The Hermon High School Hawks began their quest for a third straight Class B North championship on Tuesday night by showing why they have averaged nearly seven goals a game this season.
The top-seeded Hawks ran their winning streak against North regional opponents to 57 games with an 8-0 victory over eighth seed John Bapst Memorial High School from Bangor at Cameron Stadium in Bangor.
Hermon, which had scored 88 goals in its 14 regular season games, built a 4-0 lead in the first half as freshman striker Madison Stewart scored a pair of goals and senior midfielders Allie Cameron and Michaela Saulter scored the others.
Senior striker Lyndsee Reed scored her 97th, 98th and 99th career goals in the second half and senior midfielder Jaylin Hills also had a second-half tally.
Reed’s last goal came with 12 seconds left in the game.
The Crusaders had some decent spells of possession in the first half and generated a couple of promising forays into the attacking third.
But they were only able to muster one shot at goal, which was saved by Bella Bowden.
Meanwhile, the Hawks were much more dangerous and opportunistic.
They had 15 shots at goal, of which eight were on goal and four of those eight found the back of the net.
Pivotal plays: The first two goals of the game were from outside the penalty area and came in the first 10 minutes.
Cameron’s game-opening goal was a 30-yarder from the right side that found the upper far corner past sophomore goalkeeper Kristin Judkins.
Stewart was 22 yards out when she converted with a similar shot to the far corner.
Freshman Grace Bouchard replaced Judkins in goal for John Bapst.
Stewart scored her second of the game off a Saulter pass.
Bouchard came out to confront the unmarked Stewart and got her hands on the shot but Stewart’s shot was well-struck and carried into the net.
Saulter polished off the first-half scoring after Bouchard had made a great save off Stewart, who was set up by Reed.
The rebound rolled to the top of the penalty area and Saulter calmly directed it into the vacant net.
Hermon had 33 shots to John Bapst’s five. Bowden made three saves while Judkins and Bouchard combined for seven.
Big takeaway: The Hawks are the class of Class B North. They have speed and skill all over the field. They are tenacious on the ball and have a ton of attack-minded players so when they gain possession, they counter-attack swiftly.
And they have players who know how to finish when they create a scoring chance.
John Bapst played better than the score indicated.
They have a number of quality players and several will return, including juniors Sydney Legasse, Aubrey Hanscom, Anna Drake and Jenna Perkins along with sophomore Claire Gaetani.
The Crusaders, who ended the season 6-6-3 with three of those losses to Hermon, had an excellent work rate and should be a team to watch next season.
Up next: Hermon will host Oceanside of Rockland on Saturday at an artificial turf field in the Bangor area, probably Cameron Stadium.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly the John Bapst goalie who replaced Judkins. The goalie was freshman Grace Bouchard. The story has been updated.