OAKLAND – Silver Clukey flicked the ball into the cage, clenched her fists and screamed.

At that point, with just over two minutes remaining in the Class B field hockey final, it hit the Winslow senior: The Black Raiders were going to be state champions.

It was a final moments later. Winslow 7, York 2, and the Black Raiders’ first state title since 2014.

Winslow senior goalie Leah Pelotte, right, celebrates with teammates after the Black Raiders defeated York in the Class B state championship game Saturday at Messalonskee High School in Oakland. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

“Looking at that clock, time was running out, and being up 7-2, I really came to the realization that ‘Holy crap, we’re actually doing this,’ ” Clukey said. “We actually did this.”

Clukey scored twice, the first and last goals of the game, but she had plenty of help. Sister Sage Clukey added a pair of goals. Taylor Rodriguez, Abigail Washburn and Bodhi Littlefield each scored. And a Winslow defense led by goalie Leah Pelotte prevented the formidable Wildcats (17-1) — playing in their seventh straight title game and 10th in 11 years — from keeping up.

All of it needed to come together for Winslow (16-2). And on Saturday, all of it did.

“We’re on top of the world right now,” Sage Clukey said. “We worked so hard this season for this game, and to have it pay off, to have all our hard work pay off, is the best feeling.”

Winslow coach Mary Beth Bourgoin, never one to take victory for granted, allowed herself to bask in the win as the final minutes ticked away.

“At the seventh goal, I was able to breathe,” she said, laughing. “Once the seventh went in, I was like ‘I can breathe, we’re OK, we’re OK, I believe we’re OK.’ And plus, the way they were playing in the second half, they were focused.”

The second half saw Winslow kick its title pursuit into overdrive, turning a 3-2 lead into a runaway.

“From the start (of the season), this was definitely our goal,” Silver Clukey said. “We knew we had the people to do it, we had the talent. We had to execute, and you know what, we did.”

Winslow started fast, going up 1-0 when Silver Clukey knocked in a shot from the left side of the cage with 21:34 to go in the first half.

“I feel like it happened so fast,” she said. “You go into a state championship game, the anxiety’s high, and you’re kind of all over the place. When that first goal goes in, it’s crazy.”

Winslow struck again moments later on a corner. Washburn had the insert, Littlefield popped the ball up back to her, and Washburn scored from inside the left post with 19:37 to go.

“It was pretty big,” Washburn said of her goal. “It helped us out, and we were able to keep firing from there.”

York had an answer, as Sage Works scored on a corner with 18:28 to go to cut the gap to 2-1, but Sage Clukey scored off of a save on a Silver Clukey shot to make it 3-1 with 16:32 to go.

“It was a big deal, getting another goal,” she said. “And to keep pounding them on was a big deal.”

York had a golden opportunity to narrow the gap with a penalty stroke with 10:07 left, but Pelotte came through with a save on Works’s shot. The save loomed large when Bailey Oliver scored on a corner with 2:41 to go in the half, making it 3-2.

At halftime, the Black Raiders reassessed what they had to do to hold off the Wildcats.

“We talked about the aerials, we talked about staying with our gameplan about our passing,” Bourgoin said. “Using our passing and just pedal to the metal, push push push push.”

York couldn’t keep up. With 26:12 left in the half, Rodriguez scored by tipping in a Silver Clukey shot. One minute and eight seconds later, Littlefield hit a shot that skipped by Katlyn Nowell’s right pad for a 5-2 lead.

The game was firmly back in Winslow’s grip. The Black Raiders weren’t going to let it slip away.

Winslow junior forward Karlie Ramsdel, left, tries to push one past York goalie Katlyn Nowell during the Class B state championship game Saturday afternoon at Messalonskee High School in Oakland. Morning Sentinel photo Michael G. Seamans

“It was a game-changer, getting a lead like that,” Sage Clukey said. “We got a few more goals on the board, and it really started to get real that this was (going to be) a state championship.”

There were more goals to come. Sage Clukey eventually knocked home a goal when Winslow crashed the net with 16:56 remaining, and Silver Clukey notched her second with 2:13 left to seal the outcome.

The victory didn’t come entirely on the offensive end, however. The defense was terrific, and the primary reason York managed only two goals despite a 10-6 advantage in corners. And when the Wildcats did get shots on, Pelotte (six saves) made the big stops.

Just the way the Black Raiders envisioned it unfolding in August.

“This was the first day of preseason,” Sage Clukey said. “We knew we had the talent, we knew we had the ability to do this, and we did.”

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