HAMPDEN, Maine — After 16 regular season and three regional playoff games, the Girls Class D State soccer championship came down to penalty kicks on Nov. 3 after Richmond and Washburn ended regulation play and a double overtime period tied at 1-1 at the Weatherbee Athletic Complex.
Richmond led, 2-1, going into the fifth and final round of penalty kicks and won the state title when Richmond defender Brianna Snedeker sent her kick past Beaver goalie Rayah Saucier just inside the right post.
Richmond took the lead in the 17th minute with a goal from forward Sadie Gosse. The Bobcats’ lead held up until Washburn forward Mackenzie Worcester tied the score in the 67th minute. Worcester received a centering pass from forward Carmen Bragg at the 12 and headed it in for the game-tying goal.
“It was a great centering pass and I knew this was our chance to score,” Worcester said. “My defender went for my fake which left me free to head the ball into the goal.”
Washburn nearly took the lead in the 78th minute. Bragg shot from 12 yards out which was heading for a goal until it hit the top crossbar and deflected away.
As the game progressed, it seemed the Beavers were on the verge of an upset victory. Washburn had seized the game’s momentum on Worcester’s goal and finished the game by outshooting Richmond, 18-16.
Richmond had a difficult time keeping their composure in the second half as they saw the possibility of their two-year reign as state champions slipping away.
Richmond was forced to play for 10 minutes without is captain, Gosse, who was assessed a yellow card with 11:40 remaining in regulation. The Bobcats received another yellow card with 8:09 remaining in the second overtime period when forward Payton Johnson was penalized for grabbing an opponent’s jersey.
The sidelining of two key Richmond players and the Beavers’ slim lead in shots was not enough to produce a game-winning goal following two sudden death overtime periods, which meant the state championship would be decided by penalty kicks.
In this pressure packed format, the Bobcats’ championship experience seemed to pay off as they connected on three of five attempts. While Washburn’s Catelyn Coulombe scored the only penalty kick on four attempts for the Beavers.
In winning the state title for the third consecutive season, Richmond (17-0-1) had a roster full of players with championship experience. For Washburn (15-2-1) this was the first time any of their players were involved in the state title game.
Worcester believed even though her team lost, the season had been a great success in forcing Richmond to win the championship in penalty kicks. She believed her team’s patience and confidence enabled them to play evenly against a team which had such a rich history tournament soccer.
“We held our composure and played against a really great team,” Worcester said. “Our team had to overcome a lot to reach the state final. We lost a couple of top scorers from a year ago. So just to win Eastern Maine was something we’ve never done and have the state championship game decided by penalty kicks is something we should be proud of.”
Washburn coach Marcy Barbarula agreed with Worcester’s assessment of her team’s effort in the state final. She believed both teams had several chances to win the title before it came down to penalty kicks.
“It was a hard-fought game and we both had our chances,” Barbarula said. “I told them they had nothing to hang their heads about. They played hard and for it to come down to penalty kicks it was something they should all be very proud of.”
Saucier made 12 saves in goal for the Beavers. Richmond goalie Kelsie Obi had 10 saves.