The young Eagles flew after their coach on the Troy Howard Middle School soccer/football field until she finally relented and accepted her fate. The student-athletes swarmed around the coach and encased her in Silly String. With her head and shoulders completely under wraps, the coach raised her arms in victory.

That fun scenario played out Thursday afternoon in Belfast moments after the Rockland District Middle School girls soccer squad had completed yet another thrilling upset of a higher-ranked opponent and earned a spot in the upcoming Busline League championship game.

Rachel Campbell, the first-year Eagle coach, was more than happy to share this silly, improbable moment with her delirious young players after No. 5 RDMS (4-8-1) outlasted No. 2 Troy Howard (7-4-1) 1-0 in the North Division championship game.

After winning one game during the regular season and upending, in order, No. 4 Medomak Middle School 2-1 in double-overtime and penalty kicks in the quarterfinals, No. 1 Camden-Rockport Middle School 3-2 in double-overtime in the semifinals after the first game between the two squads ended in a scoreless tie after being halted by darkness and then holding off No. 2 Troy Howard 1-0 in the divisional final, it appears the Eagles are a team of destiny.

RDMS will find out if that is true on Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 5 p.m. when it plays the South Division champion at Wasgatt Field on Thomaston Street in Rockland. The final championship game originally was scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 16 at noon at the same field, but was moved due to the rainy forecast for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15-16.

Rockland will face the South Division champ and that division’s No. 1 team in Richmond (10-1-1) in the league title game.

If nothing else, the Eagles have proven to be road warriors, having won three straight road playoff games, and being forced to play three consecutive games on three consecutive days — with one game with CRMS ultimately not counting.

On Thursday, the young Eagles and Lions battled toe-to-toe for nearly 50 minutes before Arianna Curtis scored in heavy traffic in front of the Troy Howard goal with 10:13 left in the second half. The goal was set up because the Eagles kept the pressure — and the ball — in front of the net, most notably thanks to the work of Sydney Hall.

Both teams had chances to score during the two 30-minute halves, but the standout goaltending of Rockland’s Jordan Carpenter and Troy Howard’s Danielle Wilson, both of whom made several nice saves, made that more difficult.

The Lions pressured to try to score the equalizer when they earned a corner kick with less than a minute left, but the Eagles held tough defensively.

Earlier in the single-elimination playoffs, RDMS beat host No. 4 Medomak Middle School 2-1 Oct. 9 after 60 minutes of regulation, two five-minute overtimes and penalty kicks. On Oct. 12, the Eagles and No. 1 Schooners played to a scoreless, double-overtime tie when darkness halted play. The two teams met again Oct. 13 and RDMS won 3-2 in double-overtime. Then came Thursday’s victory over the Lions.

Belfast received a first-round bye and then beat No. 3 Searsport District Middle School 3-1 in the semifinals.

The Eagles, coached by Campbell, include Kasey Buretta, Brittany Rytky, Catherine Abaldo, Chelsea Williams, Kayla Malmstrom, Kingsley Holmes, Jordan Carpenter, Ashley Gardner, Emily Protheroe, Alexandra Nibby, Mackenzie Raymond, Elena Laustson, Meghan McGonagle, Autumn Keene, Ireland LeBlanc, Brianna Dugan, Rebecca Boggs, Arianna Curtis, Sydney Gustafson, Lily McVetty, Sydney Hall, Nina Lavigne, Ellie Spizzuoco and Julia Barbour.

The Lions, coached by Jenny Cameron, include Autumn Jackson, Brogan Leppanen, Meghan Larrabee, Danielle Wilson, Alexis Racioppi, Mariah Sturgis, Kasey McLeod, Lydia Violette, Jordan DiBiase, Kelsey Dyer, Sam Monro, Taylor Nickerson, Ashley Flanders, Harley Leino, MiKayla Artkop, Eliza Clark, Hadley O’Malia, Hannah Richards, Julia Colcord, Dakota Flagg, Annie Wirth, Caitlin Hathaway and Lindsey Ward.

Beating No. 1 team

It has been said a team always wants to perform its best come playoff time and RDMS has been living that adage.

After the No. 5 Eagles’ first semifinal playoff game with top-seeded Camden-Rockport Tuesday was called off due to darkness and ended in a scoreless tie, the two squads returned to the field Wednesday to replay the game.

When the second marathon affair in Camden was finished, RDMS had clung to a stunning 3-2, double-overtime victory. Camden-Rockport finished the campaign 9-1-1.

“I’m so proud of the girls. This season has been so rewarding and unpredictable,” said Campbell after the victory over CRMS. “The girls have proven to everyone and, more importantly to themselves, that they are capable of winning.”

Brittany Rytky scored the game-winning goal and Mackenzie Raymond and Hall kept RDMS in the game with goals. Taylor Peasley scored one of the goals for Camden-Rockport. The name of the second Schoone  scorer could not be published.

Coach Campbell said she was proud of her players for improving throughout the campaign.

“What we all have learned is having a positive attitude, teamwork, communication and playing at the potential we know can go a long way for us,” she said. “During the regular season we won only one game and now here we are battling it out for the North Division championship. Words can’t explain how proud I am of the girls.”

Raymond scored the opening goal in the first half to give the Eagles the lead. However, Peasley responded with a direct kick into the net to tie the contest 1-1.

Host Camden-Rockport opened the second half with a goal to give the hosts a short-lived 2-1 advantage. However, with about eight minutes left in the second half, Hall netted the tying goal for the Eagles to make it 2-2.

The teams were not about to let their second straight game wait anther day as they battled into the second five-minute overtime.

With two minutes remaining in the second OT, Rytky found the back of the net to give RDMS its upset victory.

Village NetMedia Regional Editor/Sports Director Ken Waltz can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at kwaltz@villagesoup.com.