From the get-go in early September right through the final regular-season games this week, nothing came easy for field hockey teams in competitive Class A North.

“It was a grind,” Mt. Blue coach Jody Harmon said.

The postseason should be no different.

Playoff fields were finalized Thursday and the fight for the Class A North title should be intriguing.

Messalonskee (14-0-0) earned the top seed and will host No. 8 Mt. Ararat (3-8-3) in a quarterfinal game Tuesday at 3 p.m. No. 2 Skowhegan (12-2-0) — whose losses came to rival Messalonskee — will host No. 7 Hampden (6-7-1) on Wednesday, also at 3 p.m.

Cony (10-4-0) earned the No. 3 seed and hosts No. 6 Oxford Hills (6-6-2) on Wednesday at 3 p.m. No. 4 Mt. Blue — which pushed Skowhegan to overtime on Oct. 8 — will play fifth-seeded Edward Little (9-5-0) in a quarterfinal game Tuesday at 3 p.m. in Farmington.

“It’s a whole new season now,” Harmon said. “It’s anyone’s game at this point. We’re excited to be a part of it. It’s going to be a great tournament.”

The Cougars sank the Red Eddies 6-0 on Oct. 1 at Thomas College, but Harmon said she expects a tough challenge Tuesday.

“They are a great team,” she said. “We’re going to have to come ready to go.”

Gardiner (12-2-0) and Winslow (10-3-1) earned the first and second seeds, respectively, in Class B North. The Tigers will play either No. 8 Camden Hills (7-7-0) or No. 9 John Bapst (3-10-1) in a quarterfinal game Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. The Windjammers and Crusaders will play a prelim game Saturday.

“We’ll watch Camden and John Bapst because we don’t know anything about Bapst in particularly,” Gardiner coach Sharon Gallant said. “The bummer part of the KVAC is that we kind of have a northern and southern part so we don’t see teams like Foxcroft or Old Town or John Bapst.”

Gallant added that she was pleasantly surprised her Tigers secured the top seed, especially after a pair of back to back 1-0 losses to Winslow and Lawrence in late September.

“We certainly didn’t anticipate being (No. 1),” she said “It’s going to be a fun tournament. It’s going to be interesting.”

The Black Raiders will play either No. 7 Nokomis (9-5-0) or No. 10 Oceanside (5-8-1) in a quarterfinal game Wednesday at 3 p.m. The Warriors and Mariners will play a prelim game Saturday at 10 a.m. in Newport.

“Our girls are excited to play Oceanside or Nokomis,” Winslow coach Mary Beth Bourgoin said. “We’re pretty fired up to play either one.”

The Raiders will have a shot at redemption against either opponent — they lost a 3-2 decision to Nokomis and tied Oceanside 0-0 in the regular season.

“It’s going to be a good tournament,” Bourgoin said. “We can all beat each other.”

No. 4 Lawrence (11-3-0), which dropped to Class B this season, will host No. 5 Old Town (12-2-0).

In Class C North, No. 2 Maine Central Institute (10-4-0) will play No. 7 Boothbay (7-7-0) while No. 3 Mount View (9-5-0) will host No. 6 Stearns (8-6-0) at 4 p.m..

Both quarterfinal games are Wednesday.

Winthrop (7-6-1), meanwhile, slipped to fifth in the final week of the season and faces a trip to Guilford and No. 4 Piscataquis (8-6-1) in a quarterfinal game Tuesday at a time to be announced.

“I told the girls to get ready for a long bus ride,” Winthrop coach Jess Merrill said. “It could be about a two hour ride, but we always seem to play better on the road so hopefully that continues.”

Winthrop finished their regular season last Thursday and watched as Piscataquis jumped them into fourth. However, Merrill said the time off also provided a good scouting opportunity.

“We saw them on Monday (against top seed Dexter),” she said. “We have some stuff on them so that is good.”

Oak Hill (9-5-0) is the No. 3 seed in Class C South and will host No. 6 Sacopee Valley (8-6-0) in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Bill Stewart — 621-5618

[email protected]

Twitter: @billstewartMTM

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