ROCKPORT, Maine — After an untimely quarterfinal exit from the Eastern Maine Class B playoffs a year ago, the Camden Hills boys soccer team has been determined not to let any opportunity pass it by this fall.
Halfway through their regular-season schedule, that strategy is an understatement — the Windjammers are unbeaten.
Jimmy Weferling scored three goals and Andy Stevic added two goals and an assist Wednesday as Camden Hills improved to 7-0 with a 6-0 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference victory over Gardiner at Don Palmer Field.
Steven Ford contributed a goal and an assist for the Windjammers, while Peter Doubleday had two assists and Graham Safford had one assist.
Gardiner entered the game with a 5-1 record but was no match for coach Mike Grey’s club, which outshot the Tigers 29-7.
“This was probably our best game so far, but we’ve been pretty consistent the whole time,” said Weferling. “We knew this was a statement game. We think we really haven’t been given as much respect as we deserve and we know Gardiner’s a good team, so we knew we had to come out and beat a good team.”
Weferling, a junior striker, was the offensive linchpin in a balanced Camden Hills attack that featured short, crisp passing and a dominance of the midfield.
“We played pretty well,” said Grey. “Our passing game’s coming together. Defensively we were getting back and we’re tightening up some things there. All in all, I’m pretty happy with the way we played today. We played together, we ran off the ball, and all the things we’ve been working on are coming together.”
Camden Hills took a 1-0 lead 5:23 into the game. Rylan Cates initiated the play with a long throw-in from the left wing that carried to Doubleday near the 18-yard line. Doubleday headed the ball beyond a defender toward the goal to Weferling, who skimmed a header under the crossbar and past Gardiner goalie Kaleb Smith.
Near constant Camden Hills pressure was rewarded again with 21:03 left in the first half when Weferling converted a penalty kick after freshman Sam Predham was tripped by Smith on a one-on-one play near the goal.
The Windjammers extended their lead to 3-0 before intermission, as Ford sent Stevic in alone on Smith and the sophomore drew the Gardiner goalie out of the crease before grounding a shot into the net.
Ford scored early in the second half after Dylan Morong crossed the ball to Stevic in the middle of the field, and Stevic shielded the ball from a defender until Ford made a run on the left wing. Stevic made the pass ahead, and Ford took one dribble before scoring.
Doubleday sent Weferling in on a breakaway to make it 5-0 with 5:27 left in the match, and Stevic added his second goal after taking a lead pass from Safford to round out the scoring three minutes later.
Derek Drechsler and Ian Cushing combined to make four saves in goal for Camden Hills as the Windjammers posted their fourth shutout of the season.
Smith and Ryan Almen combined to save 11 shots for Gardiner.
“Today was a typical day,” said Doubleday, one of six senior starters for Camden Hills. “Today and for the rest of the season every game we’re just going to go hard. One team, one goal, to go to the championship.”