Windjammers' second-half scoring blitz sinks MarinersKnox County rivals entered Oceanside's homecoming game unbeaten
Thomaston — For 40 minutes Saturday, two of the more talented, higher-ranked high school boys soccer teams in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and Eastern Class B ranks played to a stalemate before the squads, one of whom has played in three straight regional finals, winning two, got its finely-tuned possession and passing game clicking on all cylinders in the second half.
Camden Hills and Oceanside, playing as part of the Mariners' annual homecoming celebration, had nothing to show for their hard work after a scoreless first half Sept. 21, before the two combined for five goals over the final 40 minutes, including four by the visitors, as the Windjammers forged to a 4-1 victory on Sam Pendleton Field, with the former coach, for whom the field is named, manning the scoreclock.
Both teams entered the morning contest unbeaten on the young season and among the higher-ranked squads in the region, including Oceanside being first in the recent Heal Point Standings.
However, it was Camden Hills that flexed its muscles most Saturday, and showed its depth, talent and big-game experience en route to the win.
Josiah Krull, Grayson Szumilas and Alex Blackwell scored for Camden Hills, while Peter Vannorsdall chipped in two assists, one off his dangerous throw-in. Oceanside also had an own-goal, with Krull being the last Windjammer to touch the ball for Camden Hills' third score.
R.J. Hall scored for Oceanside, converting a rebound after a scrum in front of the net.
Phil Atwood played in goal for Oceanside and Marshall Spear in net for the Windjammers. The final shots on goal, goalie saves and corner kicks were unavailable.
In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Camden Hills (5-0, 14.2857 points) is third and Oceanside (4-1, 9.8214 points) eighth. Caribou (3-2, 19.2602 points) is first in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.
Camden Hills, which has won two straight Eastern Class B titles (the Windjammers also lost that regional title game three years ago), has dominated opponents this fall, outscoring foes 34-2 in five games, including three shutouts.
Oceanside has played several closer games, outscoring foes 12-7 in five games, with three shutouts.
There was little chance the two teams would play to a scoreless draw Saturday, in a game contested under threatening skies, and that quickly became evident in the second half.
Szumilas broke the scoring ice with 36:55 left in the second half on a breakaway after a nice forward pass from Vannorsdall. The Windjammers made it 2-0 about five minutes later when Blackwell converted a Vannorsdall throw-in.
With 27:18 left, Hall blasted a shot into the net on a loose ball in front of the goal to bring the hosts within one goal.
However, the Windjammers then got their passing and ball possession attack in full gear and added two more goals, the first with 12:02 left after another Vannorsdall throw-in, on a ball last touched by Krull, but knocked into the goal by a Mariner.
Then, about a minute later, Camden Hills made it 4-1 at the 11:07-mark when Krull creased the net from about 18 yards.
As usual in games between the Mariners and Windjammers, the action was hard-fought and sometimes a bit chippy. But aggressive play was the norm throughout with players from both sides often picking themselves up off the turf after tough one-on-one battles for the ball.
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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.
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