Lisbon is in a familiar position.

So is Winthrop. And Leavitt. And Spruce Mountain.

And, of course, Skowhegan and Scarborough.

People hoping for new blood atop the Maine field hockey standings and in the playoffs are going to have to hope an underdog or two wins. Otherwise, many of the same schools who made it to regional and state finals a year ago are once again among the top teams as the playoffs begin this weekend, and many are the favorites to once again get through and play for a championship.

Defending Class C state champion Lisbon heads the Class C pack. Navigating the tough-as-nails Mountain Valley Conference, the Greyhounds lost to Class B Spruce Mountain and also tied the Phoenix, and fell to fellow state finalist Winthrop on the road, a loss they avenged to the tune of 6-1 last week.

Lisbon has outscored its opponents 57-10, and held off a strong NYA team in the standings to reclaim the No. 1 seed.

The Panthers play a Class B-heavy schedule in the Western Maine Conference, and will be considered co-favorites in the Western C draw. They finished with an identical 11-2-1 record, with wins on their resume over No. 3 Yarmouth and No. 5 Traip.

Dirigo capped a solid season at 7-6-1 and edged Traip for the No. 4 seed based on the strength of its MVC schedule. Oak Hill slots in at No. 6 and will travel to Yarmouth, while Telstar returns to the playoffs this season after missing for the first time ever a year ago. The Rebels will travel to face old nemesis NYA in the quarterfinal round.

The only preliminary-round game in the area will be contested in this class, as well, with under-manned Maranacook traveling to face St. Dom’s on Friday afternoon. The Saints are also returning to the playoffs for the first time in a while. The winner of that contest will travel to Lisbon for a quarterfinal.

Also in Class C, Winthrop managed to break the 10-win plateau and also finished 11-2-1. They fell to Spruce Mountain in the exhibition MVC Championship game Thursday, but will begin the playoffs next week in the No. 3 position in Eastern Class C. If the Ramblers hope for a rematch with Lisbon — or with any other team — in the Class C state final, they’ll have to roll through perennial power Winslow, now in Class C, as well as Eastern Class C No. 1 Foxcroft Academy, which went unbeaten at 13-0-1.

A return to Class A didn’t seem to faze Mt. Blue. Paced by a deep lineup, the Cougars won enough to earn the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Class A playoffs, slotting in behind perennial top seen Skowhegan and No. 2 Messalonskee. The Indians completed another unbeaten season, while the Eagles lost only twice, both time to Skowhegan.

Mt. Blue lost only three times on the season — twice to Skowhegan and once to Messalonskee — to earn the third position. The Cougars will host No. 6 Cony in the quarterfinal round.

Also returning to the playoffs this season is Oxford Hills. The Vikings held down the No. 5 position in the standings and will travel to No. 4 Lawrence for a quarterfinal matchup. The winner of that game will ostensibly play Skowhegan in a regional semifinal, should the Indians top No. 8 Bangor in the quarterfinals.

Western Class B has always provided interesting matchups due to the confluence of teams from three different conferences, none of which cross over with one another.

Spruce Mountain, the undefeated MVC champion at 13-0-1 in the regular season, will be the No. 2 seed behind unbeaten WMC powerhouse York. The Wildcats dispatched NYA 4-0 in the final game of the season to cap the perfect run.

Leavitt, which plays a KVAC schedule, won 11 games as the defending Class B state champion with almost all of the same players back from a year ago. The Hornets got things rolling in a big way to finish the season, outscoring their last seven opponents of the season by a combined score of 27-0. As the No. 4 seed, Leavitt will host No. 5 Lake Region in the quarterfinal round. The winner of that matchup would likely face No. 1 York in the semifinal round.

The Phoenix will host No. 7 Fryeburg, with the winner to face the victor among No. 3 Cape Elizabeth and No. 6 Kennebunk.

Scarborough is again the top seed in Western Class A this season, completing another unbeaten season at 13-0-1. Nokomis, at 14-0, is tops in Eastern Class B.


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