By Christopher Smith
---- — EXETER — Call him James “Big-Shot” Baiguy because the Windham midfielder was at it again last night.
Baiguy was the hero in last year’s Division 2 championship game shootout, leading his team to the title.
Yesterday, Baiguy, who is starting this season after playing a reserve role last year, helped the Jaguars secure a spot in the Division 2 title game for the second straight year.
The senior scored on a direct kick from about 25 yards out with 12:16 remaining in the first half for the game’s first goal.
Top-seeded Windham went on to win 2-1 over fourth-seeded Oyster River in the semifinals here at Bill Ball Stadium.
The Jaguars will play second-seeded Hollis-Brookline at 4:30 p.m. Sunday here in the championship tilt.
“James is becoming something of a free-kick specialist,” senior Joe Forti said.
“That’s the third one that he’s scored and all of them have been fantastic.”
Windham coach Mike Hachey added about Baiguy’s set piece: “He’s actually changed it and improved on it. Just kind of fooling around one day, he was like, ‘Oh, I’m going to get it to go up and down a little bit instead of going around.’ You wouldn’t want to change what he had before but you can’t argue with what he’s got now. He is able to step up. If we can earn those set pieces, he knows he has free rein.”
Forti scored Windham’s second goal with 25:55 remaining in the contest to put the Jags ahead 2-0.
“My goal was the worst best goal that I’ve gotten,” Forti said. “It was the best in that it was probably the most important aside from last year in the championship. But it was really ugly and I’m just happy it went in. I was just willing it to go in.”
Senior goalie Tim Erdlen, who is in his first full season as the starter after taking over for the very talented Andrew Pesci who led Windham to the title as a senior last year, made eight saves.
“Coming in after an all-state goalie leaves, it’s definitely a lot of pressure on me,” Erdlen said. “But I just keep my composure and do the right things and then our team will do great. ... I feel comfortable with a 1-0 lead. That’s how confident I am with the team (and defense).”
Sunday’s game between Windham and Hollis-Brookline will be a rematch of last year’s title game. The two teams are each 16-2.
Windham beat Hollis-Brookline 4-2 during the regular season. But Forti said his team had a big advantage then.“We had home field advantage at that point and our field is so terrible that it is a big advantage since we play on it every day and everybody coming onto it is at a disadvantage already,” Forti said.
“So we’re not going to take anything for granted. It’s something poetic in it that we’re playing them again in the final just like last year because last year our seniors were kind of the stars of the show and now we’re trying to make it for ourselves in the same way.”
Windham did graduate nine seniors off last year’s team so to return to the title game is quite impressive.
“I’ll admit I didn’t predict that we’d have the goal-scoring power that we did this year because we nearly doubled our goals from last year,” Hachey said.
“But the ability to fill in the holes and get athletes to make smart plays and to work hard through a game that’s difficult like this, we knew we had that.”
Sanborn out in Division 3 state semifinals
The amazing run by the 14th-seeded Sanborn Regional boys finally came to an end, but not after an amazing scoreless tussle with No. 2 Bow, that went all 100 minutes into penalty kicks.
The Indians, who stunned both the No. 3 and 6 teams on the ride into Merrimack Valley last night, came up just short as Bow advanced to the Division 3 state title game, 1-0.
They finish the year at 10-8 and say goodbye to a stellar senior class including Shaun Howard, Jon Brown, Brendan Mahoney, Tyler Peterson, Jared L’Antigua, Jackson Rowell, Kyle Lord, Kevin White, Sean Foster, and Abe Scully.
Royals still rolling
The Georgetown High girls soccer team hasn’t been scored on in a month. Well, at least the Royals have been scored on this month.
Last night in the Division 4 north semis, Georgetown made it three straight playoff shutouts, dousing Maimonides, 6-0. Make that 15-0 in the tourney in favor of Georgetown, which faces Austin Prep Sunday morning at 11 a.m. in Lynn for the Division 4 North championship.
Bryn Beaudoin netted a pair of goals for the winners.
Windham 2, Oyster River 1
Goals: W — James Baiguy, Joe Forti
Assists: W — Brandon Dreyfuss
Saves: W — Tim Erdlen 8; OR — 6
Oyster River (16-2-0): 0 1 — 1
Windham (15-3-0): 1 1 — 2
Georgetown 6, Maimonides 0
Goals: Bryn Beaudoin 2, Cayla Durkee, Tina Rando, Katie DiMaio, Jen Killian
Saves: G — Kaylie Sapienza 2
Maimonides (7-3-3): 0 0 — 0
Georgetown (11-6-4): 4 2 — 6