George Stevens Academy’s Memphis Parker (second from left) battles Fort Kent’s Dylan Bernier for the ball during the boys’ Class C North title game Nov. 2 in Fort Kent. GSA lost 4-0 but finished as Northern Maine runner-up for the second straight season. DON ENO PHOTO/ST. JOHN VALLEY TIMES

GSA boys’ soccer earns runner-up finish in Class C North



BLUE HILL — A memorable season for the George Stevens Academy boys’ soccer team came to an unfortunate end Thursday afternoon.

Playing through pouring rain in the northern reaches of the state, the No. 3 GSA Eagles fell 4-0 to top-seeded Fort Kent in the Class C North championship game. The result marked the Eagles’ second Class C North runner-up finish in a row.

Noah Martin, Camden Jandreau, Austin Plourde and Niko Naranja scored the goals for Fort Kent. Goalkeeper Alec Witham had a big day for GSA (11-2-4) with 20 saves.

Despite the loss, GSA still had a successful season. The Eagles made it farther in the Northern Maine playoffs than any other boys’ or girls’ team in Hancock County, and they also upset perennial powerhouse Orono in the road in the playoffs for the second year in a row.

Prior to Thursday’s game, the Eagles had also been undefeated in Class C play. The team’s only loss in the regular season came on the road against Ellsworth, a Class B opponent.

“Our guys have a lot of grit,” GSA head coach Mark Ensworth told the St. John Valley Times. “They [Fort Kent] have a fast team. It comes down to execution, and it wasn’t our day.”

GSA will lose Witham, Ben Cole, Taylor Schildroth and others to graduation in June, but the team will have a good crop of players back next season. Among those returning are Owen Vinall, Ethan Vinall, Jeremiah Scheff, Memphis Parker, Grayson Eaton and Michael Moon, each of whom saw consistent playing time throughout the 2017 season.

Fort Kent then fell 1-0 in the state title game Saturday against Maranacook. The game was tight throughout until Maranacook scored with 20 seconds left to play to claim its third championship in five years in dramatic fashion.

Other boys’ state champions were Lewiston (Class A), Yarmouth (Class B) and Bangor Christian (Class D). Yarmouth’s title was its fourth in a row, a streak that began when the Clippers defeated Ellsworth 1-0 for the crown back in 2014.

Yarmouth also repeated as the state champion on the girls’ side with a 9-0 win over Presque Isle that capped off an undefeated season. The other girls’ winners were Camden Hills (Class A), Houlton (Class C) and Richmond (Class D).

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]