OAKLAND — Tim Worster’s coach says he works harder than anyone he knows. On Wednesday afternoon at Veterans Field, the Maranacook junior midfielder made that hard work pay off.

Worster was an engine in the center of the park for the No. 4 Black Bears, the catalyst which led to Maranacook’s 3-1 win over No. 5 Mt. Abram in a Class C South boys soccer quarterfinal. With the win, the Black Bears (12-2-1) set up the rematch of last season’s regional semifinal against No. 1 Hall-Dale on Friday night.

“He’s a good player,” Maranacook coach Don Beckwith said of Worster. “He doesn’t get the credit he’s due. It’s too bad. If anybody saw him, they wouldn’t believe how hard he worked. He’s got my respect until the end of time.”

Mt. Abram defender Wyatt Sieminski, left, battles Maranacook”s Ruben Sivertsen for the ball during a Class C boys soccer quarterfinal Wednesday at Messalonskee High School in Oakland. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson

“We were playing to the outside and they only had one center back that would mark me, so I was just kind of standing in the middle (alone),” said Worster, who had two assists in the win. “We just kept playing it wide and look to the middle, and there were our opportunities.”

Maranacook took a 1-0 lead into halftime through Ruben Sivertsen in the 35th minute, but it was the Black Bears’ goal shortly after the break which turned the contest in their favor.

From the front of the goal, Worster set up Coleman Watson for a 2-0 lead in the 42nd minute.

“That put us in the hole,” said Mt. Abram coach Darren Allen, whose squad finished off its season with an 11-4-0 mark. “We made an adjustment, and that seemed to work. My kids worked their butts off, and I’m not disappointed with the effort whatsoever. They played really hard, and that’s all I can ask for.”

“We came out in the second half and we had a lot of room and kept possession,” said Sivertsen, an exchange student from Norway. “I felt we had it in our pocket in the first half, but in the second half everything changed.”

Mt. Abram wasn’t quite finished, with Tyson Hill pulling one back for the Roadrunners in the 47th minute.

From there, Mt. Abram got a serious foot into the game and carried the better of the play for nearly 15 minutes. Maranacook soon righted itself, however, closing out the contest with a 10-minute stretch of pressure the Roadrunners had a hard time preventing after opening up too much space through the midfield.

“We had so much space in the middle,” Worster said. “I think if they would have pressured us a little bit more in the middle, it could have been a whole different game.”

In the closing seconds, Rojay Richards slotted another home for Maranacook and Mt. Abram’s comeback hopes were dashed.

“We almost never did turn it back (in our favor),” Sivertsen said. “We were just clearing it. Panicking. We got two goals which, in my opinion, were kind of lucky.”

Mt. Abram’s Hunter Warren, right, battles Maranacook’s Carter McPhedran for positioning during a Class C South quarterfinal game Wednesday night at Messalonskee High School in Oakland. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson

Beckwith thought it was about more than luck — or at the very least, the Black Bears made their own with a rigorous 10-day training schedule leading into the postseason.

“I think it’s pretty hard to tire us out,” Beckwith said. “You might outwork us sometimes, but you won’t out-tire us. We’re pretty competitive. I’m happy with these guys, I really am.”

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