HAMPDEN — Cameron Bell looked up and saw daylight. Although he stood behind midfield and Falmouth’s forte is short passes that emphasize possession soccer, Bell took a chance and went long.
“I just saw a hole,” Bell said, “and I knew Grant had speed.”

Indeed, Grant Burfeind raced to the bouncing ball between three Camden Hills defenders, tapped it once, twice, then past the oncoming goalie for the decisive score in Falmouth’s 2-1 victory in the Class B boys’ soccer state final Saturday.

The title is the third in five years for Falmouth (13-3-2), and the eighth since 2000. Camden Hills, which allowed only two goals all season prior to Saturday and was seeking to become the first Class B champ from Eastern Maine since Ellsworth in 1993, finished 17-1.

“I thought it was a hard-fought game that could have gone either way,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan. “You could tell they’re a veteran team because they never give up. They come at you, come at you, come at you, and they have some very talented players. We were fortunate to get one in at the end.”

Burfeind’s goal, his second of the game, was the only one score in the second half. It came with a little more than 13 minutes left on a breezy, chilly day.

Camden Hills was playing only its second game on artificial turf.

“That’s not an excuse,” said keeper Ian Cushing, one of 14 Camden Hills seniors. “We’ve been practicing on it all week.”

Six minutes earlier, a shot by Brandon Tuttle of Falmouth got past Cushing, only to be cleared off the line by Peter Vannorsdale of Camden Hills.

“It was a pretty even game,” said Camden Hills Coach Ryan Hurley. “We just had that one breakdown at the end, where we got caught a little bit flat-footed on that transition ball and they finished it. … That’s got to be the best (Class) B final in a decade.”

Falmouth outshot Camden Hills 5-1 in the second half and 9-6 overall. Camden Hills held a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks. Cushing finished with six saves, and Will D’Agostino of Falmouth made five.

Both first-half goals came with controversy. In the 12th minute, Burfeind curled a corner kick toward the goal mouth and Cushing made a leaping attempt to slap it away with his left hand because his right arm was entangled with Bell.

The ball wound up in the net.

“All I could get was my left arm up,” Cushing said. “No call on that one, but the refs had a good game. They didn’t call it on the other end, either. So it was fair.”

The Camden Hills goal also involved contact with the keeper. D’Agostino made a running jump at a high-bouncing ball near the top of the box, but wound up on the ground with Andrew Flanagan of Camden Hills and two defenders.

Sam Predham, following the play, pounced on the ball and sent it into the abandoned net.

“Going for the ball I got tripped up,” D’Agostino said. “I thought it might have been interference but I didn’t really see it.”

Shortly before halftime, Camden Hills made a bid for the lead after Jeremy Lydick of Falmouth grabbed a fistful of jersey worn by Malcolm Steele of Camden Hills. Flanagan sent the 25-yard direct kick wide left.

Early in the second half, Evan McLean sailed a shot just over the crossbar, but that was it for Camden Hills as a sea of blue defenders, anchored by sweeper Andrew Murry, kept the Windjammers at bay.

“We’ve had a lot of bumps along the way but we’ve worked past them,” said Burfeind, whose final-minute goal in the regional final against top-seeded York made Saturday possible. “No one thought we were going to be here but we proved everyone wrong. Now we’re state champions. It’s amazing.”

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:
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Twitter: GlennJordanPPH