HAMPDEN — A steady rain and an early deficit weren’t enough to keep the Waynflete boys’ soccer team from its date with destiny Saturday afternoon at Hampden Academy, as the Flyers capped arguably the finest season in program history with a Gold Ball.

The Flyers fell behind Fort Kent in the game’s fourth minute but answered with beautiful goals from Askar Houssein, Oliver Burdick and Patrick Shaw, then got a couple clutch saves from Luca Antolini and went on to a 3-1 victory in the Class C state championship game.

Waynflete finished 15-0-3, earned its fifth Gold Ball and its first since 2011, and ended Fort Kent’s season at 14-3-1.

“When you take into consideration our (Western Maine Conference) schedule, not losing a game and beating a good team here, it’s hard not to say this isn’t our best (team),” said longtime Flyers Coach Brandon Salway.

Fort Kent stunned the Flyers early. Just 3 minutes, 20 seconds into the game, Kayden Nadeau took a feed from Noah Martin and flicked it past Antolini and into the net for a 1-0 lead.

“I told the guys it’s just another game and we tried to handle the goal as such,” said Flyers captain Miles Lipton. “We needed to bounce back with energy, and we did that.”


The Flyers settled down and answered in the 15th minute on a corner kick, as Shaw served the ball in and Houssein headed it past keeper Reece Pelletier.

“There was never panic,” Houssein said. “Brandon always tells me when we practice headers that I have to get up and score. I knew I could get it.”

The go-ahead goal was something to behold, as Burdick got the ball about 35 yards out and made solid contact, blasting it just over Pelletier’s outstretched hands and into the net for a 2-1 advantage with 9:44 to play before halftime.

“I usually pass it, but they gave me so much time and I had to get a shot off,” Burdick said. “I won’t call it luck, but it didn’t go where I thought. It came off my foot really well.”

Eight minutes into the second half, Shaw matched Burdick with a highlight-reel goal of his own, scoring from nearly the same distance as he finished just inside the far post for a 3-1 lead.

“I saw an opening in the goal and I figured I would take a shot,” said Shaw. “When it hit the net, I knew I hit it well.”


Fort Kent tried hard to answer but couldn’t solve Antolini, who made a clutch diving save to rob Austin Plourde with 14:48 remaining, then dove to punch away another Plourde bid with 11:19 on the clock.

“I just don’t want the ball to go in the net,” said Antolini, a captain. “It’s just reaction; I don’t think.”

Waynflete didn’t surrender another shot and soon was celebrating a championship.

“I was on the team freshman year when we lost (to Washington Academy in overtime), so it’s great to win it now,” said Flyers captain Thorne Kieffer. “It’s surreal.”

Waynflete finished with a 9-7 shots advantage and got six saves from Antolini. Fort Kent had a 6-2 edge in corner kicks and got six saves from Pelletier.

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