So what does being the No. 1 seed in the upcoming field hockey tournament mean?

Well, according to those coaches at Scarborough (Western Class A), York (Western B) and Sacopee Valley (Western C), it’s a great reward for a long, hard regular season.

Other than that?

“I don’t know,” said York Coach Barb Marois. “I mean, it’s good for us to get to that point, to make that last leap at the end of the regular season. The girls are excited about being No. 1.

“But the tournament is the tournament and the regular season is the regular season.”

In other words, rankings really aren’t going to matter much the next two weeks.

Certainly, being ranked first means, if you win, you’ll have two playoff games at home before heading to a neutral site for the regional finals on Oct. 25. In the West, that’s Thornton Academy in Saco; the East is at Hampden Academy.

“I look at (the No. 1 ranking) as, we finished at our highest potential,” said Scarborough Coach Kerry Mariello. “It just so happens it was the No. 1 spot.”

The Red Storm (13-0-1) came in focused. Last year, they lost to eventual regional champ Cheverus in the semifinals.

“The girls were driven to be back where we are,” said Mariello. “They have an edge in confidence because of what happened last year. The loss empowered us to be stronger mentally, to not have any let-ups.”

If any one player exemplified that, it was senior center midfielder Kelsey Howard. “I knew she was going to be great, but she’s been beyond great,” said Mariello. “She’s got the ‘Wow’ factor for me this year.”

York (13-1) lost in the state Class B final last year. The Wildcats are eager to get back there. They’ve had a phenomenal defense this year as goalie Amanda Kasbohm has nine shutouts. She’s stopped 92 percent of shots.

Cari Posternak, headed to the University of New Hampshire next fall, leads York with 17 goals and 13 assists followed by Taylor Simpson (12 goals, five assists) and Shelby Spencer (four goals, eight assists).

Sacopee Valley earned the top spot in Western Class C with an 11-2-1 record. For Coach Terry Barnes, that represented the achievement of a longtime goal.

“I’m going to be honest with you,” she said. “I always felt that I had caught the frog, kissed it, but it never turned into a prince. This year, it turned into a prince. This was our goal at the beginning of the season.”

The Hawks’ strength is in the midfield, led by seniors Danielle Pierce and Rachel Anderson and junior Elizabeth Moulton.

“Do we feel pressure?” asked Barnes. “Just thinking about it gives me chills. We know anything can happen.”

NO ONE knows that better than Brunswick’s team. Needing a victory in the final regular season game, the Dragons beat rival Mt. Ararat 1-0 on a late goal by senior Kassie Coulombe — her first of the season. That was enough to push Brunswick past the Eagles for the final Eastern Class A playoff berth.

“We came together at the right time,” said Coach Becky Costa. “It’s a good payoff for the girls. They worked hard to get in.”

Brunswick was involved in eight 1-0 games this year, winning four. Obviously the Dragons’ defense is strong, led by seniors Corinne O’Connor and Sarah Thibeault and junior Olivia Roy.

BIDDEFORD COACH Leslie Mourmouras was inducted into Thornton Academy’s Hall of Fame last Saturday.

While better known for her track exploits — helping the Thornton girls win the indoor track state title in 1986 (the first state title of any kind for a girls’ team at the school) — she was pretty adept with a field hockey stick in her hands, too.

“I never felt I was a star in field hockey,” she said. “But I guess I was pretty good. What I remember most about field hockey was the bus rides and the stuff like that.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH