Dominant Windjammers use early scoring barrage to ground EaglesCamden Hills blanks Erskine Academy 4-0 in quarterfinal playoff
Rockport — It is no secret the two-time defending regional champion boys soccer team from Camden Hills Regional High School, also unbeaten in the regular season, is one of the odds-on favorites to clinch the Eastern Class B championship for the third straight season.
The No. 2 Windjammers opened postseason play on Wednesday, Oct. 30 on Don Palmer Field against No. 7 Erskine Academy of South China, with the game ultimately providing little drama, as has been the case for the local squad all season.
The hosts jumped on the Eagles early to the tune of three goals in the first 20 minutes and added another late tally in the second half en route to a 4-0 victory.
Watch video below.
Erskine Academy, which defeated No. 10 Hermon in a prelim playoff game to advance to face Camden Hills, ended its season 12-4.
The Windjammers (14-0-1) move onto the semifinals, where they will face host No. 3 Winslow (12-0-3) on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. Camden Hills, which has outscored opponents 91-8, with eight shutouts (including the league championship game) this fall, did not play Winslow during the regular season.
The Black Raiders defeated No. 11 Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft (7-8-1) in another quarterfinal playoff game on Wednesday. The Ponies bested No. 6 Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston 2-1 in a prelim playoff to advance.
On Wednesday in Rockport, Peter Vannorsdall tallied two goals for Camden Hills, while Zach Pitcairn and Grayson Szumilas had goals and Ben Welt and Yani Stancioff assists for the winners.
Marshall Spear made seven saves in goal for Camden Hills, while Jared Gartley made seven stops in net for Erskine Academy. Gartley also stopped a Vannorsdall penalty kick. The Windjammers outshot the Eagles 27-7 and held a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
“I thought we were a little tentative in the beginning, you know, first-round jitters, but after we scored that first goal we settled in pretty well,” said fourth-year Camden Hills coach Ryan Hurley, who has led the Windjammers to three straight regional final games. “We got some finishes, so, ultimately, I'm pretty happy about things.”
Vannorsdall got Camden Hills on the board with 34:08 left in the first half and added another tally with 23:38 remaining to give the hosts a 2-0 cushion.
Minutes later, at the 21:35-mark, Pitcairn creased the net to make it 3-0.
Hurley said after his team, also the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B champs, went ahead 3-0 it played a bit more conservative than normal to keep the student-athletes fresh, though he does not plan to do that through the rest of the team's postseason run.
“We moved the ball a little slower than we needed to,” he said. “They [Erskine Academy] were pretty organized defensively so hats off to them. They made it hard at times to break them down and we weren't playing quick enough. Hopefully next round we'll be a little quicker.”
Szumilas rounded out the scoring for Camden Hills with 6:12 left in regulation.
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. He has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School.
Mark is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, fantasy sports, the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and iced coffee.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn and sons Beckett and Austin.
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