BANGOR, Maine — The third time was the charm for the Fort Kent High School girls soccer team.
After losing to Bucksport in the Class C North championship game the past two seasons, the Warriors edged the defending state champion Bucks 1-0 at Cameron Stadium in Bangor on Wednesday night.
Fort Kent, now 16-1, will take on Waynflete of Portland in Saturday’s 10 a.m. state title game at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham.
It was Fort Kent’s first regional title since 2019.
It was Fort Kent’s 12th shutout of the season.
Bucksport finished at 16-1.
The Bucks had scored 82 goals this season but the Warriors were stout on defense.
“We have prided ourself on [defense] all season,” said Fort Kent coach Doug Cyr. “We’ve only let 30 shots on us all season.
“I’m super proud of these girls. They’ve busted their butts all season. To come here and hold a talented team like Bucksport to few shots and another shutout [is an accomplishment],” Cyr added.
Bucksport had seven shot attempts and senior goalkeeper Mia Voisine made two saves.
Junior goalkeeper Jetta Shook finished with three saves on 10 Fort Kent shots.
Freshman Reese Doucette scored the game’s only goal 2:40 into the second half, and the Warriors did an excellent job protecting the lead by swarming the ball and not giving the Bucks much time to penetrate the attacking third.
They also did an impressive job defensively in one-on-one battles. They rarely got beat, and if they did, there was another Warrior ready to intervene.
The blustery wind and freezing temperatures turned it into a game of boot and scoot as both teams struggled to string together passes.
Doucette broke the scoreless deadlock by sprinting onto a loose ball as Bucksport goalkeeper Jetta Shook dashed off her line to try to prevent a scoring chance. Doucette and a Buck defender converged on the ball with Shook and Doucette was able to get her foot on it and it rolled into the net from 16 yards out.
“What did we say at half, just get a touch,” said Cyr.
“I just poked it,” said Doucette.
Voisine made a pair of important saves in the second half as she batted away a long-distance effort by Sam Cyr and held the near side to get her hands on a strong effort by Addison Goss.
A Buck had an opportunity on the rebound of Goss’ shot but sailed it over the crossbar.
Madeline Philbrook, Allie Fournier and Emlyn Nadeau were outstanding in the back for Fort Kent and Cyr said defensive midfielders Lily Werntgen and Shelby Theriault did a good job pressuring the Bucks.
Speedy sophomore sweeper Madison Rose was terrific for Bucksport, covering a ton of ground and breaking up numerous Fort Kent attacks. Goss and Lily Chiavelli also turned in quality performances.
“We stayed on our toes and played defensively after we scored that first goal,” said senior Philbrook. “We protected our goal. We cover each other really well and we have each other’s backs.”
Scoring chances were few and far between in the first half, and neither goalkeeper was forced to make a difficult save.
But both goalies were active and aggressive, coming off their lines to outrace attackers to the ball and covering it up.
Shook had one save on five Fort Kent shot attempts while Voisine wasn’t forced to make one on three Buck shot attempts.
Fort Kent had the wind in its favor in the first half and had an edge in possession but couldn’t transform that advantage into a goal.