WINSLOW — A little rain in the second half? Who cares? When the season could be taken away at any moment because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, no passing shower was going to do anything to slow down the Winslow and Gardiner high school girls soccer teams.

“I definitely needed it, and I’m sure a lot of other girls needed it, too,” Winslow senior Carly Warn said of the season that almost did not begin. “It’s just a community, you know what I mean? Even though we can’t have all the parents here or all the supporters, it’s still such a good feeling to be out there. Especially for my senior year.”

Warn showed off the speed and skill that will send her to Division I Bryant University next year, scoring a pair of goals in the final five minutes to lift the Black Raiders to a 4-3 win.

Each time, Warn simply outran defenders, and each time, fired a perfect shot to the corner of the net. The first tied the game with 4:22 to play. The second gave Winslow the lead for good, with 2:03 left.

“(Warn) is a great player. She really is. I think what we got caught in is just watching her instead of playing our game. We were watching her do her thing,” Gardiner coach Jolaine Galibois-Barss said.

Watching Gardiner goalie Lorelei Mason’s positioning, Warn knew she had to target the corner.

Winslow’s Carly Warn, left, battles Gardiner’s Ella Shaw during Monday’s game in Winslow. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

“That definitely goes through my mind. You have to see where the goal keeper is positioned, and I saw that far corner and I just went for it,” Warn said. “I guess at the end it kind of fired me up and I tried to keep going because I knew we needed those two goals to win.”

Warn’s two goals were the only two of the second half, after a first half that saw goals scored late, and in bunches. Lauren Roy’s high shot from the right of the net gave Winslow a 2-0 lead with 9:47 left in the half. Earlier, 10 minutes into the game, Emily Nichols scored on a rebound to give the Black Raiders an early lead.

Barely a minute after Roy’s goal, Gardiner’s Catarina Johnson scored with 8:39 left to cut the deficit in half. With 1:48 to play in the first, Gardiner’s Alexa Poulin scored to knot the game at 2-2.

Thirty-four seconds later, Poulin scored again, with a long, high shot to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead.

“This team has chemistry. They’ve been working hard in the summer doing sessions. They just clicked and everybody knew where to be. We’ve been practicing different positioning and the movement of the ball,” Galibois-Barss said. “That’s one thing where we’ve been a little timid in the past, to actually attack. Now we have some really aggressive players who are ready to get at it, and it showed. The energy level is just incredible.”

Whether the season makes it to its scheduled November completion or it ends early with a sudden jolt, it’s going to be the oddest season ever. As they will for as long as they can, Winslow and Gardiner played for the sake of playing Monday afternoon. With nothing guaranteed, playing for the sake of playing was enough.

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