HAMPDEN — Everything about a rematch between the Maranacook and Bucksport girls soccer teams was different than it was a year ago — right down to the result.

Instead of an early-morning game up north, this one was played in the evening darkness just a stone’s throw from Bangor; instead of frigid air, some fans didn’t even need as much as a coat on an unusually warm November day; and instead of a Maranacook romp, the Black Bears were on the losing end of a tight contest.

Maranacook fell 2-1 to Bucksport in Saturday’s Class C state championship game at Hampden Academy. The result gave the Golden Bucks revenge for last year’s state final, won 5-0 by the Black Bears in Presque Isle.

“We just didn’t play well tonight; we didn’t have a good first half,” said Maranacook head coach Travis Magnusson. “We were able to play more of our game in the second half, but we just didn’t play as well in the first half. We fell behind, and that cost us.”

North No. 1 Bucksport (18-0-0) controlled the game in the Maranacook half for the first 10 minutes, putting three shots on goal that Black Bears goalkeeper Kayliegh Kubicki saved with ease. Maranacook would push forward on the counterattack on occasion, but they were threats the Golden Bucks sniffed out with ease.

With 17 minutes left in the first half, Bucksport struck first as Addison Goss, left unmarked down the left flank, scored. The Golden Bucks then doubled the lead with 11:20 to go as Alyx Frazell, who caused problems for South No. 2 Maranacook (16-1-1) down the right side all night, bundled in a loose ball from close range.


“They were really aggressive, and they beat us to a lot of 50-50 balls, especially in the first half,” Magnusson said of Bucksport. “I thought that was a big thing for them because them winning those 50-50 balls didn’t let us get into a rhythm and play our game much.”

Maranacook dominated the second half but had little to show for it with several chances sent over the bar and Bucksport goalkeeper Jetta Shook making a diving save in front of the ball. Sophia Tweedie scored for the Black Bears with 1:29 left, but the Golden Bucks would run out the rest of the clock with long lobs into the Maranacook half.

Maranacook, which had not trailed all year, did so for nearly three-quarters of the game against Bucksport. Chasing the game from behind was a different feeling for the Black Bears, who found their footing late but could not do so in time to stave off defeat.

Maranacook’s Gracie Farrell (3) chases the ball as Bucksport’s Rylee Coombs (12) pursues in the first half in the Class C girls soccer state championship Saturday at Hampden Academy. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“We haven’t been down all year, so it was a little bit of us not expecting that,” Magnusson said. “It’s a little bit harder to play when you’re down; when you’re up, you tend to make that extra pass, and in some cases, we weren’t tonight. If we had moved the ball more, I think we could have gotten some better looks.”

The revenge factor was on Bucksport’s side after the lopsided loss to Maranacook in last year’s state final. Just like last year, the Golden Bucks entered Saturday looking to maintain a perfect season, and a roster with all but two players from that squad was able to finish the job and claim the first Gold Ball in program history.

“We wanted to redeem ourselves; the minute we found out we were playing them, we were calling it ‘Redemption Saturday,’” said Bucksport head coach Mike Garcelon. “After last year, we thought about it, and the girls said, ‘We are getting back to that game.’”

Kubicki recorded five saves for Maranacook, which had its 24-game unbeaten and 10-game winning streaks snapped with the loss. Shook made four saves for Bucksport, all of which came in the second half. Both teams registered six shots on target.

Losing in their final game was a bitter feeling for Maranacook seniors Tweedie, Alissa Michaud, Alexis Michaud, Kubicki, Lily Caban and Addie Watson. Magnusson had nothing but praise for that senior class, which helped the Black Bears win their first Gold Ball last year before making another run to the state final this season.

“It’s going to hurt for a week, but when they look back, they’ll realize how spoiled and how good they’ve been,” Magnusson said. “Hopefully, they realize that and know how much we love them. They’ve changed our program.”

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