While many have talked about the soccer balls flying around Midcoast middle school fields or the cross-country runners trekking across the championship course in recent days, the Busline League field hockey playoffs have gotten more interesting with a second semifinal playoff game scheduled for Monday, Oct. 18 and the championship battle slated for Thursday, Oct. 21.

Last year’s co-champs will meet in one of the semifinal playoff games.

No. 1 Rockland District Middle School/Thomaston Grammar School (7-0-1) will host No. 4 Troy Howard Middle School of Belfast (4-5) on Monday, Oct. 18 at 3:30 p.m. in a semifinal playoff.

No. 2 Camden-Rockport Middle School (6-2-1) defeated No. 3 Great Salt Bay of Damariscotta (4-5) 2-1 in overtime last week in the first semifinal playoff game to earn a spot in the championship.

The final regular-season standings for the five-team league were: Rockland/Thomaston 7-0-1, Camden-Rockport 5-2-1, Great Salt Bay 4-4, Troy Howard Middle School 3-5 and Boothbay Elementary School 0-8.

Troy Howard beat Boothbay last week in a quarterfinal playoff during the single-elimination postseason tournament to set up the semifinal matches.

Last year, Rockland and Troy Howard finished as co-champs. This year’s championship game is slated for Thursday, Oct. 21 at 3:30 p.m. at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast.

In the semifinal playoff between host CRMS and GSB Oct. 14, the Schooners prevailed 2-1 in overtime, as Rose Flanagan scored 10 minutes into the first half and Macy Buck tallied the game-winner for the Schooners in the overtime. Both goals were unassisted. Tori Arau played in the cage for CRMS.

“We played well the first half, but seemed to lose momentum the second half of the game,” said Schooner coach Lindsey Clement. “During the first half we were spread out, making good passes, and dominating the field. After halftime GSB picked up their game and started to control the field. We ended up playing a lot of defense the second half. We couldn’t advance the ball down the field like we usually do.

“Halfway through the second half, GSB’s scored. We went into overtime knowing that the team in better shape [would] dominate the overtime, since it’s only seven versus seven [players]. In the overtime, we really picked it up; we were running harder, making great passes, using give and goes, and overall playing better than we had during the game. Our girls in the overtime didn’t look tired at all. Our forwards and mids were doing a great job at controlling the field, getting the ball inside their circle, and dodging their defense. We got a few shots off, before one finally went in.”

Additionally, Rockland and Camden-Rockport finished the regular season with a scoreless tie Oct. 12. Schooner coach Clement said she knew facing RDMS/TGS would be a challenge, especially with the regular-season standings solidified before the final game was played.

“With this in mind, I was hoping the girls wouldn’t go on the field with a lackadaisical attitude thinking, “It doesn’t matter whether we win or lose,’ ” Clement said. “Our team played strong in the first half; it was the most aggressive we have played this season. The girls can always improve on their skills, but we worked on two things in particular to get ready for this game: moving to the ball quickly and we changed our positions on the field. I’ve tried to stress the importance of moving to the ball, instead of waiting for the ball to get to you. Rockland is always moving to the ball quickly, and if we allowed them to do that, we would be playing defense the whole game.

“It was nice to see our girls finally moving to the ball on free hits/self starts so we could play some offense. Instead of playing the usual 4-3-3, we played a 4-3-1-2. Moving up one [player] our defense helped us in more than one way. It prevented Rockland from getting breakaways and it also gave us an offensive advantage. Rockland has a phenomenal team and they are great at moving the ball up the field quickly, so it was crucial we do everything we can to stop them before they get to our circle. I did not want Rockland to dominate and pummel our goalie with shots the whole game.

“When the ball got behind our midfield, our floater was right there to send the ball back to our offense. Molly Davee, who is usually our center defense, played as the floater most of the game. Molly is one of our strongest defenders, so I was a little apprehensive about pulling her up. Eva Ritchie, usually a mid, also played as the floater. Molly and Eva were chosen to be the floaters based on their aggressiveness, hustle, and defensive skills. Gabie Anders played an amazing game as our left wing. She really used her dribbling skills and dodges to get past the Rockland players. She was working hard moving to the ball, getting the ball out of our 25, moving the ball quickly down the field, and then making great passes to our inners. Allie Dobbins also played an outstanding game. She communicated well with the other forwards and did a great job at moving the ball to open space.”

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.