Carrabec celebrates after beating Greenville in the eight-person boys soccer championship game Tuesday at Waterhouse Field in Biddeford. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Paul Vicneire knew eight-person soccer was going to favor his Carrabec boys soccer program from Day 1.

“We’ve always been a small possession team,” said Vicneire, Carrabec’s head coach. “Moving to 8v8 was the best move that ever happened to us.”

On Tuesday night, the Cobras (17-0-0) created and capitalized on opportunities to beat Greenville 2-0 in the eight-person South boys championship game. On Saturday, Carrabec will play for a Gold Ball for the first time in nine years when it faces  Schenck/Stearns (15-1-0) at 6 p.m. at Cony High School in Augusta.

Just down the road from North Anson, the Madison girls soccer program also enjoyed a dominant run to the eight-person state final, albeit in a different way. The Bulldogs, who have relied on an explosive offensive attack this season, will face Penquis Valley (16-0-0) in the eight-person girls final at 4 p.m. at Cony.

Junior striker Raegan Cowan has scored 56 goals this season for the Bulldogs.

The Carrabec boys soccer team celebrates after it beat Greenville in the eight-person championship game Tuesday at Waterhouse Field in Biddeford. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“It’s really made a difference, playing eight-man,” Cowan said. “There’s a lot more space (on the field) and I think we’re capitalizing on speed. I think we’re really using our speed to our advantage.”


Madison and Carrabec played to their strengths in the regional finals Tuesday at Waterhouse Field in Biddeford. Throughout its game against Greenville, Carrabec used short, quick passes all around the field, looking for the right opportunity to strike. It came with 22:37 remaining in the second half, when Christopher Caruso took a pass from Lucas Vicneire and buried a header into the net for the game-sealing goal.

“That’s the decision we made when we started 8v8,” Vicneire said. “I think the team that can possess can control the tempo and be able to create opportunities.”

“There’s a lot more space (on the field) than you’d think there’d be (in eight-person soccer),” Caruso added. “This created so much of a different feeling than we’re used to. But we’re really enjoying playing 8v8. It’s amazing.”

In the girls South final, Madison beat Rangeley 5-2, with Cowan finishing with four goals and an assist. The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, but the Lakers chipped away, adding two goal before halftime for a 3-2 score.

Madison forward Raegan Cowan possess the ball during the eight-person South final Tuesday at Waterhouse Field in Biddeford. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“(Eight-person soccer) has been a great opportunity for us,” said Madison’s Ella Haynie, who added a goal in the victory. “I’m so thankful to be here (playing for a state championship). It’s amazing.”

“We have the benefit of having Raegan up front, who is a very speedy, quick little kid and she has a lot of skill,” Madison head coach Kayla Carrier said before the regional finals. “But one of the things that sets teams apart in eight-man is your defensive line. If you run a 3-3-1, like we’ve been doing, that puts 1-on-1 pressure up top.”

Cowan put the game away for Madison in the second half. Off the opening draw, she sprinted with the ball straight down the field, creating a one-on-one opportunity that resulted in a goal and a 4-2 lead. Cowan would add a second goal later in the half to seal the win.

“(The game) was a lot faster paced (on the turf), and we knew we had to win the 50-50 balls,” Cowan said. “I thought we did really well, and we really capitalized on the (scoring) opportunities.”

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