Waynflete junior Lydia Giguere collides with Orono senior goalkeeper Katelyn Richards during the teams’ Class C girls’ soccer state final Saturday afternoon in Hampden. The Flyers lost to the Red Riots for the second year in a row, 2-0.
Ashley L. Conti / Bangor Daily News photos.
Orono’s girls’ soccer team shows off the Gold Ball after Saturday’s win.
More photos below.
HAMPDEN—Once again, Waynflete’s girls’ soccer team battled Orono in the Class C state final.
And once again, the Flyers dug a 2-0 hole.
But unfortunately, this time, Waynflete couldn’t respond and as a result, its spirited playoff run fell one win shy of a coveted Gold Ball.
For the second year in a row.
Saturday afternoon at Hampden Academy, the Flyers and Red Riots met in the state game for the third time in four seasons and as was the case in 2013 and 2015, Orono got the first goal, as senior Rebecca Lopez-Anido took a pass from senior Lizzie White and scored in the 24th minute.
Following script, the Red Riots went ahead, 2-0, just 110 seconds into the second half, when White finished senior Brinsley Chasse’s corner kick.
At that point, everyone on hand expected Waynflete to rally, as it did three years ago en route to a double overtime win, and again last fall, when it forced double overtime only to lose, but this time, despite a flurry of late chances, the Flyers never could find the net and Orono held on to win, 2-0.
The Red Riots won their second straight Class C championship, finished the season 14-1-3 and ended Waynflete’s campaign at 11-5-2 in the process.
“We had some chances we couldn’t put away,” lamented Flyers coach Todd Dominski. “If we got one (goal), we might have made more noise at the end of the game. Still, we’ve had a great couple weeks. This doesn’t define our season. We had a great run. It’s been fun.”
Considering their recent success, it’s not surprising that Orono and Waynflete have become regular November acquaintances.
Since the Flyers moved up to Class C a little over a decade ago, they have reached the state final four times and on three of those previous occasions, they found Orono standing in their way (see sidebar, below, for previous state game results).
The first meeting came in 2008, when Waynflete won with relative ease, 4-1. The second came in 2013 and Orono grabbed an early 2-0 lead, but the Flyers rallied to tie and in the second overtime, Esme Benson gave Waynflete the 3-2 victory. Last year, Waynflete again fell behind, 2-0, again rallied to tie and force OT, but this time the Red Riots got the decisive goal in the second extra session.
This fall, both teams rose to the occasion.
Orono won 10 games, tied Houlton twice and Central once and lost to defending Class B North champion Hermon. As the top seed in Class C North, the Red Riots defeated eighth-ranked George Stevens Academy (5-1), No. 4 Bucksport (4-0) and second-seeded Houlton (2-1) to advance.
Waynflete, due to its challenging schedule, had some speed-bumps, but ultimately ended up 8-4-2 (see sidebar, below, for previous game stories). The Flyers then embarked on another stirring playoff run from a low seed, in this case fifth in Class C South, as they ousted No. 4 Lisbon, 2-0, in the quarterfinals, rallied to stun top-ranked Monmouth Academy, 2-1, in the semifinals on junior Lydia Giguere’s winner, then rallied again to knock off No. 2 Madison, 2-1, in Wednesday’s regional final.
Saturday afternoon, on a brisk and chilly 47 degree day, Waynflete hoped to capture its ninth state championship, while Orono sought and eventually won its second Gold Ball in five all-time state game appearances.
The Flyers couldn’t generate any offense for nearly 30 minutes, but managed to hold the Red Riots off for awhile.
The first scoring chance came in the eighth minute when Chasse sent the ball into the side netting.
In the 10th minute, Orono earned its first corner kick and the ball sat free in front of the goal for a few anxious seconds before Waynflete cleared it.
With 24:18 remaining in the first half, Lopez-Anido’s rush into the box was broken up by Flyers senior back Annika Brooks.
Three minutes later, Chasse sent a shot on goal, but Waynflete senior goalkeeper Ali Pope made the save.
The Red Riots broke through with 16:33 to play in the half, as White passed to Lopez-Anido, who had some room in the box and Lopez-Anido fired a hard, low shot to a diving Pope’s right and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
“We’ve been working on finding gaps in practice and Lizzie gave me a nice, crisp pass,” said Lopez-Anido.
Orono almost doubled its lead 43 seconds later, but a Lopez-Anido’s shot in the box was blocked by Flyers sophomore back Sophie Sangster.
After a Red Riots’ corner kick was cleared, Waynflete finally generated some offense.
With 11:05 to play in the half, Giguere produced the Flyers’ first shot, but it went wide.
A little over a minute later, Giguere’s free kick went just wide.
With 9:33 remaining, Waynflete’s first shot on frame, from junior Ava Farrar, was saved by Orono senior goalkeeper Katelyn Richards.
Two minutes later, the Flyers had their lone corner kick of the first half, but senior Isabel Canning’s serve was headed out by White.
With 5:08 left, Farrar shot just wide and the Red Riots took a 1-0 lead to halftime.
In the first half, Orono had a 2-1 edge in both shots on frame and corner kicks.
When the second half began, it didn’t take long for the Red Riots to double their lead.
