All that stood between Lewiston and an undefeated regular season was the second-ranked team in Class A North — Hampden Academy — but the Blue Devils were up to the task, dominating from start to finish in a 5-1 boys’ soccer victory at Don Roux Field on Saturday night.

“The kids played real hard. They were looking forward to this game. They were looking forward to ending the season in a positive way,” Lewiston head coach Mike McGraw said. “There’s always some things that we can work on, but I’m very proud of them. They played their game.”

There were numerous storylines heading into the game. Lewiston (14-0) was looking to finish the regular season undefeated, and lock up the top seed in the Class A North playoffs in the process. The Blue Devils were also trying to stretch their regular-season unbeaten streak to 39 games, which they did.

Their last regular-season loss: A 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Broncos on Sept. 14, 2013.

And lastly, it was senior night for a group of 11 players who had lost just two games and tied five more in their four-year careers.

So it was fitting that the star that shone the brightest for Lewiston was one its senior captains.


Abdi Shariff’s hard shot from the right side seven minutes in didn’t go in, but it was struck well enough that Hampden (11-3) goalie Kyle Townsend could only deflect it, and Muktar Ali was right there to put in the rebound.

Shariffwas on the giving end again less than four minutes later, as fellow senior Maslah Hassan converted on Shariff-Hassan’s through ball to put the Blue Devils up 2-0.

“It’s a special night. I’ve been playing for McGraw for the past four years, and I remember my freshman year I was like ‘it’s a long way,’ and we’re finally here and I was excited for this game and I just went out there and played my best,” Shariff said.

McGraw said he thought the combination play between Shariff and Hassan were a bright spot in the game, noting that it appeared the classmates — who have only been teammates for a few years — had been playing together their whole lives.

The combination play between all the Lewiston players through much of the middle part of the first half also stood out, as the Blue Devils had multiple scenarios of double-digit pass streaks.

“We talked about trying to take advantage of things that they would give us. We talked about not dribbling the ball too much and passing the ball more, which I thought we did a really good job of,” McGraw said.


Shariff, an able goal-scorer looked to be in the passing mood again with just over a minute to play before halftime, but a high, looping cross from the left sideline instead went into the top-right corner of the goal and over the out-stretched hands of Townsend.

“At first I wanted to shoot, but then I also saw Maslah, so I was undecided,” Shariff said. “When I saw the wind help out I was like, ‘Oh, this is going in.’

“It’s special. I’ve been scoring all season and that has to be one of the top goals I’ve scored all season. It’s a goal I’ll remember for a long time, especially on senior night.”

That goal gave Lewiston even more momentum heading into halftime, but it didn’t last long coming out of the break, as the Broncos were awarded an indirect kick just outside the box one minute in. Nick Gilpin made the initial touch on the ball, then Nick Chasse followed with a blast over a rushing wall of Lewiston players and buried it into the goal.

“There was a span of five or six minutes early in the second half that we played Hampden’s game, and not our game, and it resulted in them getting an advantage down there for the goal,” McGraw said. “It was a great goal. Guy struck the ball just right, put it in the only place he could. When you earn a goal, you earn a goal.”

But like the great teams do, Lewiston responded by grabbing momentum right back. Ten minutes into the second half, Shariff-Hassan sent a low cross into the box from the right corner, which initially deflected off a Hampden defender before Ali put the loose ball into the net. Ali and Hassan then connected on a give-and-go, with Hassan starting and ending the play for another goal less than three minutes later.

McGraw said he couldn’t have asked for a better performance from his team against an opponent he called “talented” and “well-coached.”

“It’s going to give us a lot of confidence, especially defeating a good team like Hampden,” Shariff added. “But we still have a long way to go. Playoffs is way different from (regular) season, and we’re looking forward to it.”

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