Visibility was limited on much of the drive home, but the Skowhegan players still enjoyed their reception after winning the Class A state field hockey title with a 5-0 win over Marshwood on Saturday at Yarmouth High School.

As is tradition — the Indians have won 10 state titles in the last 11 years — the school bus picked up fire trucks as escorts at the end of the drive.

“We were all screaming out the window,” said senior back Mikayla Fitzmaurice. “It was just a really cool experience. At the reception, we all had our own bottle of sparkling cider, and we were all spraying each other.”

“It’s gotten to the point where it’s expected (of them) almost,” Skowhegan coach Paula Doughty said. “It’s hard. The kids, I want them to enjoy their success like any high school kid would.”

***

The Indians have had some incredible offensive teams over the years, but this fall’s group easily broke the school record for goals. Skowhegan scored 113 goals in 18 games, with both Jessie Skillings and Makaela Michonski going over 20.

Skowhegan won more than half of its regular season games by eight goals or more, but also showed the ability to score against strong defensive teams. Marshwood, for instance, had allowed 10 goals in 17 games before Saturday and the Hawks hadn’t given up more than two goals in any game until Skowhegan put in three in a span of six minutes.

“These kids have been playing together interchangeably for two or three years now,” Doughty said. “There’s about 10 of them, there’s a rhythm with them. Offensively, we can really get in a zone.”

One area where the Indians excel, Doughty said, is in the art of tipping the ball.

“Ten years ago, every shot was a shot,” Doughty said. “We still have shots, but today, forwards don’t usually work on shots. They work on tipping. Michonski’s a phenomenal tipper. Jessie’s a great tipper. Haley (Holt)’s a great tipper. I think it allows for more scoring, because it’s harder to stop.”

***

Since 2004, Skowhegan has won 139 games and lost five. The Indians have won 36 games in a row, and their last loss was at the same field they played on in Saturday’s win. In 2009, the Indians lost to Scarborough, 2-1, in the Class A state final at Yarmouth.

“I think we all knew that in our mind, but we weren’t going to let that affect how we play,” Fitzmaurice said. “It’s just a field. It’s not the same team, or anything like that.”

***

Most of Skowhegan’s seniors are looking at playing in college. Skillings and Nicole Sevey will be teammates at the University of Maine. Doughty said Holt is hoping to play at the next level. Fitzmaurice said she’d like to go to Bryant, where Skowhegan graduates and triplets MaKayla, Mallory and Megan Hancock are sophomores on the field hockey team.

“I haven’t exactly committed yet,” Fitzmaurice said, “but I’m in the process of doing so.”

Even without those players, Skowhegan should contend for the state title again next season. As Doughty pointed out, Skowhegan’s five goals against Marshwood were scored by Michonski and Allison Lancaster (two apiece) and Sarah Finnemore. All three players will be back next season, along with four other starters.

“I think we’ll be a great team again next year,” Doughty said. “I’ve got younger kids willing to step in and do the hard work.”

“I think that they will be very successful,” Fitzmaurice said. “They’ll have a big senior class, and all of them will be great leaders.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]


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