Hermon High School goes into the girls soccer playoffs undefeated for the third time in coach M.J. Ball’s six seasons.
The Hawks (14-0) await No. 9 Ellsworth (6-8-1) for a 5 p.m. Class B North quarterfinal Tuesday.
Hermon, the 2015 Class B North champion, seeks the program’s first state title.
“I knew we would be competitive, but I had no idea we’d be this competitive,” said Ball, who graduated 12 players and had only three returning starters.
“We had to plug a lot of holes. This shows the quality of the players and the work ethic they have,” he added.
Ball believes this group has developed a special camaraderie.
“They work extra hard for each other,” he said. “No one cares who gets the goals and assists.”
Sophomore forward Sydney Gallop followed up her 26-goal, 18-assist freshman season with 32 goals and 8 assists so far this season. She has been complemented up front by freshman Lyndsee Reed, who registered eight goals and 12 assists.
Freshman midfielders Allison Cameron (3 goals, 9 assists) and Michaela Saulter (3 & 6) have also been noteworthy contributors to the attack as has senior Grace Page (3 & 6).
Versatile sophomore Madison Higgins has been a standout on the back line along with senior Paige Plissey and freshman Allyson Coxson.
Sophomore goalkeeper Megan Tracy has allowed only eight goals and has seven shutouts.
“[Tracy] has played very well. She has come up with big saves when we’ve needed them,” Ball said.
Hermon beat Ellsworth 1-0 and 5-1 during the regular season.
The other top seeds in the North are defending state champ Fort Kent in Class C and Penobscot Valley of Howland in D.
The 11-1-2 Warriors entertain No. 8 Dexter (9-6) as they eye a fourth regional title in eight years while Penobscot Valley of Howland (13-1) hosts No. 9 Madawaska (6-9), both on Tuesday.
Defending two-time Class B North titlist Presque Isle (9-4-1) is the fourth seed and hosts John Bapst of Bangor (9-4-1) on Tuesday, and last year’s D North champion, Central Aroostook of Mars Hill (11-3), is the third seed and entertains No. 6 Katahdin of Stacyville (11-3-1).