BIDDEFORD, ME – NOVEMBER 7: Madison forward Raegan Cowan celebrates after scoring fourth goal in South regional 8 person soccer championship Tuesday November 7, 2023 at Waterhouse Field in Biddeford. It put the Bulldogs up 5-2. (Staff photo by Joe Phelan/Staff Photographer) Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

It was the best of times, and it was the best of times.

From opening day in the late-August heat to the chilly championship finale in November, the Madison girls soccer team dominated opponents on its way to the historic first eight-person championship in Maine history. 

The Bulldogs capped their season with a 3-1 state-final victory over Penquis Valley on Nov. 11 at Cony High’s Fuller Field.

“It’s been such a fun time,” Madison junior Raegan Cowan said after  her two-goal performance in the final. “With this team, we love each other. It’s such a great team, we all get along. It’s really fun to hang out with them every single day and finally top it off with a Gold Ball.”

Cowan finished the season with 58 goals. The Bulldogs (16-2) outscored their foes 116-18, including 24-3 in the postseason. Their only two losses were to Richmond, which plays in Class D with 11 players to a side.

Madison’s success didn’t rest on Cowan’s feet, however. Teammates Alison Griffeth and Ella Haynie joined Cowan on the eight-person South all-star team, while Kylee Furbush earned a second-team nod. Kayla Carrier was named coach of the year. Haynie scored in both the title game and the South regional final, a 5-2 win over Rangeley.


Carrabec also joined the eight-person ranks and went 8-6-1, reaching the South semifinals. Riley Crocker was named a first-team all-star while teammates Leah Price and Macie Plourde earned second-team nods. Price netted a hat trick in a 9-1 win over Wiscasset on Sept. 23.

In 11-on-11 action, Maranacook (14-1-1) did not taste defeat until it fell to Waynflete in the Class C South semifinals. Despite the ending, the Black Bears still had their share of accomplishments during their first season in the Mountain Valley Conference, in which they outscored their opponents 60-6. Forwards Natalie Mohlar and Phoebe Bell formed a dynamic 1-2 punch that powered Maranacook’s offense; the duo joined freshman midfielder Cooper Davis on the all-MVC first team. 

Madison’s Raegan Cowan celebrates her goal that tied the game 1-1 against Penquis Valley during Saturday’s eight-person girls soccer state final at Cony High School in Augusta. Penquis Valley’s Amara Driscoll, left, and goalie Brooklyn Decker are shown after the goal. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Mohlar, who surpassed the 20-goal mark, was named player of the year and Travis Magnusson was named coach of the year. Celia Bergdahl, Hope Webb, Gracie Farrell and Hadley Farwell were second-team selections.

Three of Maranacook’s wins were over Hall-Dale, which battled injuries and a tough schedule to go 11-5 and win their first playoff game in more than a decade, according to coach Mark Tinkham. Midfielder Addison Tinkham and goalkeeper Aubrey Gilbert were lost to injuries during the season, and by the time the Bulldogs faced Greely — which went 8-6-2 in Class B play — their top three goalkeepers were on the sidelines. 

Jesse Willey, a sophomore back who had never played goal before, volunteered and made a valiant effort in a 1-0 loss in which the Rangers scored in the final three minutes on a goal coach Tinkham said would have gone past any other keeper.

“For the amount of adversity we had to overcome, we had a tremendous season,” Tinkham said. “We certainly reached goals that we didn’t think we possible at the time of some of those injuries.” 


Gilbert, Addison Tinkham, Hayden Madore and Zoe Soule were MVC first-team selections, joined by Kaylin Johnston and Sierra Gibbons on the second team.

Also in Class C, Monmouth/Winthrop coach Gary Trafton earned his 300th career win on Sept. 15, when the Mustangs defeated Oak Hill 6-0 on their way to an 8-6-1 season. June Foyt, Abigail St. Clair and Annabelle Carlton were named MVC first-team all-stars, while teammates Abby Atwood, Izzy Hammond and Riley Chase made the second team.

Maranacook’s Phoebe Bell and Natalie Mohlar hug after Bell scored to put the Black Bears up 2-1 against Monmouth/Winthrop during a girls soccer game on Sept. 12 game in Monmouth. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

In Class B, one of the more pleasant stories of the season came from Gardiner, where the Tigers (12-4) reached the Class B North semifinals with help from senior goalkeeper Taylor Takatsu, who before this season patrolled the midfield. 

“She might be the answer to all of our prayers out there,” Gardiner coach Jess Prince said after a 2-0 win over Erskine on Oct. 11.

Takatsu and sophomore Sophia Marrone — who made her own position switch this fall, from outside midfielder to center-mid — earned KVAC Class B South all-star nods.

Erskine went 7-5-2 and qualified for the Class B tournament; sophomore Jackie Sasse was named to the KVAC Class B South all-star team.


Winslow (4-10-1) received a boost from junior forward midfielder Kari Meak, who was named KVAC B North player of the year. The Black Raiders graduate only five seniors and have 10 freshmen on their roster, so the best may be yet to come.

“Our girls have played really hard to come together and become stronger as a team, so they really pulled together and showed everybody what we’re all about, so (there are) good things to come,” Winslow coach Brian Kimball said after a 3-1 loss to Gardiner in the Class B North prelim round.

Waterville (10-5) also reached the B North playoffs, where it fell to John Bapst. Mara Von Oesen and Sadie Williams powered the Purple Panthers’ offense and were rewarded with KVAC B North all-star nods; the duo combined for nine goals in a 13-1 win over Cony on Sept. 12.

Messalonskee (6-8-1) reached the Class A North quarterfinals as senior midfielder Emma Parsons earned a KVAC first-team nod. Goalkeeper Kiana Carrier was a second-team selection.

Richmond went 8-6 and reached the Class D South semifinals. Four Bobcats — Ella Briand, Breonna Dufresne, Isabelle Stewart and Lila Viselli — were named Maine Soccer Coaches Association regional all-stars.

Temple Academy went 7-7 and placed fourth in Class D South. The Bereans’ Quinn Crommett, Sofia Isgro and Dixie Szabo were named East-West Conference All-Stars, while Crommett and Szabo also earned Maine Soccer Coaches Association regional all-star nods.

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