SANFORD — The work began in the summer, when the Biddeford High field hockey team first began to come together. The Tigers set their team goal of winning another championship.

Wednesday night, they took a huge step toward that.

The top-ranked and unbeaten Tigers defeated second-ranked Massabesic 3-1 in the Class A South championship game at Alumni Stadium. All the scoring came in the first half as Abby Allen scored two goals and assisted on a third.

The victory extended Biddeford’s unbeaten streak to 35 games (34-0-1) and its winning streak to 26. The Tigers (17-0) will play powerhouse Skowhegan in the Class A state championship Saturday at Messalonskee High School. It will be a rematch of last year’s championship game, won by Biddeford 4-3.

“This means everything,” said Biddeford senior Megan Mourmouras. “We’ve been working on our goal for months, since the summer. Now we got what we wanted.”

Biddeford built a 3-1 halftime lead  thanks to the brilliance of Allen. She opened the scoring with a wicked reverse hit – her signature move – just 4:55 into the game, self-starting on the right sideline, moving into the circle and ripping the shot.

“I always want us to be the first  ones to score,” said Allen. “That makes sure we get our confidence up, it boosts us every time.”

Allen has scored the first goal in each of Biddeford’s playoff games this year. “I feel good when she comes out like that,” said Biddeford Coach Caitlin Tremberth. “It sets the tone for the rest of the game.”

After Massabesic tied it on an Emily Jacobs goal about nine minutes later, Allen set up Jayme Walton for a tip-in at the right post with another reverse hit with 11:19 left in the first half.

Then she scored on a penalty stroke – a Massabesic defender stopped the ball from crossing the goal line with her leg – with 4:06 left.

From there on, it was a matter of holding on. While Allen had a couple of outstanding scoring chances in the second half, only to see Massabesic goalie Julia Gregoire make the stops, it was the Mustangs who controlled the tempo and the play.

Massabesic swarmed the Tiger goal throughout the final 20 minutes, but could never get through a defense led by Allen, Mourmouras and Cori Cote.

“We just could not catch the break that we needed to get that second goal,” said Massabesic Coach Michele Martin-Moore. “We just could not catch that bounce we needed.”

“I knew it would be like that,” said Tremberth. “They’re good team, have some great players, a great goalie and they don’t give up.”

Biddeford played down a defender for seven minutes of the second half, on two separate dangerous stick penalties. But Allen said the goal was to keep the Mustangs from getting close.

“We just had to mark in the circle, sticks down, like right on them, don’t let them touch the ball,” said Allen. “We had to look around, talk, ‘Take this one, get that one.’  That put us over the top.”

Comments are not available on this story.