YARMOUTH—The North Yarmouth Academy girls’ soccer team is up to its old tricks.

Scoring goals and winning games and the Panthers believe that they can still get better.

NYA, the two-time reigning Class D champion, outscored its first three foes this fall by a composite 19-0 margin and Tuesday afternoon at Lewis Field, welcomed St. Dom’s.

The Panthers appeared to run away and hide when senior captain Maggie Holt served up a corner kick which junior Angel Huntsman headed home 80 seconds in and senior captain Jazzy Huntsman added a goal in the sixth minute, but despite a huge advantage in shots and corner kicks, couldn’t add to the lead, as Saints freshman goalie Anna Theriault made several highlight reel saves.

NYA rediscovered its scoring touch in the second half, getting a third goal midway through, courtesy freshman Emily Robbins, but for the first time all season, it conceded a goal, as St. Dom’s junior captain Natalie Brocke scored on a breakaway.

The Panthers quickly answered on a rocket from Wallace, then got late goals from Robbins and Angel Huntsman to wrap up a 6-1 victory.

NYA got two goals apiece from Angel Huntsman and Robbins and improved to 4-0 on the season, dropping the Saints to 0-3 in the process.

“It’s been a blast this season,” said Angel Huntsman. “We are very skilled. It starts from our freshmen to our seniors. Our team chemistry has been the best so far.”

Still champions

NYA is in the midst of its most dominant stretch in over a decade, winning Class D crowns in both 2018 and 2019 and going 6-2 a year ago, when no postseason was held due to the pandemic.

So far in 2021, the Panthers have continued their winning ways, downing visiting Old Orchard Beach (9-0) and Richmond (5-0), as well as host Waynflete (5-0).

St. Dom’s started the year with 3-1 losses to visiting Traip Academy and at Old Orchard Beach.

The teams didn’t play last year.

NYA won both meetings in 2019, 5-1 at home and 6-1 on the road.

Tuesday, on a pleasant late-summer afternoon (68 degrees with a light wind), the Panthers carried play throughout.

Less than a minute into the game, Angel Huntsman took a shot which Theriault tipped out for a corner kick.

Holt then sent the ball in front where Huntsman soared to head it home and 80 seconds in, NYA was on top.

“I just happened to be in the right place,” Huntsman said. “That’s the second time we’ve done that. It’s about knowing where to be. It was all (Maggie’s) serve. Scoring a goal is fun, but so is assisting.”

“Angel’s a phenomenal athlete,” said Panthers coach Ricky Doyon. “She’s so competitive. She wants to be the best at everything. She likes to distribute, just like in basketball. She’s a great kid to have on the team.”

After Theriault denied a subsequent Huntsman bid, Jazzy Huntsman got in on the fun, taking a pass from junior Michala Wallace, then beating Theriault with a low blast for a 2-0 lead with 34:33 still to play in the first half.

Just when it appeared NYA was primed to run away and hide, Theriault stymied the Panthers the rest of the half.

Theriault made saves on shots from Wallace, Jazzy Huntsman, Robbins and several stops to frustrate Angel Huntsman.

Despite a 15-0 advantage in shots on goal and 13 corner kicks, NYA’s halftime lead remained 2-0.

The second half started as more of the same, as Angel Huntsman was denied a half dozen times, Jazzy Huntsman hit the post and Theriault also stopped shots from sophomore Hayden Wienckowski and Holt before Wallace sent a shot off the underside of the crossbar.

Finally, with 22:36 to go, junior Vy Tran sent a long through ball to Robbins behind the defense and Robbins finally solved Theriault for a 3-0 lead.

“Emily’s so talented,” Angel Huntsman said. “I’m excited to see how she grows as a player. She’s going to go somewhere.”

With 12:46 left, St. Dom’s put its first and lone shot on frame and it resulted in a goal, as senior captain Emma Roy sent a long feed ahead to Brocke, who got behind the defense, raced in and beat Panthers junior keeper Charlotte Harper-Cunningham to cut the deficit to two.

“Our defense was up a little too far,” Angel Huntsman said. “We needed a goal against us to make us realize what we have to do.”

It took all of 58 seconds for NYA to answer, as Wallace ripped a 30-yard rocket that Theriault leapt for but just couldn’t reach.

With 4:48 left,  Robbins scored on left-footed blast and with 2:59 remaining, Angel Huntsman got to a deflected ball in the box and banged it home to account for the 6-1 final score.

“We weren’t that frustrated because the girls know they can score,” Doyon said. “I wanted to play a little quicker and move the ball.”

NYA finished with a 39-1 shots advantage and took 18 corner kicks.

Theriault stole the show for St. Dom’s with 33 saves.

“I have to give props to their goalie,” Angel Huntsman said, of Theriault. “She was amazing and did really well. Coach always tell us to find corners, especially against a good goalie like that.”

“Their goalie was awesome,” said Doyon. “She made some really nice saves.”

Rematch upcoming

The teams will meet again Sept. 25 in Auburn.

In the meantime, St. Dom’s is at Sacopee Valley Friday, hosts Richmond next Tuesday, then goes to Poland two days later.

NYA stays home to play Traip Academy Saturday and Waynflete Sept. 23.

“We expect Traip to be a tough game,” said Angel Huntsman. “We won’t be able to possess as much as we’ll have to hold the middle. We have to work on defense. A close game will really test us.”

“We have some good tests coming up and we need some tests,” Doyon said. “I want for us to control the ball and move it quicker, that will help us with our speed. If more girls can get touches on the ball, the better off we are. I think we have one of the top groups soccer skill-wise. I’d take the previous few teams any day of the week and this is a fun group here.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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