NEWCASTLE — The last time the Camden Hills and Messalonskee high school girls soccer teams played each other, it was the season opener in late August. Camden Hills coach Meredith Messer came away from that game, a three-goal win for her Windjammers, impressed with Messalonskee.

“You could really tell defensively and in the midfield they were going to be really solid. They hadn’t quite figured out the attacking piece yet,” Messer said. “Boy, did they figure that out.”

After giving up just seven goals all season entering the game, Camden Hills was pushed by a relentless Messalonskee attack. The game went back and forth, but it was the Windjammers who held on, taking a 4-3 win for the Class A North championship Wednesday afternoon at Lincoln Academy.

Top-seeded Camden Hills, now 17-0-0, will go for its third straight state title Saturday, taking on Scarborough at 10 a.m. at McMann Field in Bath. No. 3 Messalonskee ends the season at 15-2-0, with both losses coming to the Windjammers.

Camden Hills took the lead for good with just 1:43 to play in the game when Kris Kelly took a Kaylyn Krul pass in the middle of the box and fired a low shot to the middle of the net. The Windjammers held off one final Eagles push to clinch the win.

“It doesn’t get any more exciting than that, in terms of intensity. We haven’t had that many intense matches this season, so this is fantastic for us,” Messer said.

Trailing 1-0 at the half, Messalonskee scored quickly to tie the game on an Anika Elias shot 42 seconds into the second half. Just a few minutes later, the Eagles took the lead, 2-1, on a long shot to the upper left corner by Elias at 35:25. It marked the first time all season the Windjammers trailed, Messer said.

“I just told them all, ‘We have the team to do this.’ We just had to settle down,” Messalonskee coach Chris DelGiudice said. “There was a little jitters in that first half. We didn’t really play the style we’re used to. I just told them, ‘Relax. It’s just another game.'”

Camden Hills knotted the game at 26:38, when Ella Pierce scored on a shot from the left to the right corner. The Windjammers regained the lead at 19:41 on an Eliza Roy goal.

“I just showed them our shooting chart at halftime. I said ‘This is where our space is. We need to find that space.’ And we did. Be patient. You have what we need,” Messer said.

DelGiudice said he liked his team’s composure throughout the game, and that showed with the Eagles response to Roy’s goal. It took Messalonskee just 12 seconds to answer, and Camdyn Lamarre tied the game at 3-3 at 19:29, with an assist from Shauna Clark.

“Our wings have been coming all season for us. It’s really where we get a lot of our offense. We were all committed to getting this done,” DelGiudice said.

There was a delay of approximately 20 minutes in the second half, when Messalonskee senior Ella Moore went down with an apparent leg injury. Trainers from both teams stayed with Moore on the field until paramedics arrived to transport her to an area hospital.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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