BY MATT DIFILIPPO

Staff Writer

Nokomis became a strong field hockey program over the past four years, giving Becca Boyce the chance to watch former teammates like Sabrina Vaillancourt and Jordin McGinnis play in the McNally Senior All-Star Field Hockey Game.

“Every year,” Boyce said, “I’ve always said, ‘Oh my God, I would love to play in that game.’ “

Boyce was an all-state selection as a senior, making her eligible for the McNally game, which is at noon, Saturday at Colby College. Nokomis teammates Leah Edmondson and Marissa Shaw are also eligible to play in Saturday’s all-star game.

Other local players selected to play are Skowhegan’s Mikayla Fitzmaurice, Nicole Sevey and Jessie Skillings; Messalonskee’s Katie Bernatchez and Jess Boghosian; Winslow’s Michelle Greene and Mt. View’s Anna Piotti.

Until her all-state selection, there was a definite gap between Boyce’s contributions and the attention she got for them. It wasn’t just that she plays field hockey, it’s that she plays defense. And it’s not just that she plays defense, it’s that her skills are more in keeping the offense from getting shots, rather than a flashy defensive save on the goal line.

“I think Becca was kind of a powerhouse on the defensive end of the field,” Nokomis coach Katie Thompson said. “Her stick skills, her tackles and her ability to get the ball out of the circle with speed were things we really relied on her for.”

Naturally, it’s tough to stand out when you play on the same team with Shaw, a Miss Maine Field Hockey finalist, and Edmondson, who scored 33 goals her senior year. Boyce says the lack of attention never bothered her.

“Scoring a lot of goals gets you attention, and being all over the field gets you attention,” Boyce said. “But the coaches will notice the little things, like an easy defensive tackle. I would rather get the attention from the coaches than the people.

“I’m completely fine with not getting the publicity. Marissa and Leah, they were very talented athletes. They completely deserve everything that they get — all the publicity, everything, 100 percent.”

Boyce said she didn’t start playing field hockey until seventh grade and when she did, it was as an offensive player. (She said most players start on offense, because it’s easier to understand.) By the time she was in high school, she was a defender and a good one.

“She has a good, calm field presence in the circle,” Thompson said. “Becca was always really good about not panicking and maintaining her composure.”

Boyce did end up scoring one game in her career, when she went in at forward near the end of a 9-0 win over Oak Hill during her senior year. She’s planning to play at Thomas College this fall and will major in English with the goal of becoming a sportswriter.

“I think Thomas is a great place for her to play,” Thompson said. “I think she’ll be able to make an impact right away.”

Boyce said she liked working with Thomas coach Andrea Thebarge at a field hockey camp, then enjoyed being with the Thomas players when she stayed at the college overnight.

“I decided to play at a Division III school so I could focus on grades and play field hockey,” Boyce said, “rather than focus on field hockey and then worry about my grades. It’s a great school.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

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