WINDHAM – The Windham boys’ soccer team has a chance to do something very special, and plans to take advantage of the opportunity.

No. 2 Windham will play top-seeded Scarborough in the Western Class A championship game Wednesday, looking to become the school’s first boys’ soccer team to win a regional title.

It will be the Eagles’ second appearance in a regional final against the Red Storm, who won an overtime thriller in 2009 before capturing the state title.

Windham (14-2) has advanced to the regional final with a revamped lineup and a rookie head coach.

“For the seniors who were freshmen on the varsity, I’m their third coach in four years,” said Windham Coach Colin Minte, a 2003 North Yarmouth Academy graduate who grew up in Yarmouth.

“It was a little bit of a challenge for some of them to get accustomed to a different coaching style, a different personality.”

Minte, who played for Division III Skidmore College in upstate New York, became coach of the Eagles after serving two seasons as an assistant at Bates College.

It took Minte, 26, the first month of the season to decide just where everybody fit in on the team.

“I was just trying to find the best combination of players on the field,” said Minte. “It was really about getting a feel for the players and where they’re best suited.”

Robbie Lentine, a center back in his first three varsity seasons, has emerged as Windham’s top scoring threat with 20 goals.

“I’ve been a defensive player for almost all my life,” Lentine said, “But the graduation of some players and the development of our younger players in the back allowed the team to use me somewhere else where maybe I’m more effective.”

Dana King, another senior who played beside Lentine in the back the previous two seasons, is now the starting goalkeeper and has seven shutouts.

“I like playing goalie a little bit better,” said King, who has been a keeper for several club teams. “It just took me a while to adjust because I had the mind-set that high school is where I play in the field.”

Robby Hamilton started this season at striker. Now he’s a defensive center midfielder.

“The goal is to get your 10 best field players on the field whatever the formation may be,” Minte said.

Since Minte has settled on a lineup, the Eagles have reeled off 10 consecutive wins.

“We’ve had a lot of success, especially of late, playing good team defense,” Minte said.

Windham has allowed just two goals in its last seven games.

Through all the changes, there has been one constant — the affinity the players have for each other.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have a good group of guys,” Minte said. “Even the kids who don’t play much just fit in. It’s just a great group of guys who like each other.”

“We’ve played together for such a long time that we all grew together,” said Marc Reynolds, a senior striker. “We’re good friends, I guess, on the field or off the field.”

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at [email protected]

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH