June 20, 2018
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Skowhegan field hockey juggernaut still rolling

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

HAMPDEN, Maine — Skowhegan High School’s field hockey juggernaut just keeps rolling, although the Indians were tested by rival Messalonskee of Oakland in Tuesday’s Eastern Maine Class A final.

Skowhegan’s 2-1 win at Hampden Academy was its 52nd in a row and it provided the Indians with their 12th straight Eastern Maine A title.

The Indians, 17-0 this season, will shoot for an 11th state title in 12 years against Scarborough on Saturday at the University of Maine in Orono.

“It never gets old,” said longtime Skowhegan coach Paula Doughty. “After last season, my husband [John] said I may never have a team [as good as] this one again. I told him next year’s team is going to be better. We have had a lot of young kids who have come in and stepped up this year.”

Skowhegan outscored its opponents 144-2 and Messalonskee was the only team to score against the Indians, losing the regular-season finale 3-1 and the title game.

“We had only one senior on the forward line, Makaela Michonski. Her sister, Brooke, is a freshman and Renee Wright and Rylie Blanchet are sophomores. A lot of people didn’t think we’d be able to score this year. But after 144 goals, I think we made out all right,” said Doughty.

Wright and Brooke Michonski scored the goals Tuesday night after Makaela Michonski had scored nine in previous playoff wins over Cony of Augusta (14-0) and Mount Ararat of Topsham.

“Everyone on our team is very versatile and has great skill,” said standout senior midfielder and tri-captain Sarah Finnemore, who will play at Harvard University next season. “We can put anyone anywhere.”

“We have worked so hard for this,” said Makaela Michonski, who has scored more than 30 goals and is looking to play at Husson University in Bangor next fall. “We work hard in practice every day and over the summer. And we play as a team.”

Makaela Michonski said the team has exceeded her expectations to date.

“I don’t know how to put it. I’m so proud of our team, especially my little sister. She has stepped up. She listened to what the older girls told her to do and did it phenomenally,” said Makaela Michonski.

Bernatchez eyeing Tar Heels

Dynamic Messalonskee senior forward Kristy Bernatchez scored her state-record 44th goal of the season in the loss to Skowhegan, and she will take her immense talents to the University of North Carolina next fall.

“I visited five or six schools and North Carolina has a great tradition. They are team- and family-based. I’m so excited about going there,” said Bernatchez.

She said in preparation for UNC, “I have to definitely get stronger and bigger and I have to get quicker in my skills. I’ll have to play at a quicker pace.”

She was thrilled about setting the state record for goals, but said she would gladly trade in the record for a state championship.

The Eagles have lost to Skowhegan in the Eastern Maine Class A title game the last five years.

“I love my team,” said Bernatchez.

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