BATH — Two years ago the North Yarmouth Academy girls’ soccer team could only play a junior varsity schedule. Last year the Panthers won two games.

Now look at them.

NYA jumped ahead quickly and beat Central Aroostook 4-1 in the Class D state final Saturday at McMann Field.

“I didn’t see this (happening),” said senior midfielder Helen Hamblett, who endured the last two seasons.

Serena Mower recorded two goals and an assist as NYA (14-3-1) won its first state title since 2007.

“A great turnaround,” NYA Coach Ricky Doyon said.

NYA had 13 shots on net; Central Aroostook (16-1-1) had five. Each team had five corner kicks but NYA buried its chances.

“The better team won today,” Central Aroostook Coach Joe Levesque said. “We had some possession but we got off the bus not ready.”

NYA started the game going against a brisk wind. Still, Mower provided a 1-0 lead just 1:26 into the game, scoring high to the right corner.

“That was big,” Doyon said. “Going in against the wind, I was hoping to keep it a tight game, 0-0.”

Mower and fellow forward Natalie Farrell were constant threats. Midfielders Rylie McIntyre and Catherine Reid also gave NYA opportunities.

McIntyre showed her speed on NYA’s second goal. She raced down the right sideline, past her defender and scored on a tough angle for a 2-0 lead at 9:50.

Central Aroostook had chances but NYA’s line, led by Elizabeth Goodrich, held. At 23:13, Central Aroostook broke through after a series of corner kicks and close calls. Kate Levesque scored from 15 yards.

Central Aroostook might have tied it but keeper Carly Downey stopped Liberty Fulton’s point-blank header.

NYA got back its two-goal cushion when Farrell buried a Mower cross at 31:38.

In the second half, NYA controlled play. The midfield, including Maggie Holt, kept NYA on the attack.

Mower made it 4-1 at 30:11, beating a defender on a 50-50 ball, kicking it in as she fell.

Mower was one of the four starters from Maine Girls’ Academy, which closed this past summer.

“It was really sad in the beginning,” Mower said, “but it was really nice to have (NYA) welcome us in.”

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-7411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH

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