BATH — For a team known for a prolific offense, Camden Hills showed off a formidable defense on the way to its third straight state title.

The Windjammers beat Scarborough 1-0 in the Class A girls’ soccer state championship on a rainy Saturday morning at McMann Field by holding the Red Storm to only three shots on net and nothing of particular danger beyond the game’s opening minutes.

“We get to play against the best players in the state (in practice),” said Camden Hills senior back Grace Blackwell, “so it makes us very good defensively.”

Camden Hills finishes at 18-0. Scarborough was 17-1.

The only goal came at 12:10 of the first half when junior Ella Pierce found the top right corner with a drive from the left side, 30 yards away. Teammate Kassie Krul sent Pierce down the wing and Pierce did the rest.

“I saw the empty corner and just went for it,” Pierce said. “I thought I was closer to the goal, and I think if I was where I thought I was, it would have gone way over. Luckily I was farther out than I thought.”

A 16-3 advantage in shots gave the Windjammers plenty of opportunity to extend their lead, but Scarborough keeper Nikki Young was outstanding. She finished with 14 saves, several of them while horizontal.

Her denial of Krul’s line drive in the 77th minute deserved to be on a magazine cover, in the opinion of Scarborough coach Mike Farley.

“Those are the ones you take pictures of,” he said. “She was huge. The one she got beat on, from 30 yards out, upper 90 on the far side, you’ve got to tip your hat.”

Camden Hills junior Kristina Kelly had one shot strike the crossbar and another, with Young out of net following a scramble, off the left post.

“She was amazing,” Kelly said of Young. “It was nice to be able to play a team that was as good as they were. Most of our season we beat teams in double digits, so this was a fun game.”

Scarborough threatened in the second minute, with a shot by Molly Murnane requiring a diving stop from Camden Hills keeper Isabelle Lang. That turned out to be the best scoring chance for the Red Storm, as Lang made three saves and the back line of Blackwell, seniors Eve Gutheinz and Sarah Spizzuoco and freshman Tessa Whitley prevented any more forays.

Farley said he overloaded the midfield in an effort to break the link between Camden’s midfielders and dangerous forwards.

“If we come out and play with them straight up, it might be a little worse,” he said. “We went for it, we just couldn’t get any sustained pressure.”

A year ago, Camden Hills held off a late rally to beat Scarborough, 3-2. Two years ago, the Windjammers beat Gorham, 1-0, in overtime. The senior class is 67-2-2.

“This group, since they were coming into high school, has been so motivated to play at the highest level,” said Camden Hills coach Meredith Messer. “So it’s really nice to be able to see them make it all the way to the end the last three years.”

 

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