Camden Hills High School senior midfielder Kaylyn Krul called it a dream come true.
The Windjammers had just won their fourth straight Class A schoolgirl soccer state championship on Saturday night by virtue of a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Scarborough at Hampden Academy.
Meredith Messer’s team became only the third Maine girls soccer team to capture four consecutive state titles.
Waterville won five Class A championships from 1980-1984 and North Yarmouth Academy claimed five Class C crowns from 2003-2007.
Five boys teams have accomplished the feat: Class A Scarborough (1973-1976); Class B Falmouth (2000-2003) and Yarmouth (2014-2017); Class C Richmond (1976-1979) and Class D Bangor Christian, which claimed five championships from 2009-2013).
“I kind of thought as a little freshman, maybe we could do it,” Krul said. “Each year, we got a little step closer.
“It’s incredible. I can’t describe the feeling. It is such a relief and such an amazing feeling that you can carry with you,” she added.
Senior forward Ella Pierce said she didn’t know if they could win four in a row but she definitely wanted it. She said the accomplishment can be attributed to the hard work the players have put in throughout the year, including during the summer.
“It’s the teamwork and bonds we have together. Most of our team plays together in every single season and every single month,” Pierce said.
“It feels unbelievable,” said senior forward Kris Kelly, who will take her blazing speed and talent to Central Connecticut State next fall.
Kelly concluded her career with 159 goals, third most in state history regardless of gender behind Shelby Pickering of Lee Academy (178) and Jordan Pellerin of Waterville (171).
Camden Hills’ six seniors compiled a four-year record of 70-1-1. The only loss came against Bangor during their freshman year (2016) as did their only tie (2017).
Saturday’s third consecutive one-goal victory over Scarborough in the Class A state final extended the Windjammers’ unbeaten streak to 65 games (64-0-1). They posted back-to-back 18-0 campaigns.
Camden Hills made the jump from Class B to Class A in 2015 and promptly earned the top seed and a berth in the Class A North championship game. It had never won a regional title in Class B.
That year, No. 2 Bangor upset the Windjammers 3-2 in the final and went on to capture the state championship.
Camden Hills, the second seed, turned the tables on Bangor in 2016. The Windjammers rallied for two goals late in the “A” North final to edge the No 1 Rams 3-2.
They went on to win their first state championship, 1-0 in overtime.
Camden Hills again beat Bangor (3-1) in the 2017 Class A North title contest then topped Scarborough 3-2 in the state game.
Last year, after beating Bangor 2-0 in the semifinals, the Windjammers edged Messalonskee of Oakland 4-3 in the North final and beat Scarborough 1-0.
Messer had a challenge this season as she had to replace six starters, including All-American midfielder Kassie Krul and 30-goal scorer Eliza Roy. Camden Hills did return Kelly, a two-time All-American, and a strong supporting cast. Several players elevated their games after being thrust into more prominent roles.
Kelly scored 14 of her 49 goals this season in the four playoff victories, including a late game-winner in the 1-0 regional final win over Bangor and the first goal against Scarborough.
Sophomore Tessa Whitley was the only returning starter in the back line and she turned in a stellar campaign.
“She’s great every game. She’s a beast back there. Nobody can get through her,” Pierce said.
Krul was bothered by a hamstring injury that sidelined her but she returned late in the regular season and provided quality minutes in the playoffs.
Second-leading scorer Lexi Heidorn suffered a concussion and didn’t play in the state final but sophomore Alexandra Tassoni replaced her and scored the game-winner.
In addition to Kelly, Krul and Pierce, the other seniors are midfielder Frances Ostensen, back Emie Wood and midfielder Kasey Wood.
“It’s so hard to get there the first time,” Messer said. “This year was particularly challenging with the injuries. That has been a different component this year, a piece you can’t control. For it to all work out and for them to have this experience, it’s overwhelming.”