LEWISTON — Getting a lead in the first minute or two of a high school soccer game is rare. Making that lead stand up for the remainder of the game is rarer. So what the Waynflete girls were able to do in the Class C South championship Wednesday was indeed an impressive feat.

The Flyers scored 70 seconds into the game, then kept North Yarmouth Academy scoreless for the remaining 79 minutes, taking a 1-0 win for their first regional title since 2016.

“I could not have guessed it was going to end 1-0. If anything, I thought we would’ve gone 3-2, 3-3. I’m proud,” Waynflete Coach Carrie Earls said. “My defensive line was the MVP tonight. They deserve all the credit.”

Waynflete, seeded third, improved to 12-5, and will take on Fort Kent (16-1) in the Class C state championship game Saturday at Mt. Ararat High in Topsham.

Top-seed NYA ends the season at 12-2-3, with both losses to Waynflete. The teams split a pair of regular-season games. Waynflete took a 1-0 double overtime win on Sept. 29, and NYA countered with a 2-1 win in the regular-season finale on Oct. 17.

This was the Panthers’ first season in Class C after winning the last four Class D state titles.


“This is the first time we’ve been beat in the playoffs in a long time,” NYA Coach Ricky Doyon said.

The Flyers took a 1-0 lead 1 minute, 10 seconds into the game. In the middle of the box, Lucy Hart gained control of a loose ball and fired a low shot to the left corner of the net.

“I’m definitely glad we got a lead early,” Hart said.

Jojo Moriba, a senior back for Waynflete, knew the early lead put the pressure on the Flyers’ defense, but they were ready for it.

“It helped set the tone. It helped set the energy for the rest of the game for sure,” Moriba said.

Waynflete’s defense focused on preventing the Panthers from playing their kick and run offensive attack, keeping the back line focused on not allowing NYA’s attackers to get to the ball after that first ball over the top, Earls said. Moriba said a key was staying organized.


“We had to stay focused, because they’ve been one of our strongest opponents for years. We had to stay positive,” Moriba said.

Doyon credited Waynflete’s midfield for controlling play throughout the game.

“I think it was more that their midfielders were able to control (the ball) a bit more in the middle. That was tough to break through. It’s worked for them, and that’s a good team,” Doyon said.

NYA tried to generate scoring chances from six first-half corner kicks, and Hayden Wienckowski had a shot with just over a minute to play in the first half, but Ayla Stutzman (three saves) made the stop for the Flyers.

The Panthers’ best scoring chance in the second half came with approximately five minutes left, when Natasha Godfrey had a step on a defender near the top of the box, but Stutzman came out and played the ball before Godfrey could get off a shot.

“We had a lot of opportunities. We played well,” Doyon said. “It stings, but we’ll get over it. They’ll figure out they played well.”

Earls said losing to Maranacook in the regional final last season was a major motivator for her team.

“We’ve got a lot of soccer players this year. Normally we have a lot of great athletes, but soccer’s not their first sport. We have a lot of four-year soccer players, girls who know how to move the ball, and they really wanted it this year,” Earls said. “They didn’t like the feeling of losing in the regional finals last year. It was a goal in June to be here today.”

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