NEWPORT, Maine — The Nokomis High School field hockey team has had a new look this season.
After losing left wing Leah Edmondson and her 75 career goals to Northeastern University and influential center midfielder and Miss Maine Field Hockey finalist Marissa Shaw to the University of Maine, coach Katie Thompson had to redesign her team.
And she has succeeded.
The Warriors, who won the state Class B championship two years ago and lost in the Eastern Maine final to eventual state champ Belfast 1-0 in double overtime last fall, have concluded their regular season with an 11-2-1 record.
They are second in the Heal Points standings behind Belfast and they will enter the playoffs with an eight-game winning streak in which they have outscored their opponents 34-1.
“We knew losing Marissa and Leah would be a hurdle for us to overcome,” said Thompson. “We started off kind of slow. But the girls have really picked it up in the second half.”
“They have worked well together and we’re all thrilled at how well the team has gelled at this point in the season,” added Thompson, who is in her 10th year at the helm and is being assisted by former Dexter head coach Kristy Veazie.
Nokomis has allowed more than one goal in a game just once this season and that came in a 3-2 win over Winslow on Sept. 11.
Thompson said two of the catalysts in her team’s impressive defensive performance have been backs Taylor Shaw and Kayla Braley, who are both juniors. Shaw is Marissa’s sister.
“They have done an excellent job holding the other teams down,” said Thompson. “Even if they get a shot on us, they get the ball out [of the circle] quickly.”
Veteran goalkeeper Kendra Underhill, another junior, has been solid, according to Thompson.
Taylor Lovley, a senior co-captain, has done an exceptional job in the midfield, said the Nokomis coach.
Offensively, Thompson said their scoring has been balanced.
Shaw, Lovley and juniors Lindsay Whitney and Kelsey Kerstetter have been among the key contributors.
Thompson said the Eastern Maine Class B title is up for grabs.
“It is very competitive. Any team could come out on top,” said Thompson. “Even the teams that didn’t make the playoffs were competitive.”