Mt. Ararat field hockey players Lily Koslosky(6), Audrey Marchildon (13) and Paige Witwicki (5) celebrate after Witwicki scored in the third quarter to put the Eagles up 1-0 over Mt. Blue during a Class A North quarterfinal game Oct. 27 at Stadium Field in Topsham. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Traditional preseason, conference scheduling, and hardware up for grabs once again. Those are just a few ways to describe the 2021 high school field hockey season. And on the Midcoast, area teams were in the thick of it.

The Mt. Ararat field hockey program earned the No. 2 seed in Class A North before its season came to an end in a stunning 1-0 loss to Oxford Hills in the regional semifinals. Brunswick had its best season in a decade and hosted a postseason game for the first time in recent memory, while Lisbon made a Cinderella run to the Class C South regional final as the No. 6 seed. All in all, it was a historic season of field hockey on the Midcoast.

“I think we’re all grateful for how this season turned out,” said Mt. Ararat head coach Krista Chase. “I wasn’t sure how we would stack up coming into this season considering how many starters we lost, but we had a great season.”

Up the road, Lisbon made a run to the Class C South final before falling to eventual state champion Winthrop. With just one senior on this years’ roster, head coach Julie Petrie was more than happy with what she saw this season.

“We showed monumental growth throughout the season and players stepped up when they had to,” said Petrie. “Obviously, I was super happy with how we performed in the postseason when we needed to.”

The Greyhounds dominated No. 3 NYA in the Class C South quarterfinals before outlasting No. 2 Saint Doms in a thrilling seven-round penalty corner shootout game in the semifinals.

In Brunswick, the Dragons earned the No. 6 seed in the Class A North postseason but were upset in overtime by No. 11 Brewer 3-2 at home.

Despite the abrupt ending, the season was a step in the right direction for the Dragons.

Callie Moran of Brewer tries to dribble past Brianna Campbell of Brunswick during a Class A North preliminary game Oct. 22 in Brunswick. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

“Our motto all year was ‘to believe’ and those girls certainly did that,” said Brunswick head coach Carrie Sullivan. “Success for our team was rooted in the joy of being there with one another.”

And while playing games was one thing, a return to a traditional schedule was a sense of normalcy for everyone involved.

“It was awesome getting back to a normal season, I think the normalcy felt good and was something we all needed,” said Morse head coach Kerri Reno, whose team fell in the Class B South quarterfinal round. “We never took for granted being able to have a season.”

Added Petrie: “It was still a tricky season with COVID, it seemed like we always had people missing due to sickness or injury.”

The No. 7 Shipbuilders topped No. 10 Wells in the preliminary round of the Class B postseason before falling to No. 2 Cape Elizabeth. No. 6 Freeport had a similar fate, topping No. 11 Gray-New Gloucester in the opening round before losing to No. 3 Yarmouth.

But it didn’t matter, and Midcoast players thrived during the course of the season and were recognized for their efforts. Brunswick’s Brianna Campbell and Kelsey Sullivan were named to the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference first-team. Kelsey Cassidy, Kiki Densmore, and Ava Wolverton were named to the all-rookie team. Mt. Ararat had Greta Marchildon recognized while Morse’s Lily Clifford was awarded the same honor. Kyla Havey of Freeport and Haley Tuplin were named to the Mountain Valley Conference all-conference teams.

“The level of talent that we saw this season was up another level than previous seasons,” said Reno.

And in the end, new champions were crowned. Cheverus topped powerhouse Skowhegan in the Class A final for the school’s first field hockey title. Leavitt completed their unexpected run as the No. 5 seed in Class B South by beating Old Town in the state final for the Hornets’ first championship since 2012. And in Class C, Winthrop topped Maine Central Institute on a last-minute goal to claim the Class C state championship.

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