It has been almost routine for a team wearing orange, white and black uniforms to walk off the field with the Class A field hockey state championship trophy.
It happened again on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Field in Portland.
But for the first time in four years, and only the third time since 2000, that team was not the Skowhegan Indians.
Abby Allen registered a hat trick, helping the Biddeford Tigers build a three-goal lead on the way to a 4-3 victory over perennial power and three-time defending state champion Skowhegan.
Biddeford (17-0-1), coached by Caitlin Albert, won its first state title since 1990 while playing in the season finale for the first time since 1995.
Coach Paula Doughty’s Skowhegan contingent wound up 17-1 after extending the program’s impressive streak of consecutive state championship appearances to 18.
The Tigers grabbed the upper hand barely six minutes into the game when Allen netted her first goal. It would be the only scoring of the half.
In fact, Skowhegan wasted little time getting even after intermission as Alex Michonski connected with only 2:28 gone in the period.
Biddeford regained the momentum only two minutes later on Allen’s second goal, but the Indians were poised to knot things up again when they earned a penalty stroke with 18:54 to play.
But Maliea Kelso’s shot missed to the right of the cage.
Biddeford made sure that hurt as Paige Laverriere scored 1:08 later to give the Tigers a two-goal advantage.
Allen completed the hat trick and forced Skowhegan into desperation mode with 12:44 remaining when her shot from a bad angle went behind Indians goalie Mackenzie McConnell and ricocheted off the far post and in.
It took Skowhegan all of 43 seconds to get back on the board when Kelso knocked home a rebound and a penalty corner just three minutes later put her in position to fire another shot into the cage and put the outcome in doubt for the last 7:56.