By James Anderson
FRYEBURG — Clearly the two best teams in the Class B South Regional Finals. Top-seeded and undefeated York beat third-seeded Fryeburg Academy 3-1 on Wednesday at Alumni Stadium in Sanford, Maine, to advance to the Class B State Championship game for the seventh year in a row.
York (17-0) and Fryeburg (11-5-1) were meeting for the third time this season with the Wildcats having won the previous contests in overtime and double-overtime. Unfortunately, the third time wasn’t the charm for Dede Frost’s troops, although the girls in blue and white gave York everything it could handle.
The Wildcats and Raiders each controlled play for periods of time demonstrating great field hockey skills in midfield.
York scored first when sophomore Sage Works found the back of the net off a penalty corner with 13:23 to play in the opening half.
Fryeburg came oh-so-close to equalizing just before the break when Eliza Thorne was stopped by Kate Nowell, who made the save of the match to keep it her Cats in front 1-0.
With both teams threatening the others goal play remained 1-0 York, until Wildcats got a great centering pass to their inners, and Ashley Carney poked the potato (ball) past the farmer (goalie), making it 2-0 midway through the second half.
Early in the second half the Raiders were bitten by the injury bug as midfielder Alegra Bartlett would have to leave the game. It was a big loss as Alegra was playing particularly well.
Fryeburg scored the next goal on a penalty corner with 10:11 to play when Maggie Powers found the back of the cage with assists from Kirsten Wentworth and Abigail Hewes.
At 2-1 York Coach Frost decided on a strategy change. Just as York had pulled their middies back on defense with a 2-1 lead, Fryeburg pushed its middies up on offense, in hopes of tying the game up. It was an aggressive move, but when you think about it if York won 2-1, or 3-1, it really did not matter, but if Fryeburg could tie it up, maybe a win in overtime could be the outcome.
It was however not meant to be for Fryeburg. York sealed the win with just 16 ticks left on the clock for the 3-1 win.
Winslow won the Class B State Championship by beating York 7-2 on Saturday in Oakland, Maine. The Raiders scored four unanswered second-half goals to win the title.
Playing in the tournament is a great accomplishment, but losing is a sudden end to the season. Seniors Abigail Hewes, Ryan Duffy, Katie Flynn, Bridget O’Neil, Sarah Foster, Kirsten Wentworth, Kyra French and Kaylee Emery are to be thanked for all they’ve done for the program over the years.
Congratulations to the team for all the thrills you provided this season. What a great learning experience.