WATERVILLE — York High has had the best field hockey team in Western Class B for a long time.

Saturday, the Wildcats finally became the best Class B team in the state.

Second-half goals by Devon Datsis and Kayla Kelly about five minutes apart lifted York to a 2-1 victory over Gardiner in the state championship game Saturday at Thomas College.

It was York’s ninth trip to the state championship game in 11 years, but only the Wildcats’ second championship, the other coming in 2008. Saturday’s win prompted tears to run down the cheeks of Coach Barb Marois during her postgame comments.

“I am so, so happy, very happy,” said Marois after a deep breath. “This is for every other girl who came out here and was not able to do this.”

The victory completed an 18-0 season for the Wildcats, who lost in last year’s final to Nokomis, 1-0. Gardiner (15-2-1)beat York for the championship in 2009.

The Wildcats had a big territorial and statistical edge, thanks primarily to the brilliance of midfielder Lily Posternak, but it was the Tigers who struck first.

Gardiner took a 1-0 lead just 1:34 into the second half when Hailee Lovely scored off a penalty corner from Nickyia Lovely. The Wildcats regrouped, thanks to a subtle message from Marois.

“I told them if wanted to be on the other side of this, they had to fight,” she said. “And they did.”

Posternak, who is a member of the U.S. under-17 national team, said the Wildcats were determined to rally.

“That goal pushed us,” she said. “We could not let up now; there’s no time to let up. So we did it.”

York tied it on a rebound goal by Datsis with 19:59 remaining off a penalty corner. Posternak began the play with a drive from the top of the circle that goalie Kaylin Mansir stopped. But Datsis was uncovered in front and chopped the rebound over Mansir.

Then, with 15 minutes remaining, Kelly put the Wildcats ahead, again off a penalty corner.

She inserted the ball to Posternak, who made a back pass to Datsis. Her sweep shot was stopped by Mansir but Kelly got the rebound.

“I saw the rebound coming to me and thought I’ve got to get this thing on goal; if I can get it near the goal it might go in,” said Kelly. “Someone else might tip it or I might get it in on my own. Sure enough it hit the backboard. The most relieving feeling I ever felt.”

Gardiner got two penalty corners in the last eight minutes but each time York defended well. Alexandra Lawlor broke up one, Posternak the other.

While the Tigers were disappointed, Coach Sharon Gallant was pleased with the effort.

“Not unhappy in any way,” she said. “We did the things we wanted to do, we marked up really well, we pressured the forwards we wanted to pressure. Just one goal short.”

The Wildcats know that feeling. Of their seven championship losses, five have been by one goal. That’s why the celebration seemed so sweet.

“We’re all just so ecstatic; we broke the curse, so to speak,” said Datsis. “I’m just so happy we got it done for the seniors and the team.”

And Marois.

“We talked about it before the game that we wanted to get this one for Coach,” said Datsis. “She definitely deserves it. She dedicates her whole life to this team.”

WINSLOW 3, LISBON 1: Jess Greeley scored two goals and Brooke Haskell added one as Winslow (17-0-1) defeated Lisbon (15-3) to win the Class C title at Waterville.

“I’m so happy for them,” Winslow Coach Mary Beth Bourgoin said. “They’re just a really good, special bunch of girls.”