HAMPDEN — In the mind of Nokomis senior Jordin McGinnis, the clock at the Weatherbee Complex was ticking down but ever so slowly.
With her Warriors nursing a 1-0 lead in the waning seconds of their Eastern Maine Class B field hockey final with Mount View, the Mustangs were awarded two penalty corners in the final 10 seconds, giving them a last-gasp chance to send the match to overtime.
“It’s really stressful knowing we had to clear out past the 25 or we could go into overtime which we didn’t want,” McGinnis said.
Turns out the Warriors from Newport thwarted both of those Mount View chances and made Marissa Shaw’s first-half goal stand up as Nokomis bested the Mustangs of Thorndike 1-0 for its second regional title in three years.
The Warriors avenged a regular-season loss to Mount View and will play for the state championship on Saturday at the University of Maine in Orono.
They’ll take on either York or Greely of Cumberland Center.
The initial penalty corner was awarded when Nokomis goalkeeper Maria Adams kicked a loose ball too high, and when she deflected the first corner out of bounds just before time expired, the Mustangs had one more shot.
But Mount View couldn’t get a shot off, and Shaw was able to clear the ball past the 25-yard line to clinch the win.
“The corners, I was really scared, nervous. I just knew we needed to hustle and get it out quick,” said McGinnis.
This match was a defensive battle, with the teams combining for six shots — three apiece — while the only goal was scored five minutes into the contest.
After the Warriors were awarded the game’s first penalty corner, Shaw took a pass from Leah Edmondson, dribbled around Mount View flyer Hayleigh Kein and swept the ball into the right side of the cage.
Kein had done a nice job of marking Shaw, but Shaw was able to somehow dribble around her and get a shot off.
“I know Hayleigh. She’s quick, and I needed to get something past her quick,” Shaw said. “I did a quick tap, got it past her and swept it in.”
Patience on corners was something the Warriors had been working on in practice.
“The flyer was doing a great job coming out on her not allowing that first shot, so she pushed it and ran in again, followed her shot,” Nokomis coach Katie Thompson said. “I’m happy we’ve been working on that and that it’s paid off.”
McGinnis echoed her coach’s statement.
“(Shaw’s) really good at getting right on the ball and pushing hard and getting it right into the goal,” said McGinnis.
Aside from the chances they had near the end of regulation, the Mustangs had trouble getting the ball into the circle, and when they did, Adams cleared any shots out quickly.
“We expected it to be a hard fight, and we knew that we could do it and we tied them in the KVAC championships, so we knew that we could do it,” McGinnis said.
Nokomis’ midfielders did a good job of keeping Mount View’s Kein and Brianna Moody in check, not allowing them to generate any breakaways.
“I think that our goal all postseason has been to play solid team defense and I think that’s what we did today,” Thompson said. “One of our things that we wanted to work on from the regular season was not allowing so many opportunities in the defensive end and playing defense before it got to the defensive end, so I feel like that was one of our strengths today.”
Adams made two saves for Nokomis, while Mount View’s Abbie Charrier didn’t have to make a save on the Warriors’ three shots.