A year after a rash of upsets infected the Western Class A field hockey tournament, normalcy has returned.

Scarborough and Cheverus, the top two teams all season long, will play for the regional title tonight at Scarborough High.

“We’re excited to be back in it,” Cheverus Coach Amy McMullin said. “Two years ago we were lucky enough to be there and win it. I have 10 seniors now, and eight of them weren’t just on the team, they were playing in that game.”

Scarborough, upset victims each of the past two years, has 10 seniors playing their final home game.

“We don’t have to worry about getting up for a Western Maine final,” Scarborough Coach Kerry Mariello said. “It’s a championship. It’s worth something. They’ll be pumped.”

The Class C and Class B finals will also be at Scarborough High today.

In Class C, defending state champ No. 2 North Yarmouth Academy (14-2) faces No. 1 Lisbon (15-0-1) at 3:30 p.m.

The Class B final at 5:30 p.m. pits No. 3 Leavitt (13-3) vs. No. 4 York (12-3-1). The Class A final completes the tripleheader.

The state championships will be Saturday at the University of Maine.

No. 1 Scarborough enters as the favorite with a 16-0 record and 16 shutouts. Only one team is on record nationally as having gone a complete season (including playoffs) without allowing a goal, that being the 1998 squad from Winslow.

Scarborough also has a potent offense. Twelve players have accounted for 64 goals. Elly Walker leads the scoring parade, but Emily Bunting, Rachael Wallace, Grace Whelan, Maddie Dobecki, and Katie Granzier each have at least five goals.

“As long as we play our game, we know that we’re the better team,” Scarborough captain Karli-An Gilbert said after Saturday’s 3-0 semifinal win against Westbrook.

“So if we play our game and play the way we’re supposed to be playing, and play relaxed and calm, we can pull it out.”

No. 2 Cheverus (15-1) is a worthy challenger, a scrappy team of fighters whose only loss was against Scarborough.

The Stags earned their title shot with a 1-0 win Saturday against defending regional champion Marshwood after beating No. 7 Gorham 2-1 in the quarterfinal. Both of those games were played on the artificial surface at Cape Elizabeth.

The Stags have gotten goals from 12 players while outscoring their opponents 53-10. Senior Staci Swallow leads the team with 14 goals.

Alex Logan, who scored in the semifinal victory against Marshwood, Emily Rodrigue and Elyse Caiazzo each have seven goals.

Scarborough dominated the regular-season clash, winning 4-0 at Cheverus on Sept. 21.

“We need to test their defense and need to test their goalie,” McMullin said. “Not many teams have really tested them this year.

“We really need the offensive pressure if we want to come out on top. We need to test their back, and we have to play with the same intensity that we had for the second half in the semifinal against Marshwood.”

IN CLASS B, York is in its 11th Western Maine final in Coach Barb Marois’ 13 years and is seeking its fifth straight trip to the state championship game.

Same old, same old?

“No. I can honestly say I did not expect to be here, but I’m glad I am. And the girls will tell you the same thing,” Marois said.

“Way back in August, it seemed like we had a good core group back, which is always nice, but we were missing a lot of pieces, too, and I wasn’t sure how those pieces would be filled in.”

York graduated 11 players from 2011 and 20 over two years. Junior Taylor Simpson was the only returning starter at forward, and senior captain Tori Stocks was the only starter back in the midfield.

Two of the Wildcats’ three losses were one-goal setbacks to top-ranked Lake Region. On Saturday, York beat Lake Region 1-0 at Naples. Simpson scored her 11th goal of the season on a drive midway through the first half, and four-year starting goalie Amanda Kasbohm made nine saves, most of them coming in the second half.

The returning veterans, like Simpson (six assists, involved in 68 percent of York’s goals), Stocks, Kasbohm and defenders Kelsey Elsemore and Olivia Drew have thrived in bigger roles, and gradually the first-year players have filled in the missing pieces.

Marois was asked if York’s history of success gives the Wildcat players increased playoff confidence, regardless of their length of service.

“I don’t know. It does look like it from what I’ve seen,” Marois said. “I also know they are really enjoying playing together as a team and they want to just keep playing now, and they know if they don’t win they don’t get to do that.”

Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at:

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