WATERVILLE — Members of the Winslow field hockey team showed up Tuesday afternoon for their Class B contest against Waterville with the No. 8 marked on their upper arms.

“It’s the quest for eight state championships,” senior Haley Ward said. “It’s our road to states.”

So far, so good.

The Black Raiders posted an 8-1 win over an inexperienced Waterville squad that suited the minimum 11 players.

It was clear from the outset that the Purple Panthers were over-matched and things got even worse when Waterville junior Shelby Place left the game with a head injury after Winslow’s first goal. Place returned 13 minutes later after being cleared by the school trainer but by that time the score was 5-0.

“They’re a really focused group,” Winslow coach Mary Beth Bourgoin said. “They come into practice every day and already have things they want to work on. They are definitely determined and they’re taking it one game at a time which is what I like.”

The Black Raiders (4-0) had a dozen reserves for the game and Bourgoin went to them early and often, although her starters got some needed playing time early in the second half.

They got a pair of goals from freshman Bodhi Littlefield and one each from Ward, Silver Clukey, Weslee Littlefield, Anna Petrovic and Abby Washburn. Mataya Austin scored for Waterville (0-3-1).

“I think we’re playing really well,” Ward said. “We’re all gelling. Our communication is so key. And I think our depth has helped us out.”

From her center back position, Ward continually sent her teammates with aerial passes or with hard shots along the ground. Weslee Littlefield did the same from midfield, often carrying the ball into the circle for a shot. And the Black Raiders have some capable scorers in Bodhi Littlefield and Clukey, a sophomore.

“They’re young and they’re hungry and they’re aggressive,” Bourgoin said.

Bourgoin used three different goalies in the game with starter Cassie Demers making all three saves, including a beauty on Sage Hafenecker’s point-black shot in the first half. Waterville’s Coby Dangler was much busier, making 15 saves, many of them tough ones.

“These past few years have been rough with numbers,” Waterville coach Crissy Cunningham said. “I tend to believe in little strides. Making these little strides like tying Nokomis. We played Dover (Foxcroft) in the preseason and did really well with them and they were undefeated last year and they’re doing really well in Class B.”

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