Abdi Shariff-Hassan saw the overflow Fitzpatrick Stadium crowd for the Class A boys’ soccer championship game between Lewiston and Scarborough.

Then, as he had done all season long when attention threatened to be a distraction for the nationally ranked Blue Devils, the slick-dribbling, two-year captain gathered his teammates.

“I talked to the team and told them not to focus on the crowd,” said Shariff-Hassan. “It was the same thing when we were ranked in the nation. The crowds, the attention, it’s all nice, but it’s not going to help us play better. Focus on what we have to get done and after the season we can enjoy it.”

With Shariff-Hassan controlling much of the play in the midfield, Lewiston edged Scarborough 1-0 to complete an 18-0 season and earn the school’s first state championship in boys’ soccer. Lewiston climbed as high as 17th in the USA Today/National Soccer Coaches Association of America soccer poll.

Shariff-Hassan’s leadership for a championship team, highly skilled play and improved scoring capabilities make him the 2015 Maine Sunday Telegram boys’ soccer player of the year.

Lewiston Coach Mike McGraw said Shariff-Hassan had already proven himself as a team leader and spokesperson as a junior when Lewiston was also undefeated before losing in the Class A final to Cheverus. After that game, Shariff-Hassan set an example by working on his weaknesses.

“He worked on his shot because he was notorious for banging the ball over the bar or thinking he had to dribble around three guys and tuck it into the corner,” McGraw said. “He worked on his fundamentals, and you can develop some serious power with good fundamentals.”

Shariff-Hassan finished with 25 goals and 15 assists, playing mostly as a forward before moving to midfield during the title run.

Other top contenders for Telegram Player of the Year were versatile two-way midfielder Matt Caron of Class A South champion Scarborough and dynamic Thornton Academy senior forward Simon Trcka.

Shariff-Hassan is being recruited by top academic schools from all three divisions, McGraw said, including Dartmouth, Swarthmore, Bates, Colby, Vermont, New Haven and Southern New Hampshire.

Like several of his Lewiston teammates, Shariff-Hassan is of Somali heritage. He was born in Kenya, in a refugee camp where his parents had migrated to escape civil war. The family moved to the United States in 2005, living in Louisville, Kentucky and Portland before moving to Lewiston when Shariff-Hassan was in the fourth grade. He is proud of his adopted hometown and the way the community rallied behind its soccer team.

“Our goal as a team was to win the states and to see what happens,” Shariff-Hassan said. “After we saw the whole community supporting and celebrating us and coming together, it was definitely a great feeling.”

Sunday Telegram All-State Team

Milo Belleau, Waynflete senior goalkeeper: Belleau allowed only six goals and had 12 shutouts, with three in the playoffs, to lead the Flyers to Class C South title. He was the only keeper to beat Class B champion Yarmouth.

Matt Caron, Scarborough senior midfielder: A very versatile player, Caron had 12 goals and 11 assists. His long-range throws helped the Red Storm win the Class A South title. Once Scarborough grabbed a lead, Caron excelled as a defensive midfielder.

Patrick Grant, Yarmouth senior midfielder/forward: Grant played five different positions to help offset injuries in the Clippers’ run to back-to-back Class B titles. He had nine goals and led the team with 10 assists.

Mackenzie Hoglund, Cheverus senior midfielder: The tenacious, hard-charging Hoglund is a repeat All-State pick. He shared SMAA offensive player of the year honors with Thornton’s Simon Trcka.

Josiah Krul, Camden Hills junior forward: Described as a “beast of a player,” by one coach, Krul is strong, quick and skilled, allowing him to play at top speed. His 17 goals and six assists helped the Windjammers to an 11-3-2 record in their first season in Class A.

Kent Mohlar, Maranacook senior midfield: Big, strong, fast and skillful, Mohlar had 23 goals and 17 assists. In his four years, the Black Bears lost just two games and won two Class C titles. He has signed to play at Siena.

Jacob Nason, Greely senior forward: After an injury-plagued junior season, the heavily marked speedster had 25 goals and four assists to finish with 59 career goals.

Abdi Shariff-Hassan, Lewiston senior forward/midfielder: The Telegram player of the year and repeat All-State choice had 25 goals and 15 assists, and was the unquestioned leader of the unbeaten, untied Class A champions.

Ahmed Suja, South Portland senior midfield: Gritty and skilled, Suja posted 13 goals and added seven assists, and continued to show he was among the tougher players to contain in Class A South.

Simon Trcka, Thornton Academy senior forward: A native of the Czech Republic, Trcka was considered by many coaches to be the most dangerous striker in the state. Despite nagging injuries, the repeat All-State pick had 17 goals and seven assists.

Andrei Vile, Cheverus senior defender: An athletic, vocal leader of the Stags’ back line, Vile was named SMAA defensive player of the year. He has an exceptional ability to win balls in the air and also was a threat on set pieces.

Coach of the Year

Mike McGraw, Lewiston: A consensus choice by his peers for leading Lewiston to an undefeated season and the school’s first Class A title in his 33rd season. Lewiston outscored its opponents 114-7 and was ranked as high as 17th in the USA Today/National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll.