Editor’s note: This is the latest installment of our series, “Remember When,” in which we revisit some of the memorable games, events, streaks and runs in high school spring sports we’ve covered over the last few decades.

The Skowhegan field team celebrates its 3-0 win over Scarborough in the 2012 Class A championship game in Orono. Portland Press Herald file photo

Paula Doughty’s Skowhegan field hockey program has turned out 19 state champions, 25 regional champions and one powerful team after another.

Which makes her characterization of her 2012 team resonate that much more.

“This team, I think of all of them, was the most dominant, for sure,” Doughty said.

Indeed, if Maine field hockey had an equivalent to the ’27 Yankees, ’85 Bears or ’95-96 Bulls, this was it. Skowhegan in 2012 went 18-0, finishing the season with a 3-0 victory over Scarborough in the Class A championship game. Skowhegan scored 147 goals, a state record, and allowed only two. The 18 wins upped Skowhegan’s streak to 54 in a row, a number that would eventually reach 78 — a state record — in 2014.

“It was a very talented roster,” Doughty said. “It was a very, very, very skilled team. There were some real athletes on that team.”

The roster in 2012 reads like a Skowhegan all-time squad. There was Makaela Michonski (now Nelson), the top scorer in program and Class A history with 110 goals and 51 assists. There was Sarah Finnemore, the program’s second-leading scorer with 78 goals and 60 assists. Renee Wright, with 82 goals and 47 assists, sits third. Brooke Michonski (80 goals, 43 assists), a freshman in 2012, sits sixth. Allie Lancaster, who finished with 43 goals and 52 assists, won Miss Maine Field Hockey the following year.

Skowhegan forward Makaela Michonski fires a shot past Scarborough goalie Shannon Hicks in the second half of the 2012 Class A state final in Orono. Portland Press Herald file photo

As it turned out, those players were just getting started. Finnemore went on to be team captain at Harvard. Lancaster and sweeper A.J. Martineau played Division I at Providence and Maine, respectively. Mikayla Bolduc (Worcester Polytechnic Institute), Rylie Blanchet, Mikayla Toth, Anne Marie Provencal (Husson) and Erica Blake (Thomas) also played in college.

Did the team feel as dominant as the numbers suggested?

“Honestly, yeah it did,” Martineau said. “We would always go into a game saying we really determined the outcome. … Each time we approached a game, it was an opportunity that we could develop and grow.”

“We grew up playing, not just during preseason and season,” Nelson said. “That group of girls, we were playing for Majestix and doing Futures. Everyone was trying to get their name out there for colleges. … We were dedicated, that’s for sure.”

And in 2012, they were on. Nelson scored 48 goals, the most by a player in Class A history. Provencal in goal had 16 of her 46 career shutouts, the second most all-time. On offense, Skowhegan had too many scoring options for teams to handle.

“Makaela Michonski was a powerhouse up there as a forward. You knew if you could get the ball to Makaela, she was going to do some tricks and some ball flicks into the net. That was her move,” Martineau said. “When I think about Allie Lancaster, I think about how speedy she was and how quick she was around people. She always kept people on her toes. And Sarah Finnemore just had really good stick handles. She was a really solid all-around defensive player and offensive player. I just remember her dominating in the midfield.”

On defense, with Martineau anchoring a back end coached up by Tammy Veinotte, Skowhegan was just as good.

“She was a brick house,” Lancaster said. “When she laid her stick down for a block tackle, there was absolutely no way getting around her.”

It was a powerful mix, but it was also a harmonious one. There was never any griping over who got the attention, the spotlight or the glory.

“It was definitely very team-oriented,” Finnemore said. “I don’t think there were any ego issues. (We were) trying to set everyone up for success. … Everyone just tried to work to make the next person and everyone around you shine.”

That mindset came in large part from the coach.

“I keep them pretty grounded. We never talk about who scores,” Doughty said. “We talk about role playing. Everybody has a role. Some people score goals, some people stop goals, some people play offense or defense. But we never talk about statistics.”

With selflessness to match the talent, Skowhegan was rarely challenged. Games were over soon after they began. Doughty would pull her starters and still win games by double digits. In the playoffs, where the competitive gap should start to narrow, Skowhegan opened with wins of 14-0 over Cony and 11-0 over Mt. Ararat.

If the opponent couldn’t provide a test, Skowhegan would challenge itself.

“At that point, once we have the lead, we can try out techniques and tricks that we’ve been practicing,” Nelson said. “You get up that high, ‘OK, let’s throw in that new corner we’ve been practicing all week.’ Or ‘Let’s change the field up and switch positions.’ It was always still exciting and fun. I can honestly say I’ve never been bored playing in a game.”

There was, however, one team that could go toe-to-toe with the Skowhegan juggernaut. Messalonskee, led that year by Miss Maine Field Hockey winner Kristy Bernatchez, was the only team to score on Skowhegan in the regular season, and the two teams met in the Eastern Maine final in a marquee matchup.

“(Messalonskee was) always a great team, and had some really great players,” Finnemore said. “You always got a little more nervous for those ones.”

“It was a game we honestly went into telling ourselves ‘We very well could not win this,’ ” Lancaster added. “We were dressing up for war. We were going in ready to give it our all.”

Skowhegan’s Sarah Finnemore, front, passes the ball past a Mt. Ararat defender during a 2012 game at Colby College in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Wright and Brooke Michonski had the first two goals of the game for Skowhegan. Bernatchez tallied the last goal of her career with 6:08 left, but the Eagles couldn’t pull off the massive upset.

That set up a showdown with Scarborough, which was 17-0 itself and hadn’t allowed a goal all year. The contrast between historic defense and historic offense wasn’t a talking point that filtered into Skowhegan’s practices.

“The media picked that up, and I do remember there being a big thing about ‘Oh, Scarborough has a chance to beat you, they haven’t let a goal in,’ ” Lancaster said. “I don’t think (Doughty) was focused on that at all.”

“I had no idea,” Nelson said. “We did not talk about other teams’ games. They played their game, and we worried about (ours).”

Scarborough’s scoreless streak didn’t make it through the final. Skowhegan scored on three straight penalty corners, getting two goals from Finnemore and one from Nelson, within three minutes in the second half.

It was a final commanding performance, capping off a type of season the sport hadn’t seen.

“It was a really cohesive group,” Nelson said. “And I think that’s why it worked the way it did.”

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