HAMPDEN, Maine — The Fort Kent boys soccer team arrived at the Weatherbee Complex on Saturday enthused about the program’s first appearance in a state championship match in 28 years.
But undefeated St. Dominic of Auburn, just two years removed from winning it all, wasted little time in subduing that enthusiasm, scoring just 52 seconds after the opening kickoff en route to a 4-1 victory over the Warriors in the Class C state final.
St. Dominic built a 3-0 halftime lead, then scored just 49 seconds into the second half to thwart any hopes of a comeback by the Eastern Maine champions.
“We came out a bit flat. I think the boys were a little bit overwhelmed on this stage, and this being the first time here for us in quite a while,” said Fort Kent coach Tim Desjardins. “But they didn’t give up. We had a better second half, we had some chances.
St. Dominic, which last won the state crown in 2007, finished 18-0 after returning the Class C boys soccer title to Western Maine for the 21st time in the last 22 seasons.
“They’re a very good team,” said Fort Kent junior midfielder Jared Soucy. “They have the passing and moving into space and their little one-twos here and there. In the East there’s nobody really close to being as good as them.”
Junior Jackson Erickson led St. Dom’s with two goals and an assist. Senior Cam Brown also scored twice.
The Saints outshot Fort Kent 22-9, with Nick Brigham making five saves to preserve the victory. Alex Charette made seven saves for Fort Kent.
Junior striker Thomas Levesque scored for Fort Kent on a penalty kick with 17:27 left in the match, but by that time St. Dominic had built a 4-0 lead.
Brown scored in the first minute of play, heading the ball inside the near post from the ground after a shot by Erickson had been tipped away by Charette.
“They had a lot of fans,” said Erickson, “so we knew if we got a quick goal we could get them out of the game, and we got one.”
The Saints made it 2-0 with 27:56 left in the first half. Erickson sent a kick high into the air near the edge of the penalty area, and while two Fort Kent players converged on the bouncing ball Brown stepped between them and redirected it into the net from about 15 yards away.
Erickson scored with fewer than seven minutes left in the half, receiving the ball in the left side of the penalty area, wheeling around a defender and rifling a low shot just inside the far post.
St. Dominic struck again just as play began in the second half, as Garrett Darnell sent a cross from near midfield through the defense to Erickson, who shot the ball back past Charette and inside the left post.
“We said we wanted to get a goal quicker than the first half,” said Erickson. “We didn’t think it was possible, but we got it and it kind of set the tone for the half.”
Fort Kent, making its first appearance in a state final since competing in Class A in 1981, finishes at 12-4-2.
“I think it was just a bad game for us,” said Soucy. “They’re a real good team, but we just played on our heels. Half of the team was sick, and I don’t want to use that as an excuse, but it would have helped.”