YARMOUTH, Maine — The Nokomis High School Warriors parlayed a thorough defensive performance and a late second-half goal by freshman Olivia Brown into their second state Class B championship in four years by virtue of a 1-0 victory Saturday over York.
Nokomis of Newport capped an 18-0 season while York wound up 17-1.
Nokomis beat York 2-0 in the 2010 state championship game.
It is the fourth time in five years York has lost in the state final since the Wildcats upended Nokomis 1-0 in the 2008 final.
High-percentage scoring chances were hard to come by as both teams played strong team defense.
But the Warriors took advantage of a penalty corner to notch the game-winner with just 5:04 remaining in regulation.
Drew Graves inserted the ball to Taylor Shaw beyond the top of the circle. She pushed the ball into the circle and her hard, low shot deflected off the pads of goalkeeper Livy Golini and trickled across to the goalie’s right where Brown lifted it over her for her 11th goal of the season.
“I just went in front of the goal and flipped it over her stick,” said Brown who called scoring the game-winner in the state title game “really cool.”
“There was an initial save and then someone tipped it in,” said Golini.
Nokomis’ Kendra Underhill made eight saves on 12 shots and with six of those stops coming in the second half against a York team that had outscored its opponents 78-2.
“The team did a pretty good job keeping them out of the circle. I didn’t have to do too much,” said Underhill.
“The whole team played real well defensively. That was the key to the win,” said Nokomis coach Katie Thompson. “We had to make sure we marked 29 (Lily Posternak) and 7 (Taylor Simpson) the whole time and we executed that really well.”
Golini wound up with three saves on seven shots.
Freshman phenom Posternak proved to be a handful for the Warriors with her exceptional stick skills and quickness. Miss Maine Field Hockey finalist Simpson also proved to be a challenge for the Warrior back line of Shaw, Kelsey Kerstetter, Libby Dunivan and Kamryn Foss.
But high-scoring Nokomis forward Lindsay Whitney did a respectable job marking the omnipresent Posternak and she received help from her teammates.
“I just tried to contain her. She had phenomenal stick skills. She schooled me a few times,” grinned Whitney.
“We didn’t play our best game but they were a good team. We couldn’t capitalize on our chances,” said Simpson. “Their goalie played a great game.”