PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Having to wait an extra day for their first playoff game — and being forced to compete at a different venue than their home field — did not seem to rattle the top-seeded Central Aroostook girls.
The Panther soccer team logged a season-high total for goals, netting five in the first 15 minutes of the game, to sail past the No. 9 Bangor Christian Patriots on Thursday, 10-1, in a Class D North quarterfinal match played amid cold and blustery conditions.
The contest was supposed to be held in Mars Hill the previous afternoon, but significant snowfall caused its postponement and the change to the Gehrig Johnson Athletic Complex turf field.
It had little effect on Central Aroostook, which knocked one in 34 seconds into the game and kept the scoring frenzy going with six more before intermission and three more in the second half.
The Panthers won the coin toss and elected to go in the direction with the wind in its favor to start the game and the decision proved to be a smart one.
“We were fortunate to win the toss to see if we could get a lead and go from there,” CA coach Joe Levesque said. “I didn’t dare take my foot off the pedal because I didn’t know what the second half was going to bring.”
Freshman Liberty Fulton tallied the first goal and had another later in the first half. Breann Bradbury also put in a pair of goals, while Olivia Pelletier and Kayla Martin added one each.
But the star of the day was Kate Levesque, the junior striker and coach’s daughter. She surpassed Julie Bradstreet’s for the school record in career goals and became one of only approximately 20 female players in the history of soccer in the state to reach the 100 mark.
Levesque tied Bradstreet’s previous best of 97, set in 1987, with an unassisted tally at the 27:54 mark of the first half and beat it with another that came with 8:24 to go before halftime. She scored No. 99 with 11:40 into the second half and reached 100 with 3:39 remaining.
Levesque, Fulton and Bradbury all registered two assists, while Mackenzie Blackstone had one.
Bangor Christian did not get off its first shot until one minute to play in the first half as Aaliyah Coover’s attempt was blocked by CA freshman goalkeeper Olivia Blackstone. CA held a 16-1 shot advantage in the opening half and settled for a margin of 22-7, with Audrey Goski putting in the Patriots’ goal with 2:34 left to break the shutout.
Blackstone had five saves and her opposite, freshman Leah Higgins of BC, totaled four.
Central Aroostook, now 14-0-1, advances to play fifth-ranked Katahdin, who defeated No. 4 Southern Aroostook in Presque Isle, also on Thursday. That semifinal round match will be played in Mars Hill Saturday. Bangor Christian, which beat eighth-ranked Wisdom to reach the quarterfinals, finished with a 6-9-1 record.
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