April 21, 2018
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Miss Maine field hockey finalists lead Skowhegan state-title quest

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

Nicole Sevey and Jessie Skillings have a lot in common.

They are two of the three captains for the Skowhegan High School field hockey team, they are finalists for the Miss Maine field hockey award, given to the player of the year, and they will take their talents to the University of Maine next season.

They will also try to conclude their careers with a third state Class A championship in their four years and the school’s 10th in 11 years overall on Saturday when their 17-0 Indians take on Western Maine champ Marshwood of Eliot, 14-3, at 5 p.m. at Yarmouth High School.

That will be the third state final of the day.

The Class C final between 13-2-2 Winthrop and 13-4 North Yarmouth Academy, the Western Maine champ, will kick things off at 1 p.m., followed by the “B” title game between 13-1-3 Belfast and 16-1 York at 3.

They may have a lot in common, but midfielder Sevey and forward Skillings are “very different” players, according to Skowhegan coach Paula Doughty.

“(Sevey) is much more methodical. She’s a workhorse and she has stick skills for a midfielder that far surpasses what most midfielders can do with their sticks,” said Doughty. “She’s a very grounded kid.

“(Skillings) keeps things jumping. She keeps people fired up. She also has phenomenal stick skills.”

Doughty added, “They are the antithesis of each other, but both of them are going to be sorely missed next year.”

Skillings said she and Sevey are very different.

“(Sevey) is much more calm and collected during a game. I’m an impulsive person. I get crazy. I try to get everybody pumped up,” she said.

But the two have a chemistry with each other that causes all kinds of problems for their opponents.

“We have played with each other for a long time. We have learned to play well with each other,” said Sevey, who has 11 goals and 16 assists.

In addition to being teammates at Skowhegan, they are teammates with the Waterville-based Majestix field hockey club and in the Futures program that grooms players to be regional team and national team members.

Both are flattered to be among the four finalists for Miss Maine Field Hockey.

“I was very surprised. It’s a huge honor,” said Sevey.

“And to have both of us up for it is an awesome thing,” said Skillings, who has 27 goals and 15 assists.

Skillings could have graduated last spring but, instead, will graduate in December and begin her career at the University of Maine in January.

“I couldn’t leave my team. And this has been my favorite team so far. We’re very close,” said Skillings.

“We’re all really good friends,” agreed Sevey.

Both are also looking forward to their college careers.

“I’m very excited about going there and getting a chance to train with the team during the second semester,” said Skillings.

“I’d always thought about going to Maine. My sister (Erin) went to Maine,” said Sevey.

IN THE CLASS B GAME, junior goalkeeper Julia Ward has been the catalyst behind Belfast’s EM title.

She has made 18 saves and allowed just one goal in the Lions’ three wins: 1-0 over Foxcroft Academy in a game that was decided on the 20th set of penalty corners, 2-1 over John Bapst of Bangor and a 1-0 double-overtime win over Nokomis of Newport.

She had never previously played in a playoff game.

“She has come on very nicely. She has been on a roll,” said Belfast coach Allen Holmes.

“I feel really good about it,” said Ward, who shared the regular-season goalkeeping with senior Sierra Wood. “This is a new step for me.”

She said the squad has “really come together and worked well as a team.”

She is also indebted to center back Katrina Lapham, who has made three crucial defensive stops behind her.

“She’s a great player,” said Ward.

Sophomore Maddy Cummings has two of the three game-winners, but the Lions will be without right wing Kristi Osgood, who suffered a concussion when she was hit by a stick against Nokomis.

IN CLASS C, Winthrop has also won with goalkeeping and defense.

The Ramblers have allowed only one goal in three playoff wins behind goalie Alyssa Arsenault and the veteran fullback quartet of Jessica Scott, Shauna Carlson, Nikki Burgess and Paige Wood. Lauren Kaiser and Rachel Ingram are the offensive standouts.

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