ASHLAND, Me (WAGM) - The Ashland girls soccer team won a tough game against Madawaska to make it back to states for the third year in a row. Isaac Luken recaps regionals and looks ahead to tomorrows showdown with Richmond.
For the second year in a row Ashland beat Madawaska to make it to the Class D state championship.
"Yeah we knew they were going to be a challenge and we were excited for it. I personally loved how close the game was. The adrenaline just kept on pumping, it's my favorite part about it," said senior Cassidy Pelletier.
Morgan Doughty had two goals in the 3-2 win, which was going a little out of her comfort zone.
"It felt great. Usually I like to make the pass for the goal, but tonight I really stepped it up and shot which was really nice," Doughty explained.
It may seem like different year, same result for the Hornets. But if you look closely the makeup of the team is different than in years past.
"We started the season with three eighth graders and four freshman. So there was a big learning curve for these kids and they've really stepped it up. They're not really eighth graders or ninth graders any more," said head coach Peter Belskis.
Always looking to improve, Ashland hopes to correct some mistakes ahead of Saturday's Class D championship against Richmond.
"We definitely need to work together more and get it out to the wings and that's where we'll definitely do some business," said junior Micayla Driscoll.
"Definitely working together as a team and tough defense is definitely key. One of the things our coach always says is offense wins games and defense wins championships," Doughty added.
The Hornets and Bobcats are meeting for the gold ball at 10:00 in Portland this Saturday. This is the third straight year these teams have battled one another, with each squad winning once up to this point. Belskis has seen the southern Maine champs play this year and says it should be another close game between the two squads.
"They're a very talented and typical Richmond team. Strong down the middle, good scorer up front, steady defense, and a solid goalie. So it'll be another major test, but when you get into the states and you're one of the top two teams you figure you have at least a 50-50 chance because you're there," Belskis said.