WINSLOW — The Gardiner Area High School girls soccer team qualified for the Class B North playoffs by just over a point in the Heal point standings. Now, the Tigers just don’t want to leave.

No. 12 Gardiner pulled off its second upset in as many games, beating No. 4 Winslow 1-0 on Tuesday afternoon at Kennebec Savings Bank Field.

“New life, new focus. Like I said yesterday, we’ve just been keeping things consistent,” Gardiner coach Chad Kirk said. “Our whole scheme is focus, focus, focus. We’re playing hard.”

Gardiner, which upset No. 5 Mt. Desert Island in the preliminary round, is now 7-6-3. The Tigers will face No. 1 Oceanside (13-0-2) in the semifinals. No. 4 Winslow ends the season at 10-3-2.

Junior striker Lauren Chadwick scored the only goal of the game, which came with 18:36 left in the second half. Chadwick crossed the ball from left to right, finding the corner of the net.

“All I was trying to do is drive it into the far post, hoping someone would be on the far post and could kick it in,” Chadwick said.

From there, it was a matter of Gardiner’s defense holding on. Winslow’s best chance to tie the game came with just over 9 minutes to play, when Tigers goalie Tabytha Hembree made a kick save on a low, hard shot by Makenzie Carlow.

“It was stressful. It was a lot of pressure on us, but I knew we could do it,” Chadwick said of the game’s final minutes. “Our defense has been really strong. We don’t break down.”

Added Winslow coach Steve Bodge: “They packed the box. They do a good job. They’re a good defensive team.”

The Black Raiders controlled play for much of the scoreless first half, but couldn’t capitalize on a few scoring chances. A Paige Smith header off a corner kick with just over 14 minutes to play went wide to the left of the net. With seven minutes to play in the first half, Sarah Guimond’s crossing pass from right to left in front of the Gardiner net didn’t find a shooter.

“If we get one in early, the whole game goes different. You have to put the ball in the back of the net to be successful,” Bodge said. “(As a) first-year coach, they did everything I asked them to do. They had an amazing season.”

In Oceanside, Gardiner faces a third straight playoff opponent it did not see in the regular season.

“We have a formation now that works,” Kirk said. “We grind it out, and we’re happy, and we’re moving on.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

<URL destination=””>[email protected]

</URL>Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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