Foxcroft defeats Winthrop/Monmouth for Class C championship
OAKLAND — Foxcroft Academy won the 2019 Class C field hockey championship with a 3-0 victory over the Winthrop High School/Monmouth Academy cooperative team in a battle of the respective North and South No. 1 seeds during the early afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 2 on the turf at Messalonskee High School.
Pony junior Maranda Poulin scored all three goals for her first career hat trick wearing the maroon and white to help her team cap off a perfect season at 18-0 (joining Class A champion Skowhegan Area High School as the only undefeated teams in the state) with only three goals allowed in all of 2019. Poulin not only outscored the opposition on her own, her goal amount was more than the entire shot total the Ramblers could muster as Foxcroft gave up just one shot on goal while shooting 18 times at the Winthrop cage. The Ramblers fell to 16-2 with the loss.
“I’m really proud of our team because we were fighting throughout this whole year and we knew that we could do it,” Poulin said. “After the first goal I knew that it was going to be tough but after the second and the third I knew that we were going to make it all the way to the end. We’re just so proud and honored to be here.”
“The difference today is the girls knew they had to play the full 60 minutes as hard as possible,” head coach Stephanie Smith said. “Play as a team, keep spacing and passing — not just blasting, working the ball up and passing.
“We just knew that we had to just get to the ball first and not allow them to play the ball. I think we accomplished that very well.”
The two teams spent the first portion of the opening half getting a sense of the other before Foxcroft was awarded the day’s first penalty corner near the 16-minute mark. Pony sophomore Aleshia Raymond inserted the ball from the left and soon there was a scramble in front of the Winthrop goal with two shots being knocked away by Rambler freshman keeper Madison Weymouth (she made a game-high 15 saves during a busy afternoon).
Poulin was positioned to the left of the cage to direct the loose ball in at the 15:58-mark. “The first one it hit off the goalie’s pads and then I got it off the goalie’s pads and hit it in,” she said.
The score stayed 1-0 before Poulin struck again at the 23:47-mark of the second half. Following another scramble and several saves, the Pony junior was again positioned in the right spot to the left of the goal.
“The second one I just went around the goalie and hit it in,” Poulin said.
Poulin got the trifecta just over six minutes later in a slightly different fashion. Junior Ava Rayfield brought the ball up and passed to senior Cassidy Marsh.
Marsh continued the ball movement by passing to Poulin, whose strike found the mark for the 3-0 lead with 17:26 left to play.
“I was not expecting it but after the first goal I knew that if I just keep on being on the post constantly that eventually I would keep getting more goals,” Poulin said. “After you get the first one you just keep on going, I knew that after the first one I wanted to score more and I just pushed myself.”
“She’s a little squirrel, she gets into that goal cage every time,” Smith said about Poulin. “She’s our biggest scorer this year, as of today with her hattrick,” with 21 goals on the season. “She’s just feisty and she’s always in the right place at the right time.”
Foxcroft earned its 15th shutout in 18 games as senior Abbie Moore stopped the only shot she faced.
Down 1-0 in the first, Winthrop had a string of three consecutive penalty corners and while the Ramblers got a shot off Moore was in position to stop what would be the opposition’s best scoring chance.
Winthrop would have another string of three penalty corners in the second half — Foxcroft led in corners 10-7 overall — but the Ponies kept the team shotless here.
“They took us out of everything we wanted to do,” Winthrop head coach Jessica Merrill said. “They shut us right down. They did a real good job keeping their sticks low and anticipating what we wanted to do.
“They were running on all cylinders. They were the best team we’ve faced all year, by far,” she said.
The state championship is the fourth in program history for the Ponies, coming in the team’s fifth berth in a title game. Foxcroft won Class C championships in 1991 and 2007 under Foxcroft Academy Athletic Hall of Famer Gene Philpot and the 2013 team was coached by Smith in her second season. Like in 2007 and 2013, the new state championship was won after Foxcroft moved to Class C following several seasons in Class B.
Winthrop entered as the defending Class C champion, and had won the previous two North regional titles before moving to the South region for 2019. The Ramblers had been in the state game seven previous times, winning in 1988, 1989 and 2018.
Foxcroft team personnel is freshmen Justice Batchhelder, Lauren Martin, Emily McLeish, Pressly Perry, Anna Raynes, Cassandra Smith and Destiny Weymouth; sophomores Kaitlyn Lord, Reece McCarty Aleshia Raymond, Makenzie Sands and Meghan Spooner; juniors Sheryl Chase, Maranda Poulin, Ava Rayfield; seniors Jenna Anderson, Karis Dankert, Megan Fuller, Olivia Johnson, Cassidy Marsh, Abbie Moore, Natalie Robinson and Deanna Weymouth; coach Morgan Rublee and head coach Stephanie Smith. Anderson, Danket, Marsh and Robinson served as captains.
Larry Mahoney of the Bangor Daily News contributed to this story. :
W 0 0 | 0
F 1 2 | 3
First: F — Poulin
Second: F — Poulin
F — Poulin (Marsh)
Penalty corners: W — 7,
F — 10
Saves: W — Weymouth 15
and Folsom 0,
F — Moore 1
Records: W — 16-2,
F — 18-0