The Bucksport High School girls soccer team remembered last year’s state Class C championship game and didn’t want a repeat.
The Bucks were beaten 5-0 by Maranacook High School of Readfield.
The Bucks got another crack at Maranacook and weren’t going to be denied, using a dominant first-half performance and goals from junior Natasha Monreal and senior Alyx Frazell to win their first state title, 2-1, at the Hampden Academy field.
The Bucks were much more aggressive than Maranacook in the first half and won virtually every 50-50 ball. They finished with an 11-2 edge in shot attempts over the first 40 minutes.
The desperate Black Bears, playing with a sense of urgency in the second half, stormed the Bucksport penalty area but squandered a number of chances by shooting wide or high.
And Bucksport goalkeeper Jetta Shook made a tremendous save midway through the half when she dashed off her goal line to smother a break-in with her chest.
Maranacook senior sweeper Sophia Tweedie moved up front in the latter stages of the game and scored off a rebound with 1:29 remaining but the Bucks held on to complete an 18-0 campaign.
Marancook wound up 16-1-1.
“We played unbelievably well, especially in the first half,” said Bucksport coach Mike Garcelon. “We knew we needed to do that today to be in the game. That was the difference last year. They beat us to every 50-50 ball.”
Left midfielder Monreal opened the scoring. Addison Goss took a corner kick and it deflected to Madison Rose. Rose took a shot from the right side that was blocked and it came back to her so she took another one that deflected over to Sam Cyr.
“Sam passed it to me and I found the opportunity to surprisingly use my right foot and I kicked it in the goal,” said Monreal, who is left-footed and scored from 8 yards out.
An Ella Hosford corner produced the second goal as the corner ricocheted over to right midfielder Frazell and she swept it inside the near post with the inside of her left foot from 10 yards out.
“I think it deflected over to me and it hit my left foot and went up top,” Frazell said.
Shook finished with four saves on 11 shot attempts and Kaleigh Kubicki made five on 14.
“We’ve all been playing together since we were 8 and now, our senior year, to finally do it and to get that gold ball feels amazing,” said Hosford, who followed her schoolgirl-record 61-goal season of a year ago with 33 more this season.
Hosford said the Bucks knew they had to establish themselves in the first half.
“We knew we had to win every 50-50 ball and we had to challenge everything and we had to come out fast and step on them. We had to prove we wanted it more than they did,” said Hosford, who rattled a shot off the crossbar in the first 10 minutes of the contest.
Maranacook coach Travis Magnusson said that this was the first time his team had been behind all season long.
“This was not one of our best games but I still believe we’re one of the best teams in the state, any class,” Magnusson said. “The wind was a factor in the first half and Bucksport was really aggressive and really good on the 50-50 balls. They got the ball up in the air and we didn’t respond as well in the first half.”
Bucksport turned in a stellar defensive performance behind Allie Pickering, Nettie Fox, Cyr, Rylee Coombs and Lanie Stubbs.
They limited Maranacook’s time and space on the ball until late in the contest when Maranacook was getting numbers forward to try and climb back into the game.