READFIELD — A sign on the scoreboard at Maranacook Community School’s field reads, “Bears are awesome.”

If the Black Bears keep playing they way they have this postseason, they could be on their way to their most awesome season yet.

Emily Harper scored three goals, all in the first half, as third-seeded Maranacook shut out No. 7 Old Orchard Beach 3-0 on Friday night in a Class C South girls soccer semifinal.

The Black Bears (14-1-1), who are making their third straight trip to the regional final, will face the winner of Saturday’s game between fourth-seeded Traip and No. 8 Waynflete on Tuesday.

After losing the 2018 state final to Fort Kent and the 2019 regional final to Traip, Maranacook wants to settle some unfinished business and capture the first state crown in program history.

“It’s just crazy to think this is our third straight year going to a regional final, but everyone is just so excited and we can’t wait to play,” Maranacook senior defender Ella Schmidt said.


While Harper led the Black Bears’ offense — she has seven goals in two playoff wins — Schmidt did the same for the defensive end against Old Orchard Beach scoring ace Elise MacNair, who had six goals in the Seagulls’ two playoff wins but was held scoreless on Friday.

“Our defense is great,” Maranacook coach Travis Magnusson said. “We did a tremendous job on her (MacNair). She got it a few times, but didn’t make any runs, so that was good. Ella Schmidt did a tremendous job finding her, but the whole defense did just great.”

Added Schmidt: “(MacNair’s) a really great player, but I think we just strategized really well. We came up with a plan, and everyone on the team just played so well.”

Maranacook controlled the ball from the opening kickoff, and Harper introduced herself to OOB with three shots on goal in the first five minutes. Harper broke through in the 12th minute on an unusual goal when her corner kick bounced off an OOB defender and into the net past Seagulls keeper Summer St, Louis, who stopped 15 shots, many from Harper.

Harper boosted the lead to 2-0 in the 18th minute when she worked her way through two OOB defenders and found the back of the net, and completed the hat trick in the 26th minute when her line drive skidded past St. Louis. Maranacook’s defense took over in the second half.

“Summer’s been great all year,” said Seagulls coach Heath Floyd, who had only three substitutes at his disposal. “It was a tough, tough first goal; that kind of took the sails out of us. I thought she played fantastic; she really has all year. We’re not where we are without her.

“(Maranacook’s) a very, very good veteran team. All of the players, plus the subs, they’ve all get skill, they can shoot with both feet, they can spread the field, play wide, pass it. … We ran out of gas a little bit.” 

OOB ended its season 11-6-0. Maranacook, meanwhile, hopes its tour of awesome doesn’t end quite yet.

“We don’t get talked about much,” Magnusson said. “We kinda sneak up on people. But I think people will start to realize how good we are.”

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