AUGUSTA — The Winslow boys soccer team had a great team last season, sporting a great record — and no way to test itself among the state’s best.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic last fall, there was no postseason state tournament. So the Black Raiders didn’t get to put their 9-0-1 record on the line on the biggest and brightest stage.

“I felt we could do it last year,” senior center back Kris Loubier said. “And we got robbed.”

That chance will be there this year, and Winslow is looking ready for the challenge. The Black Raiders got two goals from Andrew Poulin to beat Cony 2-0 Monday afternoon, boosting their record to 12-0-0.

“It’s fun. We have a bunch of guys who know how to play soccer and win games,” said Poulin, a junior who had the winning tallies in the 11th and 28th minutes. “We have a lot of guys who play soccer all year round. … We’ve put a lot of effort into it.”

The Black Raiders have scored 68 goals in the 12 matches so far this season. Their opponents have scored one.

“I think they came in focused right from Day 1, and wanted to continue what they started last year,” Winslow coach Aaron Wolfe said. “It definitely has happened so far. … They got a lot of experience last year and a lot of confidence last year, and I think going into this year we knew we’d be having a really good season.”

That the Black Raiders would be good this season was hardly a surprise. Winslow returned eight starters from last year’s team, and those players coming back had long ago become accustomed to each other and their skills and tendencies on the pitch.

“We’ve been playing together forever,” said Loubier, one of seven senior starters along with fellow center back Zack St. Pierre, fullback Ben Tilton, defensive midfielder Ethan Loubier, midfielders Levi Olin and Thorn Dubois and forward Landen Gillis. “We have really good chemistry, and that’s definitely helped us.”

Cony’s Travis Harding, left, is defended by Winslow’s Lucas Boucher during boys soccer action Monday in Augusta. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“They’ve been playing together a long time, so it helps that they know each other, they know what each player likes to do, where they’re going to be on the field,” Wolfe said. “They work really well as a team.”

But 68-1 in the goal differential? It was hard for anyone to see that coming.

“I knew that we would definitely be one of the top teams coming into this year,” Wolfe said. “I didn’t know to what extent. But I knew we definitely would have a solid team and was looking forward to this season with them.”

A goal differential like that indicates a powerful offense and shutdown defense, and it’s clear watching the Black Raiders that they have both. On offense Monday, Winslow struck first when Dubois played a ball over to Poulin, who made a touch before cracking a shot into the back of the net, and then again when Kris Loubier booted a long free kick from midfield toward the net and Poulin jumped up and headed it at the goal before Cony keeper Brennan Madore could snatch it out of the air.

Poulin was the one on the scoresheet Monday, but he said that doesn’t have to be the case with this team.

“Everybody on our team can score,” he said. “I think everybody in our starting lineup has scored a goal this year. Everybody contributes.”

On defense, the Black Raiders are just as strong. It’s tough to get the ball through their midfield, and if a team does, Kris Loubier and St. Pierre, both co-captains, are waiting.

“We’ve just been staying solid, and making sure that they don’t get behind us,” St. Pierre said. “As long as you’re faster than them, they’re not going to be doing much against you.”

Cony’s Travis Harding, left, dribbles the ball away from Winslow’s Zack St. Pierre during boys soccer action Monday in Augusta. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

The Rams (7-4) had trouble getting opportunities until late in the second half, when Yousif Ibrahim and Saged Albadri had looks but couldn’t find the net.

“That’s how it’s been most of the year,” Wolfe said. “If we just play our game, possess the ball, play it forward when we need to, play it back when we need to, we’re going to limit their chances. And that’s what we’ve been trying to do most of the year.”

Two more games remain, and then comes the test Winslow didn’t get to have last year, when the Black Raiders go from playing opponents who are a combined 19-52-3 to the best in Class B North. Wolfe said keeping his team focused is a priority, but his players know not to get carried away.

“We know who we’re playing, teams that haven’t won a game,” Kris Loubier said. “We’ve scouted a lot of other teams, so we’re looking at them, and we’re like ‘OK, this is what we’re going to have to do.’ … I think any team that we play, we can do pretty well.”

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