OAKLAND — The scoreline has hung over the Messalonskee girls soccer season since the final whistle echoed across the school’s campus on the final day of August.

Camden Hills 3, Messalonskee 0.

That was how the Eagles opened their campaign under first-year head coach Chris Delgiudice, the very campaign that has No. 3 Messalonskee headed for a rematch with No. 1 Camden Hills in the Class A North final Wednesday at Lincoln Academy.

Neither team has lost since. Messalonskee enters the final at 15-1-0, while the Windjammers are a perfect 16-0-0.

“We just have to keep playing hard and keep the ball in front of us,” Delgiudice said. “It’s one of those where you go in and it’s Camden Hills. It’s the team everybody has seen and looks to, and it’s their name. I think it’s a lot more of a mental aspect that we’ll have to get past than the playing.”

While it may seem like the pressure will be on Messalonskee’s strikers to try and keep pace with a Camden Hills attack that produced 101 goals during the regular season, led by junior Kristina Kelly, the Eagles’ back four will need to perform.

Keeping the Windjammers off the scoreboard is paramount. Camden Hills has conceded only seven times all season, four of those to Bangor in its second game, while posting nine clean sheets through the regional semifinals.

Backs Ella Moore, a senior, and Sarah Lowell, a junior, know they have their work cut out for them Wednesday.

“It’s their speed,” Moore said. “We play four in the back, and they play three up top with a striker and two wings. Marking is a hard part with them with their speed.”

Delgiudice believes something can be taken from that opening day defeat to Camden Hills. His team was still essentially working in “preseason” mode, learning a new 4-4-2 possession-based system.

His roster may be virtually unchanged from the first day of the season, but its functionality is entirely different.

“We’re very different,” Delgiudice said. “It took us about halfway through the season to really get it figured out and get us playing the way we wanted each other to.”

They way the Eagles insist on playing is attacking and defending as an 11-man group, instead of in waves of three or four in each third of the pitch.

Defenders may defend in this system, but so, too, do midfielders and strikers. On the attack, the back line has a job to do there, too.

“We really work on staying as a unit,” Lowell said. “Coach has stressed all year moving together as one, instead of moving like an accordion — where the offense goes up and then the defense goes. We all work up together.”

“(Our backs) definitely stay organized and join the play as much as we can, by sending our outside backs and always supporting them,” Moore said. “Often when we get a ball sent back to us, we can reset it by playing to our goalie. That keeps us in the play.”

Having kept the back line so involved building the attack has kept Messalonskee’s defenders both engaged and viable late in the year. The outside backs peform almost like wing backs, jumping into the play to provide support on runs to the corners.

“It just keeps them all in the game,” Delgiudice said. “Even if they’re not playing defense, per se, they’re still involved. They’re still helpking us play offense and it keeps them on the same page.”

The system has produced defensive results.

Messalonskee hasn’t allowed a goal against since a 2-1 win over Oxford Hills in the regular season finale — played in the rain on a muddy track.

The last time a team scored more than one goal against the Eagles, who enter the regional final with a pair of clean sheets in the tournament, was more than a month ago when they beat Lewiston 4-2 on Sept. 25.

“They’ve gotten ahold of the idea of making sure we keep the ball and we kind of treasure it when we have it,” Delgiudice said. “It helps us defensively, because we try just not to lose the ball. We stay compact on ‘D’ and we force the ball to help.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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