The Mount Desert Island girls soccer team hadn’t allowed a goal in three matches along its upset-fueled run to Wednesday’s Class B North championship match at Hampden Academy.
Then the Trojans had to face top-ranked and undefeated Hermon.
Sydney Gallop and Lyndsee Reed each scored twice as the high-powered Hawks broke through the MDI defense for four first-half goals and went on to a 6-0 victory over MDI to capture their second straight regional title and fourth in the last 10 years.
“We just really tried to start out strong and get at it with intensity in the beginning and keep it throughout the whole game,” said Reed, a junior striker.
This may be the most dominant of the Hawks’ recent championship runs, which also included regional crowns in 2012, 2015 and 2019, as coach M.J. Ball’s club outscored their three North playoff opponents this year by a combined 24-0 and were rarely threatened in the defensive end by MDI.
“Last year would have been a very good team and this year is even better,” Ball said. “This senior class went 50-1-1 in the regular season, and they’re playing really well right now. We’re peaking at the right time, everyone’s healthy and fit, and we’re really looking forward to Saturday.”
That’s when Hermon (17-0) will face the best of the South for the state championship in a 3 p.m. start at Massabesic High School in Waterboro. The Hawks, seeking their first state title, will play the winner of Wednesday’s Class B South final between two-time defending state champion and top-ranked Cape Elizabeth (15-1) and No. 2 Yarmouth (15-1-1).
Hermon is now 34-1 over the last two full soccer seasons, with the only loss a 4-0 decision to Cape Elizabeth in the 2019 state final.
Tenth-seeded MDI, which won three postseason contests without yielding a goal after winning just four games during the regular season, finishes the fall with a 7-11 record.
Hermon immediately began pressing its attack against the Trojans and cashed in to take a 1-0 lead 7:58 into the contest.
From left: Hermon’s Sydney Gallop scores past MDI’s goalie Sabine Costello-Sanders; Hermon’s Lyndsee Reed and Costello-Sanders go up for the ball in the first half of the girls Class B North championship game. [Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN]
MDI had just completed its initial foray into the offensive end and generated its first shot, a long-range bid from the left wing that Hermon sophomore goalie Bella Bowden gathered in off the foot of a teammate.
The Hawks quickly advanced the ball downfield, with Allie Cameron sending the ball ahead to Reed, who centered the ball to Gallop near the 18-yard line. Gallop split two defenders with the dribble, leaving her alone to touch the ball to the left of MDI goalie Sabine Costello-Sanders.
Hermon soon took complete control with three goals within a 5-minute, 54-second span midway through the period.
First Cameron struck on a 25-yard blast from the right wing to the far corner of the net with 23:43 left in the half.
Senior Madison Higgins struck four minutes later after MDI was unable to clear the ball from its defensive end. Higgins gained control in the center of the field, then took several uncontested dribbles toward the goal before drilling a shot into the lower left corner of the net.
A Gallop-to-Gallop connection stretched the Hermon lead to 3-0 with 17:49 left until intermission. Freshman Brooke Gallop briefly dribbled along the right wing, then lined a centering pass that older sister Sydney one-timed into the net from the center of the penalty area for her school-record 112th career goal to make it 4-0.
Hermon finished the half with a 16-4 shots advantage.
“We wanted to come out on the front foot and send a message in the first 10 minutes, and in that first half our girls really came out to play,” Ball said.
Hermon wasted little time in building off that momentum after intermission, as the Hawks advanced the opening possession into the offensive end and Reed blasted a left-foot shot from 15 yards away off Costello-Sanders’ right hand and into the net to extend the lead to 5-0.
Reed’s next shot produced her second goal of the game barely five minutes later as she ran down a long lead pass from Sydney Gallop and blasted a shot from the right side of the net across the goal crease and inside the left post for a six-goal margin that instituted the running-time rule.
Hermon finished with a 25-5 shots advantage, with Bowden making four stops for the Hawks and Costello-Sanders saving seven shots for MDI.