Biddeford senior goalie Taylor Wildes holds up the regional championship plaque as her teammates celebrate around her at Waterhouse Field on Wednesday night. Biddeford beat Westbrook 1-0 in overtime to secure a trip to the state final. TAMMY BELANGER PHOTOGRAPHY

BIDDEFORD — The Biddeford field hockey team went into the Class A South regional final looking to secure a trip to the state championship game for the first time in 23 years.
As if a trip to a state final wasn’t enough motivation, the No. 1 Tigers were also looking to honor standout midfielder Hailey Allen, who was injured in the regional semifinal.
The Tigers were able to celebrate with Allen on Wednesday night — and it would be her younger sister, Abby, who secured the regional championship.
Abby Allen scored the game’s lone goal with 4:31 left in the first overtime period to give the Tigers a 1-0 victory over No. 2 Westbrook at Waterhouse Field.
“It was just so exciting because I did it for my team and my sister. (It’s my) sophomore year and I’m going to states with this team … they are just my family and I’m so excited,” said Abby Allen.

Biddeford’s Abby Allen pushes the ball up the field on Wednesday night. TAMMY BELANGER PHOTOGRAPHY

Biddeford will play in the state final for the first time since 1995. Waiting for the Tigers at Husson University on Saturday will be the powerhouse Skowhegan Indians, who have won 18 state titles — including 15 of the last 18 Class A championships.
“I think just getting to the regionals last year and then heading to states this year is so big for the program — and we’re only growing,” said Biddeford coach Caitlin Albert.
Biddeford senior Paige Laverriere and the rest of the Tigers were soaking in the moment on Wednesday evening.
“Oh wow, I literally have no words … we worked so hard for this since the summer. This means everything — it means the world to us,” said Laverriere.
Laverriere felt Hailey Allen’s absence gave the Tigers some more incentive.
“Obviously, it’s very sad that Hailey’s not with us. She’s a big part of this team, but we all came together and worked super hard for Hailey. I think that’s what fueled our fire tonight,” Laverriere said.
“It is the most unfortunate thing that could happen to Hailey, but she wants nothing more than this team to be happy and (to have) success. Everyone knows that and we are just feeding off it at this point,” added Albert.
That was especially true for Abby Allen, who wanted to give her sister a trip to the state championship game — even if she will only be on the sidelines.
“It’s a big deal to me because she has taught me my whole life and doing it for her just makes my whole heart so warm because she’s done everything for me,” said Abby Allen.
Abby Allen and the Tigers really dominated play for most of Wednesday’s game. It would take an incredible performance from Westbrook goalie Kim Goddard (eight saves) to send the game to overtime.
“A lot of (Biddeford players) play with (Goddard) in the offseason, so they know her really well and have a lot of respect for her. She’s a phenomenal goalie,” said Albert.
Goddard stopped Allen twice on close-range shots, but the Biddeford sophomore would finally get one past the Westbrook senior in the extra frame.
“She’s just so fierce. She has the drive and the girls feed off her. When she’s having a good game, the girls have a good game and you can definitely tell,” said Albert of the younger Allen, who scored her school-record 24th goal of the season.
Biddeford senior goalie Taylor Wildes also had an impressive outing as she stopped all seven shots she faced to help keep the Tigers in it.
The Tigers know they will face a tough test when they face the three-time defending champs from Skowhegan.
“Skowhegan is very dominant for a reason. They have probably a 15-player deep roster. They are a well-oiled machine … but we’ll be ready,” Albert said.
— Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 780-9017. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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