Ashland's Kayla Maclean defends against Southern Aroostook's Willow Brooks during a soccer game on Wednesday. Ashland won 14-3. Credit: David DiMinno / The Star-Herald

ASHLAND, Maine – The third seed Ashland girls soccer will be moving up to the Class D semifinals with a victory over Southern Aroostook Wednesday.

Ashland won 14-3.

With this win, the Ashland Lady Hornets will face Penobscot Valley High School from Howland on Friday.

The Southern Aroostook team had to bring in substitute players from the eighth grade due to positive COVID-19 cases among the regular players. Even with that support, the team was down one player on the field.

“I thought our girls came out strong today,” Ashland coach Peter Belskis said. “We took charge of the game right off the bat, we got ahead real early and I think that made a big difference in the game morale wise. Hopefully, it sets us up well for our next opponent which is PVHS and they are a really good team, so we will have to be at our best to compete with them on Friday.”

The game started off with a bang, with both teams making a quick attack for the ball. Ashland managed to pull ahead, with Kaili Condon scoring not even a minute into the game at 39:15.

From left (clockwise): Ashland’s Macy Maclean defends against Southern Aroostook’s Willow Brooks during a soccer game on Wednesday; Ashland’s Kayla Maclean shoots a corner kick during a soccer game against Southern Aroostook on Wednesday; Ashland’s Maggie Landeen passing to a teammate during a soccer game against Southern Aroostook on Wednesday. Credit: David DiMinno / The Star-Herald

The Southern Aroostook Warriors were quick to retaliate. They rallied their offense and took to the Hornets defense, scoring a tying goal from Cami Shields at 34:30.

The Hornets retaliated back as well, with a continued assault on the Warriors’ defenses. Ashland’s Kayla Maclean scored five more goals for her team at 33:58, 30:30, 27:27, 21:03 and 8:59, respectively, setting a new personal record.

Ashland’s Layla Burby also contributed to the score in the first half, with a goal at 23:17.
This was also followed by Abby Doughty, who scored at 14:26.

Finally, Ashland’s Maggie Landeen closed out the first half with a goal at 4:36.

The second half delivered more goals on both sides. Southern Aroostook’s Emmalee Landry scored two goals at 32:35 and 7:43. Ashland widened the gap with five more goals. Layla Burby at 34:31, Abby doughty at 29:45, Gabby Ayotte at 23:56, Macy Maclean at 18:06 and Cailin Brown at 10:40.

Ashland’s keeper Michaela Carney had a total of six saves, and Southern Aroostook’s Libby Anderson had a total of 12.

“We had kind of a rough season. We got hit with COVID once and had to quarantine, and then we got hit with COVID again that morning, so we had some eighth-graders come up today, and I am thankful that they did,” said Southern Aroostook coach Holly Vining. “The girls played with their heads held high, and we didn’t lose in a shutout. I’m really proud of them.”

David DiMinno

David grew up in New York, and moved to Maine to study political science at the University of Maine. In his spare time, he loves hiking, playing tennis and skiing.