The Old Town High School field hockey team will be looking to win its first ever state championship on Saturday when it takes on Leavitt of Turner in the Class B state final at Cony High School in Augusta.
The game between 14-3 Old Town and 15-3 Leavitt will be the first of three state games in Augusta. Game time is noon.
The Class C game between 15-1 Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield and 17-0 Winthrop will follow at 2 p.m. and the A final caps the day at 4 p.m. with a pair of 17-0 teams, Skowhegan and Cheverus of Portland, squaring off.
Old Town has only played in one state championship game and that occurred in 1988 when it lost to Lake Region of Naples, 1-0.
Leavitt has won three state Class B crowns with the last coming in 2012. Leavitt ended York’s reign of seven straight state title game appearances.
Old Town upset previously undefeated Lawrence of Fairfield 1-0 in the B North final, successfully defending 20 Lawrence penalty corners to notch its 13th win in 14 games.
Old Town senior center midfielder Maddie Arsenault said the key to their success this season is their team chemistry.
“We have 11 seniors and we’ve played together for around eight years. We’re good friends on and off the field,” Arsenault said. “And we know each other’s playing styles.”
There are six basketball players on the team, including herself, and they are used to playing in pressure-packed games from their Class B North basketball tournament experience.
“This group has a winning mentality. They have had success in other sports. They have always played together and that’s helpful,” said first-year head coach Courtney Lanham. “They have brought a lot of pride to the community.”
Lanham has done an excellent job, Arsenault said. “She has pushed us all year. She’s always telling us to play Old Town field hockey.”
Arsenault has been a key component in their success, Lanham said.
“She plays both sides of the ball very well. We need her to execute on the offensive corners and we need her speed and ability as the flyer in the defensive corners as well,” Lanham said. “She is fast and she plays with a lot of heart.”
Arsenault downplayed her contribution, saying “I couldn’t [be successful] if it wasn’t for my teammates.”
She said all 18 players contributed to the win over Lawrence. Senior goalie Chelsey Cote earned the shutout and she will be a key on Saturday.
“We’re going to go out and play as well as we can,” said Arsenault.
The other seniors, besides Arsenault and Cote, are Lexi Thibodeau, Sydney Loring, Kilee Bradeen, Maddie Emerson, Logan Gardner, Abby Shorette, Gabrielle Smithson and Vanessa Caron.
In the Class C final, 40-goal scorer Gracie Moore will try to lead MCI to its first state title since 2017 when the Huskies were in Class B. They also won it in C in 2015 and lost in the C final in 2016.
Winthrop is in its fourth straight championship game and won it in 2018.
In Class A, Skowhegan has captured 16 of the last 19 state titles while Cheverus has been to just one final, losing to Skowhegan 3-0 in 2010.