Updated with link to photos

Indians too powerful for Lions in league field hockey championship

Defending state Class A and Class B champs square off in rare crossover battle
By Mark Haskell and Ken Waltz | Oct 12, 2012
Photo by: Ken Waltz Belfast's Katrina Lapham hits the ball away from the front of the cage as Lion goalie Julia Ward (96) and Skowhegan's Rylie Blanchett, and another Lion, behind, look on during the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference field hockey championship game Thursday night, Oct. 11 at Thomas College in Waterville. The Class A Indians beat the Class B Lions 8-0.

Waterville — The Skowhegan field hockey team has won the state Class A championship 10 of the past 11 seasons and rode a 50-game win streak into the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference title game with Belfast Oct. 11.

In a way, the Indians seem unbeatable. And that did not change Thursday night on the artificial turf against the Lions when the two teams squared off at Thomas College.

Skowhegan surged to a 4-0 first-half lead and added four more in the second en route to an impressive 8-0 win over Belfast.

Click for photos from the game.

The Lions, the defending state Class B champions and no slouches in their own right, played well against the heavily-favored Indians, said BAHS coach Allen Holmes, who has his team ranked number one heading into the Eastern Class B playoffs.

"It was a good run," he said. "We got a good workout for sure. We hustled the whole game [and] we made some very nice passes."

The Indians sported a 14-0 record heading into Thursday's game, while Belfast's record is 11-1-2. KVAC championship games do not reflect on team's regular-season standings or regional playoff positioning.

This is the first season the top team in Class A and the top team in Class B vie for the overall league title. Prior to the game, Messalonskee of Oakland, the No. 2 team in KVAC Class A, bested Nokomis of Newport, the No. 2 team in KVAC Class B, 6-0 in another crossover game.

In the Belfast and Skowhegan game, Julia Ward had a terrific — and very busy — game in the cage for the Lions, turning away many of the Indians' shots, making 29 saves on 35 shots. Maddy Littlefield played the final seven minutes of the contest, also turning away a high percentage, stopping six of eight attempts.

"Julia was phenomenal," said coach Holmes. "She was in her zone, but we didn't want to chance, with seven minutes to go something happening to her. Plus it got Maddy in the game. We played everybody."

Skowhegan, which led 4-0 at halftime, was keyed offensively by Makaela Michonski (5 goals), Sarah Finnemore (goal), Renee Wright (goal) and Rylie Blanchett (goal).

Skowhegan outshot Belfast 42-2 and led 13-0 in penalty corners. The game was played on a lightning pace on the artificial surface.

The Lions now must prepare for the upcoming Eastern Class B quarterfinals, set to be played on Wednesday, Oct. 17 in Belfast. The Lions, the top overall seed, will face the winner of the preliminary playoff game between No. 8 Gardiner (9-5) and No. 9 Old Town (9-4-1). The Tigers are the lone regular-season team to beat Belfast this season.

The Indians also will play No. 8 Cony (3-8-3) in the upcoming Eastern Class A quarterfinals.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@courierpublicationsllc.com.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.