ORONO, Maine — The Orono High School’s girls soccer team won its first-ever regional title Wednesday.
Well-respected 26th-year Orono coach Cid Dyjak received first-half goals from Julie Normand and Alex Crocker and the Riots rode them to a 2-1 victory over Madawaska in their Eastern Maine Class C championship game.
The top-seeded Riots, now 11-2-4, will face Western Maine champ Waynflete of Portland, 13-3, in Saturday’s state title game at Hampden Academy at a time to be announced.
The quicker and more skilled Riots dominated all facets of the game, especially in the first half, as they won virtually every 50-50 ball and kept constant pressure on the Owls.
They finished with a 30-9 edge in shots at goal.
A late first-half goal by Valerie Parker gave the Owls some life and they played more aggressively in the second half, led by energetic and talented freshman sweeper Nicole A. Cyr.
But Orono still had the better of the play and Madawaska couldn’t muster an equalizer as timely stops and clearances by junior back Lauren Dwyer and freshman sweeper Caleigh Paul thwarted them.
The Owls were also hurt by the loss of leading scorer (18 goals) Susan Lavertu, who suffered a concussion with 10:58 left in the first half.
Normand’s third goal of the season came 4:31 into the game.
Madawaska goalie Stephanie Nadeau made two nice saves in a flurry before Ruth Mares put a short cross across the goal-mouth where an open Normand one-timed it home.
“I was there when I needed to be. It was a perfect opportunity. I hit it with my left foot,” said Normand.
Crocker’s 16th goal came off a nifty give-and-go with Rachel Cote as Crocker found a channel down the right side.
“It was a perfect ball. It went straight to the near post to me. I brought it up to the goalie, she stepped out too far and my shot hit the far post and went in,” said Crocker.
“That was well-placed,” said Nadeau, who turned in an out-standing 19-save performance.
An unattended Parker scored her fourth of the year with 7:59 left in the half when Kallie Pelletier’s shot deflected over to her and she slid it past Orono goalie Elizabeth Fox.
The Owls had two dangerous free kicks just outside the box in the second half but the first one hit the wall and Fox made a routine save on the second one.
Lavertu usually takes free kicks in scoring areas.
“Our defense was outstanding,” said Fox, who made two saves.
“We ran into a good club,” said Madawaska coach Dan Cyr. “They were very good with the ball. They moved it around us and made us work a little bit. They put pressure on us early. That might have been the difference.”