October 18, 2019
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Skowhegan seeks fourth straight Class A field hockey state title

Stuart Hedstrom | Piscataquis Observer
Stuart Hedstrom | Piscataquis Observer
Junior Cassidy Marsh of Foxcroft carefully controls the ball during the second half while Piscataquis Community junior Madeline Crosby defends and Pony senior Cailin Seavey looks on during a game in Guilford on Sept. 26. Both Foxcroft and PCHS have advanced to the North quarterfinals.

Skowhegan High School’s Hall of Fame field hockey coach, Paula Doughty, will be looking to continue a remarkable streak as her top-seeded and unbeaten Indians prepare for Wednesday’s Class A quarterfinal against eighth seed Edward Little High of Auburn. Game time is 3 p.m.

Skowhegan (14-0) has played in the past 17 Class A state finals, winning 15 of them, and has outscored its opponents 81-9 this season.

They won three state championships in a row and seven of the past eight.

“We’re a solid team, but now it’s a new season and anything can happen,” Doughty said. “Anyone can win on any given day.”

“I really believe that. It’s not like in the old days when two or three teams could dominate everybody else. You don’t see that anymore. You don’t have a team out there that doesn’t have kids who are also playing on club teams and Futures teams,” she added.

She said her team is “super balanced” and has several players who have scored at least 10 goals.

“Another strength is we have a lot of kids who can play a lot of different positions,” added Doughty, a retired teacher.

The Indians are led by three players who have committed to play at Division I schools: Maliea Kelso (Northeastern), Lizzie York (Hofstra) and Bhreagh Kennedy (University of Maine). Kelso and York are seniors, and Kennedy is a junior. All can play a variety of positions.

Skowhegan also has the luxury of having two quality goalkeepers in junior Mackenzie McConnell and sophomore Rachel Tuck.

The Indians met Edward Little once this season and posted a 6-0 victory.

There will be six North quarterfinal games in the three classes on Tuesday and six more on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, seventh seed Bangor (7-6-1) and No. 2 Mt. Blue of Farmington (9-3-2) will square off in the quarterfinals for the second straight year. Mt. Blue won last year’s game 8-0.

Bangor went 0-14 two years ago, but coach Kasey (Spencer) Danforth has now guided the Rams to two consecutive 7-6-1 regular season campaigns.

Mt. Blue has lost twice to Skowhegan by 4-2 scores and dropped a 1-0 game to Edward Little.

No. 6 Oxford Hills of South Paris (7-6-1) will travel to play No. 3 Cony of Augusta (10-3-1) in the other Tuesday quarterfinal in Class A. Cony earned a 2-1 regular season victory.

Tuesday’s Class B games will feature No. 7 Old Town (10-5) at No. 2 Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft (13-1) and central Maine neighbors No. 6 Lawrence of Fairfield (9-5) at No. 3 Winslow (12-3).

Foxcroft and Winslow each posted two wins over their respective opponents..

In Class C North, No. 7 Stearns/Schenck (4-8-2) will travel to No. 2 Dexter (10-4) and No. 6 Maranacook of Readfield (5-9) will venture to Thorndike to face No. 3 Mount View (9-5).

Dexter won both meetings with Stearns/Schenck 2-1, 3-0 and Mount View topped Maranacook 3-0 in their only contest.

On Wednesday, the other Class A North quarterfinal will send No. 5 Messalonskee of Oakland (8-6) at No. 4 Mount Ararat ot Topsham (9-5).

Messalonskee won their only meeting 3-1.

In Class B, defending Class B state champ Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield (10-4) will travel to take on a 12-2 fourth-seeded Belfast team that edged the Huskies 2-1 on Sept. 8. Top seed Gardiner (13-1) will meet 11-4 Nokomis of Newport, the eighth seed and a 4-0 winner over John Bapst of Bangor in a preliminary round game.

Gardiner topped Nokomis 5-2 during the regular season.

In Class C, top seed and defending Class C North champ Winthrop (13-1) will host No. 8 Boothbay Region (5-9), a team it beat 6-1 during the regular season; and No. 4 Pisacataquis Community High of Guilford (9-4-1) will entertain No. 5 Orono (8-6).

PCHS and Orono split regular season games with each winning on the road.

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