KENTS HILL — Addie Watson had seen the faces of classmates this week, on both the school’s field hockey and boys soccer teams, walking the halls at Maranacook and reflecting on the disbelief of a playoff opportunity lost.

After seeing No. 6 Old Orchard Beach equalize through striker Elise MacNair in the 36th minute Saturday, the Black Bear senior decided the same fate would not befall her or her teammates. Nearly as soon as the ball rolled back into play, Watson finished off a 50-yard run to give second-seeded Maranacook a 2-1 win Saturday morning over the Gulls in a Class C South girls soccer semifinal —  earning the Black Bears their fourth consecutive trip to a regional final.

It took all of 17 seconds for Watson to provide the answer to MacNair’s strike and hand unbeaten Maranacook (15-0-1), the defending Class C state champion, its ticket to the regional final against No. 5 Waynflete at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham.

Kickoff for that contest is slated for 6:30 p.m. at Stadium Field.

“I’ve seen that look when they come off the field, and I didn’t want to happen,” Watson said of seeing other Maranacook teams suffer season-ending losses. “I knew if we hung our heads (after MacNair’s goal), it would be a really tough game to get back. I wanted our whole team to work, and I think they all thought the way I did. They all came back hard and set me up, and it was a really good moment.”

“We haven’t been in that many tie games or one-goal games this year,” Maranacook coach Travis Magnusson added. “Getting that within 30 seconds after they scored, that was great for us. That was a big, big-time play. That’s how you win championships, making big plays like that.”


Watson opened the scoring in the fourth minute by nodding home a Natalie Mohlar corner kick.

Armed with the lead at the break, the Black Bears were in the unnatural position of having to grind out a second period nursing a one-goal lead. The last time Maranacook was involved in a game that wasn’t decided by a pair of goals at minimum was when they played to a 2-all draw at Morse on Sept. 24.

Maranacook dipped Watson into a midfield role ahead of defenders Sophia Tweedle and Alissa Michaud for most of the second half. It allowed Old Orchard (10-6-0) to have more of the ball and generate the small majority of the game’s shot attempts, but most of those bids were from beyond the 18-yard box.

Those were easy touches for Maranacook senior keeper Kayliegh Kubicki, who finished with a season-high eight saves. The only ball to beat Kubicki was MacNair’s, which was ushered between the sticks off a first-half corner kick.

Kubicki was excellent on other corner kick plays for the Gulls, including one off the foot of MacNair in the 75th minute. MacNair’s high bending ball out of the right corner bounded off the crossbar before being ushered out of trouble by the Black Bears.

Maranacook girls soccer players celebrate with Addie Watson, center back, after she scored to give her team a 2-1 lead over Old Orchard Beach during a Class C South semifinal game Saturday at Kents Hill School. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“I’m honestly not sure if I got a hand on that or not,” Kubicki said. “I’ve never seen that much action in the goal. We didn’t let them have any open shots. Our defense is good at blocking off openings and great at marking.”


Between MacNair and Old Orchard’s Camryn Blatchford, Maranacook had its hands full defensively. But Michaud marked MacNair’s every step and Tweedle provided deep cover ahead of Kubicki.

“I thought Sophia saves us a lot today, and Alissa was great.,” Magnusson said. “There were a lot of different people that really stepped up. … Credit to Old Orchard. They had everybody back from last year’s team, and we knew they were going to be even better this year. We knew it was going to be this type of game. They really attacked us. 

“This can only help us going forward, having a game like this.”

Numerologists would have a field day with Watson’s efforts.

Not only did she score the eventual winner 17 seconds after the Gulls drew even, but she ended a final Old Orchard attack by gobbling the ball up in the midfield and sending a high lofted ball to the attacking corner flag to see the Bears over the finish line.

That play came with 17 seconds showing on the game clock.

“I’ve never not gone to regional (finals) in my entire high school career,” Watson said. “I didn’t want this year to be the year. I think our whole team was excited today and ready to get this win. We just wanted it.”

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