PVHS comes back in 2nd half to defeat Central Aroostook
MARS HILL, Maine — The Penobscot Valley High School Howlers ended the Central Aroostook Panthers’ perfect season Wednesday, scoring a pair of second half goals to come from behind for a 3-2 victory in the Class D North boys’ soccer championship.
PVHS, now 16-1 and winners of 15 consecutive matches, will meet South champion North Yarmouth Academy (15-2) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in Bath for the state title. It is PVHS’s first trip to the state finals since 1991.
The second-seeded Howlers, which lost to CA in last year’s semifinal round, struck first in Wednesday’s game and didn’t take long as senior forward Grant Kidon tallied an unassisted goal just 1:30 after the opening kickoff.
No. 1-ranked Central Aroostook displayed its explosive offense later in the half by scoring twice. The first goal was supplied by sophomore Samuel Rowe, who put one in off a Hunter Wardwell assist with 11:01 to play. Less than three minutes later, taking advantage of a PVHS foul inside the 18-yard box, senior Ben Thomas slammed home a penalty kick to give the Panthers the one-goal lead.
In the second half, PVHS stormed back. Kidon netted the equalizer off an assist from junior Zach Doore with 30:53 remaining. Another 2:38 ran off the clock before the Howlers netted the game-winner as Doore’s corner kick found the head of teammate Reece Carter, who directed the ball into the opposite corner just over the head of CA sweeper Lane Grass.
Elijah Wood, the PVHS goalkeeper who finished with eight saves on 14 shots, prevented what would have been the tying goal with three minutes left as the Panthers’ Bryan Anthony struck the ball from just outside the 18-yard line that Wood deflected. The ball trickled toward the goal line but Wood recovered and pounced on it before CA players could get there for the rebound.
Brayden Bradbury made five saves on 12 shots for Central Aroostook, which ended up 16-1 and finished as the regional runner-up for the second consecutive year.