Thornton Academy’s Grace Pickering (left) and Libby Pomerleau pose at the Maine Field Hockey banquet on Sunday. Pickering was named Miss Maine Field Hockey, while Pomerleau was named to the All-State team.

Thornton Academy’s Grace Pickering (left) and Libby Pomerleau pose at the Maine Field Hockey banquet on Sunday. Pickering was named Miss Maine Field Hockey, while Pomerleau was named to the All-State team.

AUGUSTA — Thornton Academy standout Grace Pickering has earned plenty of honors during her four-year field hockey career with the Golden Trojans – and now she can add one more to her resume.

Pickering was named Miss Maine Field Hockey on Sunday after helping lead the Trojans to their first ever state championship game appearance this season.

“Grace is the most skilled player I have trained in my 20 years of coaching field hockey,” TA coach Lori Smith said in her speech on Sunday. “She has played since elementary school and year-round for seven years.”

Smith talked about Pickering’s wide-range of skills during her speech on Sunday.

“Her skill set is broad,” Smith said. “ She often took our free hits because she could choose to beat someone with a powerful hit, air dribbling, a throw of the ball or with her outstanding one-on-one stick skills.”

One thing that set Pickering apart from most high school players was her leadership, according to Smith.

“Grace is like having another coach on the field,” said Smith.

Pickering put together an impressive senior season despite having the other team’s complete attention.

“Grace was often double or triple teamed during our games because our opponents knew she was where our offense began,” said Smith. “Although she didn’t rack up gaudy stats, Grace was often the workhorse who transitioned our team from defense to offense and then let our talented forward, like Libby Pomerleau, finish the job.”

Smith believes Pickering winning the state’s top field hockey award is a big deal for her program.

“This is a great honor for the program. It elevates it and definitely lets people know that TA has some great players. It should also motivate younger players and show them that these awards are attainable by players in our program,” said Smith.

Pomerleau named to All-State team

Pomerleau, who is TA’s all-time leading scorer with 61 career goals and 23 assists, was named to the All-State first team on Sunday.

“Libby was always a pleasure to coach,” said Smith. “She is incredibly athletic … fast, poised under pressure and a player who improved each season.”

Pomerleau also holds TA record for most goals in a season with 23 this season and most assists in a season with 12 this year.

“Libby was a special player … I had confidence in knowing she could take the ball down the field and either set up a goal or score one when needed.”

Smith knows it will be nearly impossible to replace Pickering and Pomerleau next season.

“(Libby) and Grace were both players that did anything in their power to help make their team successful. Their names will be intertwined in TA field hockey his- tory from this point forward,” said Smith.

Local players honored

Kennebunk’s Olivia Sandford, who was a senior forward for the Rams, was named to the All-State team along with Massabesic’s Abigail Staples and Sanford’s Allison L’Heureux and Liz Helmreich.

Staples was a standout senior midfielder for the Mustangs, while L’Heureux was a senior midfielder and Helmreich a senior forward for the Spartans.

NOTE: Messalonskee’s Riley Field and Emily Hogan and Winslow’s Delaney Wood were also finalists for the Miss Maine award.


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