RICHMOND — The drama in Richmond’s regional final against Rangeley on Wednesday centered around Kelsea Anair and her quest to break the school scoring record.

The top-seeded Bobcats pretty much settled the outcome in the first half when they held Rangeley without a shot in building a three-goal lead. Anair scored two goals to tie the record set by Danica Hurley as the Bobcats coasted to 5-0 victory.

With the victory, Richmond (15-1-0) reached the Class D state championship game for the sixth consecutive year, having lost the last two after winning three straight. It will play Ashland at 3 p.m. Saturday at Presque Isle Middle School. Second-seeded Rangeley finished 10-4-0. Ashland won the D North title with a 1-0 overtime victory over Madawaska on Wednesday.

The Lakers failed to score in their two regular-season losses to Richmond and didn’t threaten in this one. To compound matters, they played without goalkeeper Sydney Royce, who sustained a concussion in the team’s playoff win last week. That forced coach Chip Smith to go with field player Maddi Egan in goal.

The Bobcats took full advantage as they put three shots past Egan in the first half and another in the second before Natasha Haley took over for the last five minutes.

“We did a good job of just possessing the ball,” Richmond coach Troy Kendrick said. “For high school kids, against that type of a defense where they’ve got eight or nine back, they were patient, they were composed. It’s like attacking a zone defense in basketball.”

Junior Meranda Martin scored the first goal for the Bobcats just 10 minutes into the game with a 25-yard shot that broke through Egan’s hands as Anair was crossing in front.

“I think when Kelsea jumped over (the ball) it caught the goalie off guard,” Martin said.

The Bobcats moved the ball on the ground well in accordance with the game plan.

“This game that was our goal,” Martin said. “They have Blayke (Morin) in the middle, they just pass the ball back to her and she just boots it up. Our goal was to keep it on the ground and switch fields a lot so we could pull them out of the box.”

Anair entered the game with 102 career goals, two shy of Hurley’s school record. She drew a goal closer when she tapped in a rebound off a shot by her cousin Destiny midway through the half. Kendrick said Anair hasn’t talked about breaking the record but she admitted it’s been weighing on her mind.

“It’s been very tough for me,” she said.

Senior co-captain Autumn Acord scored later in the half to stake the Bobcats to a 3-0 lead. Richmond had a couple dozen shots in the first half but only put six on goal. They doubled that number in the second

With an enrollment of 54 students, Rangeley is about a third the size of Richmond and the disparity showed on the roster. The Lakers brought seven freshmen and three eighth graders to the game while the Bobcats have a number of experienced upper classmen.

“It’s different when you’re that smaller Class D school,” Smith said, adding “the future is bright. They’ve got a program which I’ve been trying to mirror since I’ve been here for the last three years.”

With 22 minutes left, Morin put the only shot on Richmond keeper Sydney Tilton from 40 yards away, which she handled easily. The Bobcats upped the lead to 4-0 when freshman Caitlin Kendrick hit a ball high into the net from 20 yards, and Anair capped the scoring and tied the career record with a simple chip shot after another assist from her sister. Kelsea Anair isn’t concerned about the 250-mile trip to Presque Isle on Saturday.

“We’ve gone there two times and lost so it’s very important to the team and our seniors to really execute this year and win,” she said. “We’re looking for the Gold Ball, definitely.”


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