FARMINGDALE — There are no playoffs in soccer this season. But the schools of the RSU2 district made sure their teams got to finish with a tournament setting.

Monmouth Academy, Hall-Dale and Richmond played Wednesday in the RSU2 Cup, completing a type of district championship. In the first game, the Monmouth girls, a co-op with Winthrop, got two goals from Alicen Burnham and defeated Richmond 3-1.

“No playoffs, this is the best you can get and at least there’s something to play for at the end,” Winthrop/Monmouth coach Gary Trafton said. “(They can say) they went out, last game of the season, as winners instead of turning their uniforms in and saying we lost our last game.”

In the boys game, Monmouth completed the Mustang sweep by beating Hall-Dale 1-0 on an early goal by Jacob Godbout.

“It gave us a tournament feel, and it was a good opportunity to keep playing,” Mustangs coach Joe Fletcher said. “We talked all season every day, before every practice and every game, this could be your last one. Let’s cherish it.”

Monmouth players held aloft the trophy — some dubbed it the “Covid” or “Corona” Cup — the way they would a Gold Ball, and afterward said the chance to play for something — anything — was one they wanted to take advantage of and appreciate.

“It was awesome,” said Monmouth center back Mike Dolan, one of four seniors, along with T.J. Lewis, Cam Armstrong and Cody Lewis, that Fletcher called the “backbone” of the team that went 47-4-3 over four years. “We were going to do anything we could. Any opportunity we had to get anything was (enough). We didn’t know what it was going to look like, so we ran with whatever we could take.”

“In past seasons, it’s always been kind of unknown. You never know when your last game is, you never know when your last practice is,” Burnham said. “Today, we knew that this was going to be our last game. So on the final leg, we had to give everything.”

Monmouth’s Alicen Burnham kicks the ball during the RSU 2 COVID Cup on Wednesday at Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Even those in defeat appreciated the opportunity to play in a winner-takes-all circumstance.

“The chance is just fantastic. You can’t ask for a better way to top off a season,” said Hall-Dale senior captain Ian Stebbins, whose team split two regular-season games with Monmouth. “Obviously, it wasn’t our day today. There’s certainly some disappointment associated with that. But the chance to play for something, it tops it off so much better than anything else you can do.”

In the girls game, Winthrop/Monmouth jumped ahead when Mya Sirois passed up to Evelyn Guimond, who set Burnham up in the middle of the box for a goal with 13:47 left in the first half. Not even two minutes later, it was Sirois’ turn to get on the scoresheet when her shot from the right hit off the left post and trickled in with 12:04 to go.

Sirois also assisted on the third goal of the game, a shot from Burnham against her body that got inside the left post with 32:39 to play.

“Last year, I wasn’t a forward, and I’m really glad that this year my coach put me up there so Allie and I could work together,” Sirois said. “It was a really smart decision. We keep moving around, sometimes on the left, sometimes in the middle, but we make it work either way.”

Sirois said the game added closure for the season.

“Things have been really tough this year, due to COVID and everything,” Sirois said. “This RSU2 Cup was a really nice thing for us to have, and just something for us to work for.”

Richmond’s goal came with 23:18 to play, a direct kick from Abby Harrington.

“This got them motivated,” Bobcats coach Troy Kendrick said. “We were just talking about playing for some hardware at the end of the season, playing for a little pride. I’m really proud of the kids. We finished up with a nice flourish the last week of the season.”

Hall-Dale’s Riley Hayward, left, and Monmouth’s Cody Michaud battle for a ball during the RSU 2 COVID Cup on Wednesday at Hall-Dale High in Farmingdale. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

In the boys game, Godbout gave the Mustangs the lead with the only goal they’d need, heading home a perfect corner kick from Michaud with 34:47 to go.

“We’ve worked all year for (this),” Godbout said. “It’s like the only thing we knew we had to play for. … This was definitely one we were looking forward to playing in.”

It continued a season-long trend for the Mustangs of making the best of their circumstances.

“We took every game we walked (into) thinking ‘This could be our last,’ ” said Dolan, who anchored a defense that held Hall-Dale without a shot on goal. “Every game’s an opportunity to show that we’re the best, so every game we’re going to treat it like the last, we’re going to treat it like a playoff.”

“This group has never let up. They’ve worked incredibly hard, all year, knowing there wouldn’t be a playoff,” Fletcher said. “There were three or four games where we thought ‘This is a playoff atmosphere.’ And this is certainly one of them.”

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