OAKLAND — Monmouth is bringing home a state championship in boys soccer for the first time since 2000.

Paced by Patrick Strout’s hat trick, the Mustangs defeated Easton 5-3 to earn the Class D boys soccer title Saturday at Messalonskee High School.

“It feels amazing. It’s hard to put into words,” said, Strout, who had injured his right knee late in the season and finally started feeling 100 percent this week.

Brandon Smith scored a goal, his 36th of the season, to tie Hayden Fletcher’s single-season program scoring record.

“It felt amazing — we have been working for this all four years,” Smith said of winning the state title. “The boys have had a great season, and this is a great way to finish it off in your senior year.”

The Monmouth soccer team features several players who played for the baseball team that won the Class C state championship in June. Their state game experience nearly five months ago helped the Mustangs capture its first boys soccer state title in 23 years.


“Coming off the baseball state championship, we had the same expectations this season,” Smith said. “It was good to have some guys who had experience from baseball to come play in this game. It helped a lot.”

Easton coach Ryan Shaw was pleased with the way the Bears (14-2-2) battled for 80 minutes, especially after losing defender Blake King to injury last week.

“I am proud of them,” Shaw said. “We are from a school with 67 students, we are playing schools three times our size, some of them have tuition students … These kids have worked since they were that high,” he said as he held his hand 3-4 feet off the ground, “and we lost one of the best backs in the state last week.”

Strout’s first goal came when he broke through the 18-yard box by battling through some Easton defenders, and fired a shot past Bears goalie Jamie Mackay (eight saves) in the fifth minute of the first half.

“It was a really special feeling,” Strout said. “I have been working to get back to fitness. Tonight, me and coach (Joe Fletcher) talked about being your best. It was an amazing feeling putting that first one in.”

The Class D South champion Mustangs (16-1-1) continued to pepper the Bears in the first half, including Dalton Comeau’s 35-yard boot that hit the crossbar, and Strout creating another opportunity, to no avail, midway through.


“We didn’t establish our passing game, which we are known for and have done well all year,” Shaw said. “The game got a little long for us and we didn’t settle in, but they are a quick team.”

Monmouth coach Joe Fletcher said the Bears used a defense the Mustangs weren’t accustomed to.

“We watched a lot of film of them, and they sit back and cut passing angles,” Joe Fletcher said. “We felt like we’d have a little more time on the ball. It’s not a style we are used to; we are used to high-pressured defense.”

Sam Calder knocked in the second goal with a header off a throw-in in the 26th minute for a 2-0 lead, which Monmouth took into halftime.

“Calder is a big threat on those long throws and corners,” Joe Fletcher said. “We like to take advantage of that.”

Easton’s Stephen Summerson had the first scoring chance in the second half when he tracked down a loose ball and fired a shot that was stopped by Monmouth keeper Ezekiel Delmore (three saves).


The Bears had another opportunity in the fourth minute when the ball bounced around the box. Dawson Lamoreau then had a 32-yard kick, which was curling inside the crossbar, but was tipped away by Delmore.

“We had that early chance, and at halftime, we said that wasn’t our half, that’s not the way we play,” Shaw said. “We came out and tried to establish that early and had a couple of chances but couldn’t bury them.”

Monmouth settled things down and regained control. Midway through the second half, the ball was sent into the box and Smith battled through teammates and opponents to put it into the goal.

“Honestly, it was a lucky bounce,” Smith said. “Not the goal I pictured to score, but you will take them anyway you can.”

Strout added goals in the 26th and 27th minutes off feeds by Smith for a 5-0 lead.

Owen Sweeney scored on a penalty kick in the 28th minute to get the Bears on the board.


“He’s been unbelievable,” Shaw said. “I have coached for 24 years, and he’s the best player I have ever coached.”

After Monmouth subbed the entire team in the final minutes, Easton got two more penalty kicks in the final two minutes, on which Sweeney scored his second goal of the game and Augustus Bonner also found the back of the net.

“I wanted everyone to get a feel for it, and get an opportunity,” Joe Fletcher said of the entire team playing.

The state title is the Mustangs’ third. Their 2000 Class D championship was a repeat of their 1999 title.

“I am so happy for coach. I am so happy for my teammates,” Strout said. “They are a very special group of guys and I wanted to help them in any way I could.”

Related Headlines

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.