OAKLAND — Even one of the best individual performances of the postseason wasn’t enough to derail the Winthrop steamroller on Saturday.

The top-seeded Ramblers got goals from six different players, buoyed by a goal and four-assist day from sophomore Maddie Perkins, and rolled to a 7-0 win over No. 4 Wells in a Class C South field hockey semifinal played at Messalonskee’s Veterans Field. The onslaught from Winthrop thwarted a 15-save effort from Warrior goalie Amanda Ring and sent the Ramblers (15-1) into a fourth consecutive regional final, where they will meet No. 3 St. Dominic Academy on Wednesday in Sanford.

Winthrop’s Maddie Perkins, left, hugs teammate Gia Francis after Francis scored during a Class C South semifinal game Saturday at Messalonskee High School in Oakland. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan Buy this Photo

Wells finished its season with an 8-8 mark.

Brooklyn Gaghan scored twice in the victory, and Kerrigan Anuszewski, Hannah Duley, Lindsay Letourneau and Gia Francis also rattled the back of the cage in the win. Winthrop has outscored its opponents 25-1 over its last five games and 13-0 in the first two rounds of the regional tournament.

“It feels amazing,” Perkins said. “Last year, we lost so many seniors. Having a new group with a fresh start really helped. We knew from the beginning we could go far if we wanted it and worked at it.”

“One of the nice things about this season, we’ve been having a lot of girls score,” said Francis, the lone senior on the team. “It gives other teams something to worry about, because it’s not just one person they have to mark. It’s everyone.”


If there was anything troubling for the Ramblers on Saturday, it was a slow start compounded by the stellar work from Ring in the first half.

Ten penalty corners and 15 shots only resulted in a pair of goals, the first of which didn’t come until past the midway point of the period off the stick of Anuszewski.

“Most of the games this season, we get a slow start but once we get going, we get going,” Merrill said. “It’s keeping the girls’ heads in it. They’re young, but it’s about keeping intensity from the get-go.

“(Ring) was great today. She was amazing. Having to adjust to that, we stopped doing the hard drives on goal and started to pass it, and then we started to work it on cage.”

And once the Ramblers got running, it was nearly impossible to shut them off.

Just over four minutes after Anuszewski put Winthrop on the board, Duley doubled the lead to make it a 2-0 score at halftime. Winthrop didn’t wait for the second half to grow old before putting things away, getting Letourneau’s strike only 61 seconds in and adding two more before it was 15 minutes old.


Gaghan’s first of the day made it 5-0, sandwiching her two goals around Perkins’ score with 4:47 remaining.

“Our passing looked so good today. We were moving the ball around the field,” Perkins said. “The big transfers from one side of the field to the other just opened up space and let us get more passes in. We’ve been working on moving the goalie and moving the ball around the circle. We did that really well, and I think that’s how we scored so many goals.”

Wells’ Lily Clough, left, tries to pass past Winthrop’s Abbie Ross during a Class C South semifinal game Saturday at Messalonskee High School in Oakland. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan Buy this Photo

“It’s definitely fun to play when it’s just back-to-back goals. It feels like a (practice) drill almost,” Francis said. “We don’t have a lot of new girls, so we have a really strong bond together. The moment we hit the field, we know we’ve got to kick it in gear and get it going.”

Merrill still believes there’s more to come for Winthrop, the reigning Class C state champion.

“We’re getting there,” Merrill said. “Definitely on turf we’re playing better and our passing is looking a lot better. The girls are understanding their roles. With so many spots to fill, it’s taken a while for these girls to really own them. I think we are. If we can continue what we did in the second half forward, I think we’re getting there.”

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