HAMPDEN, Maine — It often takes only one goal to spark a soccer team to victory.
Hampden Academy’s Josh Redmond made sure that never happened for Camden Hills on Friday night.
The junior defender alertly blocked a point-blank blast by Josiah Krull 18 minutes into the first half and the Broncos scored less than two minutes later en route to a 2-0 victory over the Windjammers in a Class A North soccer semifinal.
“The biggest save of the night, arguably, came from our back,” he added.
Redmond’s heroics were among a cohesive 40 minutes by the Hampden Academy defense, which limited high-quality scoring chances by No. 3 Camden Hills (11-3-2).
“This was probably the best game our backs have played,” Nick Chasse said. “They were all compact and they played together.”
Hampden scored first-half goals 10 ½ minutes apart from seniors Nick Chasse and Isaias Raime. The Broncos mounted good offensive pressure as a group that included Jackson Gilmore, John Wolfington, Ben Huston and Raime worked the ball up to strikers Nick Gilpin and Chasse.
Coach Ryan Hurley’s Windjammers turned up the heat in the second half but couldn’t get the ball into the net.
Krull, Josh Pitcairn, Kieren Lydon and Kienen Brown worked tirelessly up front but found resistance from the HA defense. Max Pushaw, Jack Moody and Tristan Fong battled hard in the back to support Lucas Boetsch (eight saves).
Camden Hills threatened first as Brown’s shot from the left side was blocked by Townsend. The ball ricocheted out in front to Krul, who drilled a hard shot that Redmond blocked with his right foot with 22:09 left in the first half.
“If I see [goalie] Kyle Townsend running at the ball, I know somebody else has to to be there behind him for a last resort,” Redmond said. “I’ve got to be there.”
The Broncos seized the momentum when Chasse and Gilpin worked a nifty give-and-go in the penalty area that got Chasse open. He placed a low, 5-yard shot into the corner to Boetsch’s right.
HA continued to attack and was rewarded. This time, Brandon Chasse’s corner kick from the right side found Raime, an exchange student from the Dominican Republic who skimmed the ball off his back and into the goal.
That made it 2-0 with 9:57 to play in the half.
Camden Hills’ best scoring chance came with 25:45 left when Kyle Crans’ throw-in from the left found Brown in front. He fired his close-range shot past the right post.