OAKLAND — Maranda Pulin perfectly capped Foxcroft Academy’s perfect season.

The junior forward scored a natural hat trick to help the Ponies defeat Winthrop and capture the Class C state championship at Messalonskee High School on Saturday. Foxcroft finishes the season 18-0 and claims their first state title since 2013.

“She’s a little squirrel, she gets to that goal cage every time,” Foxcroft coach Stephanie Smith said. “She’s our (leading) scorer this year with the hat trick. She’s feisty and she’s in the right place at the right time.”

Winthrop’s Lindsay Letourneau, left, battles Foxcroft Academy’s Ava Rayfield for the ball during the Class C state championship game against Winthrop on Saturday at Messalonskee High School in Oakland. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Winthrop, which won the 2018 state title and was playing in its third consecutive Class C championship game, finishes the season 16-2.

The Ramblers and Ponies opened the game battling between the 20-yard lines with neither developing a clear advantage.

Midway through the half the Ponies were awarded the game’s first penalty corner. Winthrop goalie Madison Weymouth stopped the first shot, but Poulin put home the rebound for a 1-0 Foxcroft lead.

“When they put that first goal in, it sunk (our) sails a bit, especially since we were having trouble getting it inside the circle,” Winthrop coach Jessica Merrill said.

Foxcroft controlled the play for the next 10 minutes, hitting long drives in hopes of getting tips inside the circle.

The Ramblers’ best offensive chance of the first half came in the final five minutes when they had three straight penalty corners in a two-minute span. Foxcroft defended well, though, and only allowed one shot on those three chances.

“We tried three different formations and tried to mix it up where (our) kids were,” Merrill said. “(Foxcroft) did a better job going to the ball then we did.”

Late in the half the Ponies pressured the Ramblers in the circle, but Weymouth made two key stops to keep the game 1-0 after 30 minutes.

Weymouth made nine saves in the game before being replaced by Eleanor Folsom for the final three minutes of the game.

“She’s a freshman goalie and she has no real formal training,” Merrill said of Weymouth. “For her to do what she did today against a very potent offense, I couldn’t be any happier for her. We had a few breakdowns on the defensive end, and she saved us multiple times. The score could have been a lot different.”

Early in the second half, Poulin again scored off a rebound after a Weymouth save to give Foxcroft a 2-0 lead.

Poulin later completed the natural hat trick by planting herself next to the right post and scoring off a pass by Cassidy Marsh from the top of the circle.

“We scouted her earlier (in the season), we knew it was going to be difficult,” Merrill said. “She moves well, cuts off angles pretty well.”

The Ramblers (16-2) had another stretch of three straight corners midway through the second half, but Foxcroft didn’t allow a shot.

Goalie Abbie Moore made one save for Foxcroft.

Merrill had a clear message to her team, which loses only one senior, Gia Francis, after the game.

“It’s mental, especially with a young team. When (the opponent) takes out what you do well, it’s hard to settle back in,” Merrill said. “We are going to learn from this and we are already saying today is the start of the revenge tour.

“I have only one senior, this is great experience for them for what we have to do moving forward.”


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