LEWISTON — History often repeats itself, even recent history.

For the second consecutive season, the North Yarmouth Academy girls soccer team blanked No. 2 Richmond to win the Class D South championship, this time by a 2-0 score on Wednesday night at Don Roux field. For the reigning Class D state champion Panthers, it marked the program’s ninth regional title.

Richmond’s Bry Shea, left, tries to get past NYA defender Marion Robbins during the Class D South regional final Wednesday at Don Roux Field in Lewiston. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan Buy this Photo

Freshman Michala Wallace and junior Naomi Reischmann collected the goals to propel top-seeded NYA (14-2-1) to the championship. The Panthers will play Penobscot Valley, which beat Central Aroostook for the D North title Wednesday night in Presque Isle, on Saturday.

Last season, NYA handed Richmond a 1-0 loss in the final with the seedings reversed, and twice this fall the Panthers blanked the Bobcats — by 1-0 and 5-0 scores.

“We take every game for what it is. You can’t take it for granted,” NYA coach Ricky Doyon said. “You just don’t know, especially in the game of soccer. … They were looking for revenge, and we couldn’t rely on what happened in prior games. It just doesn’t work that way.

“You have to play a game for today, not for yesterday.”

After a bleak first half saw Richmond trailing only by a goal at the break, Reischmann — who was one of two Panthers to clang shots off the crossbar in the second half — put the game out of reach with her goal in the 70th minute.

“It helped us relax. We were able to keep momentum but finally relax a little,” Reischmann said. “Yeah, I hit the crossbar and it was a little upsetting, but you just have to keep playing. I got another chance to get one.”

Wallace opened the scoring near the midway point of the first half, finally cashing in on a rash of NYA corner kick opportunities.

The Panthers earned three of them in succession in the 19th minute, and it was on the third and final one that Wallace found space 10 yards from goal to boot it in for the 1-0 lead. Where the first two NYA tries had been neatly cleaned away at the near post, the one leading to the Wallace goal took two deflections inside the box before Wallace cashed in.

That Richmond trailed only by a single goal at the intermission was remarkable.

NYA led in every conceivable statistical category through 40 minutes — shot attempts (8-0), targeted shots (5-0), corner kicks (7-1) and even fouls (6-4). But the Panthers couldn’t find the finishing touch often enough for comfort against a packed-in back four for the Bobcats.

“They play a high line, and we talked and talked and talked about how we could try and exploit that,” Richmond coach Troy Kendrick said. “They were just pretty clever back there, very athletic and very quick. We had a tough time matching up with their athleticism.”

But that deep coverage from Richmond afforded the Bobcats little luxury going forward. Too often, when they did manage to relieve pressure with long balls through the midfield, they were left with one or two attackers on an island against as many as six retreating Panthers.

Things were much improved in the second half for Richmond, proof positive in its three shot attempts in the first seven minutes of play following the break, but a goal never materialized.

NYA, meanwhile, remained relentless in its attacking pressure from the flanks and had chances — through Reischmann’s crossbar in the 48th minute after being left alone 1-on-1 with Richmond keeper Liz Johnson (nine saves) and in Natalie Farrell’s own crossbar find two minutes earlier.

Given a second chance alone against Johnson with 10 minutes remaining, Reischmann did not miss. She finished cleanly after Johnson bounded off her line to try and intercept the shot.

“We moved the ball really well, had some great opportunities,” Doyon said. “I knew were controlling it, so I wasn’t concerned, but when you’ve only got that one goal it’s a fluke (Richmond) goal and here we go. It can change the momentum.”

“That’s a very good team. They work hard and we always battle.”

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