Ava Feeley of Yarmouth takes a shot on goal during the Class B South championship game against York. Feeley finished her season with a school-record 34 goals, including all three Yarmouth goals in a 3-2 comeback victory over Hermon in the state final. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

For Ava Feeley, the shot is muscle memory now. Whether it’s taken from 35 or even 45 yards out, Feeley knows exactly when to take it, and where to place it so the ball zips just out of reach of even the tallest goalies to find the upper corner of the net.

It’s a shot opponents feared and that Feeley struggles to explain.

“I just know when I have free space to shoot it,” said Feeley, a Yarmouth High senior. “You just have to take those moments and use your advantage. I usually don’t think when I shoot. It kind of just happens. It’s kind of an in-the-moment thing.”

It was a season full of big goals for Feeley, who scored 34 of them to set a school single-season record. The final three came in the Class B state championship game, and helped the Clippers overcome an early two-goal deficit to take a 3-2 win over Hermon for their first state title since 2017.

For achieving team and personal goals, Feeley is the Varsity Maine Player of the Year for girls’ soccer.

Feeley improved every season, going from seven goals in each of her first two seasons to 23 as a junior to 34 this fall. She completed her high school career with a school-record 71 goals and added 12 assists. In four playoff games this season, Yarmouth tallied 10 goals. Feeley scored eight of them.


“There isn’t a moment that’s too big. There isn’t a situation that’s too big for her, where she doesn’t feel she can impact the game. With her on the field, you’re never out of it,” said Andy Higgins, Yarmouth’s coach. “She matured. She stepped in as a leader. She’s had individual goals, but she’s always had one big team goal, and that’s what’s driven her and pushed her here.”

Minutes after Hermon lost to Yarmouth 3-2 in overtime of the Class B state championship game, Hawks Coach MJ Ball could only marvel at Feeley’s scoring touch from so far from the net.

“We knew (Feeley) was dangerous, then she got the one from almost 45 yards out, and that was tough. All of a sudden, another loose ball pops to her, and she hits it again from God knows where. Those two hurt,” Ball said.

The closer Feeley got to the opponent’s goal, the more attention she garnered, often seeing a double- or triple-team designed to prevent her from getting the ball. No opponent did that as well as Hermon in the state championship game, Higgins said. To counter the defense, Higgins had Feeley drop back.

“When she was up top, there were three people around her, but when we pulled her back into the midfield, those three didn’t go with her, and it created a lot of space. We do see teams that, she’s one of those players you have to game plan around,” Higgins said. “That kind of created the space she needed to be creative. We’ve got other dangerous players. If you pull from one area, we’ve got players who can exploit that space as well.”

Last weekend, Feeley played in the High School All-American Game in Panama City Beach, Florida. She started and helped the East to a 7-3 win. Feeley saw the game as a preview of what playing college soccer next season at Boston College will be like. Feeley chose BC after having a good experience at the school’s soccer camp, where she felt a strong connection to head coach Jason Lowe and his staff.

“The minute I stepped foot on campus, it was like, this is definitely where I want to be. From a soccer standpoint, you just know when you connect with coaches. Soccer should be fun. I really connected with them. They interacted with players, which was good, because you know they’re really watching you,” Feeley said.

At Boston College, Feeley will reunite with Emma Badger, a Wells native and Feeley’s former teammate on the Seacoast United club team.

“I’m so excited to play with her. I kept it to myself, the whole recruiting process, until the day I committed. She had no idea, which was funny. When I told her, she was stoked. I’m just excited to be around hard competition. It makes it fun,” Feeley said.

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