Camden Hills outlasts Scarborough in A girls' soccer final

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PORTLAND — With the help of two goals from Kassie Krul, the Camden Hills Windjammers finished the season as the lone unbeaten team in Class A on Saturday, handing Scarborough its first loss of the year in a 3-2 Class A state championship victory at Deering High School’s Memorial Field.

Just four minutes into the match, Krul got the ball about 30 yards out and went to work. The junior deked her way through a couple of defenders and ripped a stroke at the goal. Scarborough goalkeeper Emily Royce came off her line and made a diving save with her outstretched hand to deny an early goal.

Camden Hills had a lot of the possession for the first 20 minutes, killing all opportunities Scarborough had to move forward early. The high-rate of possession was paid off with 26 minutes remaining in the half when star sophomore striker Kristina Kelly received the ball at about midfield.

Kelly moved her way down the right side and passed the ball forward to Eliza Roy, who made a girl miss and crossed the ball to Krul who, after a touch, slid the ball across the goal by Royce for the game’s first goal.

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After the goal, the Red Storm got their offense off the ground and started to create chances. They were able to get off a couple of shots, but most were stopped before they reached Camden Hills’ goalkeeper Isabelle Lang.

In the second half, it took the Windjammers just five minutes to find the back of the net again. Ella Pierce got the ball in the midfield and passed it to Kelly who turned the corner and slid the ball into the back corner of the net to give Camden a two-goal advantage. It was Kelly’s 39th goal of the season and her 71st of her career.

Five minutes after, a foul was called on Scarborough and the left-footed Krul stood over the ball from 25 yards away. Her shot went in the top corner on the far side, over the arm of the keeper and in for a three-goal lead.

“We have been working on direct kicks all year but I honestly wasn’t expecting that,” Kirk said. “I tried to listen to what my coach (Josh Mahar) said about getting flat on it so that you can really curve it and flick it in.”

Camden Hills head coach Meredith Messer expected nothing less of her forward.

“Great players make great moments and they have them for a reason,” Messer said. “She’s practiced that and worked hard at those dead balls, and also keeping her composure… all those little things that great players make it look easy.”

Scarborough coach Mike Farley knew that the two early goals in the second half were the daggers that would end their season.

“We had a tough two or three minute stretch there giving up two goals early in the half,” Farley said. “But, you have to hand it to number two and number 10, those two are world-class players and we knew that going in.”

The Red Storm refused to quit, however, and were able to score with just under 20 minutes remaining off a point-blank shot from forward Gaby Panagakos.

Twelve minutes later, after a lot of Scarborough possession, a ball was skied into the penalty box and, after a deflection, Ashley Sabatino finished to draw the Storm within one.

The two goals weren’t enough to claim the victory, but they made the Windjammers work. Messer prepared her girls for just that.

“I kind of framed it in that, they were better,” Messer said. “They have 10 seniors and play in a tougher conference, if I’m being honest. For me, it’s gratifying that the girls buy in on a day-to-day basis with how hard we work. My feeling is that they earned what they deserve, and I’m happy for them.”

Ellie Patten of Scarborough battles for the ball with Ella Pierce of Camden Hills during the Class A state championship on Saturday at Deering High School in Portland. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald)

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