FALMOUTH — Three consecutive Class A state championships, 15 in 17 years, 18 overall.

And that’s your Skowhegan High field hockey dynasty.

The Indians scored two goals in the first half Saturday, then held off Westbrook 2-1 in the Class A state championship game at Falmouth High.

Olivia Hatch and Julia Steeves scored in the first half, then Skowhegan’s defense pushed back on every Westbrook rush, including the Blazes’ only penalty corner of the game with 1:50 remaining.

The Indians, making their 17th consecutive appearance in the state championship game, finished 17-1. Westbrook, making its first appearance in a state game since 1980, was 14-5.

“We win a lot so people would think it’s not a big deal,” said Steeves, “but it’s a big deal every year. Every year we get so hyped we love it. And our community is so supportive. We get really hyped up for it.”

Skowhegan dominated the first half with quick, accurate passing, and midfield defense led by Alexis Vashon.

It didn’t take long for Skowhegan to score. Just 3:14 in, Hatch made it 1-0.

Midfielder Hannah McKenney began the play, intercepting a Westbrook clear at about the 40 and sending a long, low hit into the circle where Hatch collected it on the left. She turned and pushed the ball toward the right, where Alexis Michonski was waiting at the post.

The ball never reached Michonski, deflecting off something and past goalie Kim Goddard for a 1-0 lead.

Skowhegan kept up the pressure and Steeves made it 2-0 with 10:37 left in the half. Maliea Kelso carried the ball through the circle to the right, then fired back, where Steeves got her stick on the ball and sent it into the net.

“I thought we stayed solid all game,” said Skowhegan Coach Paula Doughty. “They played a little different style of play than we’re used to but we adjusted as the game went along.”

Westbrook recovered in the second half, playing evenly with the Indians.

“We had never seen them play before. We had heard about them, got a few scouting reports,” said Westbrook co-coach Theresa Hendrix. “So we weren’t quite sure what we were in for. Once we made the adjustments on how they played and what we saw, the girls were able to get a little confidence and play our game.”

Westbrook had only one shot in the first half and added six in the second.

Mary Keef scored with 22:22 remaining, coming off the Blazes’ first sustained pressure of the game.

Skowhegan goalie Leah Savage made one save but the Indians couldn’t clear the ball. It came to Keef at the left post and she lifted the ball over Savage and into the goal.

“I think their attitude changed,” said Steeves. “They came out slow, trying to feel us out and we took advantage of that. The second half they were ready to go.”

But Skowhegan’s defense was up to the task.

“We helped each other out,” said defender Haley Carter. “We were there for each other. And if one of us gets beat, we’re there to help.”

“We played as a team,” said Vashon. “We didn’t get frustrated. We stayed calm.”

That was important down the stretch. Westbrook was awarded its lone corner with 1:50 left and got the ball to Maddison LeBeau at the top of the circle. But her shot went wide of the right post.

“We stepped up and played to the best of our abilities,” said forward Avery Tucker of Westbrook. “I think we gave them a good game.”

That they did. But Skowhegan dug deep, as champions do, to hold on.

“It’s very exciting, a great way to end my high school career,” said Carter, who will next play at Hofstra. “We just needed to bring it home and we did.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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