There’s not much more the Skowhegan field hockey team can do in terms of regular season success. The Indians have won all 12 of their games, and outscored their opponents, 107-0.

The overall quality of Eastern A is down this year, and that combined with Skowhegan’s play has made for a lot of 10-0 games. Coach Paula Doughty said the Indians have the ability to remain focused.

“I think it’s the system that we have,” she said. “We have always had the same system. We take it one game at a time. I know that sounds very trite, and I know a lot of coaches talk about that, but that’s how we operate.

“Even when we’re playing a team that may not be as strong, every team has an individual goal. After the game, we assess whether they meet those goals. We never talk about how many goals we scored.”

The Indians do recognize their offensive balance. Senior Makaela Michonski, who had 33 goals last season, has 32 this year. The hard part for Skowhegan’s opponents is that Michonski’s teammates have combined for 75 goals, so it’s not as simple as just stopping her.

Sarah Finnemore has 23 goals, and Allison Lancaster has scored 14. Rylie Blanchet and Renee Wright each have 10 goals. Brooke Michonski has nine.

The lopsided games means the starters are rarely playing typical starter minutes. But if they have to do that in the playoffs, Doughty believes they’ll be fine.

“They’re in good condition,” she said. “They work hard in practice every day. We scrimmage in practice every day. They run every day.”

* * *

Irony is hitting Waterville hard, and it could hit hard enough to knock the Purple Panthers out of the playoffs.

Waterville was already a Class B school for field hockey when the school decided to switch from Class A to Class B for nearly all sports, beginning with the 2005-06 school year. The theory was that it would give the Panthers more equitable competition.

But here’s the thing: Entering today’s games, Waterville is outside of the Eastern B playoff picture, and may need wins over both Mt. View and Winslow to get to the postseason. However, if the Panthers were in Class A, they likely would have locked up a playoff spot by now.

That sounds far-fetched on the surface, but it’s clear that Eastern B is tougher top to bottom than Eastern A, which is perhaps as top-heavy as it has ever been.

“The depth that we have in our league right now is pretty incredible,” Waterville coach Ashley Pullen said.

In Eastern A, Skowhegan has not allowed a goal all season. Messalonskee has not allowed a goal to anyone but Skowhegan. Lawrence has not allowed a goal to anyone but Skowhegan or Messalonskee (and the Bulldogs are doing that with Nia Irving, one of their best defensive players, out with a knee injury). Lewiston, which is 8-4-0 and holds the No. 4 seed, lost 10-0 to both Skowhegan and Messalonskee.

Waterville would not likely beat Skowhegan or Messalonskee, but would be competing with everyone else. In fact, the Panthers beat Lawrence in preseason. Waterville also defeated Lewiston at Winslow’s playday, and later tied the Blue Devils in a scrimmage.

And of course, Waterville’s roster has had a maximum of 13 players this fall.

“Waterville has some really strong athletes, and a really good team,” Lawrence coach Lisa Larrabee said. “I’m very impressed with how they’re staying injury-free, because we are injured. I’m impressed with their athleticism, and I’m impressed with the 60 minutes of hockey that she gets.”

Pullen played at Messalonskee, and was on the Eagles team that defeated Skowhegan in the 2000 Eastern A final — the last time the Indians didn’t win the regional title.

“I look at a team like Lewiston — it would definitely be nice to be sitting in the four spot and looking forward to hosting a home playoff game,” Pullen said. “But there’s some pride in having a good record in a very competitive conference.”

* * *

Dexter coach Kristy Veazie resigned shortly before the start of the regular season and is now an assistant at Nokomis. The new Dexter coach is Kylie Damon who was a standout defensive player at Skowhegan. The Tigers are 10-1-0 this fall and in first place in the Eastern C Heal points.

“So far, this year has been excellent,” Damon said. “The kids have been awesome. The school district has been supportive. The district, the community, the way they support their sports teams — it’s great.”

Damon’s assistant coach is her sister, Whitney, who also played defense at Skowhegan. Kylie said she is working mostly with the offense, and Whitney handles the defense and goalies.

“It’s been a great experience for both of us, and I’ve really enjoyed working with her so far,” Kylie said.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]


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