ORONO — The cracks started to show in the first half. Skowhegan was battering the Scarborough defense.
Then Sarah Finnemore tore a boat-sized hole through the scoreless dam.
The latest team in Skowhegan’s field hockey dynasty did what no other team could do this year against Scarborough – score a goal – and they did it three times in two minutes, 31 seconds en route to Saturday’s 3-0 Class A championship at the University of Maine.
Skowhegan scored off three straight penalty corners as they set up the Harvard-bound Finnemore for hard drives from the top left of the circle each time.
“Once they scored that one it was just kind of unleashing it. They were incredible goals. (Skowhegan) is an incredible team and they deserve this game. No doubt,” Scarborough Coach Kerry Mariello said.
The first Finnemore shot went cleanly inside the left post with 26:43 to play. The second powered off the right pad of Scarborough keeper Shannon Hicks – who had stymied the Indians in the first half – and again found the inside of the cage with 24:57 left.
Allison Lancaster assisted on both of Finnemore’s goals with Mikayla Toth initiating a two-pass sequence on the first goal.
“At halftime my kids were frustrated and they just wanted to come out strong in the second half,” Skowhegan Coach Paula Doughty said. “In the (Eastern Maine championship) we had 11 corners and didn’t score on any of them. What we worked on all week was changing up some of our corners to get some shots on goal.”
Hicks got a full pad on the third Finnemore blast but when it bounced high, Makaela Michonski deflected it in for her 43rd goal of the season.
“As soon as we scored the first goal our nerves were calmed down so we played even better than we had in the first half,” Finnemore said.
Skowhegan (18-0) won its 11th state title in the past 12 years, its third in a row and its 54th straight game. The Indians outscored their opponents 147-2 this season.
Scarborough, which finished the year 17-1, had gone 1,053 minutes and 17 seconds without allowing a goal prior to Finnemore’s first.
“We accomplished so much, it’s incredible,” Hicks said. “Not only did we accomplish such an amazing season with 17 shutouts but we accomplished a sense of team and bonding and it showed.”
Hicks made 14 saves.
Scarborough did not have a shot on goal or a penalty corner in the game.
Billed as a battle between Skowhegan’s offense and Scarborough’s defense, the game met expectations in the first half, especially in the final five minutes.
Skowhegan had multiple chances denied by Hicks (8 saves in the half), who was backed up by as many as five defenders lining the goalmouth.
Scarborough was chasing history in multiple ways. They were trying to become just the second team in the country, according to the national high school record book, to go an entire season without allowing a goal. The other was Winslow in 1998. Scarborough was also looking to snap Skowhegan’s win streak and become the first school to beat Skowhegan twice in the title game. Scarborough won the 2009 meeting 2-1 in overtime.
Both Finnemore and Michonski played in that game. Skowhegan hasn’t lost since.
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 749-6413 or at: email@example.com