AUGUSTA — A state championship, a Division I scholarship, and now Bhreagh Kennedy can add the state’s highest honor to her field hockey resume.

Kennedy, a Skowhegan senior, was named the Miss Maine Field Hockey winner Sunday afternoon at the Augusta Civic Center, getting the nod over Mt. Blue’s Molly Harmon and South Portland’s Lydia Grant.

Despite playing as a center back, Kennedy posted forward-type numbers, scoring 19 goals and 16 assists to bring her to 35 and 31 for her career. Those numbers made her the favorite going into Sunday, though Kennedy was still surprised to hear her name called.

Skowhegan’s Bhreagh Kennedy poses with the trophy she was awarded and coach Paula Doughty after being named Miss Maine Field Hockey on Sunday in Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

“Nothing could have prepared me for that,” she said. “This award isn’t about who scores the most, or who has the most assists. It’s about being a true leader for your team, and I think Lydia and Molly are just as much of that as I am. I think it could have gone either way.”

It went Kennedy’s way, however. One year ago, she sat at the Civic Center and watched teammate Maliea Kelso win the honor. This time, it was her turn.

“I’m incredibly honored,” she said. “I didn’t know if I would ever make it this far, but I definitely owe all my success to the coaches and teammates I’ve had over the years, pushing me to be better, so I definitely think the award is an accumulation of all these years of hard work.”

In addition to being the second straight Skowhegan player to earn the honor, Kennedy, a University of Maine commit, became the school’s fifth winner overall, all coming in the last 13 years. Melissa Hancock (2007), Nicole Sevey (2011) and Alison Lancaster (2013) also earned the honor.

Skowhegan coach Paula Doughty, who’s turned the program into the state’s powerhouse, called Kennedy one of its greatest players in an introductory speech while praising her attitude, leadership and versatility.

“The thing about her is that she can play anywhere,” she said. “She played forward, she played mid, she played back. She’s just comfortable. Not every kid can do that.”

Doughty said she knew Kennedy was a talent from the start, but that it wasn’t until her junior year that she transitioned into the kind of player who could be named the state’s best.

“Her freshman and sophomore years, she was a good player,” Doughty said. “But she just developed in ways that were remarkable. … Some kids develop and some kids don’t. Starting last year, she just went from zero to 10 overnight.”

That progression earned her a full ride at Orono, which Doughty said was a remarkable accomplishment.

“To be the one kid here who has been chosen to play at the University of Maine says it all,” she said. “The University of Maine is our flagship. To have a kid recruited to play there, to me, is everything.”

Kennedy anchored a Skowhegan defense that allowed only seven goals all season, including one in the playoffs. She said being a back doesn’t preclude a player from being able to get involved in the offense.

“It takes all 11 players to score,” Kennedy said. “It encourages defensive players to step up their own games and become versatile, and not just let the forwards take all the credit.”

Harmon, a senior midfielder for Mt. Blue, was both Kennedy’s teammate on the Majestix and Class A North rival with the Cougars. The Bates commit scored nine goals and had 11 assists.

“I’m just so honored to be even nominated,” said Harmon said. “Over the years I’ve played with her and against her, so that was always cool. … She’s worked so hard throughout all her years, and I’m just so happy she got this award.”

Grant, a senior midfielder, had seven goals and four assists for South Portland.

“It’s such an honor to even be recognized,” said Grant, who’s looking at playing at Stonehill, Merrimack or Endicott. “It was a great four years, I’m very happy with where I got to. I’ll see what happens next year and I’m excited for the future.”

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