Waterville eases past Camden Hills in battle of unbeatensPurple Panthers, Windjammers among top teams in Eastern Class B
Rockport — The Camden Hills girls soccer team has been one of the upper-echelon squads in Eastern Class B for years.
However, Waterville, which dropped from Class A to Class B this year and, like the Windjammers, unbeaten heading into play on Friday, Oct. 18, certainly has made a name for itself as well this fall.
And the Purple Panthers continued to do so in impressive fashion Friday on Don Palmer Field against the host Windjammers.
The two squads played even for much of the first half, but the Purple Panthers creased the net twice prior to halftime and pumped in two more goals by game’s end en route to a 4-1 victory in a battle of Eastern Class B heavyweights.
Pilar Elias netted two goals for undefeated Waterville, while Lydia Roy and Fotini Shanos added goals and Sarah Shoulta one assist for the Windjammers.
For Camden Hills, Brynn Anderson creased the net, on an assist from Emma Gutheinz, in the second half.
Waterville outshot Camden Hills 13-10 and held a 4-3 edge in corner kicks. Rachel Pease made 14 saves in goal for the ‘Jammers.
“Their coach [Meredith Messer] did a phenomenal job of putting in a game plan that did a really nice job throwing us some pretty good curveballs there in the first half,” said Waterville coach Ian Wilson. “I thought they controlled a lot of the play in the first half. We got a breakaway goal, but I thought, for the most part, a lot of the play they controlled well.
“That’s easily, by far in a way, the best team we’ve played in the regular season.”
Camden Hills coach Messer said she was happy with her team’s overall play, not only playing against a superb opponent, but “it’s always a little daunting when you’re playing a team you haven’t seen before.”
“I thought we played a little timid in the beginning but I asked them to play a little defensive just to see what the speed was like and to see how they were going to play whether it was up the middle or playing wide,” Messer said. “And I think once we got our sense of how they were going to play I think we went at it with them.”
Both teams were scoreless through the first 30-plus minutes before the Purple Panthers got on the board when Roy beat Pease for an unassisted score with 8:04 left in the first half.
Then, the Windjammers trailed by two goals for the first time all season when Shoulta motored up the right sideline and crossed a beautiful ball into the box to Elias, who popped it into the left upper 90 with 58 seconds left in the first half.
The Purple Panthers quickly added to their lead a mere 1:59 into the second half on a goal from Shanos.
The ‘Jammers had an opportunity to draw closer slip through their fingers minutes later when the hosts sucked the Purple Panther keeper out of the goalmouth and appeared to have a look at the net, but a Waterville player made a nice defensive clear in front of the goal line, to keep Camden Hills scoreless.
The Windjammers ended their scoring drought with 27:54 left when Gutheinz pushed a through-ball past a collection of defenders in the midfield which met the foot of Anderson, who buried the ball into the net.
The goal was only the second goal scored on Waterville this season, as the Purple Panthers have outscored opponents 81-2.
Camden Hills has outscored opponents 56-9 this year and had given up only five goals on the year prior to Friday’s match.
Elias rounded out the scoring for Waterville with 6:31 left in the game.
Despite being outplayed for much of the match, Messer was encouraged that her team never gave up against the talented Purple Panthers.
“I’ve been preaching this year that you have to come with a winner’s attitude,” she said. “And they did. They worked hard all the way up to the last five seconds of the game. I don’t mind losing to teams that are better than us if we play 100 percent and I think we did that today. We have things we can fix, but we played hard.”
Camden Hills will finish the regular season on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, while Waterville will host Oceanside in its season-finale the same day.
Waterville was the fourth seed in Eastern Class A last year and fell to No. 5 Mount Blue of Farmington in the quarterfinals. The team’s last state title win was the Class A crown in 2008.
In the Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Camden Hills (10-1-2, 96.7474 points) is third, while Waterville (13-0, 128.9541 points) is first in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.
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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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