SCARBOROUGH — Top seed. Again and again and again.
For the third consecutive year, Scarborough wound up as Western Class A field hockey regular season champs, having taken the finale with a convincing 5-0 win over Kennebunk.
The Red Storm finished with an unbeaten 13-0-1 mark, with the only speck being a midseason tie with Sanford, which nosed past Cheverus for the second seed.
Of course being undefeated — or even the No. 1 seed — heading into the playoffs is nice, but it means nothing if matters change when the Gold Ball is handed to the eventual state champions.
You can ask Scarborough coach Kerry Mariello about that one.
Winners of the state title in 2009, the Red Storm were 13-1 and on track to defend their crown after sewing up the top spot with a 6-1 shredding of Cheverus. Yet two weeks later, the Stags toppled the champs with a 2-1 stunner in the Western semifinal.
“I don’t remember,” said Mariello, when asked about those events.
She’s more interested in the here and now, and with a week to prepare for the Storm’s first playoff clash, Mariello, who has led the program for 10 years, likes how her team shapes up for the postseason run.
“Definitely,” she said. “We’re at a level where we’re ready. We’re ready to face anybody we challenge. It’s a matter of us playing our game, and executing the right plays at the right times.”
In 2008 it was Sanford that carved out a 14-0 mark, with Scarborough right behind at 13-1.
Yet, when the dust had settled, it was Scarborough that carried the West’s colors in the title game, although they were unable to keep Showhegan from a (Bill Russell era) Celtic-like “eight-peat”.
Ah, but the next year … that’s when perfect really did mean perfect.
Veteran writer Dan Hickling has covered sports from preps to the pros throughout Maine and beyond. He can be reached at email@example.com).