PRESQUE ISLE — The Orono Red Riots captured the school’s first girls’ soccer state title Saturday with a thrilling 3-2 double-overtime victory over the Waynflete Flyers of Portland at the Dr. Gehrig T. Johnson Athletic Complex.

Sophomore midfielder Isabel Henderson sent a cross into the goal area from the left corner onto the head of striker Aashild Fridtun, but Waynflete goalie Ali Pope made the initial save. On the rebound, however, junior striker Daphne Murphy saw open net and found it to give Orono the victory at the 12:16 mark of the second overtime.

“I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time,” Murphy said. “The ball came right to me and I was able to put it in.”

The game was a seesaw affair, with the wind conditions proving to be a significant factor. A 15- to 20-mile-per-hour wind kept the pressure on the team defending the south-end goal.

Orono attacked the south end in the first half, and held a territorial advantage. The Red Riots created a number of decent chances, and they finally got on the board at the 30:41 mark.

After pinning Waynflete deep, Orono junior midfielder Brinsley Chasse took a corner kick from the left side. Her low drive came to the foot of midfielder Elizabeth White who redirected the ball to the short side of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Orono continued with the pressure, and if not for several outstanding saves by Waynflete goalkeeper Ali Pope, the Red Riots could have pulled away.

“Ali was outstanding today,” Waynflete coach Todd Dominski said. “She kept us in it.”

With just :55.9 seconds Orono got an important second goal. Orono junior striker Becky Lopez-Anido played a perfect feed to the top of the 18-yard line where Fridtun was able to finish. Her hard drive to the left of Pope made it 2-0 Orono.

The second half saw Waynflete driving toward the south with the wind in its favor.

Dominski also adjusted his squads? formation to create more offense.

With 11:44 to go, the Flyers broke the ice. A deep cross from the left side created an offensive chance, but Waynflete?s Lydia Giguere was taken down in the box, giving the Flyers a penalty kick. Junior Isabel Canning converted, cutting the lead to 2-1.

At the 5:06 mark, the Flyers got the equalizer. After an Orono shot on goal, Pope?s long punt with the wind bounced over the Orono defense. Senior forward Arianna Giguere beat everyone to the ball, and her blast from 20 yards beat Orono goalie Katelyn Richards to make it 2-2.

In the first overtime, Waynflete had the wind and dominated play. Despite the pressure, Richards made a number of great saves.

“We had a lot of good chances, they just held us off. Give them credit,” Dominski said.

“We knew we had to just hang on,” Orono coach Cid Dyjak said.

After 15 minutes of scoreless play, the teams switched sides for the second overtime and Orono had the wind advantage.

Orono was able to push the ball deep, and at the 12:16 mark, Murphy was able to get the championship winner.

“I?m speechless,” Dyjak said. “We?ve been close several times, and we finally got it. I?m so happy for these players, and the fans, and the community. They have been so patient and so supportive. It just feels great.”

The win marks Dyjak?s first state title in his 33-year career at Orono.

“Nobody deserved this more than Cid,” a proud Richards said. “We lost a heartbreaker to Waynflete two years ago, and we just had to get this one. It is an amazing feeling.”

North champ Orono finished at 16-1-1 and South champ Waynflete ended at 13-5.

 

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