SCARBOROUGH – There was a preseason perception that defending Western A champion Scarborough had come back to the field hockey pack a bit this year.
The concept was recognition of the talents of the seniors who led the 2012 team that went 17-0 and didn’t allow a goal until its 3-0 title game loss to Skowhegan.
It was also wishful thinking. Based on the Red Storm’s 6-0 win Monday against Sanford, that wish did not come true.
Led by the all-around play and two goals by junior Maddy Dobecki, Kristen Murray’s first career hat trick and a late goal by standout Abby Walker, Scarborough displayed improved speed through the midfield, attacking angled passing and superior depth.
“We had a ton of fast players last year but we have new fast players this year,” Dobecki said. “Last year was an amazing team but it’s a new team this year and we also have some great new people. It’s a different team but it’s still a great team.”
It also doesn’t have to be feel the pressure of maintaining a scoreless streak.
Scarborough is 4-0 with a 22-2 goal advantage and has beaten three quality programs in Marshwood, Massabesic and Sanford.
Sanford Coach Diana Walker knew that starting five sophomores, playing without three injured midfielders and having no practice time since Tuesday’s win at Portland would put her team at a disadvantage.
Walker came away impressed by Scarborough.
“My (junior varsity) coach (Nancy Neubert) and I were saying they looked very good. They’re using each other more. There’s not just a few individuals and I think it makes a huge difference because there was a lot of nice passing by them,” Walker said.
Dobecki opened the scoring 4:06 into the game. She initiated the rush with a block of a Sanford pass in the midfield, quickly passed to her wing forward Maggie Carbin. As Carbin dodged around a fallen Sanford defender, Dobecki hustled into the circle and used a sweep shot to send Carbin’s return pass by Sanford keeper Teaghan McCormack (5 goals allowed, 8 saves).
Murray scored off the Red Storm’s first penalty corner with 13:57 left in the half.
Red Storm freshman reserve Kristen Levesque used an aggressive one-on-one dodge to set up Murray’s second goal with 6:44 left in the first half.
“A lot of the freshmen we learn to trust them in practice and preseason and in games. The underclassmen have really stepped up to fill the spots that were lost from last year,” Murray said.
Levesque, her twin sister Ashley, junior Gabby Farino and sophomore Grace Bailer were among the many Scarborough players to come off the bench and keep the attack rolling.
“This team is definitely blending very well,” Scarborough Coach Kerry Mariello said. “Their passing has been crisp and they’re just picking things up very quickly. The adjustment has been seamless almost.”
Sanford’s best sequence of play came early in the second half when it generated consecutive penalty corners and were quicker up the sideline alleys with Liz Helmreich and Casey Bucklin on opposite wings.
“The kids didn’t give up,” Walker said. “They knew that when they moved their feet and moved to the ball they were able to beat them and when they stood still and reached it was taken away and that happened quite a few times.”
After a timeout by Mariello, Scarborough re-asserted itself and Dobecki, Murray and Walker each scored in less than five minutes.
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at: