PITTSFIELD — At the end of regulation, Waterville Senior High School’s Justin Wentworth voiced his frustration. Throughout the final 15 minutes of the second half, Wentworth had numerous opportunities to score, only to miss wide. The shot that went wide left in the closing seconds of the second half was the one that caused Wentworth to shout at himself.

Scoring the game-winner shortly into overtime made Wentworth forget all the missed opportunities.

Wentworth’s goal 1:03 into overtime lifted the Purple Panthers to a 4-3 Kennebec Valley Ahtletic Conference Class B win over Maine Central Institute on Thursday. The victory capped a six-game win streak to end the regular season for the Purple Panthers, who enter the playoffs at 9-4-1. MCI dropped to 6-4-3, with the regular-season finale to play at Medomak Valley next Tuesday.

“We had a little bit of tough run early on, but six wins in a row is a good way to end the season. There was a time early in the season where it didn’t look like we were going to finish the season real strong. We’re really excited about our chances if we keep playing like this,” Waterville coach Kerry Serdjenian said.

Wentworth’s winner came off a pass from Ben Danner. Wentworth came down the right wing after taking the pass (“It was a great ball,” Wentworth said) and slid a shot into the right corner of the net past MCI keeper Aidan Peacock.

“I just found the corner. I’d been off all game. I had decided to go far post, but I decided to go near post this time and it paid off,” Wentworth said.


The goal erased a series of almosts and not quites that had been most of Wentworth’s afternoon. After scoring Waterville’s second goal with 8:14 left in the first half to put the Panthers ahead 2-1, Wentworth’s shots in the second half were consistently just wide of the net. Serdjenian was pleased the Panthers consistently got good scoring opportunities, and encouraged his team.

“I’m just really glad we’re getting those chances, because in the first half of the season we might’ve had the same amount of shots as the other team but they were from way out and not as dangerous,” Serdjenian said. “At least we’re getting shots in the six.”

The Huskies took a 1-0 lead just 39 seconds into the game. When keeper Jackson Aldrich left the net to play the ball, the ball squirted free to Antonio Ranea-Rodriquez, who planted it into the empty net. Waterville tied the game with 32:28 to play in the first half on a Bridger Holly goal, with an assist from Wentworth.

Ranea-Rodriquez’s second goal of the half came on a rebound with 1:20 to play, and sent the teams to the break tied at 2-2. Waterville took a 3-2 lead with 27:13 left in the second, when Peter Mayhorn’s long shot from the top right of the box bent to the left corner of the net. Waterville’s lead held until 7:56 remained in regulation, when Hayden Caldwell’s rebound found the left corner of the net.

“Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t. We definitely kept the pressure up. I’m proud of that. That’s a quality veteran team there,” MCI coach Scott Varney said, pointing at Waterville. “We’re disappointed that we lost but the upside is we played well. We played with everything we had. We’ve got to look forward to Medomak, because this is a big game for us.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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