CAPE ELIZABETH — Graduations were costly, and the numbers are low.

If Friday afternoon was any indication, however, the York field hockey team could be as strong as ever.

Abby Dickson scored three goals, Abigail Armlin led a dominant effort in the midfield, and York rolled to a 6-0 rout of Cape Elizabeth, a Class B South finalist last year.

“It was really exciting, and rewarding, because we’ve been working together for two weeks,” Dickson said. “It’s been a rough start, because of our low numbers. To have everyone work well together is really great.”

Such a result wouldn’t normally be out of the ordinary. This is a program that made 11 of 12 state finals from 2008-19, and which went undefeated in the regular season last year. But 10 seniors graduated, and York (2-0) has been between 17 and 18 players to start this season – the lowest amount Coach Barb Marois said she’s had in her 20 years at the helm.

“I think it’s a combination of things,” Marois said. “We graduated 10, our freshman class (of three) is pretty small … (and) I had some girls that didn’t come back.”


The ones that did, though, are impressive. None have stood out more than Dickson and Armlin, two returning first-team all-conference seniors, and they were terrific Friday. Dickson got the scoring started with 9:15 to go in the first quarter, knocking home a shot in a scrum following York’s first corner. It was Armlin’s turn to impress on the second goal, as she had a fine pass to set up Hadley Cucco for a score and 2-0 lead with 6:24 left in the half.

The two both got to dazzle on the third goal. Armlin, a University of New Hampshire commit, brought the ball towards the circle, faked past a Capers defender, then fed the ball in to Dickson, who drew out the goalie, pulled around her and scored with 26 seconds to go in the half.

“They definitely enjoy being on the turf,” Marois said. “They’ve been playing outside of the season too, a lot. They do club-level field hockey, so they’ve gotten some great experience from that and they’re able to bring that to the team.”

York kept pouring it on. Kristen MacAuley had a goal off of a corner in the third quarter, Dickson netted her third goal on a breakaway in the fourth, and Nya Avery rounded out the scoring with a goal off a MacAuley assist.

“It was really nice to see everything clicking,” Armlin said. “The offense was really connecting for the first time, and you could see in everyone’s minds the next pass was there.”

When the Capers (0-1) went on the attack, a defense led by Maggie Hanlon broke up chances, and Armlin’s play at midfield quickly put the Wildcats back on the attack. It was a rough opening for a Cape Elizabeth team looking to make another deep run, but Coach Maura Bisogni wasn’t concerned.

“Their speed is (among) the fastest we’re going to see,” she said. “And we made first-game mistakes. Every time you do that against a team like York, they’re going to score. … It highlights what we need to work on.”

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