FREEPORT — The North Yarmouth Academy girls’ soccer team will get to defend its state championship, once again.

Leah Dube netted a hat trick, scoring all three goals in the second half, and the top-seeded Panthers defeated No. 2 Richmond, 7-0, in the Class D South final at Freeport High School on Tuesday night.
NYA (17-0-0) has won the last three Class D titles. Richmond finished 12-5-0.

“Those opportunities, you just never know how they’re going to turn out, never mind just getting there,” NYA Coach Rick Doyon said. “It’s not easy. I don’t care what you’re winning record (is). It’s still not easy, keeping them composed and not getting cocky. You just don’t know in this game.”

Michala Wallace had two goals for the Panthers, while Graca Bila, who gave NYA a 1-0 halftime lead, and Angel Huntsman also had goals.

“I’m really proud of the kids,” said Richmond Troy Kendrick, who earned his 400th career victory this fall. “We certainly weren’t world-beaters to begin with, but the kids, they stuck with it. We had a small core. Numbers were down. I lost some kids; we lost a couple of kids halfway through the season with rules violations, so we were down a couple of starters, and obviously (sophomore midfielder Breonna) Dufresne was gone with a red card from last game. So we were expecting the worst, coming down here, but the kids proved … they’ve been resilient all year. I really liked how hard they worked, and they just hung in there.

“”So we finished with a pretty nice record, won our conference championship, second seed in the tournament, made it to the regional final. But it’s always tough when you lose that last one.”

Richmond goalie Autumn Lane played well against the Panthers, facing an abundance of shots throughout.

“Autumn kind of typifies the season, a kid that’s really kind of unheralded, didn’t play in the goal last year, worked her tail off and has really developed herself into a pretty solid goalkeeper,” Kendrick said. “She made some really nice saves and is just a blue-collar, hard worker that really kind of typifies the whole team.”

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