PORTLAND—Lucy Johnson now stands alone.

And the beat goes on for Cheverus’ powerhouse field hockey team.

There were two layers to the contest when the undefeated, top-ranked, reigning regional champions hosted No. 8 Massabesic in a Class A South quarterfinal round contest Wednesday afternoon at Shea Field.

The Stags’ first step in their quest for a state title and Johnson’s quest for immortality.

And after some anxious moments, there were happy endings on both counts.

Johnson and her teammates had multiple good chances stymied in the first half by Mustangs junior goalie Lydia Suhy and the game was scoreless at the break.


But less than five minutes into the second half, Cheverus went on top to stay, as junior Lillian Magda scored on a rebound.

Freshman Sydney Brunelle then doubled the lead, from Magda, late in the third quarter and with the Stags on the brink of victory, attention focused on Johnson and her bid for the record.

And with 6:45 remaining, history was made, as Johnson got to a loose ball in front and fired it into the net for her 112th career goal, a new state record, and the perfect punctuation mark on a 3-0 Stags’ victory.

Cheverus improved to 15-0, ended Massabesic’s season at 8-7-1 and advanced to host No. 4 Scarborough (9-6) in the Class A South semifinals Saturday at a time to be announced.

“There was definitely a lot of pressure, but I knew my teammates and I would get it done,” Johnson said. “I had to fight to get (the record) today.”

Lucy Legend


Johnson, who began playing field hockey at the age of five, following in the footsteps of her six-year-old sister, Lily, roared on to the scene as a freshman, leading Cheverus to an undefeated season and its first championship, scoring 28 goals.

She was even more prolific as a sophomore, rattling the cage a whopping 49 times, earning multiple awards, including Cheverus’ Fall Athlete of the Year from The Forecaster, helping the Stags go undefeated again until the state game which they lost to Skowhegan, 3-2 (although Johnson scored twice).

This fall, the goals continued for Johnson and the wins kept on coming for Cheverus (see sidebar, below, for links to previous stories), as the Stags won all 14 games, extending their regular season win streak to 46 with Johnson scoring 34 times. Her final two goals came in the regular season finale last Monday, a 2-0 victory at Noble, which tied Johnson with former St. Dominic star Hannah Trottier-Braun at 111 career goals.

Massabesic, a longtime contender, started the season 5-2, then went 2-4-1 down the stretch to wind up eighth in the region. Friday, the Mustangs defeated No. 9 Marshwood, 2-0, in the preliminary round.

Cheverus blanked the visiting Mustangs, 8-0, on Sept. 21 and won the lone prior playoff encounter, 5-4, in overtime, in the 2018 Class A South preliminary round, when Sophia Pompeo (one of the few Stags historically in Lucy Johnson’s stratosphere) scored the winning goal on a penalty stroke.

Wednesday, on a gorgeous late-October afternoon (67 degrees at the start), Cheverus looked to come out and immediately seize control, but instead, it had to scratch and claw before eventually doing enough to advance.


Cheverus junior Lucy Johnson races up the field with the ball early in the Stags’ 3-0 win over Massabesic in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. Hoffer photos.

Johnson nearly ended the suspense a minute in, when she back-handed a lofting shot that appeared goal bound, but Suhy leaped and swatted it away to set the tone.

After Suhy saved a shot from Magda, Johnson went low and hard, but Suhy saved that shot as well.

Senior Lily Johnson, Lucy Johnson’s older sister, who is a star in her own right, then tried to break the tie with a shot off a penalty corner, but Suhy made the save, then junior Mackenzie Nason, who shadowed Lucy Johnson all afternoon, made a timely defensive save.

Late in the first quarter, junior Zoe Radford had back-to-back shots saved by Suhy, then Magda got a shot through Suhy’s legs only to send it wide, before Lucy Johnson took a pass from Lily Johnson, but missed wide on a rush keeping the score 0-0.

The second period saw Cheverus continue to be frustrated, as sophomore Joey Pompeo set up senior Mackenzie Cash for a one-timer that went just wide, Brunelle missed wide, Suhy denied Radford, then Lucy Johnson had a low blast saved before having a rush broken up by junior Lydia DesRochers.

As time wound down in the half, Massabesic earned a penalty corner and by rule, played it out after the horn, but the Mustangs’ best chance to strike first was cleared by Lily Johnson.


The Stags had a 9-0 advantage in shots on cage in the first half and a 5-1 edge in penalty corners, but had nothing to show for it.

