LEWISTON, Maine — The reign is over, and the Windjammers are sailing calmly into the semifinals.
Defending Class A boys’ soccer state champion Lewiston’s title defense ended Tuesday night with a 1-0 loss to Camden Hills at Don Roux Field in a Class A North quarterfinal.
The game marked the first time the No. 4 Blue Devils (11-3-1) have been shut out this season and came on a frustrating night during which they couldn’t convert on any of their 10 shots on goal, including a penalty kick.
“We should have taken advantage of things that we could have done, but we didn’t,” Lewiston coach Mike McGraw said. “Right up until there was just seconds left, I thought if we could get down there, we were going to put it in.”
But that didn’t happen for the Blue Devils.
It happened once for the No. 5 Windjammers (10-4-1), and that was all they needed. Josiah Krul took control of the ball outside the box, got behind a defender, then tipped home a shot before Lewiston goalie Alex Rivet could get to it.
“You got to give Camden credit. They took their one, best opportunity, and Krul is one of the best, and he found a way to finish it,” McGraw said. “And so be it. That’s the nature of the game.”
“He’s a great finisher,” Camden Hills coach Ryan Hurley said. “We got him high enough up the field where he got the ball in a good spot, and he’s deadly.”
That was one of just three shots on goal for the Windjammers, and it came just 1:37 into the second half. From there on, Camden Hills did all it could to make sure it was the last goal scored in the game.
“When we got behind a goal, it played into Camden’s hands. They were able to clear the ball, they could substitute more often and try to eat some of the clock,” McGraw said. “I think everybody would do the same thing, and try to slow the game down and let the clock go by.”
That plan was almost foiled with 24 minutes to go. Lewiston’s Muktar Ali was taken down in the box and the Blue Devils were awarded a penalty kick. But Windjammers goalie Lucas Boetsch read Asier Garcinuno’s shot to the left perfectly and made the biggest save of the game.
“He’s good,” Hurley said. “He doesn’t quite always get the recognition he deserves, but he’s, in my opinion, one of the best goalies in the state of Maine.”
“The stopping the PK obviously was big,” McGraw said.
The Blue Devils were finished off thanks to their inability to finish, which McGraw said was their downfall in their other two losses this season.
“They got some chances. We’re lucky,” Hurley said. “We bent a little bit, but we didn’t break.”
Scoring was something Lewiston could always hang its hat on over the last few years, putting in goals by the handful at times. But that all came to an end on Tuesday. So did the championship reign.
“It’s the suddenness. And it’s always like that in the playoffs,” McGraw said, admitting disbelief. “If you win, the highs are immense. If you lose, it’s morbid. It’s a death knell.”