Some of the best high school field hockey in Class B this season could be found on the Midcoast, which was indicative of the fact that three of the four local squads secured regional playoff spots.

Not only was the heart of Maine home for many of the region’s top teams, but also top players as VillageSoup unveils its second annual high school field hockey notables.

Twenty-two student-athletes from four teams proved a cut above the rest this season with their superior stickwork, having sensational individual campaigns in the process.

This year’s field hockey notables are Belfast’s Rosie LaCivita, Madison Cummings, Ashland Hall, Kasey Laveway and Brooklyn Curry; Camden Hills’ Sarah Nason, Hayley Aydelott, Katherine Johanson, Maci Heal and Taylor Porter; Mount View’s Anna Piotti, Maggie Clark, Hayleigh Kein, Brianna Moody, Chrissy Larrabee, Channing Murphy and Mercedes Reynolds; and Rockland/Georges Valley’s Allison Ward, Madison Sturks, Ciara Smalley, Hannah Plourde and Emma Davis.

Clark, Hall, Heal, Johanson, Kein, LaCivita, Larrabee, Laveway, Moody, Murphy and Nason are seniors; Aydelott, Curry, Piotti, Porter, Reynolds, Sturks, Smalley and Ward, juniors; Davis and Plourde, sophomores; and Cummings, a freshman.

Notable student-athletes represent schools in Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln counties and, while not termed by VillageSoup as “all stars,” all those highlighted experienced consistently strong seasons, distinguished themselves in their sport and are worthy of being spotlighted.

For roughly three decades, a similar format was used in Knox County newspaper publications in the format of the The Courier-Gazette all stars and, more recently, VillageSoup all stars. Those past selections included only student-athletes from schools in Knox and part of Lincoln counties.

Now with the inclusion of student-athletes from Waldo County high schools starting during the 2009-10 school year, VillageSoup continues that storied tradition with its second annual sports notables.

VillageSoup will name notables in all high school varsity sports where there are at least two Midcoast teams playing an official varsity schedule.

Student-athletes who will be considered for notable distinction are from Belfast Area High School, Camden Hills Regional High School, Rockland District High School, Medomak Valley High School, Georges Valley High School, Vinalhaven High School, North Haven Community School, Islesboro Central School, Mount View High School and Searsport District High School.

In the fall, VillageSoup names notables in golf, cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer, football and field hockey.

In naming notables in a sport, VillageSoup is not trying to highlight every potentially deserving student-athlete from a given team, only to highlight the most consistently strong performers during a particular season in a particular sport. Obviously, with any such list of notables being subjective, not all those considered ultimately will make the final list of notables.

The nomination process for a sport begins with the VillageSoup sports department polling area coaches to provide a list of what they feel are each respective team’s premier players for that season, not for a high school career. The notables are based on individual performances, although the strength of a team’s season may impact how many players from a specific team are selected.

Again, not all potential notables will ultimately become VillageSoup’s notables: only those nominated by coaches and ultimately selected by the VillageSoup sports staff.

In the case for field hockey, Belfast’s Allen Holmes, Camden Hills’ Jan Holmes-Jackson, Mount View’s Gloria Hewett and Rockland/Georges Valley’s Joanna Hall were polled for their nominations.

Searsport, Medomak Valley, North Haven, Vinalhaven and Islesboro do not have field hockey programs.

A nomination only guarantees each candidate consideration, not notable status. While the input of each coach is weighed heavily with each candidate, the final decisions are made by VillageSoup Sports Director Ken Waltz and Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell.

There will be at least one representative notable from each school in a given sport. From that point, the rest of the notables could be a mix of athletes from many schools, or weighted heavily on one or two schools.

Field hockey players had to play in at least half of the team’s regular-season games to be eligible for notable status.

Belfast, competing in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference’s Class B division, finished with a record of 7-3-3, earning the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Class B playoffs. The Lions traveled to Newport to battle third-seeded Nokomis, but fell to the Warriors 2-1 in overtime in the quarterfinal round.

Camden Hills, competing in the KVAC’s Class B division, finished with a record of 6-7, finishing with the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Class B playoffs. The Windjammers traveled to Orono to face No. 2 John Bapst of Bangor, but fell to the Crusaders 3-2 in the quarterfinals.

Mount View, competing in the KVAC’s Class B division, finished with a record of 12-1 and earned the top overall seed in the Eastern Class B playoffs. The Mustangs galloped past eighth-seeded Waterville 3-1 in the quarterfinal round and upended defending state champion and fifth-seeded Gardiner 1-0 in the semifinals before falling to third-seeded and eventual state Class B champion Nokomis of Newport 1-0 in the regional final. Mount View also shared the KVAC Class B title with Nokomis.

Rockland/Georges Valley, competing in the KVAC’s Class B division, finished with a record of 4-8-1, finishing just outside the eight-team playoff field in ninth place in Eastern Class B. It was the first and only season for the cooperative program before the two schools merge to become Oceanside High School next season.

The following is a rundown of the Midcoast’s top field hockey players, or VillageSoup notables, listed in alphabetical order.

