ORONO — When Devon Datsis was a sophomore, York High lost the Class B field hockey state championship game to Nokomis in 2013.

“We all agreed,” said Datsis, now a senior for the Wildcats, “that we never wanted to feel that way again.”

And they haven’t. York High won its second consecutive Class B state championship Saturday – and 36th straight game – by defeating Winslow 3-2 at the University of Maine.

The game matched two of 2014’s state champs – Winslow won the Class C title – and it produced an extremely even match. But in the end the Wildcats displayed the depth and talent that has enabled them to put together back-to-back 18-0 seasons. The championship was York’s third in 10 final-game appearances since 2004.

“This was a collective group effort,” said Barb Marois, in her 16th season as the Wildcats’ coach. “I think we were able, even when things didn’t go great, to maintain our poise. We fought through some things. They were tired. But when we needed people to step up, they did.”

Like Izzy Bretz, a midfielder who inserts the ball on penalty corners. She scored on a tip-in of a shot by Allie Lawlor to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead with 7:02 left. It came on a penalty corner, which means Bretz not only finished the play but began it. She inserted the ball from the left of the goal to Lily Posternak, who passed to Lawlor on the right. Lawlor unleashed a low hard shot toward the left post, and there was Bretz, uncovered, to tip it in.

“I knew it was coming,” said Bretz. “She was just trying to shoot it toward the left post. I just deflected it.”

“She’s tough,” said Winslow Coach Mary Beth Bourgoin. “We kind of didn’t have our eye on her.”

The Black Raiders (13-4-1) stayed close because of goalie Delaney Wood, who made 15 saves, many on corner plays.

The teams traded goals in the first half. Posternak, a junior who has committed to play at Duke, stickhandled through three defenders, then deked past Wood to score. Ciera Poulin scored less than two minutes later to tie it, also on a penalty corner.

It stayed that way until Datsis – a big-game player who had the tying goal and assisted on the winning goal in last year’s state final – scored with 21:43 remaining. She carried the ball in on the right, cut in, then beat Wood with a low shot.

York kept the pressure on, leading to the goal by Bretz that made it 3-1.

“I think their speed was better,” said Bourgoin. “We’ve got speed too, but theirs was up a notch.”

Still, the Raiders kept coming back and pulled within a goal with 5:10 remaining when Poulin scored on a penalty stroke. “We never gave up hope,” said Bourgoin. “I’ve seen things happen in the last five minutes. Bang, bang, bang.”

But York’s defense, led by Lawlor, never let the Raiders tie it, maintaining control of the ball.

“Incredible feeling,” said Posternak. “I don’t even know if I can put it into words. There’s no better way to end a season.”

 


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