Aroostook County will be well-represented in today’s girls state championship soccer games at Falmouth High School and Hampden Academy.
While Caribou and Van Buren will be seeking to end championship droughts, Fort Kent is chasing its first state title in the program’s first state-final appearance.
Class B: Caribou Vikings (14-2-1) vs. Falmouth Yachtsmen (11-5-1), 12:30 p.m. at Falmouth: The Vikings haven’t played for a state championship since 1988, when they were in Class A, while Caribou last hoisted the championship trophy in 1986.
Even though Caribou is being forced to play on Falmouth’s home field, that’s not a huge concern for Caribou coach Todd Albert.
“We’re going to play our butts off and whatever happens, happens,” he said. “We want to go in there and give it our best.”
Caribou is gunning to end a 10-year state championship drought for Eastern Maine schools — Winslow was the last team from the East to win it all in 2000 — while Falmouth owns five gold balls since the new millennium.
The Vikings drew more than 1,000 fans in their Eastern Maine championship win against rival Presque Isle, and since Caribou drew one of today’s early games, Albert elected to stay overnight in the area Friday while his team practiced on Falmouth’s artificial turf on Friday afternoon.
Caribou is led offensively by senior Jenna Selander, who has 20 goals this season, while Olivia Sleeper and Lydia Keiffer are other offensive sparks.
Falmouth has had a flair for the dramatic its last two games, beating Yarmouth and 2009 state champion York by 1-0 scores, both on the road.
“We’ve just got to play well, we know they’re going to be a good team,” Albert said.
Class C: Sacopee Valley Hawks (15-1-1) vs. Fort Kent Warriors (14-2-1), 12:30 p.m. at Hampden: The winner of this match will be making history, as the Hawks from Hiram and Warriors are making their first-ever state championship appearances.
Coach Robby Nadeau’s Warriors broke through this fall after losing to Orono in the regional final in 2009, and defeated the Red Riots in penalty kicks to get advance.
Fort Kent’s defense has posted three shutouts in three postseason games led by senior goalkeeper Carissa Pelletier, while the Warriors’ back line is anchored by classmates Jessica Walker and Becca Martin, with Sam Carapellucci and Kate Mourneault providing depth.
They’ll be challenged with slowing a Sacopee offense which has scored 10 goals in its run to the Western Maine title, while the Hawks boast shutouts of Waynflete and St. Dominic.
Emily Lane leads the Hawks with four goals this postseason while Kara Singleton had two in the Western Maine final.
Class D: Richmond Bobcats (15-1-0) vs. Van Buren Crusaders (12-4-1), 3 p.m. at Hampden: Van Buren is in its first state final since 2000 while the Bobcats are back after a two-year hiatus.
Coach Jay Edgecomb’s club features a talented freshman in Parise Rossingol, who has four goals and two assists in three playoff games while Erika Searles has three goals for the Crusaders, who last won a state championship in 1999.
Also fueling the Crusaders’ attack is Haley Lizotte at midfield and striker Chantal Rioux, while Kayla Duerette patrols the back line at stopper, while Searles can play defense as well.
Richmond had lost to Greenville in the Western Maine final the past two seasons, but broke through and ended the Lakers’ two-year stranglehold on Western Maine with a 3-1 triumph in the regional championship match.
The Bobcats last won a state title in 2007, when they beat Ashland 5-2.