WINSLOW, Maine — When Mary Beth Bourgoin started a field hockey program for the Winslow recreation department 12 years ago, she didn’t know she would eventually be the head coach of the Winslow High School team.
A few years later, she became the middle school field hockey coach and, after one season, she was promoted to the varsity job.
Now, in her eighth season, her Black Raiders are off to an 8-0 start and some of the girls who began their field hockey careers in the recreation program are upperclassmen who are leading the Raiders.
“It’s been bittersweet but I’m focusing on the sweet,” said Bourgoin, who has four seniors on her team. “It’s a great group of girls and I’ve had a chance to see them grow up. I’ve gotten to know them pretty well.”
Due to dwindling enrollment, her Raiders are in their first season in Class C after being in Class B. They play pretty much the same schedule with both B and C teams on the slate.
Winslow has outscored its opponents 33-3 and has impressive wins over Class B powers Belfast (4-0), Gardiner (2-1) and defending state champ Leavitt of Turner (4-1).
The Raiders have been resilient. A half-dozen players expected to play this fall have left the program, two to run cross country and the others who aren’t participating in any sports.
Most of them played in Winslow’s summer field hockey program.
“That could have pulled the rug out from under them but they have been determined and have rallied. They have pulled together,” said Bourgoin. “They’re very resilient.”
That determination was best exemplified by the win over Leavitt in which the Raiders surrendered the game’s first goal.
“In the past, they have had a hard time coming back when they’ve given up the first goal. But they overcame. They were determined,” said Bourgoin.
As evidenced by the fact they have given up just three goals in eight games, the Raiders are strong in the back where senior Bethany Winkin, granddaughter of legendary Maine college baseball coach John Winkin, has marshalled the stellar defensive performance.
Winkin, the center back, is flanked by sophomore Cierra Poulin and junior Alyssa Wood.
Junior Katie Smith has replaced injured senior standout Jordyn Dorval (season-ending knee surgery) at sweeper and has “come along great” according to Bourgoin. Dorval has helped Smith adapt to the position.
Sophomore Delaney Wood is the goalkeeper and has been impressive.
“She’s agile and she really understands the game,” said Bourgoin.
Freshman Hope Winkin, Bethany’s sister, is the backup goalkeeper.
The midfield is patrolled by junior Mackenzie Winslow and sophomores Jessica Greeley and Miranda Gagne.
Senior Brittany White is the center forward and her wingers are juniors Brooke Haskell and Sarah Wildes.
Headlining the reserves are sophomore Sabrina Jandreau, who plays either in the midfield or the back, and freshman Sam Washburn, who plays midfield or forward.
Haskell is the team’s leading scorer. Bourgoin figures she has scored at least nine or 10 goals. Mackenzie Winslow leads a sizeable group of supplemental scorers with four or five.
Winslow has been a perennial state championship contender dating back to the Black Raiders consecutive state Class B championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and their Eastern Maine crown in 2003.
Bourgoin is hoping her athletic Black Raiders can make another state championship this season in Class C.
Skolfield faces former teammates
Foxcroft Academy junior field hockey goalkeeper Brianna Skolfield found herself in an awkward situation last Friday.
After playing at Central High of Corinth two seasons, she transferred to Foxcroft this fall and faced her former teammates.
The Ponies beat Central 1-0.
She wasn’t required to make a save while her mates unleashed a 46-shot attack on Central freshman goalie Makayla Boudreau, who finished with 32 saves.
“It was very weird but it was fun at the same time because I know them,” said Skolfield. “It was a friendly competition.”
Skolfield has yet to allow a goal this season as the Ponies improved to 7-0-1 with a 2-0 triumph over John Bapst of Bangor Monday night.
Skolfield said she is very happy at Foxcroft.
“I love it,” she said.