Every athletic season during the school year, each varsity team in the state has three goals: namely to win league, regional and state titles, with the final being the most coveted. For most, those dreams are not a reality. But for the Mount View field hockey squad, those lofty visions are still in clear view.

The Mustangs earned a spot in the Eastern Class B championship game with a hard-fought 1-0 overtime semifinal playoff victory over Gardiner on a blustery, cool, fall Saturday afternoon. That kept the team’s quest to win regional and state crowns in sight.

It may be the first time a Mount View field hockey team has advanced to the regional final. In recent years, the Mustangs have been halted in the semifinals. However, a team or two coached by Lisa Gibbs Moses years ago may have advanced as far as the regional final.

On Saturday, Mercedes Reynolds scored the game-winning goal, off a pass from Brianna Moody, with 4:41 left in overtime to give the hosts the exciting victory.

In high school field hockey, teams play two 30-minute halves at full player strength and then one or two eight-minute overtimes with seven players against seven players. If the game is still tied, the format changes to penalty corners.

On Saturday, Mount View held a 7-3 edge in shots, while Gardiner had a 6-3 advantage in penalty corners. Abbie Charrier and Amanda Hall (3 saves) played in the cage for the Mustangs, while Alley Beaulieu (6 saves) played in goal for the Tigers. Charrier played the first half and Hall in the second half and OT.

Reynolds, Hayleigh Kein and Moody all took two shots on goal during the game and Janelle Thornley one for the Mustangs.

No. 1 Mount View (14-1-1 overall) outlasted No. 5 Gardiner (10-3-1) Saturday and will play for the regional crown on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 3:30 p.m. on the artificial playing surface at Hampden Academy.

In the regional final, the Mustangs will face No. 3 Nokomis of Newport (13-2-1 overall), after the Warriors upset No. 2 John Bapst of Bangor (13-3) 1-0 in another semifinal playoff game Saturday.

During the season, Mount View did not play John Bapst, but defeated Nokomis 2-1 in overtime Sept. 9. The Mustangs and Warriors also played for the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship Oct. 14 at Colby College in Waterville, with that game ending in a scoreless, double-overtime tie. Thus, the two share the league title.

“The girls were on top of their game today,” said Mount View coach Gloria Hewett of the semifinal playoff with Gardner. “They played really well. They have had a good game. It was a very evenly-matched game. Gardiner played awesome too.”

Hewett said she and the players “had a talk the night before that this had to be the game that they put it all out there [on the field]. The edge of playing really well and playing sloppy is very fine and they had to play their very best game in order to beat Gardiner.”

The coach said her players changed the field well against the Tigers, “which was one strategy, that I wanted them to move the ball across the field and not play on one side or another. To try to capitalize on our speed with Mercedes on the right side and to cross it back to the left side … We just wanted to be on the ball and control the ball and keep it on our stick.”

Hewett said the strategy in overtime was to use the field space available created by the 7-on-7 format. She wanted her players to keep the ball in space and away from other players. The coach said she always wants to use two of the Mustangs’ greatest strengths — speed and passing ability.

Reynolds has scored a bundle of key goals for the Mustangs in recent years, but none more important than the one she tallied against Gardiner Saturday. Reynolds said on the game-winning goal she tried to push the ball away from the area in which the goalie was moving. The junior forward said she had noticed the Tiger goalie liked to move to where the attacking player was, thus, Reynolds decided to shoot away from her and the ball ended up in the cage.

As she was stickhandling the ball toward the cage, Reynolds said, “I saw the goalie and that was it. I didn’t see any opening, but I know their goalie tends to move where you go so I hit it to the other corner.”

Reynolds said she was excited to score the winning goal and to help the team move onto the regional final makes her feel “really good.” She said last year the team had the talent to get to the regional final, but this year the Mustangs have more experience and have a solid chance to win regional and state championships.

Earlier in the regional playoffs. Mount View beat No. 8 Waterville (6-8) 3-1 and Gardiner defeated No. 4 Winslow (10-4) 4-0 in the quarterfinals

Mount View defeated Winslow 2-1 in its first game of the season Sept. 4 and also bested Gardiner 1-0 Sept. 23. The Mustangs also beat Waterville 1-0 during a regular-season game.

The Mustangs have outscored opponents 39-6 in 16 games this season and have recorded 12 shutouts. Ironically, three goals against Mount View came in one game and only three in the other 15 contests.

The state Class B championship game will be Saturday, Oct. 30 on the artificial playing surface at the University of Maine in Orono.

Still alive in the Western regional tournament are No. 1 York (15-1, after a 2-0 win over No. 5 Fryeburg Academy, which finished 12-4) and No. 3 Greely of Cumberland (12-4, after a 1-0 win over No. 2 Leavitt of Turner, which finished 11-3-1). Of those four squads, Mount View faced only Leavitt this season, suffering the team’s lone loss in a 3-2 contest Oct. 7.

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