Aydelott, a junior, played right fullback for the Windjammers and thrived as one of the team’s premier defenders. She typically marked opponent’s top offensive players and did a superb job keeping offensive players outside of the circle, according to coach Holmes-Jackson. She also provided solid backup defense to the Windjammer goalie Nason, bailing her out in instances where she was drawn away from the cage. Aydelott possesses terrific stick skills, is a motivator and positive with teammates, the coach said.

Clark, a senior, played right mid for Mount View and was one of the team’s most consistent and skilled players. Clark was named second-team all-conference by the KVAC and also earned all-academic honors at both the conference and state levels. Clark possesses a keen sense for the ball and displayed strong work with her stick all season, often putting other players in position to thrive on offense. She also plays second trail on corners because “it is difficult to get a ball past her inside the circle,” according to coach Hewett.

Cummings, a freshman, made the transition from middle school to high school seamlessly this season as she stepped in and was quickly named to the KVAC all-rookie team and also nabbed the Belfast McDonald’s 12th player award. Cummings notched four goals and four assists in her first year of varsity field hockey and figures to be a major player for the Lions over the next few seasons. “[It’s] very nice to have a first-year player step up like that and to be a starter, which is an indication of her ability and determination,” said coach Holmes. “She fit in nicely with the older girls and got a lot of support.”

Curry, a junior, played left mid for Belfast and was one of the team’s top defensive players. Coach Holmes added that Curry stepped up her efforts this season and started to assume a leadership role on the team, while also typically matching against the opposition’s top offensive players at the right wing positions. She scored four goals and had two assists this season, was a second-team all-conference selection for the KVAC and was the recipient of the outstanding determination award presented annually, sponsored by Belfast Variety.

Davis, a sophomore, played midfield and was an integral part of the team’s success this season for Rockland/Georges Valley. A two-year starter for coach Hall, Davis played the role of a defensive-minded midfielder to a “T” and contributed one assist this season for RDHS/GVHS. Coach Hall added that Davis “always gives 110 percent and is a natural leader on and off the field.”

Hall, a senior, played left inner for Belfast this season and tied for the team lead in goals with five and led in assists with six this year. An intelligent player who was also a KVAC all-academic selection, Hall had a few game-winning goals this season for the Lions and always seemed to find herself in the right place at the right time on the field. She was a good role model, a hard worker and could “hit the ball a mile,” according to coach Holmes.

Heal, a senior, played right inner this season for Camden Hills and had a terrific year after battling back from an anterior cruciate ligament injury she suffered during basketball season two years ago. A KVAC first-team all-conference and all-academic selection, Heal had two goals and four assists this season for the Windjammers to add to her career total of 14 goals and nine assists. Coach Holmes Jackson said Heal is a natural field hockey player who possesses strong stick skills. She is a good striker, a great passer and strong presence on the field for her teammates.

Johanson, a senior, played center mid and thrived in her final season in a Windjammer uniform. Voted as the team most valuable player by her peers and a KVAC honorable mention and all-academic selection, Johanson had three goals and two assists this year and could adjust quickly to the back-and-forth nature of the position. She was also a positive influence on the rest of the team and a vocal leader, according to coach Holmes-Jackson. “She just really controlled the ball and her stickwork was amazing,” the coach said. “She kept the ball in our offensive end quite a bit and had many amazing hits and drives for us this season.”

Kein, a senior, was one of the top field hockey players in the state, regardless of class, which is evident given she is up for Miss Maine Field Hockey, the state’s highest honor of a field hockey player. Kein is an all-state selection for the third straight year and perhaps proved more valuable than ever this year for the ‘Stangs. A defensive-minded player who plays midfield, Kein had five goals along with seven assists, finishing her high school career with six goals and 15 assists. “She’s the playmaker on our team and controls the flow of the game,” said coach Hewett.

Kein is also a flier on penalty corners, often breaking up plays with her superior stickwork and blazing speed. She has one of the hardest shots in the state. As well as being an All-State selection, Kein is also a KVAC first-team all-star and an all-academic selection. “Hayleigh was one of the captains on the team this year and she led the team through example and with her calm approach to all situation both in games and in practice,” coach Hewett said.

LaCivita, a senior, played center back for Belfast and was the co-captain of the defense this season for the Lions. Having never played field hockey before high school, LaCivita blossomed into a three-year starter for Belfast and was a KVAC honorable mention and all-academic selection this year. She is also a candidate this year for the Stephanie Lunt Memorial Award for outstanding sportsmanship. She also received the coach’s award this season from coach Holmes, who said LaCivita “controlled the middle of the field, could slow things down and had the ability to move the ball up the field for us.”

Larrabee, a senior, played left mid this season for Mount View and was also one of the team’s captains. A versatile player who plays first flier on penalty corners and scored five goals through the course of the season, Larrabee made the all-state team in her final year with the Mustangs as well as being a KVAC first-team all-conference and all-academic selection. The senior also moved the ball up the field well and complemented her teammate Moody’s style of play wonderfully on the front line.

