HAMPDEN — Waynflete successfully defended its Class C girls’ soccer state championship Saturday, but had to go to overtime to do it.
Esme Benson scored with 3:43 left in the second overtime for a 3-2 victory against Orono in the state final.
Waynflete (15-2-2) put itself into position by rallying from an early 2-0 deficit.
The Riots (15-2-1) scored their goals in the first 29 minutes.
“The way we were playing I think we were lucky not to be down more (goals) at halftime,” Waynflete Coach Todd Dominski said. “We were slow to react. We weren’t communicating well.”
Hanna Renedo opened the scoring at eight minutes when her shot from 25 yards went in off the fingers of leaping goalie Juliana Harwood. Ezra Barmaksiz assisted.
With less than 11 minutes left in the half, Diana Tyutyunnyk made it 2-0 when she got the ball among three defenders in front, turned and put in a rising shot.
After Orono came close to making it 3-0, Marijke Rowse of the Flyers lined in a direct kick from 25 yards with 24 seconds left in the half.
“The goal helped turn us around,” Dominski said. “We started to play like we normally play during the second half. We realized there was 40 minutes left of soccer for our season.”
Rowse’s goal came a few minutes after she sent a direct kick from 35 yards over the crossbar.
“I had just taken one a few minutes before and I really didn’t want it to go over again,” said Rowse. “I knew there was just 30 seconds left and said I just need to get this in. I just went for it but I was nervous, hoping it wouldn’t go over again.”
The Flyers held a 9-3 edge in shots in the second half.
“I was disappointed,” Rowse said. “We weren’t really playing well in the first half. In the second half we got it together.”
Arianna Giguerre tied it 11 minutes into the second half by rolling a shot inside the far post after beating two defenders.
Benson’s goal came when she put in a rebound from just inside the penalty area. Goalie Victoria Goodwin got the ball, but it went over the line when she fell.
“I hang back on the 18 (yard line),” she said. “It was a perfect ball and it came right to me. I think it hit one of their heads and went in.”
“It was a fantastic game,” said Orono Coach Cid Dyjak. “We played well and I’m very proud of my players.”
Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: