YARMOUTH — North Yarmouth Academy did enough in the first three minutes of Tuesday’s field hockey game to force York Coach Barb Marois to call a timeout.
Then it was back to business for the Wildcats and another convincing win against a quality opponent.
Senior Taylor Simpson scored three times and freshman Lily Posternak scored once in a 4-0 win that finished off a 14-0 regular season.
“It’s definitely a huge accomplishment for us,” Simpson said. “I think at the start of the year we had faith that we would do well but I don’t think anyone on this team thought that we would have an undefeated year.”
“For the girls, I think it was more of a big deal than it was for me,” Marois said. “It’s an accomplishment. You can say you were on the team that (was undefeated.”
Marois said she wasn’t sure if it was the first York team to run the regular-season table.
“I know I’ve gotten to the last (regular-season) game and lost it,” she said. “For the group I had that year, 13-1 great. For this group? I think 13-1 might have been a little less great just because I know the potential they have.”
York will be the top seed in the Western B tournament and has outscored its competition 66-1. Falmouth scored the only goal York’s allowed on Sept. 17.
NYA’s Olivia Madore and Kayla Rose keyed an early attack that looked very capable of scoring on York. That the Panthers did not get a shot off was due in large part to the cool-headed play of senior captain Kathleen Cronin.
“I don’t think we were playing our game right off the bat and were a little slow at the beginning. I think we just needed kind of that reinforcement from Coach to get us back in the game and get us to play our game,” Cronin said.
North Yarmouth (11-2-1) entered the game with a 48-5 cumulative goal edge. The Class C Panthers’ only loss prior to Tuesday was to Class A Falmouth, 1-0.
NYA appears locked into the No. 2 spot behind in Western C behind defending state champ Lisbon, which beat NYA in last year’s Western final.
“They’re going to have a real good challenge with Lisbon along the way, I hope, and they’re looking forward to that after last year. We’re looking to get that far,” NYA Coach Tracy Quimby said.
Panthers’ starting defender Alex Barnes, already playing with a braced left ankle, injured her right ankle and had to leave the field with 18:40 left in the first half.
Less than a minute later, Simpson worked a well-executed give-and-go at high speed through the middle of the field with Alie Jones for Simpson’s first goal and a 1-0 lead.
Posternak made it 2-0 when she worked a dodge around NYA senior Olivia Madore at the top of the circle and rifled in a reverse stick shot past Panther goalie Elizabeth Coughlin (10 saves) with 12:07 left in the first half.
“It took us a little while to figure out what would work best (after Barnes’ injury) and by then two goals had gone in,” Quimby said.
Simpson put the game away with a pair of unassisted goals, the second coming with 18 minutes left.
NYA often showed its skill by anticipating a play and stepping into the passing lane, or taking a hard step to halt York’s flow in transition. York countered with players like freshman center midfielder Posternak, senior forward Sarah Panteleos, sophomore wing Jones and freshman back Allie Lawlor repeatedly hustling to track back and regain possession and then start an offensive threat.
“I think we have a lot of depth in this team. We have a lot of players who can step up and do their job correctly,” Panteleos said. “We move the ball really well throughout the team.”
York finished with a 15-1 edge in shots and an 8-1 penalty corner advantage. NYA defender Abby McKelvy made one defensive save.
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at:[email protected]Twitter: SteveCCraig