EAST MACHIAS — After ending a 13-year regional title drought last season, the Winslow High School boys soccer team made certain it wouldn’t wait that long for another.

Senior striker Jake Warn scored twice in the second half on Thursday, completing his hat trick in 79 minutes, as the No. 4 Black Raiders overcame a sloppy start to post a 3-1 win over Washington Academy in the Class B North final Thursday at Community Field. With its second straight regional title, Winslow (15-3-0) set itself up for a rematch of last year’s state championship final against Yarmouth on Saturday afternoon at Deering High.

“We knew right from the start of preseason, that this was where we wanted to be,” Warn said. “We were all on the same page. We wanted to be at states, and that’s why we were so focused coming into this game.”

For No. 2 Washington (13-3-1), the two-time defending Class C state champion, the loss was the first on home turf since 2014.

“Last year, I think we snuck up on some teams,” Winslow head coach Aaron Wolfe said. “I knew we were going to be good last year, but I think this year we were more the team that everyone might have been gunning for in B North. That does make it harder, definitely. It was not easy by any stretch, but it’s definitely well-deserved.”

Things got off to an auspicious start for the Black Raiders, who were both unorganized and sluggish for stretches, as Washington took advantage of its speed and skill on the ball in the early going. Long balls by the Raiders to their speedy duo of strikers caught Winslow flat-footed on more than one occasion, not the least of which opened the scoring just 11 minutes in.

Junior Iago Viecli found himself behind the Winslow back line on a restart, prompting Winslow goalkeeper Jake Lapierre (three saves) off his line to try and challenge for a 50-50 ball. Lapierre lost the battle, and Iago finished into an empty net — despite vocal pleas from the Winslow bench for an offsides call.

That call never came, but neither did a second Washington goal.

“We haven’t been down too much this year, but whenever we have been the team’s never panicked,” Wolfe said. “We work all the way through the game, no matter what situation presents itself. We talk about it all the time — you play the full 80 minutes no matter what happens.”

“We told ourselves that the chances were there, it was just a matter of putting them away,” senior center back Mike Wildes said. “We knew they’d come. We just had to battle back and keep grinding it out and it would come.”

Warn produced an equalizer five minutes before halftime. Daylon Carpenter was slow to make a decision in traffic at the top of the 18-yard box — but the delay only served to draw Washington defenders to him. He slid the ball into a small space for Warn, whose right-footed shot somehow found its way through Washington keeper Josh Vose (eight saves).

It was all the life Winslow would need, and they came out for the second half with confidence.

“Our touches started getting a little better, and we started getting our heads up and making passes and being offensively better,” said Warn, who had moved from the left side to a more central position midway through the first half. “They played a really deep sweeper… and they left me with a lot of space to work with. Our midfielders were good about coming up and supporting my runs.”

Junior Isaac Lambrecht expertly shielded off a Washington defender to collect a through ball on the left flank, and Warn one-timed Lambrecht’s cross home in the 47th minute for a 2-1 lead.

Facing a deficit for the first time, and facing a stiff wind in their faces for the final 40 minutes, the Raiders had an enormous uphill climb to make.

That climb never came, as Washington was held to only one on-target shot in the second half.

“We were into the wind, and it really took away that long-ball attack that we were trying to foster into a goal,” Washington coach Chris Gardner said. “When the wind changed, we suffered to get field position, we really did.

“We knew whoever scored that first goal in the second half was going to have a huge mental advantage.”

Winslow dominated the midfield in the second half in a way it hadn’t in the first stanza. The Black Raiders won balls to their feet and found the right combination passes that simplified their efforts moving forward.

The advantage paid off with the clinching goal in the 79th minute, Warn’s finishing touch encouraging several Washington players to drop to the turf in disappointment, their faces masked in their shirts.

“The more (Jake) does, the easier it makes it for me,” Wildes said. “If he keeps scoring goals, I’m OK with it.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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