Sweet homecoming win for Camden Hills over OceansideThree second-half goals lift host Windjammers over Mariners
Rockport — The much anticipated midseason high school girls soccer showdown between Camden Hills and Oceanside, two of the higher-ranked squads in Eastern Class B thus far this season, turned into a solid shutout win for the host Windjammers Saturday morning, Sept. 22 on slick, rain-soaked Don Palmer Field.
And that outcome — 3-0 in the favor of the Windjammers — made Camden Hills' homecoming celebration that much sweeter.
Kristina Alex, Emma Gutheinz and Hannah Wincklhofer tallied goals for the Windjammers, while Matteo added two assists for Camden Hills, which looked to not only beat the rival Mariners in a regular-season meeting, but also somewhat avenge a loss to Oceanside in last year's regional playoffs.
Last fall, Oceanside of Thomaston/Rockland and Camden Hills met three times, with the first game ending in a 1-1, double-overtime tie Sept. 16 in Rockport and then host Oceanside came away with a 1-0 win Sept. 24 in Thomaston. The Mariners also defeated Camden Hills 2-0 in the regional quarterfinals.
On Saturday, Camden Hills got a bit of revenge for last year's games with a strong overall performance.
"You couldn't hype it up any better having it be our homecoming [and] the first time we played them since the [playoff] loss," said Camden Hills coach Meredith Messer. "We were ready to play a big game, because our schedule hasn't been as consistent in the early going with tougher teams. It was good timing for us to have to step up and play well."
The Windjammers held an 18-4 edge in shots and 5-0 advantage in corner kicks. The Windjammers also had 12 direct kicks to the Mariners' six.
Rachel Pease made four saves in goal for Camden Hills and Kennadi Grover 17 stops in net for Oceanside.
Messer said Abby White was "outstanding" for the Windjammers defensively and paramount in shutting down the Mariner offense.
Oceanside coach Darryl Townsend, credited the Windjammers for capitalizing on their scoring opportunities, while also pointing out his team's overall inexperience having graduated 14 seniors from last year's team.
"If you would have asked me after eight games if I thought we'd be 6-2, I'd probably have had to say no," Townsend said. "I think so far we've been overachieving and this group will just get better and better each day. I think we'll be a quality group by the end of [the regular season]."
The game was scoreless at halftime before the Windjammers busted out for three second-half goals. After Matteo had a goal wiped away after a hand ball in the box whistled against the Mariners, Alex scored on a penalty kick with 20:53 left in the second half to make it 1-0.
Camden Hills then added a pair of insurance goals to put the game out of reach.
Matteo, still fired up over not scoring the game's first goal, worked through the Mariner defense to the baseline and found an open Gutheinz in front of the net, and Gutheinz beat Grover top shelf from six yards away with 17:50 remaining.
"The second goal they scored was a great goal," said Townsend. "They walked in on the baseline and they served the ball across the box. That's how you score goals. And a team with nine seniors should be doing that. I'm trying to get my kids to do that."
"Caroline is probably one of the most competitive kids I've ever had the privilege to coach," said Messer. "She's really involved and passionate every time she touches the ball. It doesn't matter if she's on the defensive side or the offensive side, every time she touches the ball she wants something good to happen and when it doesn't, she gets fired up."
Wincklhofer's goal with 6:16 remaining off Matteo's second assist of the game rounded out the scoring.
Matteo finished with five shots on goal to lead Windjammers, while Alex, Lexi Doudera, Addie Drinkwater and Emma Gutheinz all had two shots on net for the hosts to keep Grover busy.
For Oceanside, Emma Spencer had two shots on goal and Emily Gould and Makenna Brooks both one.
The Mariners, who knocked the Windjammers from the regional playoffs a year ago, are a much younger squad this fall, but have remained among the top teams in Eastern Class B thus far.
Messer said Saturday's game was a key win on many levels. Not only beating the team's closest rival in a homecoming game, but Heal Point-wise as well.
"We've been fortunate enough to beat both Morse [of Bath] and Oceanside, and both of those teams are going to win games," she said. "And so when you're looking at [Heal] Points, we're lucky enough to play both of them again. So in terms of seeding, this was a big win for us."
After Saturday's game, in the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Oceanside (6-2, 42.8571 points) is third and Camden Hills (6-1, 39.2857 points) fourth. Hermon (7-0, 45.1020 points) is first in the 18-team region. The top 12 teams qualify for the playoffs.
With Saturday's outcome, Camden Hills is 6-1 and Oceanside 6-2. The Windjammers have outscored opponents 21-7, with four shutouts, in seven games. Camden Hills lost to Winslow 4-0.
Oceanside has outscored foes 22-7, with five shutouts, in eight games. The Mariners lost 2-0 to Morse of Bath and 3-0 to Camden Hills.
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