YARMOUTH – The longer they played, the farther back Allen Holmes stepped behind the bench of the Belfast High field hockey team.

That way, he said, he couldn’t mess things up.

“I learned early in my coaching career that I was trying to do too much when things were going right,” he said. “(By going behind the bench) I wouldn’t be running my mouth.”

Well, whatever Holmes said — or didn’t say — worked.

The Lions rallied for two goals in the second half to beat York 2-1 for the Class B state championship at Yarmouth High.

Senior captain Brooklyn Curry scored the winning goal with 14:46 remaining off a corner play. She was set up by Maddie Cummings, who assisted both goals.

“It’s so exciting,” said Curry. “I’ve never felt anything like this before.”

It was Belfast’s seventh state championship, and fourth over York since 2004. The Lions beat York in three consecutive championship games from 2004-06, each decided by one goal.

This time, the Lions (14-1-3) had to rally.

York (16-2) controlled play early and took a 1-0 lead when Shelby Spencer poked in the rebound of a Cari Posternak drive with 16:11 left in the first half.

Posternak later drove the ball off the right post, a missed opportunity that would hurt the Wildcats. “That post would have been a nice one to have,” said York Coach Barb Marois.

Instead of trailing by two, the Lions were down only one at the half. And Holmes wasn’t worried.

“Halftime talk, I told them, near as I remember, I wasn’t too concerned behind down 1-0, but if we were down 2 or 3-0, then I’d say we needed to change up everything we talked about in practice,” said Holmes.

“I could see some concern, a lot of these girls have never been in the finals. I told them all we needed to do was tie it up.”

So they did. The Lions came out very aggressively in the second half, bottling up York in its defensive end and forcing corner after corner.

“They did a good job possessing the ball and working around us,” said Marois. “And we were having trouble with free hits and making decisions with the ball.”

Belfast scored on its second corner of the half. Emily Blood inserted the ball to Cummings at the top of the circle. She made a move and took a shot, which Amanda Kasbohm saved. But the rebound went to Brittany Mellor, who flicked it to the right and into the goal.

The Lions continued to carry the play. Finally, with 14:46 left, they scored again, on a corner play that Holmes just put into practice this week.

Again, Blood put the ball into play to Cummings. She made a move on a defender, then passed to Curry, who was about 20 feet in front. Curry shot to the left, and the ball rolled inside the post for a 2-1 lead.

“Picture perfect, just the way we drew it up,” said Holmes. “We hadn’t used it all year long.”

“Maddie told me she was going to draw the flyer and I told her I was wide open,” said Curry. “Coach always tells us to shoot to the left of the goal cage, so I aimed it that way.”

York had a couple corners the rest of the way, but could never connect. The Wildcats, who have lost in the state championship game the last three years, had one last drive, with 3:56 left — a reverse hit by Taylor Simpson that was stopped by Julia Ward.

“I wasn’t real confident until after we got that first score,” said Holmes. “One thing we worked on this year was trusting each other. I used more players today that I have all year.

“We’ve been a team all year long. So those people who stepped in and did whatever they did for a few seconds or a few minutes, they did it.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH


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