SCARBOROUGH — It was simply a matter of time.

For the first 30 minutes of the Western Class B field hockey championship game, top-ranked York High dominated No. 3 Spruce Mountain territorially and statistically but couldn’t score.

Then the Wildcats surged ahead in the second half, getting three goals from Alie Jones to beat the Phoenix 4-0 for their second consecutive championship and ninth in 11 years.

York (17-0) will play Gardiner (13-1-1) in the Class B state final at 1 p.m. Saturday at Thomas College in Waterville.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to get back there because it’s hard, it’s hard to do,” said Barb Marois, the former U.S. Olympic field hockey player who coaches the Wildcats. “I know how hard the kids worked to get there. They put the work in, and not just in the regular season.

“And they love the game like I love the game. It’s fun to watch.”

York beat the Phoenix 6-0 in last year’s regional final before losing to Nokomis 1-0 in the state final. But Spruce Mountain (12-5) put up a strong defensive front in the first half. York had 11 corners but failed to score as Phoenix goalie Grace Ryan made several key saves and was helped by three defensive stops.

Then the Wildcats struck quickly. Just 3:50 into the second half, off another penalty corner, Devon Datsis took a blast from the top of the circle that deflected in off a defender’s stick and it was 1-0.

Just 1:50 later, Jones got her first goal, a nifty move out of the left corner set up by Datsis. Jones got the ball, stickhandled around two defenders, drew Ryan out, then stuck the ball in and it was suddenly 2-0.

“I think in the second half we were more calm and more focused,” said Jones. “We knew that we could work together better as a team.”

And, said Marois, they knew it was simply a matter of time.

“I don’t think we were that far off (in the first half), a couple of things just missed here and there,” she said. “It was a matter of cleaning everything up a little bit. Sometimes you just have to be patient.”

Datsis set up Jones’ second goal when she carried the ball in from midfield, then was knocked down by the last defender. Jones collected the ball and put it into the empty corner. “It’s the goal that counts,” said Datsis. “As long as it gets into the net.”

Having given up just two goals all season, the Wildcats were in good shape leading 3-0. But York kept the pressure on and got another goal from Jones, on a rebound with 13:45 left for a 4-0 lead.

“We don’t want to get complacent,” said Datsis. “I think that’s where we’ve gone wrong in the past. We just need to keep the intensity up.”

Spruce Mountain came in attempting to neutralize York sophomore Lily Posternak, whom they double-teamed or even triple-teamed. But York had too many other options.

“In the first half I think we played very well,” said Spruce Mountain Coach Julia Parker. “And then I think York came out and turned it on. We knew we had to stay out of corners, but it was corner after corner after corner.”

York had 20 corners in the game, Spruce Mountain none. And York outshot the Phoenix, 24-1.

“It’s unbelievable to get back to that spot,” said Jones. “We hope to pull through this year.”