Entering the state championship game, the Lewiston Blue Devils High School boys soccer team was ranked 22nd in the nation, and sported an 18-0-0 record on the season.
But the upset-minded Scarborough Red Storm, who entered undefeated with a 15-0-2 record, gave Lewiston all they could handle before finally succumbing 1-0 to the Blue Devils on a crazy goal in the 64th minute.
Lewiston pressured Scarborough’s defense throughout the game, using strong attacks from strikers Abdi Shariff-Hassan and Maslah Hassan, as well as midfielders Maulid Abdow and Mohamed Abdisalan.
Scarborough countered with a strong defense including Josh Morrisey, Andrew Porada, Spencer Pettingill, and Sam Jacob, as well as goalkeeper Cam Nigro.
Lewiston pressured from the start: Their first opportunity came courtesy of a throw-in. Abdow, who executes a front handspring before firing the ball, threw a floater from thirty yards out into the box, forcing Nigro to win a jump ball and punch the ball out of danger. Just minutes later, Hassan had an open look from just outside the 6-yard box but Nigro made a spectacular kick save.
Abdukarim Abdulle and Muktar Ali both missed good opportunities for the Blue Devils later in the half.
Scarborough rarely pushed the ball into Lewiston’s end but they did create a couple of chances against Lewiston’s defense, anchored by Dek Hassan, Zakariya Abdulle, and keeper Austin Wing. Jake Kacer was able to get his head on a long throw in from Matt Caron but Wing was there for one of his two saves. Alex Giles had one long distance shot from 30 yards out that rose and fell just over the crossbar.
Neither team surrendered a goal in their first three playoff games and that trend continued as the score was 0-0 at halftime. What was strange was Lewiston’s inability to score - the Blue Devils had scored over 100 goals on the season and outscored their opponents 13-0 during the postseason.
Coming out of the halftime break, Lewiston turned up the pressure, as Abdulle had a spectacular look but Nigro made the save. Abdisalan had a header go just over the crossbar and Joseph Kalilway had consecutive opportunities but one went just wide and Nigro denied the other.
Lewiston finally struck in the 64th minute after consistently attacking the Red Storm for the entire game. A corner kick resulted in a great shot by Abdisalan but Nigro was their for a spectacular kick save, forcing a throw-in. But Abdow, executing yet another handspring throw, fired the ball into the middle where it deflected off a Scarborough defender and into the net for the lone goal of the game with just under seventeen minutes remaining in the game.
Lewiston kept the pressure on, not allowing Scarborough to mount a rally. They had one more shot,- a Noah Stracqualursi blast that was deflected and then saved by Wing. Scarborough’s final opportunity came in the final minute when Nigro grabbed a loose ball and punted it almost 60 yards. The ball bounced and headed towards the Lewiston goal. Wing sprinted out and won a jump ball, grabbing it just before several Scarborough strikers got to the ball. Wing held the ball briefly, punted it away, and the Red Storm didn’t threaten again.
Despite the loss, it was an admirable effort from Scarborough, whom not many people expected to stay with Lewiston for as long as they did.
Meanwhile, Lewiston takes home their first soccer state title. They did not trail in any game all season and are the third team ever from Maine to end a season nationally ranked.