Laveway, a senior, played center mid for Belfast this season and was not only a KVAC first-team all-conference and all-academic selection, but also earned an all-state nomination for her play on the field. A tough player with a good attitude, Laveway was voted most valuable player by her teammates and also thrived at distributing the ball to teammates. She also had 22 defensive clears inside the 25-yard line this season according to coach Holmes and was also a vocal leader on the field for the Lions.

Moody, a senior, played forward for talented Mount View and led the high-octane offense in scoring, notching 11 goals and nine assists. Coach Hewett awarded Moody the team’s outstanding offensive player award and also received the sportsmanship award from Friends of Mount View Athletics, a local fundraising group. A hard-working, disciplined and consistent player on the pitch, Moody assisted on the goal that sent the ‘Stangs to the regional final in the semifinals against Gardiner and proved to be an indispensable asset to the team. She ended her three-year varsity career with an astounding 34 goals and 12 assists and was also named to the KVAC all-academic team.

Murphy, a senior, played center back for Mount View and was also one of the team’s captains. A player who steadily improved throughout the course of the season and played “her best games when we needed her the most,” coach Hewett said that Murphy was certainly one of the reasons the ‘Stangs had such a strong year as she was one of the team’s most integral pieces. “Channing has a hard, flat hit that rarely lifts and she can read the movement of the field well so she is able to take charge in the backfield,” said Hewett.

Nason, a senior, played goalie for Camden Hills as she has for the past three seasons and did a superb job in the cage over that time. A KVAC first-team all-star and also a captain on this year’s squad, Nason had a goals-against average of 1.4 and a save percentage of 0.81 this season, allowing 20 goals through 14 games. She also had three shutouts in the cage this season and 11 total in her career for Camden Hills. “She was a team leader and great communicator with fullbacks and other teammates,” said coach Holmes-Jackson. The veteran coach added that Nason had an incredible game against regional finalist Mount View this season, making 17 saves — including many of the acrobatic and diving variety — in a 1-0 loss to the Mustangs.

Piotti, a junior, played right fullback for Mount View and proved to be an integral part of the team’s defense this season. A fast player who can also play flyer with her quick stickwork, Piotti also notched a goal this season on offense and figures to be one of the leaders on defense next season for the Mustangs. “[Anna] is known for her uncanny ability to cut onto balls and accelerate quickly to the side of the field and then pass the ball hard across the top of the circle,” said Hewett.

Plourde, a sophomore, played wing for Rockland/Georges Valley and led the team in scoring, notching seven goals and two assists through 13 games. A second-year starter, Plourde could outrun many of the competitors on the field, setting the sophomore up with a pleathora of breakaway opportunities at the goal. She looks to continue to be one of the team’s most consistent players next season, as RDHS/GVHS becomes Oceanside High School. Last season, Plourde notched six goals and contributed three assists for Rockland.

Porter, a junior, played right inner and was by far Camden Hills’ top offensive player this season, leading the team with 10 goals, while also contributing two assists. Porter also was one of the team’s top strikers of the ball as she was also the inserter on penalty corners for the Windjammers. Porter is an aggressive player who does her best work in front of the cage, either firing crosses on goal to set up teammates or cleaning up rebounds for sure goals. Coach Holmes-Jackson expects Porter to return next season and be the primary focus on offense for the ‘Jammers. She was also voted most outstanding offensive player this season by her teammates.

Reynolds, a junior, played forward for Mount View and proved to be one of the team’s most clutch players on offense. Reynolds had five goals and three assists this season, three of which were game-winners in 1-0 affairs. She had goals in regular-season contests against both Camden Hills and Waterville, and also scored the game-winner in the regional semifinals against Gardiner. Coach Hewett said that “we didn’t meet anyone this year that she couldn’t outrun in a race to the ball” and that Reynolds “will be a player to watch next season” during her senior year.

Smalley, a junior, had little trouble making the jump from Class C last year as Georges Valley’s goalie to Class B competition with the consolidated Rockland/Georges Valley squad. A steady player who “always came ready to play,” according to coach Hall, Smalley saved more than 100 shots at the cage this year for RDHS/GVHS, including a handful of spectacular saves in the team’s 1-1 tie with Belfast. Smalley likely will continue her role in the cage next season for Oceanside High School.

Sturks, a junior, played center back for Rockland/Georges Valley, was a team captain and has been a three-year starter for coach Hall. The leader of the defense and one of the team’s most talented players, Sturks helped not only head up the defensive side of the field, but also helped the Rockland and Georges Valley players gel on the field this season. She also had several player saves this season, according to coach Hall. “Her passion for the defensive aspects of the game show in her strong, consistent play,” she said of Sturks, who will likely reprise her role as top dog of the defense next season with the newly formed Oceanside High School.

Ward, a junior, played midfield for Rockland/Georges Valley and was one of the team’s top players. A team captain, KVAC second-team all-conference selection and three-year starter, Ward had three goals and an assist this season for RDHS/GVHS, possessed exemplorary stick skills and “has a good head for the game,” according to coach Hall. Ward likely will continue her role as midfielder on the team next season. Last season, Ward tallied three goals and three assists for the Rockland Tigers.

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