NEWCASTLE — The Camden Hills boys soccer team persevered through challenging weather and stiff competition from Mt. Ararat to claim a hard fought 1-0 Northern Maine Class "A" quarterfinal victory Tuesday, Oct. 26.
Not much separated the two sides as they battled back and forth on the turf at Lincoln Academy as the game was moved to the artificial surface after playing conditions on the natural surface at Camden Hills were deemed unplayable.
The Eagles hit the post once and created numerous opportunities on their long throw-ins but the 'Jammer defense held strong.
With five minutes to play in the game Camden Hills earned a free kick 30 yards from goal. Max Welt played a nice pass to Cam Brown, who stayed cool under pressure and took an excellent first touch in a sea of Eagles defenders before deftly striking a ball to the back post that would ease just inside the frame of the goal.
The 'Jammers defended stoutly for the next five minutes and held on for the win.
The stats told the tale of the contest with the 'Jammers and Eagles taking 13 shots a piece and the Eagles holding the edge in corners 7-6. Henry Pharris saved two shots for the 'Jammers and Jacob Fullerton saved two shots for the Eagles.
Today was definitely a challenge. As the saying goes, it was two good teams and it really could have gone either way. Playoffs are a different kind of game and atmosphere and it took us a bit to adjust.
Our back line of Henry Pharris, Jackson Fitch, Lucas Moody, Eric LeBlond and Avery Hackett did an excellent job of limiting Ararat's chances and giving us the opportunity to take the game.
In the end, Cam made a special play and we got the result we wanted. I'm proud of the effort and I think we will play a bit better next game with this experience under our belts.
Ryan Hurley is the coach of the Camden Hills boys soccer program.