By Keith Harrington
A year ago the Proctor girls soccer team found themselves in a tougher than expected battle with a surprising Hazen squad in the state title tilt. There was no such suspence this time. The Phantoms withstood some early pressure from Arlington before fashioning a 5-0 lead at halftime, then cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Eagles in the Vermont Division IV State Championship game.
The win marked the third state crown in a row for Proctor.
Maggie McKearin scored three goals to pace the Phantom's offense, while Angel Traverse and Brookelyn Kimball anchored the defense.
Arlington was able to create some early chances, with one shot from leading scorer Sydney Harrington hitting the crossbar.
Proctor whethered the early storm from the Eagles before taking the lead. McKearin scored 6:07 into the game, beating Arlington goalie Denita Moore on a breakaway to make it 1-0.
McKearin scored her second goal of the morning to give the Phantoms a 2-0 lead with 25:10 to play in the half. Emma Palmer made it 3-0 Phantoms with a tally six minutes later.
McKearin finished off what will go down as her final hat trick of her career at Proctor, scoring her final goal with 9:45 to go before the half. McKearin now has 45 goals on the season.
Laci French closed out the first half scoring when she beat Moore on a direct kick from 25 yards out to extend the Phantom's lead to 5-0 at the break.
Despite the large deficit the Eagles refused to quit in the final 40 minutes. Their continued effort shut down the high-scoring Proctor offense and finally paid off with a goal of their own. Audrey Robinson hit the back of the net for Arlington with 10:28 left in the contest.
Jenna Davine scored for Proctor off an assist from Isabel Greb with 2:35 remaining.
McKearin, French, Jasmine, Angel and Dez Traverse, Megan Cole and Katelynn Regula all conclude their Proctor careers. However, with the likes of Greb, Palmer, Kimball, Davine and others set to return, a 12th trip in a row to the final and potentially a fourth consecutive title seem well within reach.
Proctor, who has now won 34 games in a row, ends the season 16-0.
Arlington closes out a solid season with a mark of 11-6-2.
Photo Credit-Brooke Kimball