There’s no telling how many goals MaKayla Stevens might have scored had she played forward all season. One only has to point to a pair of back-to-back games during which she scored nine goals.

“She had five goals in one game, and the very following game she had four,” her coach and father Mark Stevens said. “Those were the two days we put her on the front line. We moved her back to center-mid after that. She’s just a strong force at that position, and we strengthened our team that way.”

Not that the move bothered her.

“I’ve always been in the midfield setting things up, and I got lucky those two games that he put me on the front line,” MaKayla said. “I like playing midfield better, though, and seeing other people get the goals. Being able to control the field, knowing where everyone is at all times and being able to go back on defense, it’s better, I think.”

It was better for her, and for her Lisbon Greyhounds. She still scored 16 goals in 14 games, dished out 20 assists and no doubt prevented many more with her defensive presence.

“Center-mid is like the quarterback on the team, you have to play offense and defense all the time,” Mark said. “The center-mid has to be on the ball or near the ball in every situation. With that, she has good peripheral vision, she has good awareness of her players around her.”

After playing her first couple of varsity seasons on the front line, Mark made the switch.

“When she first started playing, her freshman year, actually, she was a front-liner,” Mark said. “She played front line her sophomore year as well, and we ended up putting her back to center-mid her junior year. She played well late in her sophomore year and her junior year at center-mid and kind of grew in that position.”

With MaKayla’s help, the Greyhounds went 8-6, a record that does little to indicate just how well the team played throughout the year.

“We had an awesome season this year, and I really don’t think our record indicated that so much,” Mark said. “It was one of those years, we could have gone 12-2, we could have gone 8-6, and we came in at 8-6.”

Lisbon suffered an overtime loss to 13-1 Telstar, and a tight, one-goal loss to Livermore Falls, which also went 13-1.

MaKayla’s prowess with a field hockey stick began at an early age. The daughter of a pair of coaches, she was born to play the game.

“We knew she could score. She has an eye for the cage,” Mark said. “She grew up on the sidelines of a field hockey field with her mom and I coaching in the early 90s. She knows the sport, she’s played for the Maine Event team, this is her second season. She played for the Katahdin team that went out to the national festival in Indio, Calif. That was kind of cool.”

Having a father as a coach can be tough, but MaKayla said she’s grateful for the extra work she had to put in.

“He made me work a lot harder, which really helped in the end, pushing me that extra step,” MaKayla said.

Thanks to the extra push, MaKayla is looking ahead to playing in college.

“I’m looking at playing for a D-I college,” MaKayla said. “I’m looking at a couple right now, and hoping to go on to that next, and then coach.”

For all of her accomplishments this season, as a scoring threat, assist machine and field general, MaKayla Stevens is the 2010 Sun Journal All-Region Field Hockey Player of the Year.

Sun Journal all-region field hockey team

First team

Ayla Allen, Mountain Valley

Emma Davis, Telstar

Brittany DiPompo, Jay

MaKayla McCann, Leavitt

Caylee Morris, Livermore Falls

Emily Ranucci, Edward Little

Nikki Scott, Winthrop

MaKayla Stevens, Lisbon

Katie Sumner, Telstar

Kathryn Ventrella, Livermore Falls

Hannah Warren, Oxford Hills

Second team

Nicole Burgess, Mountain Valley

Tori Couture, Edward Little

Taylor Eells, Leavitt

Casey Fichter, Leavitt

Samantha Greenwood, Livermore Falls

Marisa Hanning, Oxford Hills

Breanna Harlow, Gray-NG

Elizabeth LeClair, Mt. Blue

Lauren Ratsep, St. Dom’s

Becca Tucci, Oak Hill

Marisa Zamrock, St. Dom’s

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