The Maine boys high school soccer state championships were played on Saturday, with 10 teams competing across five classes for the chance to take home a gold ball.
Like last year, southern teams emerged victorious in Classes B, C and D, with Greater Bangor’s John Bapst Memorial Crusaders falling to Class B South’s Yarmouth Clippers for the second consecutive time. Meanwhile, Class A North regional champion Lewiston ended up winning it all, giving the city an emotional lift after the pain of last month’s mass shooting.
Saturday also featured the first 8-player soccer state championship game in America, between the No. 1 Carrabec Cobras and the No. 1 Schenck Wolverines. Here’s a recap of the action, ordered by class.
Class A: No. 1 Lewiston beats No. 3 Deering, 3-2 in overtime
The Lewiston Blue Devils won a back-and-forth battle with Deering on Saturday, sealing the win with a Tegra Mbele golden goal roughly 14 minutes into overtime to finish the season with a 15-2-2 record. The two sides had exchanged goals in the first and second halves, with the Rams (12-4-2) managing to neutralize two separate Lewiston one-goal leads.
Mbele’s game-winner was a perfect display of Lewiston’s intelligent and unselfish play. Lewiston’s best shot-taker Mohamed Gebow found Mbele in space, and Mbele smoothly tucked the ball away, right over top of the diving Deering keeper. It was Mbele’s second goal of the game.
“He just placed it,” Lewiston head coach Daniel Gish said. “Our guys wanted to win for the city.”
The win for Lewiston was its fourth state title since 2015, and capped off a wild postseason run in which they edged out Mt. Blue, Edward Little, and powerhouses Camden Hills all by one goal apiece.
“The competition was pretty stiff,” Gish said. “We were tested, but this championship was four years in the making. Our guys have come a long way, working off the ball and moving together as a team. They put their egos aside and just love each other.”
Class B: No. 1 Yarmouth beats No. 1 John Bapst, 7-0
Looking to avenge their 3-2 state championship loss to Yarmouth last year, the John Bapst Crusaders were stunned on Saturday, as the Clippers cruised to their fourth straight Class B title — and eighth in the last nine years.
Yarmouth scored its first goal in just 29 seconds, and built a commanding 3-0 lead 15 minutes into the game. It was a team effort for the Clippers, whose first five goals were scored by different players. They finished with 15 shots on goal, compared with John Bapst’s five.
“Their attack was just so fast,” back-to-back Penobscot Valley Coach of the Year Jason Pangburn of John Bapst said. “We couldn’t press them effectively, and we were clearly rattled early on. They were as good as advertised, but we didn’t feel like they were seven goals better.”
The Crusaders graduated nine of their starting 11 last year — including All-New England midfielders Hunter Clukey and Jon Pangburn — but reloaded with a healthy JV program, All-Conference junior transfer Ethan Marquis from Hampden and All-Conference senior exchange student Jose Codacci-Pierallini from Italy.
“We’ve got a fantastic group of kids,” Pangburn said. “They’re committed, intelligent, and want to be coached. Our program’s in a pretty good spot right now.”
Class C: No. 1 Mount Abram beats No. 4 George Stevens Academy, 1-0
Led by All-Conference first-teamers Reed Pambianco, Fred Coit and Haven Smith, George Stevens Academy shocked the Class C North opposition this postseason — outscoring Washington Academy, Bucksport and Mount View by a combined 9-1 — and became the lowest seed this fall to make a state final.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, their underdog run came to an end on Saturday against the 18-0 Roadrunners, who achieved their 15th shutout this season. It was Mount Abram’s first ever state championship title, and GSA’s first championship appearance since 2002.
The Roadrunners had five shots on goal in the first half, and three corner kicks. It was on their third corner kick, 16:05 into the game, that Mt. Abram scored their only goal, off a deflection from a GSA player. The Eagles retaliated with a strong second half, but it wasn’t enough to get past the Roadrunners’ stalwart defense.
Class D: No. 2 Monmouth Academy beats No. 1 Easton, 5-3
The Monmouth Mustangs won their first boys soccer state championship since 2000 on Saturday, putting on a strong offensive performance against the Easton Bears.
Recently recovering from a knee injury, senior Patrick Strout scored a hat trick to help secure the win — including two goals in two minutes — to help the Mustangs take a 5-0 lead. Senior Brandon Smith also scored his 36th goal of the season, tying a program record.
Strout opened the scoring five minutes into play, on a nice solo play in the box. Junior Sam Calder got Monmouth’s other first half goal 21 minutes later, on a header off a throw-in. On defense, Mustang keeper Ezekiel Delmore had three saves.
The Bears lost star defender Blake King to injury last week, and struggled to get their passing game going early on. Easton managed to convert on three successful penalty kicks in the dying minutes of the game, but it was too little too late for senior Owen Sweeney (two goals) and company. A high school of only 67 students, it was Easton’s first state championship appearance.
8-player: No. 1 Carrabec beats No. 1 Schenck, 1-0
The Carrabec Cobras achieved perfection on Saturday, winning their 18th game without a loss this season with their victory over Schenck/Stearns. It was Carrabec’s second boys soccer state championship, and the nation’s first 8-player soccer state final.
The game itself was a defensive battle, with both teams combining for only seven shots on goal. In the 11th minute, senior Christopher Caruso scored the game’s only goal, driving into the attacking third with the ball and making his move in the box. It was one of Carrabec’s five shots on goal, also hitting the upright a few minutes later.