ST. AGATHA, Maine — Maddison Miller’s two goals in the second half Friday sparked the Washburn Beavers to a 4-1 comeback win against the Wisdom Pioneers in a Class D North girls preliminary playoff soccer match.
A windswept field above Long Lake made playing conditions difficult. But Wisdom players took advantage of the wind at their backs in the first half, pressing the ball ahead and earning several corner kick chances early on.
Play was back and forth with both teams held scoreless until Wisdom’s Raya Ringette scored at about the 10 minute mark off an assist from Riley Theriault.
The Pioneers withstood an onslaught of shots at one point midway through the first half, when their keeper, Alyssa Banville, was caught well away from the net. Wisdom defenders booted away a flurry of shots until Banville was able to get back in position in time to grab a final shot out of the air.
The Pioneers went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
With the wind at their backs in the second half, however, the Beavers did not take long to score, with Miller netting her first goal just three minutes in off an assist from Kassie Farley.
Miller scored again at about the 18 minute mark off of a floater from the right side, which held up in the stiff breeze and sailed just over the outstretched hand of Banville. Only two minutes later, Farley scored scored off a free kick from just outside the 18 yard line.
Despite good hustle, Wisdom players were unable to mount a consistent offensive press and Washburn pushed play into the Pioneer end of the field most of the second half.
Freshman Emerson Turner scored a final goal for Washburn with about 5 minutes left in the game.
“The wind was a factor today,” said Washburn head coach Marcie Barbarula. “We are playing very well. We’ve had good possessions and good communication.”
Wisdom head coach Kevin Lavoie, who was coaching his daughter, senior Breanne in her final game, agreed that the blustery weather played a role in the outcome.
“As I entered into the game, I wanted us to play into the wind the second half,” he said after the loss. Hoping for a larger lead going into halftime, Lavoie was not expecting to try and come from behind against the wind.
“I am super proud of the players,” he said “We’ve had some good seniors. They have shown great leadership.”
With the loss, Wisdom finished the year with a 7-8 record. Washburn improved to 8-5-2 to earn a quarterfinal match, Oct. 24, against top seeded Penobscot Valley of Howland.