ORONO — The rare winner-take-all contest between two teams who won state championships last year turned out to be about as close as one would expect. It also turned out that the Class B incumbent was too stubborn, and too good, to give up its run of dominance.

York defended its Class B title and won its 36th consecutive game with a 3-2 win over Winslow at Morse Field on the campus of the University of Maine on Saturday.

Lilian Posternak, Devon Datsis and Isabel Bretz scored for York (18-0). Ciera Poulin scored both goals for Winslow (13-4-1), which won the Class C title last year.

Tied 1-1 at halftime, the Wildcats opened the second half with relentless pressure, earning three penalty corners and forcing Winslow goalie and Miss Maine Field Hockey finalist Delaney Wood (16 saves) to make five saves in the first three minutes.

“That’s what our discussion was at halftime. They’re going to come out and turn up the heat of the game, which they did, and that’s why I took the timeout five minutes in,” Winslow coach Mary Beth Bourgoin said.

“We always emphasize coming out hard to start each half,” Datsis said. “We knew we were going to have to be aggressive and try to get them on their heels.”

The Black Raiders stayed on their toes instead and withstood the initial blitz thanks to some excellent work by Wood in the cage.

“We definitely had to keep positive, keep everyone upbeat, keep everyone’s heads up,” Wood said. “We just had to remember that their skilled but you’re skilled, too, and you belong there, too.”

“I think their speed was better than ours. They’re definitely a fast team,” Bourgoin said. “We’ve got speed, too, but there’s was up a notch.”

Winslow was able to shift action to the other end but couldn’t sustain anything to get a shot off. Instead, York took advantage of an opportunity to fastbreak.

Datsis carried into the circle, split two defenders and fired a shot from five yards out that hit off a foot and a post before going into the cage to put York in front for good, 2-1, with 21:43 remaining.

Isabel Bretz added a crucial insurance goal off a penalty corner with 7:02 to go, inserting the corner, then sneaking behind the defense to the left post, which put her in position to redirect a shot from near the top of the circle.

“We kind of didn’t have our eye on her,” Bourgoin said.

Winslow was able to get the goal back less than two minutes later when Poulin was given a penalty stroke, which she placed perfectly inside the left post to beat York goalie Julianna Kiklis. But the Wildcats kept their composure and burned the final five minutes off the clock to clinch it.

“We got possession of the ball back quite a few times and we were able to stall it a little bit in different places on the field,” York coach Barb Marois said. “I don’t think we gave them too many chances after that.”

Posternak, an outstanding junior who has committed to play for Duke, created her own chance with some scintillating stick work. Taking the feed on penalty corner at the top of the circle, she faked a pass right, broke left, then drew Wood out of the cage and crossed back to her right to find a wide open cage and got York on the board first with 19:11 left in the first half.

York immediately gained another penalty corner, with Wood denying Posternak on a hard shot.

Back the other way, Winslow secured a corner of its own. Jessica Greeley put a shot on with Poulin in front of the left post there to rebound Kiklis’ kick save and tie it with 17:16 to go in the half.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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