WATERVILLE — Before the start of the Eastern Class B girls’ soccer semifinal Friday, Waterville Coach Ian Wilson stressed the importance of a fast start.

The words sunk in. The top-seeded Purple Panthers scored twice in the first five minutes and defeated fifth-ranked Camden Hills, 4-1.

“I can’t complain about that. We’ll take that start,” Wilson said.

Waterville (16-0) will be home at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the regional final against No. 3 Hermon or No. 2 Presque Isle, who meet Saturday.

“We’ve had a couple slow starts this year, a lot of slow starts, but I think we can put our opponents away if we start hard and show them we’re here to play and we’re going to dominate this game,” Waterville co-captain Sarah Shoulta said. “That’s what a team who wants to win states plays like.”

Shoulta started Waterville’s first scoring play with a corner kick in the first minute. She found Pilar Elias, whose low shot went into the left corner of the net, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead after 30 seconds.

“I saw Pilar and Lydia (Roy), so I decided to serve the ball to the general area they are and they put it right in,” Shoulta said.

Added Wilson: “I think we probably caught Camden a little by surprise with our short corner play, which we practiced a lot this year. It worked for us.”

Roy scored minutes later, heading in a pass from Shoulta.

With 3:07 left in the first half, Shoulta scored to push Waterville’s lead to 3-0.

Although the Panthers had a fast start, Wilson felt the team didn’t maintain that level of play.

“I think we started to get a little anxious as the game went along. We’ve got a better game in us. We kept sort of being anxious to push the ball ahead and score, and we just weren’t being patient,” Wilson said. “We’re going to have to be a little more patient with the ball.”

Elias scored her second goal of the game with 29:28 remaining to extend Waterville’s lead to 4-0. Eleven seconds later, the Windjammers (12-4-1) scored off the foot of Charlotte Messer.

“Classic letdown. You score a goal, you’re kind of busy celebrating, and they came right back on us.

“(It’s a) good lesson to have to learn. Hopefully you don’t learn that lesson at a crucial moment,” Wilson said.

Travis Lazarczyk can be contacted at 861-9242 or:

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Twitter: TLazarczykMTM