The Yarmouth boys’ soccer team celebrates with their classmates after winning the Class B State Championship 2-1 against Winslow at Deering High School on Saturday. (Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald)

PORTLAND — It was the same two teams as last year dueling for the Class B boys’ soccer state championship, but the rematch was much more of a battle than last year’s title game.

Winslow gave Yarmouth all it could handle, but the Clippers still did enough to not only beat the Black Raiders for a second consecutive year, but also win their fourth straight title with a 2-1 victory at Deering High School’s Memorial Field on Saturday.

“They were definitely a lot better this year,” Yarmouth junior Eric LaBrie said. “I’m not really sure what was any different about them.”

The Clippers (18-0) had their way with Winslow in a 5-2 victory last year, but Saturday’s rematch was anything but easy.

“I think the big thing was we just had another year to play. For the most part we had most of the team back,” Winslow (15-4) coach Aaron Wolfe said. “I think the other thing is we just knew what to expect from them, so we were more prepared for that.”

Wolfe said his team had a game plan in the first half, and that strategy went pretty much to plan. The game was scoreless into the final 13 minutes of the first half, and it was 1-1 at the break.


“We knew how strong they were down the middle,” Yarmouth coach Mike Hagerty said. “Our goal in the whole game was to push that ball out wide, and we weren’t doing it well in the first half. But credit Winslow for doing a good job keeping the ball.”

The Clippers finally broke through first. LaBrie recovered his own rebound in the box, then struck a turnaround shot out of the reach of Winslow senior goalie Jake Lapierre.

“It felt great,” LaBrie said. “We’d been wanting that goal, just get that first goal out of the way.”

The Black Raiders answered less than four minutes later. A foul outside the box, which earned Yarmouth’s Eric Loomis a yellow card, gave Winslow a free kick within striking distance. Michael Wildes took the kick and it eluded both the Yarmouth wall and senior goalie Cal Owen.

“It was huge,” Wolfe said. “We’ve been working on those progressively more as the season went on. Similar areas around the field, and in that particular area was one of the spots. (Michael has) been doing a great job there, so I knew that when we got that foul that he’s going to give us a good chance to put a ball in the net.”

Hagerty said his halftime talk to his team was a little bit motivational and a little bit tactical. The Clippers had been in close games before, so a tie game at halftime wasn’t something to worry about. He said his team played “a little frustratedly” in the first half. Hagerty also made an adjustment, switching to a 4-5-1 formation to go from two central midfielders to three, in the hopes that his team could control the middle more in order to push the ball wide.


“Once we started getting the ball wide our game changed in the second half,” Hagerty said.

After putting just four shots on goal in the first half, the Clippers had 10 on target in the second half. Lapierre did his best to keep them out, making eight saves and getting help from his defense on another.

The defensive save came 16 minutes in. A pass back to Lapierre, who picked the ball up, drew a whistle from the referee. LaBrie instinctively put the ball down to try and score, but was rebuffed by Lapierre. Max Coury’s second chance was stopped at the goal line by Max Spaulding.

LaBrie helped create the game-winner less than 10 minutes later. He was knocked over with the ball in the box, but the ball found its way to Jack Jones, who blasted a shot into the open net with Lapierre also on the ground.

“(Eric) is really important,” Hagerty said. “Obviously he attracts so much attention that’ll also open up space for kids like Jack, who know where to be, and he tucked the game-winning goal. He doesn’t get that goal if Eric doesn’t draw three defenders and the goalie.”

The Black Raiders had little answer after that, and the Clippers held on for their fourth straight title.

“It’s nice. We didn’t talk about it at all this year, really. It wasn’t a focus,” Hagerty said. “Our focus was if we just play well, the winning will take care of itself.”

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.