ORONO — It was an all-too-familiar sight for several members of Nokomis High School’s field hockey team Saturday evening as the final seconds ticked off the clock in Saturday evening’s Class B state championship game.
But this time around, it was York’s players shaking their heads in frustration, blinking back tears, and looking up at the Morse Field scoreboard in stunned disbelief as the Warriors from Newport touched off a wild celebration of their 2-0 victory over York and the first state title in program history.
It’s also Nokomis’ first state title in any major sport since girls basketball won one in 2001, and is believed to be the third overall in school history, according to athletic director Jason Tardy.
“We’ve competed with York the last three years in state championships, so we knew we really wanted this one. We knew this was the year,” said senior captain and forward Jordin McGinnis.
This win was for history, payback, and vindication all in one for the Warriors, who wind up their historic season 15-2. Nine members of Nokomis’ team played on the team that lost 1-0 to York in the 2008 state final and at least five of them were also on the basketball squad that lost to York in last winter’s Class B state basketball title game.
“I think it helped that some of our kids played York last year in the basketball state championship so they still had that in their heads, plus losing two years ago, so they came out ready. They were ready to win,” said Nokomis head coach Katie Thompson.
That readiness was apparent early as Nokomis seized momentum and had the Wildcats back on their heels.
“We weren’t the aggressor today,” said York coach Barb Marois, whose Wildcats finish 16-2. “They did a nice job of handling the ball and getting upfield quickly and their forward played higher than we’re used to so that stretched our defense out more.”
McGinnis led Nokomis’ aggressive attack.
“We tested things out at the beginning to see if our big hits were going to get through, so our forwards started playing higher up,” she explained.
McGinnis scored Nokomis’ second goal 11 minutes and 20 seconds into the second half.
“Leah Edmondson had the ball coming down the sideline and I ran out, she passed it to me, I dribbled the end line and shot,” McGinnis recalled. “The goalie blocked the initial shot, I got the rebound and swung it around, aimed for a corner and got it in.”
It was that goal that both teams pointed to as the biggest score.
“I think our second goal was the biggest one because we knew York was more of a second-half team and getting that goal early on in the half was a boost for us,” Thompson said.
“One goal is just a score, but two goals is more of a mountain to climb,” Marois said.
Junior midfielder Marissa Shaw scored the first goal with 18:28 left in the first half. She got the deflection from a nifty stop-and-slide shot by Edmondson and scored on a shot to the right corner.
The Warriors outshot York 9-4 and held the Wildcats to their lowest shot total of the season.
“We had four shots in one other game, but we scored two goals and won that one,” said Marois.
Senior goalkeeper Maria Adams saved three of four shots for the shutout.
“Defensively we wanted to keep tabs on (University of Maine-bound) Hannah Keating, push them out to the sides because they like the middle, and keep them out of the defensive circle,” Adams said.
York goalie Amanda Kasbohm made five saves.