EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — Southern Aroostook’s dream of a Class D state title became a reality Saturday at Schenck High School when Elizabeth Goodall scored in the waning minutes of overtime to beat Greenville 1-0 and give the Warriors the school’s first state girls soccer crown.
The victory seemed like a dream come true for Southern Aroostook co-captains Brittany Charette and Emma Senzek, the team’s lone seniors.
“This is beyond a fantasy, this is that and more. I can’t believe it,” center-fullback Senzek said.
Southern Aroostook came agonizingly close often to getting on the board, especially in the middle stages of the second half when a shot from Goodall at the top of the penalty area struck the crossbar.
The junior forward got redemption with 1:32 remaining in overtime, as she took a pass from Jasmine Rockwell amidst a crowded goalmouth and struck it past Lakers’ goalie Sidney Richardson.
Then, the celebration was on.
“I just kicked it right in, I wanted it so bad I just drilled it in,” Goodall said.
Striker Charette added, “We came so close several times, we were just so frustrated because the ball would be literally inches away from the net.”
The sequence started when SAHS was awarded a direct kick after the Lakers committed a handball.
The Warriors, who finished 16-1-1, had the greater of the scoring chances and dominated the midfield. The Lakers, however, had some chances but couldn’t communicate on some crosses while Southern Aroostook’s backs were quick to clear the ball out.
“Everybody had their chances on both sides,” said Greenville coach Mike Drinkwater, whose club wound up 8-2-4. “We had some roll across no one was able to get to in time. It was a matter of who was going to get the first one.”
The Warriors got superior play out of junior goalkeeper Emily Cummings, who made two saves on six Greenville shots while constantly scooping up loose balls inside the penalty area.
Southern Aroostook’s three-line defensive scheme also helped thwart the Lakers.
“Coach knew going into this game that defense would be the key. They did a remarkable job,” said Charette.
Once the game headed into the extra session, the Warriors relaxed, knowing that they had been in a similar situation earlier this postseason.
“We know what it’s like to go out there and just dominate. We’ve been in double-overtime before, we know what it’s like to pull through a game like that,” Charette said.
Saturday’s victory was special for Charette.
“No words can describe it. I mean I couldn’t even talk after we won, I just stood there crying,” she said with a wide smile. “That’s all I could do was cry because our team came together.”
Senzek added, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we finally achieved it.”
Richardson finished with five saves for Greenville.