ORONO, Maine — Orono High School junior midfielder Diana Tyutyunnyk scored both Red Riot goals, the second in the second overtime, to push No. 1 Orono past No. 3 Fort Kent 2-1 in the Eastern Maine Class C girls soccer final Wednesday.
The Red Riots (15-1-1) will look for their fifth straight win when they take on Western Maine champ Waynflete of Portland in the state final Saturday at Hampden Academy.
“I’m speechless,” Orono head coach Cid Dyjak said. “I thought it was a fantastic game played by two very good teams. I have to give a lot of credit to Fort Kent –- they played really well. This is a fitting Eastern Maine championship final. It was really well played and I’m glad with the result.”
Tyutyunnyk’s game-winner came with just under six minutes remaining in the second 15-minute overtime. She collected the ball in the midfield before dribbling past four Warrior defenders up the left flank. Fort Kent junior goaltender Alexa Pelletier came out to challenge, but Tyutyunnyk was able to slip the ball by her into the back of the net to send the Red Riots to their third state championship game in the last six seasons.
“I looked at the clock and I was a little worried we were going to go into penalty kicks. I just was so happy Diana was able to tuck one in,” Dyjak said.
“It’s beyond words,” Tyutyunnyk said. “I can’t describe it.”
Although Fort Kent (9-5-3) and Orono don’t usually meet in the regular season, they’ve met in the postseason three straight years, including last year’s EM final, a Fort Kent victory.
It was an even battle throughout, with both teams sharing the possession and the number of scoring chances.
The Warriors got on the board first just over midway through the first half after senior midfielder Chelsea Plourde put home a half-volley past Orono junior netminder Vicki Goodwin. Plourde was assisted by junior forward Erin Chasse.
The Red Riots tied it up six minutes later on Tyutyunnyk’s first tally. She received a pass in the attacking zone and dribbled by two defenders before beating Pelletier with a well-placed shot from right outside the 18-yard box.
After a scoreless second half, Fort Kent looked to be on the cusp of its second straight trip to the state final with two quality chances in extra time. Tyutyunnyk was forced to clear the ball off her own goal line after a deflection in the box pulled Goodwin out of position in the first overtime period.
Goodwin came up with a huge save of her own with 11 minutes remaining in the second overtime before Tyutyunnyk’s game-winner.
“I thought Orono played a great game — came up with some really big plays,” Fort Kent coach Robby Nadeau said. “… I wish them the best of luck, and hopefully we can get the golden ball back in the East.”
Both teams finished with 12 shots on net apiece, while the Warriors held a 10-5 advantage in corner kicks.
Orono, whose only loss this year was a 1-0 decision against Houlton High School on Oct. 19, beat Maine Central Institute in the quarterfinals and Madawaska High School in the semifinals on their way to the state final this Saturday.
“We’re going to work hard, and hopefully that hard work will pay off and we’ll win states as well,” Tyutyunnyk said. “We did this one for our coach, our school and our teammates, but mostly for Cid. This one was huge.”