ROCKPORT – Despite holding the lower seed for its Eastern Maine Class B preliminary-round matchup Tuesday afternoon, the Rockland girls soccer team went into the game with a huge advantage.
Actually, make that two huge advantages.
No. 9 Rockland already had beaten No. 8 Camden Hills twice during the regular season. So to have to play the Windjammers at Don Palmer Field was somewhat disheartening for the Tigers.
“We were all a little disappointed,” said senior sweeper Danielle Hansen. “They beat us by like seven-tenths of a point in the standings, and it was just because of who they beat and who [other teams] beat.”
But Rockland just used that as motivation. The Tigers took advantage of Baillie Boggs’ lone goal and a solid defensive effort for a 1-0 victory over Camden Hills.
It was a historic win for the Rockland girls soccer program, which had never advanced in the postseason and was making just its second playoff appearance in a non-open tournament year.
The Tigers, now 6-8-1, earned a quarterfinal berth against No. 1 Winslow (13-1) Friday.
Although Winslow won two games against the Tigers by a combined score of 10-0, Rockland coach Brian Plourde is optimistic his squad can compete with the two-time defending EM champs.
“We were able to penetrate and get shots on goal,” he said. “We know we can’t play man-to-man defense for 80 minutes against Winslow, so we’ll do some different things, see if we can make it a shorter game and a smaller field.”
The ‘Jammers finish at 6-9.
Boggs, who had already contributed five goals against Camden Hills this year, burned the Windjammers again Wednesday with 14 minutes, 52 seconds left in a slow offensive game for both teams.
Boggs scored off an assist from Novelle Szandzik, who worked the ball down the right sideline and passed it ahead to Boggs who was on the right wing. The left-footed Boggs settled it and shot it with her right foot across the goal line and into the left side of the net.
“One of [the Camden Hills defenders] came from the side and I basically just worked my way around her and put it in,” Boggs said. “I’m not as comfortable with my right foot, but whatever works. We were fighting.”
The Windjammers got inside the 18-yard line but were unable to coordinate many quality opportunities.
Erika Johnson carried the ball into the 18 but couldn’t get a shot off before Rockland goalie Brittany Ross got to the ball first. Lexi Coleman got off a shot after a Kayla Gushee free kick with 3:45 left but Ross saved that one, too.
“We had some great chances and I felt like we had the ball the majority of the time in their end,” Camden Hills coach Meredith Messer said. “It was just one of those things where you can’t put the ball in.”
Ross stopped five of seven shots, while Kerry Gross made four saves on seven shots for the Windjammers.