Charlotte Messer has been on the sideline of Camden Hills girls’ soccer games since long before she entered high school.

As a child she sat with the players on the bench while her mother coached – a position Meredith Messer has held since before Charlotte was born.

Now, Charlotte Messer is no longer there just to watch. She’s on the field helping make program history with her mom at the helm.

After winning the Northern Maine title, Camden Hills will compete in its first state final – facing undefeated Gorham for the Class A title at 3 p.m. Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. The matchup is one of the eight soccer finals Saturday.

“I never thought the day would come where I would be a senior playing for her in the last game possible,” Charlotte Messer said. “I just think it’s the greatest gift to her, especially after all she has contributed to the program.”

Camden Hills (16-1) made its Class A debut last season, ending 15-1-1 after falling to Bangor 3-2 in the regional championship game. The Windjammers’ success among larger schools came as a pleasant surprise to Meredith Messer, who has coached the team for 21 years.

“We’ve always been competitive in Class B but we certainly didn’t expect to go undefeated,” she said. “As the season progressed the girls kind of realized, ‘Hey, we have a shot at this.’ ”

While quite a bit of soccer talk goes on in the Messer household, Charlotte said there “weren’t many words” after the Windjammers downed Bangor on Wednesday for their first regional title. Camden Hills scored twice in the last four minutes to stun the No. 1 seed, 3-2.

“There were just a lot of hugs,” Charlotte Messer said. “As a team we’re so energized right now coming out of that game. We just want to leave it all out there.”

But Gorham (16-0-1) is no stranger to this stage. Coach Jeanne Zarrilli has led the Rams to six state finals over her 13 years with the program. But the southern Maine powerhasn’t won a state title since 2007, when the Rams capped off a three-year stretch of taking home the Gold Ball.

“I’ve been there before but the girls haven’t,” Zarrilli said. “You really just try to take it one game at a time.”

Neither team is familiar with its opponent; Gorham and Camden Hills never have met.

Asked about the matchup, Meredith Messer noted the Rams’ defense, and Zarrilli commented on the Windjammers’ ability to score. Camden Hills has 108 goals this season while Gorham has allowed just seven.

“I’ve heard they’re an excellent team and that they move the ball really well,” Zarrilli said. “I think they’ve been kind of knocking on the door for two years.”

Against what Meredith Messer called a “tight defensive unit,” the Windjammers will count on its leading scorers: freshman forward Kristina Kelly as well as Charlotte Messer, a midfielder. Kelly has scored 32 goals this season while Messer has contributed 25 and a team-high 17 assists.

“Luckily for me, Charlotte has always been a kid who wants to improve,” Meredith Messer said. “She has really been a joy to coach. Not every parent can say that.”

She said she tries to keep her “mom” and “coach” hats separate. But there’s sometimes an overlap in those roles, such as the pep talk she gave her daughter before Wednesday’s regional championship game.

“She came up to me and said, ‘I’m saying this as your mom right now: I’m really proud of you,’ ” Charlotte recalled. “It’s just great to share something with her that we both love and it’s great to reward her in this way.

“The only thing on my mind right now is getting the Gold Ball.”


The Gorham boys (16-0-1) will share the spotlight with Zarrilli’s team as they head into the state final against Bangor (15-1-1) at 5:30 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

The top-seeded Rams edged No. 6 Portland 1-0 on Wednesday for their first regional title in 33 years. But that margin of victory was unusually low for Gorham, which has outscored its opponents, 78-9. Coach Tim King expects his offense to thrive on Fitzpatrick Stadium’s turf field, where the Rams had no trouble defeating Portland 3-0 earlier in the season. Jackson Fotter will look to add to his 35 goals this season to help the Rams earn an eighth state title.

No. 2 Bangor is coming off a 3-1 win over Camden Hills for the Northern Maine championship. Bangor won its last state title in 2010, edging Portland, 3-2. Gorham hasn’t won a state championship since 1981.


Yarmouth (15-1-1) and Waterville (17-0) meet for the championship at 10 a.m. at Hampden Academy.

The Clippers, the Southern Maine champs, scored three goals in each of their three playoff games on their way to their first regional title since 2003. In a battle of undefeated teams, Waterville edged Hermon 1-0 for the Northern Maine title. The Panthers won their first and only state final in 2014. Yarmouth has won two Gold Balls.


Yarmouth (14-2-1) tries for its third consecutive state championship when it meets Winslow (16-0-1) at Hampden Academy at 12:30 p.m.

A Northern Maine champion hasn’t won a Class B state title since 1993, when Ellsworth topped Marshwood, 2-0. Winslow made it to back-to-back state championships in 2002 and 2003 – both of which it lost to Falmouth. Winslow has never won a state title while the Clippers have totaled eight.


For the fourth time in nine years, Waynflete and Orono will meet in the state final, this time at Hampden Academy at 3 p.m.

Last season Orono edged Waynflete 3-2 for the title. Orono (13-1-3) entered the playoffs as the North’s top seed whereas No. 5 Waynflete (11-4-2) upset the first, second and fourth-ranked squads for a shot at redemption.