Any soccer player who had just scored the winning goal in a state championship game would likely describe the experience as “unreal.”
In Charlotte Messer’s case, she wasn’t exaggerating.
The Camden Hills senior concluded her high school career in a fashion that resembled something out of a movie. With a goal in overtime of the Class A final, Messer gave the Windjammers their first state championship while tying the school’s record of 67 career goals.
On top of that, she did it with her mom, Meredith Messer, as her coach.
“It’s every athlete’s dream to leave on top,” said Messer, the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year for girls’ soccer.
“It just such a relief to know you left everything out there and fulfilled all of your goals.”
Messer scored off Eliza Roy’s corner kick, arching her shot over Gorham defenders into the back of the net for the 1-0 win. Meredith Messer said she froze at the sight – stunned – before realizing she was supposed to run out onto the field to celebrate with her players. Winning a state championship was a first for Messer, who has coached the Windjammers for 21 years.
“You just reflect over all of those events that led to that one moment,” she said. “I’m smiling right now while talking about it.”
After the excitement settled on the field, Charlotte stood by her mom and gestured toward the Gold Ball. “That’s ours,” she said.
“I know when she pauses and smiles that she doesn’t really have words because she’s so happy,” Charlotte Messer said. “After all the years she has put into coaching, she finally has something to show for it.”
Charlotte Messer grew up watching soccer games from the sidelines while her mom coached. Since Charlotte joined the squad as a freshman, the Windjammers have a 56-8-3 record. Of the 329 goals they scored, Charlotte has been a part of 117 – including a program record 50 career assists.
“When you think about what she has brought to our school and to our program, she’s just a really amazing player,” Meredith Messer said, noting Charlotte’s ability to see the field and pass the ball as two of her major strengths. “She’s also very composed when she plays. She can blast a shot from 20 yards out or beat someone one-on-one and just tap it to the corner.”
Messer totaled 26 goals and 17 assists this season, earning All-America, All-New England, Class A player of the year and Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference player of the year honors.
When asked what it’s going to be like without her daughter on the team next year, Meredith Messer was unsure.
“Maybe more relaxing?” she said, laughing. “It’s actually kind of easy for me to disconnect. I love to just watch her. Kind of like a play – I try not to critique it. I just get to sit back and enjoy the performance.”
The coach will likely have plenty of opportunities to do so next season. Charlotte Messer has verbally committed to playing soccer for the University of Maine. While excited for this new chapter, she said she’ll miss having her mom as her coach.
“It was such a good experience to have her because she really knows what she’s doing,” Charlotte said. “But she’s excited to just be a fan.”
Telegram All-State team
Alex Allain, Hermon junior forward: The Maine Soccer Coaches Association All-New England and All-Northern Maine pick scored 43 goals and was chosen as Penobscot Valley Conference player of the year.
Katie Clemmer, Yarmouth senior forward: An MSCA All-Southern Maine selection, Clemmer totaled 10 assists and 17 goals – including two in the state final against Waterville – to help the Clippers earn their first Class B title in 13 years.
Sara D’Appolonia, Yarmouth junior midfielder: The MSCA Class B player of the year contributed 17 assists and 16 goals – including one in the state final. She was the only junior from Maine to earn All-New England honors.
Mariah Deschino, Cape Elizabeth senior forward: Deschino carried a young and inexperienced team to the Class B South semifinals, notching six goals while playing numerous positions.
Emma Forgues, Gorham sophomore midfielder: The MSCA All-South pick was the Rams’ leading scorer with 17 goals and five assists and scored in a 2-0 win over Scarborough in the Class A South final.
Becky Lopez-Anido, Orono senior forward: An MSCA All-New England and All-South selection, Lopez-Anido scored 16 goals – including six in the playoffs – to help the Red Riots to the Class C state title.
Meranda Martin, Richmond senior forward: The MSCA Class D player of the year and All-South pick collected 38 goals and 14 assists to lead Richmond to state championship game.
Charlotte Messer, Camden Hills senior forward: The MSCA Class A player of the year, Messer scored in overtime against Gorham to give the Windjammers their first Class A state title. Her 26 goals and 17 assists earned her All-American and All-New England honors.
Gaby Panagakos, Scarborough junior forward: The SMAA offensive player of the year and MSCA All-South pick broke the school record with 22 goals this season, to go with six assists.
Emma Smith, Gorham senior goalkeeper: The MSCA All-South pick notched 11 shutouts and anchored a defense that only allowed eight goals.
Madeline Wood, Madison senior midfielder: The MSCA Class C player of the year and All-South pick scored four goals in the Class C South semifinals and the only goal against Sacopee Valley in the regional final. She totaled 25 goals and 11 assists.
Coach of the Year
Meredith Messer, Camden Hills: After 21 years coaching, Messer led the Windjammers to their first state championship, edging Gorham 1-0 in overtime for the Class A title.