HAMPDEN — This streak of 19 straight regional championships, it could be a mountain on the shoulders of the Skowhegan Area High School field hockey team. It could make them mentally wobble like a game of Jenga, with no team wanting to be the shaky block that causes the collapse.

The streak is older than anybody on the team. Present that fact to a Skowhegan player, and the response will be a shrug, body language answering a question with a question. So?

“We go into every game like it’s the same, but we definitely had confidence. We’re a really strong team, and we play really well together,” Skowhegan senior Alexis Michonski said moments after her team secured its 19th straight regional title with a 5-0 win over Mt. Blue at Hampden Academy’s Weatherbee Complex. “I think motivation more than pressure. We definitely go into games expecting to win.”

Skoehagan senior Alexis Michonski, center, celebrates her second half goal with teammates Hannah McKenney, left, and Emily Reichenbach during the Class A North championship game against Mt. Blue on Wednesday night at Hampden Academy. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Skowhegan takes its no pressure cue from its longtime coach Paula Doughty, who has been at the helm of every single one of those championship teams. The only streak Doughty cares about is one, as in winning the next game.

“I don’t even know how many games I’ve won,” Doughty said, scoffing at the idea any streak could be a cause for anxiety.

Skowhegan, now 17-0, will play in the Class A state championship game Saturday at Messalonskee High School, at a time to be determined.

Mt. Blue ends the season at 13-4.

Skowhegan led 2-0 at the half and pulled away with a dominant second half. Nine of Skowhegan’s 12 penalty corners came in the second half, and most of the play in the half was in the Cougars’ defensive zone.

“We were pumped. We were ready to play (Mt. Blue). Now we’re only looking forward to the state game,” Skowhegan senior Bhreagh Kennedy said. “It’s just a privilege that we get to be seniors in a year where we can carry on this legacy.”

Kennedy scored her team’s final goal, with an assist from Meredith Mitchell, with 1:43 to play. Michonski had a hat trick. Her final goal, a tip in of a Hannah McKenney shot on a penalty corner, gave Skowhegan a 4-0 lead with 16:59 to play.

“It definitely takes the whole thing to get it into the back of the net. That’s how I see it. I just kind of finish the play,” Michonski said.

Added Doughty: “This team is a balanced team. There’s  not one star out there. It isn’t like you can key on one kid with us.”

Skowhegan took a 1-0 lead almost eight minutes into the game, when Emily Reichenbach scored on a penalty corner. After taking a timeout with 21:52 left in the first half, Mt. Blue controlled play for a time. The Cougars had four penalty corners in a five minute span, but were unable to get the ball past Skowhegan goalie Mackenzie McConnell.

“All my defense in the cage, we were like, ‘We got this,'” said McConnell, who made nine saves for the shutout.

Mt. Blue keeper Brooke Bolduc was outstanding, making 21 saves.

 

 

 

 

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