Steve Fulton, left, led undefeated Yarmouth in scoring with 17 goals and four assists as a center midfielder. In his four years on the varsity, Yarmouth compiled a 52-3-8 record and won two Class B state titles. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Steve Fulton was good right away when he joined the powerful Yarmouth High boys’ soccer program, starting as a freshman at outside back and then shifting to the pivotal center midfield position on a state championship team as a sophomore in 2019.

This year, as a senior, he rose to another level. Fulton was one of the best players in the state and the clear leader on another powerful team that won Yarmouth’s sixth Class B title in the past seven postseasons.

“Looking back to two years ago, I was a sophomore playing with a really, really good group,” Fulton said. “So a lot of my passes, I would defer to them, and if there was any trouble, I would defer to them.”

With added maturity, soccer experience at the club level and more strength on a solid 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame, Fulton deferred to no one in 2021. Playing as a defensive midfielder, he still led Yarmouth in scoring (17 goals, four assists). He controlled the middle of the field, also leading Yarmouth in steals (over 80), air-ball wins (107), air-ball win ratio (107/20) and connected passes.

“Playing simple and being confident was a big significant difference,” Fulton said. “The past couple years I would maybe not take a guy on and dribble past him, and that was added to my game this year. A team always needs something like that.”

Yarmouth capped its 17-0-2 season with the Class B title, a 3-0 win against previously unbeaten Winslow. The Clippers were ranked second in New England and 15th nationally in United Soccer Coaches Association polls.

“Simply put, Steve Fulton is the best player on the best team in the state,” said Yarmouth Coach Mike Hagerty.

And now, Fulton is the Varsity Maine 2021 boys’ soccer Player of the Year. Fulton got the nod over two strong candidates, Scarborough junior and SMAA Player of the Year Zander Haskell and Trevor Wozny, a senior center midfielder for Class A champion Marshwood.

Fulton and Haskell were Maine’s two All-Americans as chosen by the Maine Soccer Coaches Association.

“Steve Fulton was head and shoulders above all other players in Class B,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond.

In Fulton’s four seasons on the varsity, including the pandemic-shortened, playoff-less 2020 season, Yarmouth compiled a 52-3-8 record, winning Class B championships in 2019 and 2021.

Fulton said winning championships is “definitely always the goal” for Yarmouth’s players. He acknowledged that being part of such a strong tradition comes with expectations, but not necessarily added pressure.

“We think of it less as pressure and more an acknowledgment that we get everyone’s best games and we’re supposed to win and that’s just a confidence boost,” Fulton said.

Fulton has completed the application process to the U.S. Naval Academy and is waiting on a decision. His father, also named Steve, uncle and grandfather are Naval Academy graduates. If accepted, Fulton intends to try to make the men’s soccer team as a walk-on.

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