Windham U12 girls played in the state semi-final and championship games held in Freeport on Sunday, October 30. Windham won its morning semifinal matchup vs. a greatly improved southern division champion from York, 4-0. On to the afternoon championship match versus a very tough, experienced, and disciplined northern division champion from Hampden (near Bangor). The Hampden Broncos had already beaten Windham in the Cumberland Labor Day tournament, 2-0, and Windham avenged that loss at the Falmouth Columbus Day tournament, 2-1 (OT). For both teams, the loss to each other was the only loss in a fall season they had both otherwise dominated. This is the state championship pairing everybody on both teams predicted and prepared for.
On a beautiful afternoon for soccer, Windham’s Abbey Thornton opened the scoring on a penalty kick. Windham 1-0.
The Broncos responded with a high arcing rocket from well outside the box that caught the high corner of the Windham goal, just beyond the reach of the keeper. Then Hampden was awarded a penalty kick of its own, threatening to go ahead 2-1, until Windham goalie Ali Tetrault dove hard to knock the ball away, preserving a 1-1 tie, which held until halftime.
Windham’s coaching staff, Jason Dakin and Matt Bell, made adjustments at the break, resulting in a meteor storm of second half goals by Windham. First a Sarah Bell tap in from a crossing pass; then a Monique Dakin tap in from a crossing pass; then Elizabeth Talbot returned a rebound; then a low hard shot from long range by Rianna Mattox, capped by Abbey Thornton’s second goal of the game. Final score Windham 6-2.
No team can win a championship without a determined defense. Windham’s tenacious defenders Ashley Clarke, Kylie Garrison, Morgan Hammond, Elizabeth Levesque, and Emma Tinkham notched several shutouts this season, including two vital shutouts in the state quarterfinal and semi-final games. The defense never allowed more than two goals in any game this season.
The team is invited to play for the New England U12 championship on Sunday, November 13, near Concord, NH.