ORONO – They are separated by nearly three hours and around 150 miles along Interstate 95, but the female athletes at York High and Nokomis High of Newport are nonetheless quite familiar with each other.

Two years ago, the schools played for the Class B field hockey state championship. Last winter, they played for the Class B girls’ basketball title. York won both previous games.

On Saturday night, the Warriors finally enjoyed the taste of a championship. Nokomis parlayed a smothering defense and timely scoring to beat York 2-0 at the University of Maine’s Morse Field for the school’s first Class B field hockey championship.

“We wanted this so bad,” said Nokomis senior forward Jordin McGinnis, who scored the second goal. “It feels so good.”

The Warriors, who finished 14-2, limited York to four shots, all in the second half. They kept the ball out of the middle of the field and off the stick of York’s best player, center midfielder Hannah Keating.

“We came out a little slow and we tried to get back,” said Keating, a finalist for Miss Maine Field Hockey. “But they have an incredibly strong team. You’ve just got to give it to them.”

Barb Marois, the coach of the Wildcats, agreed.

“I don’t think we played particularly well, but part of that was the way (Nokomis) played,” she said. “I thought they played very well.”

Nokomis outshot York 9-4 and had a 10-2 edge in penalty corners. The Warriors had some early chances and finally capitalized with 18:28 left in the first half off a penalty corner. Lindsey Whitney inserted the ball to Leah Edmondson, who stopped the ball for Marissa Shaw. She blasted it in, the shot appearing to tip off the pads of York goalie Amanda Kasbohm and then slowly roll into the cage.

It stayed that way until McGinnis’ goal, which came just 1:20 into the second half. She dribbled down the left wing and swung around a York defender. Kasbohm made a nice sprawling save, but as she got back into position, McGinnis gained control of the rebound.

“I swung around, aimed for the corner, and it went in,” she said.

That goal forced the Wildcats to change their style a little bit to create more offense.

“One goal is one goal,” said Marois. “But when it’s two (goals down), it seems like a little more of a mountain to climb.”

But Nokomis’ defense was superb. Goalie Maria Adams made a sparkling point-blank save on Catie Keenan with 21:30 remaining, then stopped Keating with 10:05 left, one of the few times Keating was uncovered.

York finished 16-2, losing in the state game for the second year in a row. York had appeared in six state championship games in seven years, losing five.

“It just wasn’t a good day for us,” said Marois.

 

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]