On a team of stars, Cassie Symonds was the brightest for Windham High’s Class A championship girls’ soccer team.

The action orbited around Symonds, a Holy Cross-bound center midfielder. Her ability to dominate both on the ground and in the air – despite being a tick under 5-foot-4 – provided Windham (17-0-1) with a near-constant flow of attack.

Symonds edges her prolific goal-scoring teammate, Jenna Soucy, and Thornton Academy’s dangerous striker, Tori Daigle, as Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year. Symonds was also the 2013 Player of the Year.

“It’s such an honor to get these accolades,” Symonds said. “I see so many skilled players, I’m not really sure why I get them. But it does feel good that the hard work I’ve put in does pay off.”

After outscoring foes 98-5 in a 13-0-1 regular season, Windham had to come from behind in the second half in each of its four playoff wins. Coach Deb Lebel said the Eagles’ bid for a second straight state title could easily have ended in a regional quarterfinal loss to Portland.

“Without Cassie, I tell you, those outcomes might have been a lot different,” Lebel said.

Symonds said she found another gear because she felt “it would be a shame if our season was cut short.”

In the regional semifinals, it was again Symonds’ ability to dominate the midfield that fueled a 3-2 overtime victory over Thornton Academy. Over and over she won contested balls, expertly reading goal kicks, stepping in front of attempted clearing passes and making solid one-on-one tackles.

“It was just keeping my composure,” Symonds said. “I didn’t want to freak out. I wanted to keep playing the technical balls that our forwards were so good at finishing.”

Windham beat Scarborough 2-1 in the regional final and blitzed Edward Little 5-1 with five second-half goals in the state final.

Symonds said she hopes to play midfield in college and will continue to train through the winter and spring.

“It doesn’t really feel like work to me,” Symonds said. “Obviously I put a lot of work into it but I’m doing it with my best friends and it’s what I enjoy doing.”