PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Maranacook Community High School girls varsity soccer team became Class C state champions after the Black Bears defeated the Bucksport Golden Bucks 5-0 in the state championship on Saturday.
The game was a clash of North versus South, with the best of both regions vying for a shot at the title.
The game had a strong concentration of action at the middle of the pitch, with both teams having quick advances and tradeoffs.
Maranacook secured the lead in the first half with impressive communication and ball control. Pushing through the Bucksport defenses, Maranacook’s Emily Harper netted the first goal for the team, with an assist by Anna Erb.
The Black Bears kept up the momentum in the first half, and continued to put the pressure on Bucksport. Keeping up the assault, Grace Dwyer scored Maranacook’s second goal at 19:36.
Thanks to impressive communication and defense, Maranacook prevented Bucksport from scoring in the first half.
In the second half, the Black Bears increased the divide. After a couple of close calls from Bucksport, Maranacook retaliated at 22:46 with a goal from Addie Watson.
Another goal came in from Emily Harper at 11:37, her 35th and final goal of the season.
Maranacook finished with a final goal from Ella Schmidt at 6:20, with an assist from Natalie Mohlar.
With the final buzzer going off, Maranacoo had successfully become champions without allowing the Golden Bucks to score.
“I thought that we had a rough start,” Bucksport head coach Mike Garcelon said. “Nerves probably got the best of us early on, and we weren’t ourselves while attacking. We were more defensive minded today than we had been in a while. Eventually, the offense got us, but their number 11 [Emily Harper] was absolutely amazing today, one of the best strikers we have seen. They are a great team, and they deserve what they got, and we will be back another year.”
“Our team all year long, we thought we had the talent to do this,” Maranacook head coach Travis Manusson said. “Bucksport gave us a great game early, I think that our pressure got to them in the last 20 minutes there, but they made some great runs, and they really put us on our heels.They have a really good team with some really good players, so this one felt really good.”