Howler Holly Loring (left) makes a steal for the soccer ball against Hornet Macy MacLean during the Maine Principals Association Class D championship at the Gehrig T. Johnson Athletic Complex in Presque Isle. Credit: Paul Bagnall / The Star-Herald

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The No. 3 Ashland Hornets played a tough game against the No. 1 Penobscot Valley Howlers on Tuesday under the lights with a final score 1-0.

It was a battle for the Class D North championship game at Presque Isle Middle School and the Hornets, fresh off an upset win against undefeated Wisdom in the semifinals, while the Howlers had an incredible undefeated season.

The first half had both Ashland and Penobscot battling over the ball with multiple shots coming from both teams, though neither scored.

In the second half, Penobscot Valley’s Lila Cummings scored an unassisted goal to take the lead 1-0 at 25:22 in the game. The Hornets tried to fight back the rest of the game but couldn’t find the opportunity to score as the Howlers ran down the clock.

“We had a couple of chances to get the lead early in the game in the first half and we came up a little short. I think had we got the lead, [it] might’ve changed the complexion of how the game went,” said Ashland coach Pete Belskis.

The Hornets (13-4) had 68 goals scored in the regular season while the Howlers (14-0-1) racked up 101 goals during their season, along with the winning goal for the Class D North championship.

“In the summer at the beginning of the season we knew we had talent, but we didn’t know quite how far we could go. [Penobscot girls] are a great group and they’re exceeding expectations every day,” said Penobscot Valley coach Jeremy Durost.

Durost said he was surprised that they wouldn’t be facing Wisdom, with no disrespect to Ashland, mentioning that the championship game was a dog fight.

Penobscot Valley advances to the Class D state championship game against Richmond, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 12:30 p.m. at Deering High School in Portland.