PORTLAND — The Maranacook Black Bears are still unbeatable in Class C.

Maranacook secured its second state championship in as many years in Class C with a dominating 2-0 win over Orono on Saturday at Deering High School. The Black Bears finished the season 18-0 and are 34-0-2 in two years since moving down from Class B.

“To win this second title in a row means a lot to me and the rest of these seniors,” senior striker Kodey Solmitz said.

Matt DuBois and Zack Godbout scored for Maranacook, which outshot Orono 21-5 and controlled play throughout.

“We pressed the ball and we worked hard,” said Maranacook coach Don Beckwith, whose team dominated a Class B league, the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference, during the regular season. “Good things happen when you work hard.”

DuBois broke a scoreless tie with 11 minutes, 56 seconds left in the first half, set up by junior midfielder Kent Mohlar.

“The ball fell to me in the midfield,” Mohlar said. “I carried forward and got around the next guy and saw Matt making a run across the middle. He put a great first touch on it.”

Orono (15-3) didn’t manage a shot until less than three minutes remained in the first half and didn’t manufacture a serious bid until 1:30 remained in the half. Maxime Neitschke broke out in transition and outraced a lone Black Bear defender with the ball before sending a hard ground ball to the right of sophomore goalkeeper Justin Freeman (four saves), who made a diving stop to preserve the lead.

“That’s a small guy playing big, and that’s what we expect him to do,” Beckwith said. “I think people underestimate him because he’s small, but he’s got the skills of any goalie in the state.”

Freeman aggressively prevented another chance midway through the second half, charging to the top of the box to beat Neitschke and Kam Stockley to a through ball.

Godbout added the insurance goal moments later, crashing the net with several teammates off Chris Beckwith’s free kick from the right wing and Mohlar’s first-touch header toward the goal.

“All season we’ve been about crashing the net on direct balls,” Godbout said. “Coach Beckwith told us that the goalie gives up a lot of rebounds on those. It was a low shot and he gave up a rebound. I think Max (McQuillen) shot it and I just tipped it in.”

“We did better with those than I thought we would because of (Orono’s) size,” Coach Beckwith said. “Mohlar makes a lot happen there because of his size, too. And he’s just a spectacular athlete.”

Alik Espling made nine saves in net for Orono, although Maranacook’s coach thought he could have faced even more pressure.

“I thought we could have played a lot more on the ground,” Beckwith said. “We were kick-and-run a little bit too much. But they’re big, so they’re going to grind us up and so I think we played to them instead of away from them. I think we can play better.”

The bad news for Class C is there’s a good chance they could play even better next year. The Black Bears’ graduate just four seniors, three of them starters.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]


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