GARDINER — The Black Bears rebounded nicely from the lone blemish on their record.

Following a draw at Morse last weekend, the Maranacook girls soccer team has now outscored its opponents by an 11-0 score — including Thursday night’s 5-0 win over Gardiner at Hoch Field. Senior Addie Watson had a pair of goals in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference win over the Tigers, while junior Natalie Mohlar and freshman Phoebe Bell each added a strike of their own.

The goals are nice, but the engine that made unbeaten Maranacook (8-0-1) run was senior midfielder Lily Caban. Caban had a pair of assists in the win, giving her 15 for the season.

“Lily’s phenomenal. She’s been great for four years,” Maranacook coach Travis Magnusson said. “She controls the middle, she’s such a good passer, puts the ball on people’s feet. … We’re really spread out, but she’s just awesome in the middle.”

Caban’s turn with the ball at her feet 35 yards from goal eventually sought Watson out for the opening goal in the 21st minute. In the 37th minute, though not credited officially with an assist, Caban started a tic-tac-toe passing play which ended with Bell smashing hers home for a 3-0 lead into the intermission.

“When (Caban) has that many options, we definitely are dangerous,” Magnusson said.


Following a Class C state championship year with the bulk of the Black Bear goals coming from the departed Emily Harper in 2021, Caban is finding plenty of options this fall.

“I had a lot of options last year, but I think we’re evenly spread out skill-wise now,” Caban said. “You can play more freely when you have more options.”

“Everybody can score,” Mohlar said. “There’s no team that can just mark one player and have us shut down for the game. Everybody is a scoring threat from our midfield up, even our defenders.”

Case in point came in the 31st minute. Mohlar’s corner kick from the left side crashed into the mixer at the top of the 6-yard box, where the late chasing Alissa Michaud came in to fire home for a 2-0 Maranacook lead.

Mohlar was involved in both of the Black Bears’ second half goals. Caban took brilliant advantage of a second-chance through ball — after her first attempt was blocked down by a Gardiner defender — to set Mohlar up in the 42nd minute, and Mohlar’s flick in the open field sprung Watson free for her second of the night nine minutes later.

While the visitors were racking up goals, the sledding was much harder for the Tigers (3-4-0). Gardiner goalkeeper Taylor Takatsu finished with nine saves, while her counterpart at the other end of the pitch, Kayleigh Kubicki, needed just two saves to keep the clean sheet for the Black Bears.


Maranacook’s two goals inside the first 11 minutes to begin the second half set the Tigers back. It took 29 minutes before Gardiner had its first shot attempt after halftime.

It was the kind of response Maranacook was looking for. The Bears followed the 2-2 tie at Morse with a 6-0 win over Erskine on Tuesday and kept right on rolling into Gardiner.

In two meetings with the Tigers this season, Maranacook scored nine goals total while allowing none.

“That (game at Morse) kind of set us back a little bit, because we were on such a high,” Mohlar said. “But these last two wins got our momentum back up. We’re ready to keep going with that.

“Everybody is starting to get to know each other as player. It was just a fun game tonight.”

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