YARMOUTH — If there is one thing the Medomak Valley girls soccer team proved in 2021 it is the Panthers can play on equal footing with most talented Class B opponents — whether they come from north, east, west or, of course, south.

A few days after a signature 3-0 postseason victory over No. 6 Wells, the No. 3 Panthers hit the road for a high school Class B South semifinal playoff pitch clash with another talented southern foe, this time No. 2 Yarmouth.

Medomak Valley’s Grace White. Photo by Ken Waltz

In the end, the host Clippers proved one-goal better and eliminated the Panthers from the postseason.

Ava Feeley scored on a breakaway with 14:32 left in the first half for the only goal on Saturday, Oct. 30. That goal was all the hosts needed to advance in the playoffs.

Yarmouth finished with a 17-5 edge in shots, while Panther goalie Addison McCormick made 11 saves and Clipper keeper Regan Sullivan five stops.

Three of the Panther shots were recorded by Kytana Williamson.

Medomak Valley, which outscored opponents 52-12, with nine shutout this fall, finished 14-3.

With the victory, Yarmouth (15-1-1) moves onto the regional final to play No. 1 Cape Elizabeth (15-1) on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. at Lewiston High School.

The Clippers, who have won four state Class B titles (runner-up once), beat No. 15 Poland 6-0 and No. 7 Freeport 1-0 earlier in the playoffs.

Medomak Valley did not play Lake Region, Wells or Yarmouth during the regular season. However, Yarmouth also beat Wells 3-0 in a regular-season game.

There are signature athletic wins in a school’s and program’s history and Medomak Valley earned one on Thursday night, Oct. 28 a mere 15 miles from home at Lincoln Academy in Newcastle.

The Panthers dominated most pitch foes this fall en route to a 12-2 regular-season record.

Those numbers certainly confirm the Panthers were a strong team.

The No. 3 Panthers then defeated No. 14 Lake Region 2-1 in  prelim playoff game.

So, with all that recent success under their belts, why were the Panthers the “underdog” when they faced No. 6 Wells in the regional quarterfinals on the turf at LA?

Medomak Valley’s Lizzi Swan, left, and Wells’ Ava Tavares. Photo by Ken Waltz

Perhaps because the Panthers have not experienced this season’s level of success in some time, if ever, and, well, Wells is one of many southern schools with a lofty and impressive soccer pedigrees. Many of the players in that part of the state play the sport year-round.

However, as they have done so many times, the Panthers proved games are won on the field and history often plays little, to no, role in the outcome.

Medomak Valley’s Zaniah Pulchalski, right, and Wells’ Emma Badger. Panther Ruth Havener is at left. Photo by Ken Waltz

The Panthers, under the leadership of veteran coach Darryl Townsend, who won a state Class C title with Georges Valley High School in Thomaston in 2009 (also was runner-up in 1997) and continues to make strides to his 300th career win, demonstrated against playoff opponents they are a deep, talented team.

On Thursday against Wells, the Panthers scored a goal in the first half and two more in a 34-second span in the second to keep the highly-skilled Warriors (9-6-1) at bay en route to an impressive 3-0 quarterfinal playoff victory.

Wells’ Grace Badger, middle, along with Medomak Valley’s Kytana Williamson (15), Cameron Bains (6) and Julia Kunesh. Photo by Ken Waltz

The game was moved to the turf at LA due to heavy recent rain that made the Panther field unplayable.

In Thursday’s playoff encounter, the Panthers grabbed the momentum when Annie Vannoy, one of the team’s anchors, scored at 19:30 of the first half. Medomak Valley then added two second-half goals — Grace White from Alyssa Creamer at 18:44 and Kytana Williamson from White at 18:10 — to nail down the victory.

Panther McCormick (6 saves) turned in a strong performance in goal. Mia Pasciuto (10 saves) also had a solid effort in the Warrior net.

Medomak Valley’s Autumn Ripley, left, and Annie Vannoy. Photo by Ken Waltz

The Panthers carried play in the first half and the the Warrior pushed back at the start of the second before Medomak Valley got its offensive push going en route to the final two goals.

Medomak Valley held a 20-7 edge in shots and 7-2 advantage in corner kicks.

Townsend, who confirmed the Panthers were perceived the “underdog” on Thursday despite its higher seed due to its soccer history combined to that of Wells, credited Zaniah Pulchalski with yeoman defensive work on standout and always dangerous Warrior Emma Badger.

The coach said the team’s game plan to have Pulchalski mark Badger worked to near perfection. “We didn’t want to let the girl who we know could beat us beat us and [Badger] was not really a huge factor today,” he said.

He said the Panthers executed their roles well. He said it was an amazing first 40 minutes. “I couldn’t be more proud of that group.”

Townsend said the coaches prepared the players and they, in turn, turned in their finest overall performance of the campaign.

The coach said he does not know much about Panther girls soccer history, but said the win over Wells was “by far the biggest victory we have had” since he has been involved with the program four to five years.

“Obviously, I think we were underdogs here today and weren’t expected to pull it off against one of these southern teams,” he said. “When it was 1-0, I thought, ‘Maybe we’ve got a chance.’ And then we stick two more in quickly [in the second half] and to go up 3-0, well, that team is amazing. They are the best team we have played all year long and in recent history.”