earn spot in final
HAMPDEN — It took the Nokomis Regional High School field hockey team some time to get going, but once the Warriors found a rhythm, it was just a matter of time before they scored.
Senior Drew Graves knocked in a rebound with 24 minutes, 23 seconds left in the game, giving Nokomis the only goal it would need in a 1-0 win over Old Town in the Eastern Maine Class B field hockey championship game.
The Warriors, now 17-0-0, will face York in the state final Saturday at Yarmouth High School. Old Town ends the season at 14-2-1.
Graves’ goal came shortly after a penalty corner chance. Positioned in front of the right post, Graves was there to knock in the rebound of a Taylor Shaw shot.
“It was a good shot from the top of the circle, and I happened to be there in the right place,” Graves said.
Old Town had a chance to tie with just over 19 minutes to play, but the Coyotes could not convert a penalty corner try of their own. Throughout the game, Nokomis played strong defense, keeping Old Town from sustaining any offensive pressure.
“It was tight marking,” Nokomis head coach Katie Thompson said. “We talked in practice (Monday) about not just marking in the circle, but from the 30 back.”
The first 10 minutes of the game were a feeling-out time for the Warriors, who started to control the pace and play after a penalty corner try nine minutes into the game.
“At first, we were getting used to playing on the turf. Once we got used to it, and the speed, we started to gel,” Graves said.
Added Thompson: “It’s hard when you’re facing a team you haven’t seen. We were playing a little tentative, trying to feel them out.”
Nokomis had six of its nine penalty corners in the first half. Old Town had just two penalty corners on the game, one in each half.
Erica Odgen made five saves for the Coyotes, while Kendra Underhill had five stops for the Warriors.