SKOWHEGAN — The Skowhegan field hockey team’s overall speed and quickness, along with the heads-up play of senior Julia Steeves, proved a bit too much for Mt. Blue on Tuesday afternoon.

Steeves scored a goal in each half while the Indians applied pressure in the Cougars’ end of the field throughout the game en route to a 2-0 victory.

Skowhegan improved to 2-0 in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference play while Mt. Blue fell to 0-2.

Skowhegan coach Paula Doughty in preseason called this group one of the fastest she’s ever coached, no small statement for a team that has won 17 Class A state championships, including the last two.

“I think we’re very talented this year,” said all-state defender Haley Carter, one of four seniors on the team. “Most of us have been playing Majestix and club teams.”

The Indians got on the board eight minutes into the game when Steeves flipped a rebound off a shot from Alexis Michonski into an open cage to the left of Mt. Blue goalie Erika McArthur (eight saves).


“Julia’s not flashy,” Doughty said. “But Julia’s consistent. She has her stick in the right place.”

The Cougars stepped into the KVAC limelight last fall by going unbeaten during the regular season before getting eliminated by Skowhegan in the tournament. They return a solid group, although a pair of starters were out Tuesday due to injury. Making the situation worse was the fact they opened the season against the conference’s two traditional powerhouses, Messalonskee and Skowhegan.

“We’re always re-doing positions,” Mt. Blue coach Jody Harmon said. “I saw a couple more players that played new positions today and actually did a good job. We’re starting to jell better as a team but we have a long way to go. We have a lot of work ahead of us and we’ve got to get healthy.”

The Indians played well front to back as Doughty kept fresh legs in the game, which seemed to wear down the Cougars. Mt. Blue managed one shot on Skowhegan goalie Leah Savage (three saves) and didn’t seriously test her until the final five minutes.

“Today, the whole field played defense,” Doughty said. “We tend to get in scoring mode and the forwards don’t play defense. Today, the whole field played defense and that was good.”

The Indians took a number of long shots at the goal, many outside the circle, in hopes of getting a rebound or pulling a defender out of position. One of those shots led to their second goal just over five minutes into the second half. Junior Elizabeth York pounded a shot into the circle from beyond the 25-yard line and Steeves, stationed to the right of the cage, deflected it over McArthur’s shoulder.

“That tip was amazing,” Doughty said. “It was a beautiful tip. She showed a lot of leadership today. I thought it was her best game so far of the year.

Carter stood out in the back but contributions for the Indians came from a number of players, including Alexis Vashon, York and Maliea Kelso as well as several newcomers — sophomores Olivia Hatch and Meredith Mitchell and freshman Hannah McKenney.

The Cougars didn’t put a shot on Savage in the second half until there were five minutes left to play. Two minutes later she was tested by Mt. Blue senior Hannah Minns when she deflected her bullet from 15 yards out with her thigh pads.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.