save to her right. Moments later at the other end, Deschino beat her defender 1-on-1 in transition but couldn’t fool Martin with her shot.

“You have to have courage and do amazing things in amazing games,” Tortorella said. “You can’t regret anything. You just have to go for it.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33


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