All season, the Belfast Area High School field hockey team’s motto had been simple: 7-11-3.

Seven, for the seventh state Class B crown the Lions hoped to win; 11 for 2011, the calendar year; and three, the amount of goals per game it would likely take for BAHS to achieve its goal.

In the Lions’ case Saturday afternoon in the state Class B championship against Western Class B titlist York, two out of three was not only not bad, it was euphoric.

Belfast (14-1-3) tallied two second-half goals and roared past the Wildcats (15-2-1) Saturday at Yarmouth High School, securing the program’s seventh state crown with a thrilling 2-1 victory.

“It feels great,” said Belfast coach Allen Holmes, in his 39th season leading the Lions (and to all seven titles). “You tell your teams that you coach after [they win] a state championship, that you just can’t explain the feeling. It’s so awesome to be involved in it and to win it just puts the frosting on the cake.”

Members of the Lions wore bandaids beneath their eyes with their team motto written on each one, as did Holmes.

“We came up short on the last end [of the motto, by not scoring three goals in the final game], but we’ll take it, the coach said.

The sequence of numbers began when the girls wanted to honor fallen teammates Kaysea Harford and Kristi Osgood, who wear numbers 7 and 13, respectively.

Coach Holmes then threw in the notion they would be number one after Saturday’s game in the middle, and the number took on a whole new meaning for the Lions. The girls sported the bandaids underneath their left eyes, which is where Kristi Osgood was struck with a errant stick by Nokomis during the regional finals Oct. 25.

Osgood was diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms and did not play in Saturday’s game, while Harford was injured during the quarterfinals against Foxcroft Academy and did not return for the remainder of the postseason.

Lion sophomore Maddy Cummings has had a sensational postseason and continued that trend Saturday, assisting on both goals scored by BAHS seniors Britt Mellor and Brooklyn Curry.

Cummings scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 double-overtime win against top-seeded Nokomis of Newport to clinch the Eastern Class B crown Oct. 25 and also scored the game-winner in the 20th round of penalty corners in a win over No. 6 Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft in the quarterfinals.

Mellor’s goal tied the game with 20:06 remaining in regulation, while Curry’s came at the 14:46-mark of the second half, which proved the game-winner.

“It feels awesome,” said Mellor of clinching the state Class B title. “I’m so happy to be here. I knew it was going to be a tough game and it was going to be very head-to-head, and it was. They’re an excellent team, we’re an excellent team and they put up a good fight. It was an exciting game.”

Shelby Spencer scored a first-half goal for the Wildcats.

Julia Ward made six saves in the cage for the newly-crowned Class B champions, while Amanda Kasbohm made eight saves for the Wildcats. Belfast outshot York 10-7 and held a 14-11 edge in penalty corners.

The Lions seemed dictate play though the first 10 minutes of the game before the Wildcat offense came to life and picked up a couple of penalty corners. York found the back of the cage with 16:11 remaining in the first half when a shot by Cari Posternak trickled through Ward’s legs and to a sea of Lion and Wildcat players battling for possession between the Belfast goalie and the cage.

The Wildcats won the battle as Spencer pushed the ball past the line for the first score of the game.

“Julia made a nice save on that and there was a lot of spin on it and before we could clear it, [and] that girl got in there and put it in,” said Holmes.

Belfast went on the offensive and earned quality chances late in the half, including a goal that was waved off with less than a minute remaining due to a dangerous play.

Holmes then gave his squad a pep talk at halftime, and the Lions came out for the next 30 minutes rejuvenated.

“He just said that we need to stay together as a team, and we just needed to play our game,” said Curry. “We were playing our game, but we just needed to execute. That was the big thing. We had two or three great chances beforehand on [penalty] corners [in the first half], we just needed to execute and finish it off.”

“He pumped us up,” said Cummings of her coach. “He said we’ve been in this situation before and we know how to come back, so we pretty much just went out there and it worked.”

Mellor got the Lions on the board with 20:06 remaining in the second half off a penalty corner as Cummings took the insert from Blood and found the senior forward to put Belfast on the board.

“[Cummings] passed it and I just let it roll by me and I wailed it in,” Mellor said.

Mere minutes later the Lions capitalized again as Blood again inserted to Cummings on a penalty corner, and Cummings made a nifty pass to Curry open in the middle of the circle, and Curry beat Kasbohm left side with 14:46 left.

“Emily inserted and Maddy drew the defense and I was wide open on the top and she passed it to me, [I] aimed for the left post and it went in,” said Curry.

“We set this up in practice this other day,” she said. “Emily hits it to me, I dribble down and pass it behind me in the middle to Brooklyn and she just put it home. It was awesome.”

While the second goal was by design, the first was made possible by the unselfish play of Cummings.

“She doesn’t always look to shoot,” said Holmes of Cummings. “If she’s got the shot, she’ll take it. We’ve told her to shoot a lot, but obviously, she was in a situation where she thought she could dump it off [on the first goal].”

After losing starters Kristi Osgood and Harford earlier in the playoffs, Holmes credited the play of Krissy Martin, who replaced Harford, and a collection of players who rotated in to fill Kristi Osgood’s shoes Saturday, including Ally James, Kendra Kirby, Savana Wood and Kelsey Grass.

Kristi and Kari Osgood are seniors and twin sisters and were significant cogs in the Belfast machine this season, along with other 12th-graders Curry, Kirby, Mellor, Blood, Martin, James and backup goalie Sierra Wood.

The play of not only the seniors all year long, but the team’s role players as well, was not lost on the Lions’ tenured coach or underclassmen.

“I’m really happy,” said Cummings. “The seniors on this team really deserved to win and I’m really happy that we could win for them.”

“They’re wonderful girls, they’re great students, hard workers, dependable, they get along with each other and support each other,” said Holmes of his seniors. “They’re so team oriented that when we lost Kaysea [Harford] and Kristi [Osgood], we just found people to step in and do the job.”

Saturday’s win signifies how versatile the Lions have been all season, losing one game all year in the regular season finale to Mount View of Thorndike and falling to Nokomis in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B title game, only to avenge that loss in the regional final and Saturday’s state championship win over the Wildcats.

The Lions have been one of the most talented teams in the state all season. Saturday, they proved it. And for the seniors who walked off the field as state champions, it was an experience they will not soon forget.

“We’re like a family,” said Mellor. “Team bonding left and right, we’re a family and we’ll always be that way.”

“I love this team,” said Curry. “There’s never been a team any more amazing than this one.”

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