SANFORD — The expectations are always high for York High’s field hockey team, which has a trophy case full of championship plaques.

This year’s version of the Wildcats has met those expectations. Top-seeded and unbeaten York won its seventh consecutive regional championship Wednesday afternoon, defeating third-seeded Fryeburg Academy 3-1 in the Class B South title game at Alumni Stadium.

York got goals from three players, and Kate Nowell made five saves as the Wildcats won the regional title for the 14th time in 16 years.

“We just keep going and going and going,” said senior midfielder Bailey Oliver. “We want to win. Every year, people tell us we’re not going to win. And we do because we work as a team and we prepare for months and months and months to get to this point.”

York (17-0) will play Winslow, a 5-2 winner over Belfast, for the Class B championship Saturday at Messalonskee High.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said York Coach Nora Happny. “We always know that people are coming for us. But I just give it to my girls for showing up every game and playing their hearts out.”


York defeated the Raiders (11-5-1) twice in the regular season, both in overtime. This one was just as tight. Both defenses played well, both goalies made clutch saves.

The Wildcats struck first, when sophomore Sage Works scored off a penalty corner with 13:23 remaining in the first half. She took an inserted pass from Oliver, moved to her right and shot back inside the left post.

It stayed 1-0 for a while, primarily because Nowell made a point-blank stop on Fryeburg’s Eliza Thorne late in the first half.

Then York’s Ashley Carney scored with 13:40 remaining in the game, sweeping in a pass from Lexi Brent from the right side of the circle. Carney was wide open in front of the cage and Fryeburg goalie Bailey Richardson (seven saves) had no chance.

“When I saw the pass coming to me, I knew I had to get it in,” said Carney. “I saw a little part of the goal that was open, and I just ripped it.”

Fryeburg answered quickly, getting a goal from Maggie Powers on a penalty corner with 10:11 remaining. But Fryeburg didn’t get another good scoring chance, as York’s defense, led by Gemma Hopkins and Christina Dargie, kept clearing the ball from danger.

“We always seem to pull it off,” said Nowell. “And I trust my defense to do its job.”

Freshman Abby Dickson scored with 16 seconds remaining, and the Wildcats were on their way to another state championship game.

“It was a good game,” said Fryeburg Coach Dede Frost. “They know how to win, and it’s a legacy and it’s amazing. And other teams need to learn how to win, too.”

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