December 6, 2013

All-State field hockey: York’s run to the state final was Taylor-made

Taylor Simpson credits teammates and coaches, but her ability earned her the award as top player.

By Steve Craig
Staff Writer

Taylor Simpson had already established herself as a scoring threat for York High’s field hockey team with 11 goals as a junior.

click image to enlarge

Taylor Simpson set a York High field hockey record by scoring 38 goals this season, including three or more goals in a game six times. She will attend Merrimack College.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer


Madison Cummings, Belfast, senior midfielder

One of the three finalists for Miss Maine Field Hockey, she played through a shoulder injury to produce 15 goals and nine assists. A four-year varsity player, she’s Belfast’s all-time leading scorer (49 goals, 37 assists) and will play at Maine.

Maddie Dobecki, Scarborough, junior midfielder

Stepped forward to score 12 goals with 10 assists and helped lead the inexperienced Red Storm back to the Class A final.

Jackie Guillemette, Massabesic, senior forward

Six of the speedy senior’s 19 goals were game-winners, and she added six assists. Guillemette scored her 50th career goal in a Western Class A final loss to Scarborough.

Allison Lancaster, senior midfielder, Skowhegan

A Miss Maine Field Hockey finalist and the lone repeat selection on this year’s team, the speedy center midfielder never lost a game in four varsity seasons. Her 20 goals and 24 assists helped bring home the Indians’ 12th Class A state title in 13 year.

Lindsey Poirier, Marshwood, junior midfielder

Capable of taking over a game and possessing one of the strongest drives from midfield, the third-year varsity starter scored 17 of her team’s 37 goals and added four assists.

Lily Posternak, freshman midfielder, York

Posternak wowed with her superior stick-handling skills, vision, and mature understanding of the game while scoring 12 goals to go with 13 assists. She’s also a fierce defender.

Taylor Shaw, Nokomis, senior back

A shutdown left back with the ability to drive the ball on the move to create transition offense, and a key member of a defense that allowed two goals for a team that went 18-0 on the way to the Class B championship.

Taylor Simpson, York, senior forward

Set a school record with 38 goals and added 10 assists with vastly improved all-around play to go with a strong, accurate shot from both sides. The Miss Maine Field Hockey finalist will play at Division II power Merrimack next year.

Makayla Toth, Skowhegan, senior back

A four-year varsity player, she led and otherwise inexperienced defense that allowed three goals in an 18-0 season. She scored five goals and had 14 assists.

Mikayla Turner, Messalonskee, senior back

A smart player with an all-around defensive game, she could move to the top of the offense and still recover. Scored five goals with five assists for the Eastern Class A runner-up.

Bethany Winkin, Winslow, senior back

Regarded as one of the top players in Eastern Maine regardless of class because of her determined, feisty all-around game. Helped on offensive corners with six goals and nine assists.

Delaney Wood, Winslow, sophomore goalie

Stopped 99 of 105 shots overall for a .943 save percentage and recorded 11 shutouts.

Coach of the Year

Stephanie Smith, Foxcroft Academy

In her second season after replacing Gene Philpot, the team’s only previous coach, the former three-sport athlete at Foxcroft guided the Ponies to the Class C championship with a 17-0-1 record and 17 shutouts.

This year she added more. More goals, more assists, and more dominance in all facets of the game.

Coach Barb Marois said most people notice Simpson’s goal-scoring. It’s hard not to. She banged home a school-record 38 goals this season, rifling shots off her forehand and with a wicked reverse-stick shot she has become known for taking.

“She really added some things to her game and everything just took one giant step forward for her in terms of stick skills, her shooting, her passing, her ability to get into open space, her movement off the ball. Really everything,” Marois said.

Because of the overall improvement to go with her 38 goals, 10 assists and senior leadership that led York to a 17-1 record and the Class B championship game, Simpson was selected as the field hockey player of the year.

Simpson and fellow All-Staters Allison Lancaster of Skowhegan and Madison Cummings of Belfast are the three finalists for Miss Maine Field Hockey, which will be announced Dec. 8.

Not bad for a middle-school soccer player who didn’t pick up a field hockey stick until she was in the eighth grade.

“Making varsity sophomore year, I never thought I would be where I am today,” Simpson said. “It just kind of shows you can never give up on your dreams.”

York rolled through the West with a 17-0 record and 15 shutouts. In the Western Class B final, Simpson had her sixth game with three or more goals as the Wildcats buried Spruce Mountain, 6-0.

The run ended with a 1-0 loss to unbeaten Nokomis in the Class B state final. Simpson was held scoreless for just the second time all year, and York dropped to 1-7 in state championship games over the last 10 seasons.

“After the state game I was devastated, and then I thought back on the season and how we had our shutout record. I was mad we lost the state game, but at least we lost to a team that had just as good a record. They worked so hard to get there as well,” Simpson said.

Simpson said her personal success is tied to her teammates and coaches. She’s quick to point out the positive impact of Lily Posternak, a freshman midfielder and All-Telegram pick.

“That was a huge help to our team, someone who could connect with me,” Simpson said. “I want to say half of my goals were off her assists. She’s very good.”

Her primary coaches have been Marois and Marisa Didio, the New England Hockeymates director. Both were members of the 1988 and 1996 U.S. Olympic teams, Marois as a player and Didio as an assistant coach.

Didio was also a head college coach at Tufts, the University of New Hampshire, Yale and Northwestern before starting Hockeymates, based out of Durham, N.H.

“Without Coach Marois or my club coach, I don’t think I’d be where I am today,” Simpson said.

“I never thought I would be playing for two Olympians.”

After a second season of indoor track – “to stay in shape,” she said – and a fourth year of varsity lacrosse at York, Simpson will take her field hockey stick and head to Merrimack College as a scholarship athlete.

Merrimack reached the NCAA Division II Final Four this season.

“Obviously it was going to come down to whichever school I was most comfortable with, but I wanted it to be a high-ranking program,” Simpson said.

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

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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