Mountain Valley’s Rylee Sevigny moves the ball down the field at Spruce Mountain on Tuesday. Spruce Mountain’s Ashley Campbell follows behind. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
Avery Sevigny is key to setting up Mountain Valley’s offense. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
JAY — Rylee and Avery Sevigny have terrorized defenses across the Mountain Valley Conference all season long.
The sisters helped lead the Mountain Valley field hockey team to an 11-3 regular-season record and the No. 1 seed in Class C South heading into the postseason, which the Falcons will open against the region’s No. 8 seed (either Traip or Sacopee Valley) on Tuesday or Wednesday.
In 14 games this season, Mountain Valley scored 60 goals, a 4.28 goals-per-game average.
The Sevignys have scored 63 percent of those goals. Rylee, who’s the younger sister and only a sophomore, has 23 goals and 13 assists. Avery, a junior, has been more of the pass-first, shoot-second option with 15 goals and 17 assists.
“We have been working really well as a team because we have been together for a couple years,” Rylee Sevigny said. “We knew this was our year — we had to go big or go home.”
The sisters give credit to the Falcons’ midfielders and defenders, who get them the ball.
“Our front line has gone back and played defense more so we can push the ball up the field,” Avery said.
“We rely on our defense to have a big hit to us, and we go with it,” Rylee added.
When the defense gets the ball to one of the Sevigny sisters, momentum usually is in their favor.
“I do have a midfield and backfield that’s feeding them the ball,” Mountain Valley coach Melissa Forbes said. “They are fast, and because of their speed and the rest of the front line we can change the pace of the game.”
When the Falcons handed Winthrop its only loss of the regular season Monday, it was the Sevignys who sparked the Falcons’ comeback. Avery scored to tie the game at 2-2. She then fed Rylee for the game-winning goal as Mountain Valley won 3-2.
Once the sisters get in the 25-yard circle they have an innate sibling chemistry but also communicate well with their teammates. Forbes believes that has been a big factor not only for them personally but the team. Sometimes they know their teammates will be open before their teammates realize they are open.
“I am really not sure,” Brianna Burgess said of her goal that put Mountain Valley on top 1-0 against Spruce Mountain on Tuesday. “All I (remember is) my friend Rylee (passing) it to me. I just reversed it and smacked it.”
Forbes, who has been the Falcons’ head coach for the past 22 seasons, knows the sisters’ strength is putting the ball in the cage. She also is trying to round out their games this season.
“They will probably tell you they don’t play great defense,” Forbes said with a chuckle. “We’ve been working on that.”
Rylee realizes how important defense is this time of year, especially against teams like Mountain Valley that have deep playoff aspirations.
“We got down a little bit when they scored, but we realized that the way to get back in it was to put one right back in,” Rylee said after Monday’s win against Winthrop. “We started focusing on defense because in the first half I wasn’t even focusing on defense as well as I should’ve.”
What has driven the Sevignys this season season hasn’t been lighting up the cage to pad personal stats, but the disappointment of how 2017 ended, with a 3-1 loss to Spruce in the Class C South regional semifinals.
“Last year was a tough loss,” Avery said.
“I really think it motivated us more to make a deeper run this year,” Rylee said.
They enjoyed finishing their regular season against Winthrop and Spruce Mountain (which they defeated, 2-1, on Tuesday) on consecutive days earlier this week. The Ramblers are the top seed in C North, while the Phoenix will be the No. 2 seed in C South when the postseason start next week.
“I think it’s a great game to play right before playoffs because it gets us ready for the harder teams that we are going to meet,” Avery said following Tuesday’s game.
Forbes believes this could be the year for the Falcons to reach the state championship, which will be held at Husson University in Bangor on Oct. 27, for the first time because of the six seniors on the team.
“We have a lot of seniors, and the (Sevignys) know that it’s now with these seniors, because they can’t do it without these seniors,” Forbes said. “They know they can’t do it alone. It’s got to be this year.”
If all the underclassmen return next season, Avery will be one of three seniors in 2019.
Staff writer Adam Robinson contributed to this story.
Mountain Valley’s Avery Sevigny and Dirigo’s Grace Timberlake struggle to gain control of the ball during a field hockey game in Rumford.