READFIELD — The Maranacook girls soccer team went to the Class C championship game two years ago. The Black Bears went to the regional final last year.

They were ready to try to make break new ground this year when word came in that there wouldn’t be a postseason this year — which meant a new type of goal.

“We’ve really just had that Gold Ball in our head,” senior forward Kate Mohlar said. “This season we knew we weren’t going to have playoffs, but we at least wanted to make some kind of statement.”

Maranacook did, completing its first season without a loss. The Black Bears, often playing against bigger schools, went 8-0-2, beating Morse, Lewiston, Monmouth (twice), Cony (twice), Gardiner and Lisbon, and tying Lewiston and Monmouth.

“Going into the season, we just tried to work as hard as we could,” Mohlar said. “We ended up just getting better and better every day, and I think we ended up with a really good team.”

The Black Bears, who had their last game against Mt. Abram Monday called off, never got to see just how good, creating a difficult and lingering “what if” feeling for a program still looking for a state title.

Maranacook’s Addie Watson, right, fires a shot Monday during a shot during a scrimmage in Readfield. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

“Our main goal was … proving we were the best team,” senior keeper Natalie Whitten said. “It’s extremely disappointing not being able to see how far we could have gone, because I think we could have made a great run.”

“This was a huge goal of ours since my freshman year,” senior sweeper Evelyn St. Germain said. “It stinks that we won’t have playoffs, but I know our team could have made it to states this year.”

So does their coach.

“We do feel like we had a state championship team,” Travis Magnusson said. “And the sad thing is we’ll never know. But at least these guys know that they’re really good. They’re a great team, they had a great season.”

That much is certain. Maranacook outscored opponents 41-3 in the 10 matches.

“It’s trying to, in a crappy situation, look at a positive,” Magnusson said. “And one of the positives we looked at with this situation was ‘Hey, we can be the first to go undefeated.’ Even though it’s not what we wanted.”

Maybe not at first. But without a Gold Ball to play for, finishing the fall without a loss became the next best thing.

“It was definitely a goal of ours,” senior defender Anna Drillen said. “I definitely took it hard when I heard there weren’t going to be playoffs, just because I’m a senior. … But then I feel like I quickly moved on to ‘OK, I just want to make sure these girls are getting better.’ And then the goal turned to the undefeated season.”

Maranacook was confident it had the team to do it, even after seeing high-scoring forward Emily Harper suffer a knee injury.

Maranacook girls soccer coach Travis Magnusson watches his team during a scrimmage Monday in Readfield. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

“It impacted us a lot,” St. Germain said, “…but I think our team is just so dynamic. Our depth is really good, up and down the field.”

That allowed the Black Bears to handle every team they faced, even ones in higher classes. Maranacook improved as the season went on; the Black Bears tied Monmouth in one of their first games, then beat the Mustangs 5-2 in a rematch two weeks later.

As the season went on, the goal crystalized.

“It wasn’t like, day one, we said ‘We want to go undefeated,’ ” Magnusson said. “It kind of came more to the end where … it became ‘Hey guys, let’s be remembered for something. Let’s go undefeated. Let’s finish this thing off.’ ”

They did, salvaging what they could from a fall of compromise and consolation.

“It’s definitely a good feeling, being the only Maranacook soccer team to ever be undefeated,” Whitten said. “Even though we didn’t have that playoffs, it’s still good knowing we made history and (in) our senior year we were able to something no one else has done.”

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