WINSLOW – The fourth-ranked Bucksport High School girls soccer team had allowed just four goals in 15 games entering Tuesday’s Eastern Maine Class B semifinals against top seed Winslow.
But Black Raider center midfielder Katie Caron scored a pair of goals 6:07 apart within the game’s first 20 minutes and that proved to be enough as Winslow triumphed 2-1.
Winslow, 15-1, will entertain No. 2 Ellsworth, 15-0-1,in Saturday’s EM B final.
Bucksport wound up 12-2-2.
The Raiders dominated the first half by beating the Bucks to loose balls, controlling the midfield and passing the ball effectively.
Winslow outshot the Bucks 10-1 over the first 40 minutes.
The Bucks were much more aggressive in the second half and played much better. They were rewarded for their improved performance when junior Keely Sullivan converted a Terren Hall corner with 23:25 left in regulation.
They pressed for the equalizer but the Black Raider defense, led by fullback Courtney Turner and sweeper Heather Pelletier, buckled down and held them off.
“They played with a sense of urgency in the second half and, at times, we played not to lose rather than being aggressive. We can’t do that if we want to continue to be successful,” said Winslow coach Scott Wood.
Bucksport coach Jack Gordon said “we played poorly in the first 20 minutes and they made us pay for it. They’re a very good team, they were quick to the ball and played with a lot of energy.”
“We really stepped it up in the second half but it wasn’t quite enough,” said Bucksport senior goalie Katie Hurd, who made five saves on 17 shots during an outstanding performance.
Caron’s first goal came after a Hurd drop kick hit a Winslow player and eventually wound up on her foot 35 yards from goal.
“It was a crazy shot. It was just a reaction,” said Caron, who chipped it perfectly into the corner over the stranded Hurd.
“I couldn’t get back in time. It was a really good shot,” said Hurd.
Moments later, Liz Cheesman made a pass across to Caron positioned in the middle of the field 40 yards from goal.
“I was going to pass it out wide like [Wood] tells us to but [the pass] wasn’t there. So I took a touch and it happened to open up,” said Caron, who dribbled neatly past two defenders and broke free into the penalty area before sliding the ball inside the post to Hurd’s left.
“Coach always tells us to hit a post and that’s what I tried to do,” said Caron.
The alert Sullivan cut the lead in half by maneuvering through the crowded goal-mouth and poking home a loose ball off Hall’s corner.
Hall had a few more dangerous corners and Bucks’ leading scorer Lindsey Gordon tested Winslow goalie Brynne Davis with a long one-hopper with three minutes left but Davis made a comfortable save.
Davis finished with three saves on seven shots.
Omnipresent left back Meg Lalonde turned in an exceptional game for the Bucks.