YARMOUTH – North Yarmouth Academy, the defending Class C state field hockey champion, may have a new coach and a freshman-dominated roster, but the result looks awfully familiar.

Katherine Millett had a goal and two assists and Katie Cawley scored twice Thursday to lead the Panthers to a 4-1 victory against Sacopee Valley in a Western Maine Conference opener.

“We definitely knew this would be a challenging game for us,” said Millett. “We have a lot of freshmen but the underclassmen stepped up.”

The Panthers scored on their first threat at 11:22. Millett carried the ball deep down the right side before ripping a hard shot from well out. Ashley Pingree made the kick save but the ball went right to Cawley, who scored from in front.

Kayla Rose dished a smart pass from the right to Millett for a pretty one-timer and a 2-0 lead.

Millett, a senior captain and one of the top players in the state, knows her young teammates are looking to her for scoring and leadership.

“But it works both ways,” she said. “We know they’re giving it their all, all the time. We’re a lucky team.”

The Hawks cut it to 2-1 with a minute left in the half off a well-executed penalty corner. Elizabeth Moulton played it from the left side, sending the ball to Chelsey Burnell on the right, and Burnell found Julia Vacchiano alone at the left post for the goal.

The Panthers took control early in the second half with a pair of goals two minutes apart. Cawley scored her second of the game, and Olivia Madore closed the scoring with an unassisted goal from the left after a scramble in front.

Sacopee had chances to close the gap late, but Coughlin robbed Ally Allard point-blank before making a diving save off Gaby Joy.

NYA Coach Tracy Quimby said her team had some first-game jitters.

“Absolutely,” she said. “I was nervous and so were the kids, and I told them that if they’re not nervous, something’s wrong.

“Overall I was pleased. It was good seeing our passing come together. (Millett) makes it work, and I thought sophomore Emma Warren did a terrific job on defense, and our freshman goalie was outstanding.

“We need to be stronger with our support but we’re learning to work together. I told them if you play your hardest, you’ll succeed.”

Sacopee Coach Terry Barnes said, “It was a tough loss because I think we all anticipated we’d play a better game. We had a good first half but after the game I told them we need to work on our conditioning. We have to be in better shape to compete.

“I thought the early injury to Melissa Mayhew took some air out of us. We missed her presence. And every year we seem to start with North Yarmouth, and it’s a psychological hurdle we have to overcome. But these kids are so coachable and we’ll be there.”