ROCKPORT — Top-seeded Camden Hills reaffirmed it is the best team in the Class A North schoolgirl soccer landscape on Wednesday afternoon.
The defending Class A state champs put on a dominant performance and used second-half goals from junior striker Eliza Roy and freshman striker-midfielder Lexi Heidorn to beat third seed Bangor 3-1 at Don Palmer Field.
Camden Hills (16-0-1) plays South winner Scarborough (16-0-1) in Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. state championship game at Hampden Academy.
Coach Meredith Messer’s Windjammers dominated possession and kept the Rams (12-4-1) pinned in their own half of the field for the vast majority of the game.
The aggressive Windjammers won most of the 50-50 balls.
They attempted 32 shots to Bangor’s seven, including a 12-2 edge in shots on goal.
Bangor defended admirably but generated few scoring chances.
“We played great,” said dynamic Camden Hills sophomore striker and leading scorer Kristina Kelly, who scored the game’s first goal and called Bangor a great team.
“We had so many connecting balls. We had possession most of the game. Our communication was fantastic,” she added.
The Rams stunned Camden Hills by converting their first shot of the game, coming off the foot of Rowan Andrews with 8:27 left in the first half, to draw level.
Kelly’s 38th goal of the season and 70th of her career, both school records, had given Camden Hills a 1-0 lead 14 minutes into the game.
Camden Hills wasn’t unnerved by Bangor’s goal and continued its dominance in the second half.
“We did what we do best: We stayed calm and we played our game,” said Roy. “We dominated most of the game. In the second half, we didn’t give them any chances.”
Roy’s game-winner came 10:47 into the second half off an assist from Kelly.
The ball pinballed in the Bangor penalty area and Kelly tapped it over to Roy, who was standing within a few feet of her at the 6. Roy spun around and drilled a rising shot that hit under the crossbar and dropped behind the line.
“I heard Kristina yell ‘shoot, shoot as fast as you can’ so I felt it, turned and shot it,” said Roy.
“The ball dropped right in front of (Roy) and she put it in,” said Bangor junior goalie Alexis LeBreton, who finished with nine saves in a solid performance.
LeBreton kept the Rams within one by getting her hands on Kelly’s powerful shot from the right side two minutes later.
Bangor, which surrendered the first 16 shot attempts of the second half before generating one, had two opportunities to tie it before Heidorn scored the clinching goal with 13:02 left.
Madeline Ahola raced down the right wing and sailed a waist-high pass across the goalmouth that Andrews couldn’t reach. Sara Hollis ran onto a Libby Spekhardt cross only to have it glance off her body just wide of the post to the left of CH goalkeeper Isabelle Lang (one save).
Heidorn scampered down the right wing following a long Kaylyn Krul pass and Heidorn’s powerful, low shot broke through the hands of LeBreton and across the goal line before the goalie could recover and scramble it away.
“It went into our scoring half, I settled it to my feet and I shot it,” said Heidorn.
Kelly had opened the scoring by taking a pass from talented midfielder Kassie Krull just beyond the top of the penalty area, touching it over to her left foot and curling a 20-yarder inside the far post past LeBreton.
Bangor’s equalizer against the run of play came off a Maddi Cormier corner as Lang bumped into a Bangor player, the ball dropped at the edge of the 6 and Rowan Andrews poked it home.
“They possessed the ball real well,” said Bangor coach Joe Johnson. “When they got around the ball together, they moved the ball well. I liked our intensity. We played hard.”
“They’re a great team,” said Bangor standout sophomore midfielder Eliza Jansujwicz. “We knew they would be an (constant) attacking threat. They got the better of us.”
Messer said her players, “moved off the ball well. We were going into spaces and that makes you much harder to defend.”