Camden Hills surges to fourth straight Eastern Class B finalTwo-time defending regional champs play at No. 1 Ellsworth Nov. 6
Rockport — For the fourth straight season, the Camden Hills Regional High School boys soccer team will play for the Eastern Class B championship.
That is because the Windjammers, the two-time defending regional titlists, earned a spot in the finale with another dominating postseason performance on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 2 on Don Palmer Field.
Amid glorious early-fall sunshine, temperatures in the 60s and in a battle of previously-unbeaten squads, the No. 2 Windjammers (15-0-1) downed No. 3 Winslow (12-1-3) 4-1 in an Eastern Class B semifinal playoff game.
Camden Hills did not play the Black Raiders during the regular season.
The Windjammers will play at No. 1 Ellsworth (15-0-1), which beat No. 4 Presque Isle (12-3-1) 5-0 Saturday in the semifinals, in the regional championship game on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 5 p.m.
The Windjammers do not play Ellsworth or Presque Isle during the regular season. The Eagles beat No. 8 Waterville 4-0 and the Wildcats downed No. 5 Old Town 2-1 in earlier quarterfinal playoff games.
On Saturday in Rockport, Peter Vannorsdall, Josiah Krul and Jack Henry Grannis-Phoenix scored first-half goals to give the Windjammers a 3-1 halftime advantage. Colin Morse added a second-half goal for the hosts. Morse and Zach Pitcairn chipped in with assists. Marshall Spear (4 saves) played in goal for the hosts.
Evan Clark scored on a penalty kick late with 2:28 left in the first half for Winslow. Alex Berard (4 saves) played in goal for the Black Raiders.
"We had a fantastic game today," said Windjammer coach Ryan Hurley, who has led Camden Hills to an eye-popping 64-5-3 overall mark in four seasons. "Everyone contributed and we were able to pull away from a previously-undefeated Winslow team. We came out strong in the first half, really pressured them defensively and were able to keep possession for long stretches of time. Once again we let up a bit in the second half and got away from our game some what but were able to pull it back together in the final 15 to 20 minutes to finish the way we are capable of playing.
"It's a great win and we're looking forward to a rematch with Ellsworth at their place on Wednesday. They have an incredibly strong tradition and one of the best coaches (Brian Higgins) in Maine high school history so it will be a battle ... but one we are looking forward to."
This fall, Ellsworth, guided by respected coach Higgins, who has amassed more than 500 career victories, has outscored opponents 59-4, with 11 shutouts. The only blemish on the Eagles' record was a scoreless tie with Hermon.
Camden Hills has played in the last two state championship games, but lost a pair of 2-1 games with Falmouth, which has since moved up to Class A. Under the guidance of coach Hurley, the Windjammers have sought — and achieved — consistent excellence on the pitch.
In recent years, the Windjammers have waged several epic regional title battles with Ellsworth, including losing in the final to the Eagles three years ago and downing Ellsworth in the finale last year.
On Saturday, Vannorsdall scored with 26:30 left in the first half, on an assist from Morse, to give Camden Hills a 1-0 lead. The hosts made it 2-0 when Krul scored with 22:21 remaining in the opening half. With 14:02 left, Grannis-Phoenix knocked a ball into the net, on an assist from Zach Pitcairn, to make it 3-0.
Morse completed the scoring for Camden Hills, off a strong throw-in, with 12:21 left in the second half.
Camden Hills dominated much of the 80-minute affair, although the Black Raiders did have a few scoring bids. The Windjammers also had a goal waved off and several shots hit the posts or crossbar.
Camden Hills held a 22-6 edge in shots and 6-0 advantage in corner kicks.
Earlier in the postseason, the Windjammers beat No. 7 Erskine Academy of South China 4-0 in the quarterfinals. Erskine Academy, which defeated No. 10 Hermon in a prelim playoff game, ended its season 12-4.
Camden Hills has outscored opponents 95-9, with eight shutouts (including the league championship game), this fall. The Windjammers beat Maranacook of Readfield 3-1 in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B title game Oct. 24.
Winslow defeated No. 11 Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft (7-8-1) in a quarterfinal playoff game on Wednesday. The Ponies bested No. 6 Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston 2-1 in a prelim playoff.
Under Hurley's tutelage, the Windjammers have been amazingly successful. This year the team was 13-0-1 during the regular season and ranked second. The Windjammers are 3-0 in the postseason, including winning the league championship.
In 2012, the team was 11-1-2 during the regular season and ranked second. Camden Hills lost to Maranacook 1-0 in the KVAC title game, then beat No. 7 Hermon 4-0, No. 3 Winslow 2-1 in overtime and No. 1 Ellswoth 2-1 in overtime in the regional playoffs. The Windjammers then lost to Falmouth 2-1 in the state final.
In 2011, the Windjammers were 14-0 and ranked first, won the league title, then downed No. 9 John Bapst of Bangor 4-0, No. 5 Mount View of Thorndike 2-0 and No. 3 Presque Isle 1-0 in the regional playoffs, before falling to Falmouth 2-1 in the state championship game.
In 2010, Camden Hills was 14-0 and ranked second, won the league title, then downed No. 7 John Bapst of Bangor 5-2 and beat No. 3 Presque Isle 1-0 before falling to No. 1 Ellsworth 3-2 in the regional final.
594-4401, extension 114
Ken Waltz has been member of the media 30 years and has received hundreds of Maine Press Association and New England Press Association awards for his writing, photography and page design. He studied journalism at the University of Maine in Orono. He lives in South Thomaston with his wife, Sarah. The couple has an adult son, Brandon.
Recent Stories by Ken Waltz
Dec 01, 2013
Dec 01, 2013
Nov 14, 2013
Nov 14, 2013
Nov 08, 2013