Last year, the Mount View High School field hockey team had a banner campaign and were a few breaks from earning a berth in the Eastern Class B championship game.

This season, veteran coach Gloria Hewett feels her Mustangs have the talent to get back to where they ended last season — and possibly — push forward.

While the ‘Stangs lost a few of their more talented players to graduation, their core group has returned and hope it can again wreck havoc on the rest of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B division.

Team members are seniors Maggie Clark (midfield), Katie Cloutier (forward), Haleigh Duclos (back), Cheyenne Dyer (forward), Amanda Hall (goalie), Hayleigh Kein (midfield), Chrissy Larrabee (midfield), Brianna Moody (forward) and Channing Murphy (back); juniors Anna Piotti (back), Mercedes Reynolds (forward), Frances Stevens (back), Rebecca Kimball (goalie), Delainey Kein (forward) and Alex Carleton (back); and sophomores Abbie Charrier (goalie), Brittany Masessa (midfield), Abby Stubbs (back) and Janelle Thornley (forward).

Lost to graduation from last season were Alonia Horton, Gabby Simoneau, Danielle Ludden, Angie Laliberte, Allison Tsomides and Bailie Nason.

Last season, the Mustangs galloped to the best record in the Midcoast, sporting an 11-2-1 record and the number three seed for the Eastern Class B playoffs. Mount View earned a 1-0 victory over No. 6 Winslow in the quarterfinal playoff round before falling to No. 2 Nokomis of Newport 2-0 in the regional semifinals.

Before the regular season even begins, the Mustangs already have their second straight Coastal Play Day Field Hockey championship under their belts after an impressive showing at Camden Hills’ annual tournament Aug. 24.

And as impressed as Hewett is with the team’s play on the field, she is equally pleased with how quickly her squad has returned to midseason form from last year.

“One thing I’m seeing is a lot of team unity,” said Hewett. “They seem to be playing really well together. All of my starters have played together for a year so they’re really coming together as a team, and that’s a big strength for us heading into the season.”

Not only is the team unified, but Hewett added that the players seem to really trust each other and are confident in their own abilities, leaving little doubt that they can execute on offense and defense.

That, and the team has come into the preseason in top physical condition and is ready to work.

“Most of my varsity team [members] came into the season in shape,” the coach said. “Most of them area already running fast mile times and I think that’s a positive too. They’re set to go.”

While losing Horton and Ludden were significant blows, Hewett was quick to point out that her team is loaded with potential and leaders. And one need not look any further than Hayleigh Kein, who was both an all-conference and All-State selection last season.

“Hayleigh is definitely one or our leaders,” said Hewett. “She was one of our leaders last year, was her freshman and sophomore years and she’s definitely a leader again this year. But my whole mid line they are all real strong players, [including] my left mid and right mid, Maggie Clark and Chrissy Larrabee. And I have a really strong back, Channing Murphy, who’s a senior. And we have two strong forwards, Brianna Moody and Cheyenne Dyer, who are both looking stronger than last year.”

Hewett added she hopes to put more of an emphasis on scoring this season, utilizing her midfielders as well as her forwards into the offense.

As far as her expectations for this year’s club?

“That we’ll do just as well this year,” she said. “That we’ll be in the top three again. I’d like to see us go to states, but maybe everyone says that. But this will be the year to go if we’re going to go.”

Mount View will kick off the regular season by hosting Winslow on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 10 a.m.

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.