WATERBORO — Connor Sullivan said that, yes, he has scored a prettier goal.

“Yeah. In practice. But not in a game like this,” according to the Marshwood High senior.

And never has Sullivan scored one more memorable or meaningful than his 30-yard shot with 2:02 remaining in regulation of the Class A boys’ soccer state championship game on Saturday.

Finding rare open space, he struck a shot with the perfect shape to curve right-to-left over Brunswick keeper Brady LaForge and into the top corner of the net. The goal lifted Marshwood to a 2-1 victory and the school’s first Class A soccer state championship.

“It’s like a fairy tale,” Sullivan said as he cradled the Gold Ball trophy at Massabesic High after most of the 2,000 fans had left the sun-drenched facility.

“I saw it go over the goalie’s hands and I just turned around and said, ‘That one’s in,’ and pointed to the stands. I was just so happy. We haven’t gotten this far since 1995 (when Marshwood won its second straight Class B title), and the fact that we can bring home the golden ball, it’s just amazing. I would have never dreamed of this, but we’re here.”

The goal was just Sullivan’s second of the season.

“Connor does a lot of things for this team, but one of the things he hasn’t done this season is score,” said Marshwood Coach Ben Deschene. “We kind of tease him a little bit. ‘We need you to score. When’s it coming?’ … It just feels like it’s destiny.”

Brunswick (14-4-1) opened the scoring on a goal by Luke Patterson in the first half that was quite similar in shape and location to Sullivan’s winner.

Marshwood (16-2-1) had to rally. The Hawks did that with a barrage of 18 second-half shots and near constant pressure on the stout Brunswick defense. But for the first 15 minutes, most of the shots were blocked by defenders, led by senior center back Tommy Labbe.

“They’ve carried us all year long. I can’t say enough about that back four,” said Brunswick Coach Mark Roma. “They’ve been doing it all year long. When we were struggling with injuries, it was those guys that kind of kept the ship afloat.”

That changed when a deep throw-in by Abram Cartmill found its way to heavily marked striker Wyatt Yager. Yager’s bid was blocked, but he was able to collect the rebound and slide it to an open Rowan Carter, who tied the game with 22:21 left.

Marshwood continued to win the midfield game, led by senior Trevor Wozny, Carter, Cartmill and Declan Fitzgerald. Outside backs Nathan Jalbert and Jason Singer helped set the attack as they increasingly had space to be able to push the ball into the offensive end.

“Right in the second half, we were just pounding them and pounding them, and once we got that first goal, it was just a turnaround,” said Wozny. “Once we got that first goal, I knew we were going to win.”


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