OAKLAND — As the cliché goes, it is difficult to beat an opponent three times in the same season.

Which exactly is what the No. 2 Camden Hills boys soccer squad aimed to do against No. 5 Brunswick in the Class A North high school championship game on a cold, crisp Wednesday night, Nov. 3 at Messalonskee High School.

Camden Hills goalie Henry Pharris dives in an attempt to stop Brunswick’s Iain Clendening’s penalty kick, which was successful. Photo by Ken Waltz

The Dragons struck first with a pair of first-half goals on the turf field, while the Windjammers, try as they might, could not net the equalizer in the second half as Brunswick earned a hard-fought, 2-1 victory to claim the regional championship.

With the win, Brunswick (13-4-1) advanced to the state Class A title game, where it lost to Marshwood of Eliot (16-2-1) 2-1 on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Massabesic High School in Waterboro.

Camden Hills saw another impressive season wrap at 12-4-1.

Camden Hills’ Charles Pons (19), Evan Constantine (43) and Eric LeBlond. Photo by Ken Waltz

Team members for Camden Hills, coached by Ryan Hurley, include Finlay Fitch, Max Welt, Eric LeBlond, Jackson Fitch, Cameron Brown, Ben Schenk, William Eggena, Lucas Wyman, Avery Hackett, Lucas Moody, Quinn Riordan, Charlie Pons, Wilson Fedarko, Jordan Peasley, Roan Aldridge-Peacock, Samuel Brownawell, Elijah Stone, Aaron Stone, Adrian Pierce, Evan Constantine, Henry Pharris, John Pessara, Ben Tohanczyn, Joah Thompson, Emmett Marshall and Eben Weislogel.

Camden Hills’ Cam Brown, left, and Avery Hackett. Photo by Ken Waltz

Team members for Brunswick, coached by Mark Roma, include Brady LaForge, Chris Kousky, Mateus Nascimento, Luke Patterson, Iain Clendening, Henry Heyburn, Liam Driscoll, Carlos Pedro-Missione, Jack Banks, Tucker Gagnon, Kaeilin Gerwig, Gus Silverman, AJ Wolverton, Luke Vazdauskas, Judah Greenwald, Matthew Poulton, Victor Jimenez, Maxwell Hamilton, Brandon Ellis, Adam Porter, David Nzuzi, Alberto Rufino-Ricordo, Tommy Labbe and Sid Pols.

“I thought the effort was there,” said Hurley. “We played hard. We played the whole game from beginning to end. I thought we had a chance to win at the end and I think we carried play for a lot of the game as far as possession went.”

From left, Camden Hills’ Avery Hackett, Lucas Moody, Quinn Riordan and Jackson Fitch. Photo by Ken Waltz

Camden Hills defeated No. 7 Mount Ararat of Topsham 2-1 in the quarterfinals and No. 3 Brewer 5-4 in the semifinals.

Brunswick defeated No. 4 Bangor 4-0 in the quarterfinals and upset top-ranked Lewiston 2-1 in the semifinals.

Camden Hills’ Eric LeBlond, top, and Brunswick’s Gus Silverman. Photo by Ken Waltz

Thus, the Dragons knocked off three straight higher-ranked opponents to claim the regional title.

In Wednesday’s game, played in temperatures in the 30s (it was so cold, players could see their breaths), Brunswick held an 11-6 edge in shots and 5-3 advantage in corner kicks.

Camden Hills’ Avery Hackett, front, and a teammate after the game. Photo by Ken Waltz

Pharris made eight saves in goal for the Windjammers and Laforge two stops for the Dragons.

The early stages of the first half were a back-and-forth midfield battle before the Dragons were able to capitalize on a Windjammer own-goal.

The ball was crossed into the Windjammer goalmouth by Banks and into a smattering of players, which caromed off a defender and past a diving Pharris with 7:31 to play in the first half.

Camden Hills’ Jackson Fitch. Photo by Ken Waltz

Then, with 6:53 remaining, a Camden Hills foul in the box resulted in a penalty kick, which Clendening buried to Pharris’ right, which gave the Dragons two goals in 38 seconds and a 2-0 advantage.

Brunswick held serve on possession through the first 20 minutes of the second half before Camden Hills quickly cut its deficit in half after a Dragon foul gave the Windjammers a direct kick from just outside the 18-yard line.

Brown promptly buried the try top shelf past LaForge with 22:12 remaining.

The goal put wind back in the Windjammers’ sails, but, ultimately, could the higher-seed could not put another quality chance on net to knot the score.

“Credit to them,” said Hurley. “They defended, they played their way and it works for them. They defended really hard and played on the counter and they got the goals they needed.”

He added the Dragons changed their formation Wednesday from a 4-1-1-4 to a 4-2-3-1 and Camden Hills also “got really unlucky” in the latter stages of the first half.

“The first goal we scored on ourselves,” he said. “It was not a goal from them. We kicked the ball in our own net. And the second goal was an unlucky penalty kick call. That’s going to happen in these games.”

“We also had a couple key guys roll ankles [Brown and Riordan] in the first 15 minutes of the game and that changed things.”

The Windjammers defeated the Dragons 2-0 and 3-1 during the regular season.

It was a clean sweep on the day for the Dragons at the same venue as the No. 3 Brunswick girls bested previously-undefeated and No. 1 Bangor 2-1 in overtime to win the regional title at the same venue.

Brunswick then lost to Windham 3-1 in the state final.