YARMOUTH – Coming into the season, there weren’t many folks who considered North Yarmouth Academy a contender for another Class C state championship.

All the young Panthers did Saturday was prove everyone wrong.

NYA won its second consecutive Class C state title — and third in four years — by beating Winthrop 1-0 at Yarmouth High on a goal by Olivia Madore in the second round of the first set of penalty corners.

“This means a lot,” said Madore, a sophomore. “We only have two seniors and it means a lot to say, ‘Yeah, we came here. You guys were all wrong.’ “

More than that, said NYA Coach Tracy Quimby, it meant the Panthers grew over the season.

“It means they believe in themselves,” said Quimby. “I told the parents at the beginning of the season, the only thing that was going to stop us is if the kids didn’t believe in themselves.”

The teams struggled offensively for most of the game, getting few chances. Winthrop, in fact, carried much of the play, holding a 13-0 edge in corners through regulation.

But in penalty corners, anything can happen. And usually does.

Neither team scored in the first round of corners.

Then NYA struck. Katherine Millett inserted the ball to Jen Brown at the top of the circle. She tapped it over to Kayla Rose, who sent a shot toward the net.

Madore, who had a glittering chance go wide in overtime, was there to tip the ball in off the right post.

“Yesterday, we did so much tipping practice and I scored, like, all the tips,” said Madore. “And it was like, ‘You’re going to get it.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know, guys, I’m going to try.’ “

Millett, who scored 96 goals in her four-year career, then sealed it with her defense.

Rachel Ingram of Winthrop inserted the ball to Lauren Kaiser, who got it to Shauna Carlson in the middle. But Millett broke up the play and carried the ball past the 25, ending the game.

Millett didn’t realize she could end it by clearing it past the 25.

“When my teammates started yelling at me, I thought I was doing something wrong,” said Millett. “And I was like, I’m not letting go with this ball. When everybody started running onto the field, I didn’t know that was the final thing.

“I think that just represents our season, that you just have to go hard the whole time.”

NYA (14-4) has five sophomores and three freshmen. Winthrop (13-3-2) made its first appearance in a state title game since 1989.

The Ramblers had numerous chances, set up by a defense led by Jessica Scott, who continually broke up NYA rushes before they could gain momentum.

But as much as they carried play, the Ramblers couldn’t beat NYA goalie Liz Coughlin, who finished with six saves. Winthrop had six corners in a four-minute span late in regulation but just missed. Then Ingram sent a shot just wide with 3:00 left.

Winthrop Coach Sharon Coulton kept exhorting her players.

“We were just one goal away (from winning),” she said. “I kept telling them to get (it).”

NYA didn’t get many chances, but in the end it didn’t matter.

“We definitely struggled on offense today but we won the game,” said Millett. “So whatever happened was fine for me.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH