BATH — Poland had Morse High School right where the Knights wanted the Shipbuilders in their Western Maine Class B girls' soccer semifinal clash — trailing 1-0 at the half, while the visitors were brimming with confidence on Friday.
The fourth-seeded visitors had to feel pretty good about themselves and were riding high behind the standout play of Emily Bolduc, Courtney Cunliffe, Emma Turton and rangy goaltender Haley Whitworth.
However, the top-seeded Shipbuilders had a miracle up their sleeves ... literally.
Top-scorer Miracle Trimble popped in three straight goals over a 10-minute period in the second half span, and teammate Savannah Simmons-Grover added a late score as the 14-1-1 Shipbuilders chalked up a 4-1 dismantling of the Knights.
Poland (8-6-2) outshot Morse 7-6 over the first 40 minutes, but the hosts’ high-power offense, which had produced 54 goals going into Friday’s encounter, was not to be stopped or slowed.
Morse set up camp in the Knights' end for most of the first half, but Poland’s defense, led by Sadie Pelletier, Sophie Spiller, Paxton Arsenault and Jessie Quint, stayed strong in front of Whitworth (10 saves).
However, when the Knights broke free, Turton and Cunliffe wreaked havoc with the Morse defense.
“They had too good an offense for us to let up in the second half,” said Poland coach Andrew Pelletier, a former Mt. Ararat High School and Thomas College standout. “We made a mistake early and had a letdown. But, they have a great team and we knew that going in.
“Our goal was to win a state championship,” added Pelletier. “Now, I don’t know if everyone believed it in the beginning of the season, but this is the farthest a Poland team has ever gone. We also beat two teams (Falmouth, York) which a Poland team had never even scored on so I know they’re a little down right now, but I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished this year.”
Cunliffe nearly converted a booming Letourneau throw-in with 10 minutes left in the opening half and Morse goaltender Sadia Crosby (eight stops) had to make a leaping stop in traffic on yet another Letourneau throw-in bid.
An Emily Bolduc corner kick led to a goalmouth rush. Crosby got a glove on the ball, which squirted loose, and Cunliffe converted for a 1-0 lead with 5:45 left in the half.
And on came the Shipbuilders.
Simmons-Grover nicked the crossbar after a Lauren Pelletier corner with eight minutes gone in the second period and Poland’s Spiller had to make a dramatic clear on a Trimble boot after Whitworth made an initial save on Martin and the ball got away from the sophomore goalie.
Morse got on the board at 13:35 when Trimble (assisted by Martin) scored from 10 yards out.
Four minutes later, a Trimble header found its mark for a 2-1 lead and Trimble finished off her hat trick with 17:46 remaining.
For good measure, Simmons-Grover looped a shot over Whitworth’s head and in with 7:26 left.
Three days before Morse wiped out a 2-0 halftime deficit to oust No. 8 Freeport, 4-2, in quarterfinal play.
“No, we don’t make it easy on ourselves and that’s probably why I’m skinny,” said Morse coach Steve Boyce. “But, that’s what we discussed at halftime. We had pretty much controlled the first half and we knew if we just get that first goal we’d be all right. Our offense is so versatile it’s hard to key on one player, and Miracle is so sneaky quick and fast.”