READFIELD — His team had the higher seed, and the far better record. But Maranacook girls soccer coach Travis Magnusson knew his team’s Class C South quarterfinal matchup with Waynflete would be a closer game than expected.

“We talked, since we saw that it was going to be them, that it was going to be a one-goal game,” Magnusson said.

The Black Bears didn’t have to wait long for the only goal they’d get — and the only one they’d need. Grace Dwyer scored off an Emily Harper assist in the second minute, and No. 4 Maranacook beat No. 12 Waynflete, 1-0, Tuesday night at the Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams.

Maranacook players celebrate their Class C South quarterfinal victory over Waynflete on Tuesday in Readfield. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

The Black Bears (11-2-3) advanced to the C South semifinals for the second straight season. They reached the state title game before falling to Fort Kent last year.

“We worked really hard, I think we deserved this,” Harper said. “It was a super tough game. They were seeded lower than us, but I don’t think seeding really matters. They played really well.”

Waynflete, which beat No. 5 Oak Hill in the previous round, fell just short of another upset and finished 3-10-3, though co-coach Carrie Earls said the Flyers proved they were better than their record indicated.

“I’m not surprised we gave them a battle. This is a team that’s fought all season, we were definitely dealt some bad luck throughout the regular season,” she said. “I think it showed in our playoffs the team we really were.”

The seedings suggested a mismatch, and that’s what appeared to be developing right from the opening touch. Not even two minutes had transpired when Evelyn St. Germain booted a long lob into the Waynflete end, where Harper won a race to the ball, shook her defender, and thought for a second about firing a shot from the left side.

“I thought about taking a shot, but it’s a hard angle. It’s hard not to rush through the play and take a shot myself,” she said. “Grace definitely moved to get open for that ball. She stayed open, and then I just looked up and I found her.”

It was the right decision. The keeper was positioned for a Harper shot, and therefore had no chance to get over and stop Dwyer’s kick from the right side of the box, even after the sophomore took a second to gather the ball.

“We’re taught to crash no matter if it’s a shot or a pass,” Dwyer said. “I guess I made a good run, with good timing. … I felt the need to take a touch, and then just shot it.

“Once we scored that, we were thinking ‘Oh, maybe we could get another one.’ ”

That was it, however. Maranacook’s players up front, including Dwyer, Harper and freshman forward Addie Watson, kept trying to chase down through balls for more scores, but Waynflete keeper Jesse Connors was quick to smother any further chances.

Maranacook’s Emily Harper and Waynflete’s Devan Sherry go head-to-head during a Class C South quarterfinal game Tuesday in Readfield. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

“We knew they were going to be tough, we knew they were going to be physical, and we just needed to match that,” Earls said. “Emily (Harper) had a bunch of goals, so we wanted to keep track of her. I think we did that pretty well.”

“We talked about how good they were defensively. They’ve played a really tough schedule,” Magnusson said. “We got off to a great start, but we knew it was going to be a battle all the way.”

The Black Bears defense, however, was ready to step up and prevent Waynflete from mounting many counter threats.

“I really like how we played tonight. … I liked that we played quick, we were quick to the ball, winning 50/50s. We didn’t give them much space,” said Magnusson, whose team dominated possession more than it did shots or goals. “We were playing really physical, we won the ball quickly and got it to where we needed it to go. The last four games, we really like how we’re playing. I think we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”

Waynflete had its best chance in the 79th minute when Sophi Aronson had the ball in the right side of the box, but her try for the net skidded along the goal line and wide left.

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