Orono got the ball and pressured and earned a corner kick and with 38:10 left, Chasse’s serve was booted home by an unmarked White to make it 2-0.
“We’ve worked a lot on one-timing Brinsley’s corners,” White said. “I wasn’t marked and I knocked it in with my knee.”
“I always look for Lizzie on corners,” said Chasse.
“We got taken out of any rhythm we could have been in in the first half and we got in a hole and giving up a second goal didn’t help,” Dominski said. “We’ve come back before, but being behind, 2-0, isn’t a recipe for success.”
The Flyers spent the rest of the game looking to answer, but despite some great chances, couldn’t put the ball in the goal.
With 34:20 to play, Waynflete got a corner kick and the ball came in front to freshman Sophi Aronson, who was robbed point blank by Richards.
Five minutes later, the Flyers had another corner kick, which was headed out by Orono sophomore Lauren Melanson to freshman Emily Boedecker, who shot wide.
Pope kept her team alive with 27:40 to go, as she dove to rob Chasse on a long free kick. Pope punched out the ensuing Red Riots’ corner kick.
With 24:29 left, Waynflete went back on the attack, but Giguere’s shot was saved and a minute later, Boedecker shot wide.
With 22:16 to go, Giguere crossed the ball in front and both Farrar and Aronson had a chance to knock it in, but neither could get a clean touch.
After a Flyers’ corner kick didn’t result in a shot, Giguere’s floater from 25 yards out was saved by Richards with 12:12 remaining.
Waynflete came within inches of a goal with 10:13 left, as Farrar sent a header past Richards and the ball rolled in slow motion toward the goal, but at the last second, Orono sophomore Brooklynne White kicked it off the line.
Another Flyers’ flurry saw freshman Clara Sandberg’s shot blocked, Canning’s blast tipped out for a corner and a Canning shot on that ensuing corner land just over the crossbar on the netting.
Waynflete’s final chance came with 4:03 to play, as a left-footed shot from junior Amelia Bertaska was snared by Richards.
From there, the Red Riots controlled the ball and had a couple shots of their own before celebrating their 2-0 victory.
“We were a little slow to start, but once we got in a rhythm, I was proud of how we played,” Canning said. “We kept fighting. We played a full 80 minutes. It was a state championship game. Even with five minutes left, I felt like we could win. I didn’t walk off the field with any regrets.”
“They have good players and they went to the ball hard,” Dominski said. “They’re a heck of a team. That’s why they’re state champs again.”
The Flyers finished with an 8-7 edge in shots on frame and took six corner kicks to five for Orono, but Richards made eight saves to Pope’s five.
“We wanted to prove that (last year) wasn’t a fluke,” Richards said.
“I think this was the best game we’ve played all season,” Chasse said. “We put everything together. We worked hard as a team. I couldn’t be happier and more proud.”
Waynflete loses Canning, Pope, Annika Brooks and Elisabeth Lualdi to graduation.
“We’ve been through a lot and that brought us together,” Canning said. “We all play with our hearts and it shows on the field. I was a part of this since middle school watching my sister (Sofia). Winning states freshman year was such a gift. I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything from not winning since because I have all these great teammates.”
“We had great leadership,” Dominski said. “Isabel is our heart and soul. She’s pretty much run the defense since she was a freshman. Ali worked two years just to become keeper and has played great the past two years. Annika Brooks didn’t play varsity to start, but stuck around and was fantastic at outside defense. Elisabeth was always positive and always worked hard. They all had a positive impact on our team.”
Everyone else returns and the Flyers will likely add some impact players by the time they take the field again in August.
Look for Waynflete to make another title run in 2017 and perhaps this time, it will get back to the pinnacle.
“We have experience and we’ll continue to fight and try to get back to this spot,” said Dominski, who needs two victories for 100 with the program. “That’s always the goal.”
Bangor Daily News staff writer Larry Mahoney contributed to this story.
Waynflete senior goalkeeper Ali Pope goes to the turf to make one of her five saves.
Waynflete’s freshman Emily Boedecker battles Orono senior Brinsley Chasse for the ball.
Waynflete junior Ava Farrar heads the ball away from Orono senior Maggie Dichard.
Orono senior Daphne Murphy kicks the ball away from Waynflete sophomore Sophie Sangster.
Waynflete senior Annika Brooks, left, and freshman Clara Sandberg try to defend Orono senior Rebecca Lopez-Anido.
Waynflete senior Elisabeth Lualdi is stymied by Orono junior Becca Gallandt.
Orono 3 Waynflete 2 (2 OT)
Waynflete 3 Orono 2 (2 OT)
Waynflete 3 Ft. Kent 2
Waynflete 4 Orono 1
Waynflete 2 Lee Academy 1 (7-6 PKs)
Lee Academy 4 Waynflete 0
Waynflete 3 Lee Academy 0
Waynflete 1 Wisdom 0
Waynflete 2 Ashland 0
Waynflete 3 Greenville 0
Orono 3 Waynflete 2 (2 OT)
Waynflete 3 Orono 2 (2 OT)
Georges Valley 1 Orono 0
Waynflete 4 Orono 1