That would change in the third quarter.

Cheverus junior Lillian Magda plays the ball while Massabesic junior Candice Daigle defends.

The go-ahead goal came with 10:28 on the clock and came in typical field hockey fashion, in traffic, as Magda managed to get to a rebound and send it into the cage for a 1-0 advantage.

After Lucy Johnson was denied on a corner, Cheverus made it 2-0 with 2:49 left in the frame, off a corner, as Magda fed Brunelle, who swept the ball into the cage.

“I think Lillian and Sydney played amazing today,” Lucy Johnson said. “Joey and my sister are always in the middle stopping balls and sending them into the circle. We’ve practiced getting touches in front of the goal and that was an asset today.”

The Mustangs did threaten to answer, but sophomore Jordan Drouin broke up a rush by junior Charlize Anderson and sophomore goalie Ellie Skolnekovich saved a shot from sophomore Paige Stephenson off a corner, then denied a rebound attempt from Anderson.


Lucy Johnson was on the sidelines when the fourth quarter started, as coach Theresa Arsenault got her refocused, then she re-entered with just over 11 minutes to play, after Suhy made a highlight reel save on a Lily Johnson rocket off a penalty corner.

Lucy Johnson was immediately robbed by Suhy as well, but her moment was soon at hand.

With 6:45 remaining, seconds after freshman Caroline Rousseau was denied on a rush, the rebound came to the side where Johnson got the ball, looked initially to shoot on her backhand, decided otherwise, turned, then flicked the ball past Suhy and into the net.

And at 4:43 p.m., Maine had a new all-time goal scoring leader.

“I was definitely getting a little frustrated and I knew I needed to keep my composure because if they had a girl on me, I knew a teammate would be open and it was easier to pass the ball around,” Johnson said. “I was going to try to go on my reverse, but I was pressured on my weak side, so I just spun and shot it. I was very happy and excited when it went in.”

“I just told her to take a minute,” said Arsenault. “Massabesic put a great defender on her the entire game. Lucy just perseveres mentally. That’s been her biggest growth this year. She just took that second and she was ready to go and brought a lot of energy to boost us at the end. Her athleticism is at another level, but the time, commitment and effort she puts in elevates her above anyone else.”


Play was stopped and Johnson was mobbed by her teammates and she was honored with her family.

Lucy Johnson and her teammates celebrate the milestone.

“I was not expecting the ceremony at all,” said Johnson. “I never really thought about it too much until my parents brought it up to me and told me I had a chance to break the record this year. That was a definitely a goal to reach this season. I’m proud of myself and it was a great celebration.”

“Lucy did a lot of other things that didn’t show up in the scorebook today that I’m really proud of,” Arsenault said. “She played a little bit more defensively and helped distribute the ball. It was another piece of excitement today. Being home with our fans here, with her family here, it added to a great atmosphere for our first home playoff game.”

Cheverus then ran out the clock and prevailed, 3-0.

“Having (close games late in the season) was helpful because most playoff games will be like this,” Lucy Johnson said. “You never know what might happen. We have to always work hard and play strong.”

“I think the thing that gives me the most confidence is the things we worked on the most in practice the past two days, the girls showed today,” Arsenault said. “We’ve worked hard in the offensive circle. At this point of the season, for the girls still to be open to learning, there’s nothing more I can ask of a coach. The girls don’t get down or frustrated with each other. They know to keep working and know that goals will come. Our defense did a great job today and that gives us confidence that we’ll get more opportunities. Knowing we have depth is a big part of our team.”


The Stags enjoyed a 19-2 advantage in shots on frame, got two saves from Skolnekovich and took a dozen corners to Massabesic’s two.

Suhy made 16 saves for the Mustangs.

“Hats off to her,” Arsenault said. “She was zoned in and that can get really frustrating for the forwards, but they continued to put the pressure on.”

Step two

Cheverus twice beat Scarborough this season, 7-1 Sept. 11 on the road, and 5-1 Oct. 3 at home.

The Stags are just 2-3 all-time versus the Red Storm in the playoffs, but captured the most recent encounter, 2-1, in the 2021 regional final.

“I think playing at home is an advantage because most teams we play are turf teams,” Lucy Johnson said. “Playing on grass is an advantage. We just have to play our game and not let anyone get in our heads.”

“We’ll keep building on what we’ve been doing,” Arsenault said. “We just have to keep working hard every day.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. For game updates and links to game stories, follow him on Threads: @foresports2023

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