SKOWHEGAN — By the time Skowhegan fielded all 11 of its seniors to close out the final four-plus minutes Monday afternoon, the outcome had long been decided.

Senior Emily Reichenbach scored three goals and classmate Alexis Michonski added two more, and the Skowhegan field hockey team put a bow on its undefeated regular season and the top seed in the upcoming regional tournament with a 6-0 win over rival Messalonskee in the Class A North finale for both squads.

Messalonskee’s Jenna Cassani, right, takes the ball downfield as Skowhegan’s Sam Bonneau defends during a Class A North game Monday in Skowhegan. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson

Each of those 11 seniors for Skowhegan (14-0), including goalkeeper Mackenzie McConnell who made four saves for her eighth shutout of the season, represented another class in the nearly two decades of dominance. Each of them huddled together following post-game hugs and photographs to collectively describe their four years together.

“Crazy.” “Special.” “Memorable.” “Full circle.”

“It was like we were back in middle school, when we all played together at the same time,” Michonski said. “We never let up. Even if we’re up by a lot, we just never let up. We keep our intensity up.”

Skowhegan coach Paula Doughty was particularly moved by seeing her senior class — each and every one of them — on the field together to secure the final win of the regular season.


“I’ve been doing this a long time, and this class — I just cried for the last five minutes,” Doughty said. “When I saw those 11 kids on the field together, it touched my heart. They’re so kind, so supportive. Our freshmen and sophomores are just so lucky to be guided by role models like that.”

Reichenbach got things started with two goals inside the first six minutes of the game.

Before Messalonskee (9-5) had time to find its bearings, it was already staring straight at a deficit no team this season has been able to recover from.

Skowhegan closed out the regular season with four consecutive shutouts, having allowed only two goals over the final nine games of the campaign.

“I think we had intensity,” Reichenbach said. “This was Messalonskee, and we always prepare a lot for this. I think we were trying our hardest to score first and keep the momentum, keep the sidelines cheering. It really helps.”

“They gained momentum fast and held it,” Messalonskee coach Katie McLaughlin said. “It was their senior game, last home game, and they had it all kind of going for them. That’s a tough hole to dig out of.”


Junior Hannah McKenney sent Skowhegan into halftime with a 3-0 lead, and Michonski’s goal just 89 seconds after the break put things well out of reach.

“We showed up,” Michonski said. “We wanted to show them this is our game. We had it, and we gave it our all for the 60 minutes.”

Reichenbach finished off her day with her third goal with 18:09 remaining.

Doughty found it particularly satisfying to see a player who has worked so hard on the defensive side of her game be rewarded with the goal-scoring touch Monday.

Not that Reichenbach’s abilities have ever wavered.

“She’s constant,” Doughty said. “She has a great stick around the cage, and I can always count on her. The thing about her is the last two years, we’ve worked on her defense. She’s become a complete player the last two years, and the defensive role has been a huge step for her.”


Skowhegan’s Bhreagh Kennedy, left, and Messalonskee’s Olivia Saucier battle for the ball during a CLass A North game Monday in Skowhegan. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson

“It was a rough start for me as a freshman,” Reichenbach said. “Now I’m playing varsity, I’m starting and I’m scoring. It’s just amazing.

“I just try to get better every game.”

Messalonskee goalie Nealey Dillon finished the day with 12 saves.

“Both teams have improved a ton, definitely,” said McLaughlin, whose Eagles dropped a 5-2 decision to Skowhegan on Sept. 17. “I don’t think we got in our offensive circle enough to really truly see how much better their defense is. That was unfortunate.

“Overall, we didn’t play our best game today, and they came out strong and hard and never let down.”

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