Charlotte Harper-Cunningham saved a penalty kick with one second remaining to preserve a shutout as North Yarmouth Academy claimed its third consecutive Class D girls’ soccer state championship with a 3-0 victory over Wisdom on Saturday at Presque Isle Middle School.

“What a way to go out,” NYA Coach Rick Doyon said by phone from Presque Isle after the game. “That was an exclamation point on the season right there.”

Sophomore Emily Robbins scored in the fifth minute after driving deep near the left end line, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead. Senior Jasmine Huntsman made it 2-0 at halftime by volleying a cross from sophomore Kailyn McIntyre.

Not quite 13 minutes after intermission, Huntsman set up senior Maggie Holt from 10 yards in front to give NYA (17-0-1) a 3-0 lead that was never seriously threatened.

“That was great ball movement,” Doyon said of the lead-up to Holt’s goal. “That started from halfway down the field and went through four players. It started from the back and went boom, boom, boom.”

The Panthers controlled possession for much of the game and held a 32-7 advantage in shots on goal.

Not until the final five minutes did Harper-Cunningham make a difficult save. A handball in the waning seconds gave Wisdom’s Abbie Lerman a penalty kick, but Harper-Cunningham dove to her right to smother the shot. She finished with seven saves, to 22 for Wisdom keeper Colleen Thamsen.

NYA allowed only five goals all season and scored 105. That includes a 22-1 advantage in the tournament. The Panthers also won state titles in 2019 against Penobscot Valley (1-0) and 2018 against Central Aroostook (4-1).

“This group is more technical than in the past,” Doyon said. “The other two teams were really good. I’ll take any of them any time.”

Saturday’s title was the 10th for NYA, which won seven Class C titles between 1999 and 2007.

Despite all its success, the NYA program had fallen to junior varsity status in 2016, Doyon’s first year after six seasons as an assistant in Biddeford. The Panthers won only two varsity games in 2017 before reeling off three state titles.

Huntsman, Holt, Eliza Chace and Marion Robbins are the four NYA seniors who played in all three state championship games.

“We had a tough couple years, but they worked and they bought in,” Doyon said. “I’m fortunate.”

BOYS

LEE ACADEMY 5, NYA 0: Junior Joel Gerlach scored twice to lead Lee Academy to a 5-0 victory over North Yarmouth Academy (11-5-2) in the Class D final.

Sophomore Luis Soto assisted on both Gerlach goals and scored one himself. Kutay Erturk chipped in a shot from 18 yards midway through the first half for the first score, with an assist from Pedro Anselmo. Anselmo converted a penalty kick late in the second half to make it 4-0.

Michael Belleau made 10 saves for NYA and Andrew Scott finished with 15 for Lee Academy, which earned its first boys’ soccer state title.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.