BATH, Maine — A fleet of foot, never-say-die, Washburn girls soccer team traveled six
hours to McMann Field on Saturday in a quest for a state Class D soccer gold ball.
Mission accomplished, 2-1.
Although the Beavers gave up a late goal to Richmond’s Kelsea Anair, Washburn completed a 17-1 season and exacted a measure of revenge on last year’s 2-1, penalty-kick loss to Richmond to capture its first state title.
Washburn dominated territorially. For instance, in a 0-0 first-half stalemate, the Beavers unleashed 18 shots on Richmond goaltender Kelsie Obie and her undaunted defense, led by Kalah Patterson, Nicole Blake, Haley Murphy and Chika Obie.
But, the Beavers persevered throughout on this bone-chilling evening.
Despite losing four players to injuries, although several came back to play, Beavers front-liners Mackenzie Worcester, Carmen Bragg, Joan Overman and Laina Mette swarmed the Bobcats’ crease.
Early in the second half, Richmond’s Murphy kicked out a sure goal near a fallen Kelsie Obi.
Washburn finally broke through at 11:34 when Worcester scooted down her right sideline and crossed over to a waiting Carsyn Koch on the far post.
Bam! 1-0 Beavers.
“We knew they were young and had lots of good players,” said Washburn coach Marcy Barbarula. “But, they have a great program. We lost to them last year and the girls wanted to get back to the state game.
“The girls worked incredibly hard to get back here. We have four girls who run cross country so we like to run.”
The Bobcats, who lost eight starters from last year, pushed from that point on, but the Beavers won most 50-50 balls and were able to go up 2-0 with 10:03 left when Kristen Sarmiento converted a Bragg cross.
However, the Beavers may have let their guard down as Kelsea Anair headed a Meranda Martin cross, Anair’s bid sailing into the upper left corner of the Washburn net just 27 seconds later.
The win stopped Richmond’s three-year run on state titles and sent the Bobcats home with a 16-2 record.
Richmond had some great scoring chances in the first half (an all-alone Cassidy Harriman was wide left in front of the goal from in close), although a restart by Worcester from 18 yards out sailed just over the crossbar.
And, Kelsie Obi made a standout save late on Jean Overman with the ball bouncing back to a waiting Koch, whose 12-yard blast sailed wide left.