Biddeford field hockey coach Caitlin Albert asked her assistant coaches to wake her up because what she had just witnessed “just didn’t seem real.”

But it was. Biddeford won its first Class A state field hockey championship since 1990, defeating juggernaut Skowhegan 4-3 Saturday afternoon at Memorial Field in Portland. Abby Allen scored three goals for the Tigers, who built a 4-1 lead and then held off a frantic Skowhegan rally.

“It feels like a dream,” said Albert, in her fifth year as Biddeford’s head coach. “This doesn’t happen often. I started my pre-game speech with the word ‘resilient’ and I told them they exemplified everything that word means. They don’t give up, they play to every whistle and they’re mentally and physically tough.

“They definitely played with a chip on their shoulders. They knew that they didn’t want to go home losing.”

Biddeford, which last appeared in a state game in 1995, finished 17-0-1. Skowhegan, which has appeared in the last 18 state championship games, finished 17-1.

“We were really tight in the first half and I don’t know why,” said Skowhegan Coach Paula Doughty. “It was a team thing. We just didn’t play our game.”

The Tigers had the only goal of the first half, scored by Allen just 6:09 in when she unleashed a reverse hit from the left edge of the circle into the far corner.

“That set the tone for the rest of the game,” said Biddeford forward Jillian McSorley.

Even after Skowhegan tied it 2:28 into the second half on a goal by Alexis Michonski, the Tigers responded. Allen scored less then two minutes later and Biddeford led 2-1 with 25:38 remaining.

The Indians had a chance to tie it when awarded a penalty stroke with 18:54 remaining, but Maliea Kelso’s shot was wide right. Then Paige Laverriere made it 3-1 just 68 seconds later, carrying the ball into the circle on the right then knocking a reverse hit over goalie Mackenzie McConnell and into the net.

Allen made it 4-1 with 12:44 left with an improbable shot, carrying the ball along the end line from the left corner and shooting it into the far corner.

“The goalie comes our really, really far and I noticed that,” said Allen. “I just wanted to (shoot) behind her. I was hoping someone would touch it, but it just hit the post and went in.”

But Skowhegan came back, as Albert knew it would. “Even at 4-1, I knew Skowhegan had everything,” she said.

Kelso made it 4-2 with 12:01 left on a rebound goal. Then she scored again with 7:56 left, a blast from the top right of the circle off a penalty corner.

“I’m glad the girls came back like that,” said Doughty. “But that’s a big hole to dig out of.”

And the Indians couldn’t complete the comeback. Biddeford controlled most of the play in the final five minutes, seldom letting Skowhegan get close enough to goalie Taylor Wildes, who had eight saves.

“We just knew we had to keep up the pressure and possess the ball more than they did,” said Allen.

The Tigers were playing without Allen’s older sister, center midfielder Hailey, who suffered a knee injury in the regional semis. “I won it for her and my team and everyone else who helped through the process of getting here,” said Allen.

And they broke the championship drought in the process.

“That was a goal of ours,” said Laverriere. “Mission accomplished.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.