PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The high school soccer season is still in its early stages, but the Washburn girls made a statement that the Beavers will be a legitimate Class D contender Saturday.
The Beavers controlled the midfield and played strong defense to make a first-half goal by Rebecca Campbell stand up as coach Marcie Barbarula’s club gained a 1-0 triumph over Ashland at the Johnson Complex on a bright, sunny day. The win improved Washburn’s record to 5-1.
The Washburn boys completed the sweep behind Jordan McLaughlin’s hat trick, defeating Ashland by a 4-1 count.
In the girls’ game, the only scoring occurred with 22:21 remaining in the first half.
Campbell won a 50-50 ball just inside the penalty area, outworked an Ashland defender and placed the ball into the far post.
Beavers’ goalkeeper Rayah Saucier persevered in making five saves despite sitting out most of the first half.
She injured her hip 10 minutes into the match in a collision with Ashland’s Kayla Cote at the goal mouth as Cote was rushing toward the net.
Saucier’s sister, Meghan, played the remainder of the first half in net and made two saves, and Rayah came back in for the second half.
The Hornets, who fell to 1-1, had several chances to tie it up in the second half, but a Brooke LaBelle shot went just wide 10 minutes into the half while Saucier saved a direct kick with 20 minutes left in the match.
Ashland’s best opportunity came in the final seconds when coach Peter Belskis’ club was awarded another direct kick, but Whitney Donovan’s shot sailed over the cross bar.
The bigger, athletic Beavers had a close edge in ball possession, particularly in the midfield, and their back line did a solid job keeping the Hornets on the wings.
Freshman Macie Bellanceau came up with seven saves for Ashland. Both clubs had 15 shots.
The boys’ game was a different story, as Washburn scored three times in the first 20 minutes to cruise to its fourth win against one loss.
Ashland is now 0-2.
McLaughlin scored his team’s first two goals, both assisted by Mitch Worcester, in the first five minutes of the match.
Worcester found McLaughlin unmarked to the left of the net when Ashland goalkeeper J.J. D’Ozier came out too far, and McLaughlin scored his second goal on a header.
Worcester later made it 3-0, tucking home a pass from Connor Fitzpatrick, while Ashland got on the board with 13:58 left in the first half when Kenny Tarr converting a Royce MacDonald direct kick.
D’Ozier kept his team in the game throughout the second half with some strong saves, with the Beavers consistently applying pressure.
McLaughlin put the match away by scoring his third goal on a breakaway with just over 5 minutes remaining, with Worcester again setting him up.
Zach Davis had four saves on 10 shots for Washburn while D’Ozier finished with 12 saves on 26 shots for Ashland.