YARMOUTH, Maine — Second-half goals by Brittany Mellor and Brooklyn Curry rallied Belfast to a 2-1 victory over York in the Class B field hockey state championship match Saturday at Yarmouth High School.
Sophomore Madison Cummings assisted on both goals for the Lions, who finished their season with a 14-1-3 record.
York, making its fourth straight trip to the state final, ended its season 16-2.
The state title was the seventh for coach Allen Holmes’ Lions and first since 2006. The win also marked the fourth time Belfast has defeated York in the championship match.
York took a 1-0 lead with 16:11 left in the first half when Shelby Spencer tipped a shot by teammate Cari Posternak past Belfast goalie Julia Ward.
The Wildcats continued to apply pressure but Ward came up big, as did teammate Makaila Gould, who blocked a York shot headed for the cage later in the first half.
Belfast nearly scored the equalizer before intermission, but a shot that went high into the cage was ruled a dangerous play.
After getting a pep talk from their longtime coach at intermission, the Lions came out with renewed energy in the second half and generated the two goals they needed off penalty corners.
“We were really excited and it took a couple of minutes to calm down,” said Curry. “We knew that [York] goal was an easy goal to get in and we could have stopped it, but we knew we weren’t going to give up and we were going to go as hard as we could.”
The tying goal came with 20:06 remaining when Mellor tipped in a lead pass from Cummings from close range.
“[Teammate] Kendra Kirby and I set up the corner to go to me, and I gave it to her and she sent it back, and Brittany was right there so I passed it to her and she put it home,” said Cummings.
Curry — whose sister Brianna scored the game-winner for Belfast in the Lions’ 1-0 victory over York in the 2006 state final — then took a pass from Cummings after another penalty corner and shot the ball into the lower left corner of the cage past York goalie Amanda Kasbolm with 14:46 remaining.
“It went to Maddie and we had planned this beforehand that she was going to draw the flier and then she just passed to me,” said Curry, one of nine seniors on the Belfast roster.
“Coach always tells us to shoot to the left of the goal cage so I aimed for that corner and it went in.”
Belfast finished with a 10-7 advantage in shots and a 14-11 edge in penalty corners. Ward made six saves in goal for Belfast, while Kasbolm stopped eight shots for York.