High school girls soccer

State pitch rematch: Camden Hills, Scarborough again duel for domination

Windjammers, Red Storm set to tangle in second straight Class A championship battle
By Mark Haskell | Nov 01, 2018
Artwork by: File/Samantha McPadden

Bath — For the third straight season, the Camden Hills girls soccer team hopes to put its best striking and defending feet forward as the Windjammers prepare to vie for the coveted state Class A championship game.

And, for the second consecutive season, the two-time defending state high school champion Windjammers will be challenged by Scarborough on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 10 a.m.

The following is a synopsis of Saturday morning’s state championship clash between the Windjammers and Red Storm:

Who: Northern Class A champion Camden Hills (17-0) versus Southern Class A champion Scarborough (17-0).

Where: Edward J. McMann Outdoor Athletic Complex in Bath.

When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 10 a.m.

How they got here: In the North, the No. 1 Windjammers defeated No. 8 Hampden Academy 8-0 in the quarterfinals, netted a 2-0 win over No. 4 Bangor in the semifinals and edged No. 3 Messalonskee of Oakland 4-3 in the regional championship.

In the South, the No. 1 Red Storm beat No. 9 Noble 3-1 in the quarterfinals, netted a 1-0 win over Windham and defeated No. 3 Cheverus of Portland 3-1 in the regional championship.

Projected starters, Camden Hills: Forwards Eliza Roy, Ella Pierce and Kristina Kelly; midfielders Kaylyn Krul, Kassie Krul and Anya Babb-Brott; defenders Eve Gutheinz, Tessa Whitley, Sarah Spizzuoco and Grace Blackwell; and goalie Isabelle Lang.

Projected starters, Scarborough: Forwards Leah Dickman, Molly Murname and Ashley Sabatino; midfielders Jessica Rinaldi, Madison Blanche and Emily Johnson; defenders Sophia Martens, Suzanne Woodridge, Madison Marinko and Lily Davis; and goalie Nikki Young.

Outlook: Last year’s state championship clash between the Windjammers and Red Storm had the makings of an all-out classic, and lived up to the hype as Camden Hills held off a late Scarborough rally and surged to a 3-2 win to claim the state crown.

This year’s state title match has the same prize-fight feel to it as the teams again advanced to the championship round with unblemished records.

The Windjammers outscored opponents 102-7 in the regular season and 116-10 overall (14-3 in the regional playoffs), with 12 shutouts, while the Red Storm outscored opponents 51-4 in the regular season and 58-6 overall (7-2 in the regional playoffs), with 11 shutouts.

Camden Hills, after never winning a state title in its history, have won back-to-back state championships — and eyes a third — and is 49-0-1 in its last 50 matches heading into Saturday’s title game, as its last loss came Sept. 20, 2016 against Bangor.

In fact, Scarborough’s only loss in the past two seasons was in last year’s state final to Camden Hills.

“I think that it’s amazing that this group of seniors has been to a regional final four times,” said Camden Hills coach Meredith Messer. “And having the opportunity to go back to a state game again. It’s unreal. This season has been the toughest season for not having strong, solid competition to be in the match, which was nice, because the competition was so intense [in the regional final against Messalonskee]. You think about being able to compete at a really high level, you get better at that and better at pulling out wins the more you have to do it.”

Scarborough coach Mike Farley is aware of the challenges that awaits his defense as the Windjammers have “all their talented players returning up top and through the midfield.”

“This Camden [Hills] team is one of the better teams to come through girls soccer, so we are going to have to play together and be organized,” he said. “We need to have our best players come to play offensively so we can take some of the pressure off at times in the game.”

While Kelly led the Windjammers in scoring this season (37 goals, 11 assists), they have plenty of additional firepower as Eliza Roy (25 goals, 21 assists), Ella Pierce (13 goals, 5 assists) and Kassie Krul (16 goals, 10 assists) have netted double-digit goals this season. Kassie Krul scored two of the three goals in last year’s state final and Kelly the third in Camden Hills’ state title win.

The Windjammers graduated only three starters and four significant contributors to last year’s squad, while the Red Storm have a completely different look after graduating 10 seniors from last year’s team, including seven starters.

“This is basically a brand new team,” said Farley. “Ashley Sabatino is the only starter on this year’s team that came off the bench last year and had a big role in the state final game a year ago.”

Still, Farley’s style of play from a year ago, despite a drastic changeover in personnel, has not changed.

“We play a possession-oriented style, looking to play balls into each other's feet and get forward together quickly,” he said. “Defensively, we defend collectively trying to limit chances, not letting players get behind us and being aggressive when we win the ball to get going the other way quickly.”

The Windjammers feature a high-scoring offense — 6.8 goals per game— and a stingy defense to boot.

Messer planned to take in the South regional final between Scarborough and Cheverus, but the time of their regional final was moved from 2:30 to 4 p.m. after the forced venue change from Camden Hills Regional High School to Lincoln Academy in Newcastle — after Don Palmer Field was deemed unplayable  — and the coach was unable to make the trek to Scarborough.

But, Messer attended two of Scarborough's regular-season games.

“Their best attacker is back Molly Murname [and] she’s a fantastic player,” said Messer. “And they have a really solid defense again. They haven’t given up very many goals, so it’ll be a challenge and one I think the girls will be up for. It’s nice to have a rivalry, so it’s cool to have a rematch. I’m sure that’s a motivating factor for them, so it should be a good one.”

Murname led the Red Storm with 11 goals and six assists, while Dickman (10 goals, 6 assists) and Sabatino (9 goals, 10 assists) also chipped in offensively for Scarborough.

Steady rain is in the forecast for Saturday’s game in Bath, but the Windjammers will practice for a few days inside on the turf at The PITCH in Warren.

“We want to be on the turf surface,” she said. “Playing in the rain? That’s OK. We’re not sugar. We won’t melt.”

Messer’s concerns lie more with the talent on the Red Storm sideline, and not the weather.

“We need to limit the number of service balls they give their attackers and it’s going to be important that we close down really well on all parts of the field,” she said. “And for us, attacking-wise, we just need to stick to our fundamentals and make the defense shift so we can create some space.”

“My players look forward to a very big challenge playing Camden [Hills] and we’ll come out on Saturday and try to put a full 80 minutes or longer together and see what we can do against one of the better teams the state has seen,” said Farley.

Interestingly, the neutral site could not be more perfectly placed between the schools as McMann Stadium is 45.7 miles from Camden Hills Regional High School and 41.4 miles from Scarborough High School.

The teams also were scheduled to play a preseason game on Aug. 28 in Rockport, but the game was canceled due to high heat and humidity.

Scarborough collected state Class A crowns in 2010 and 2012 and state Class B titles in 1998 and 1999.

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