PORTLAND — When you’re riding a 35-game winning streak and chasing a second consecutive field hockey state championship, it isn’t always easy to critique your own performances.

York knows if there is one flaw in the slaw, however, it is the Wildcats’ tendency not to fly out of the starting gate at full speed.

Two goals in the first 15 minutes of Tuesday’s Class B South championship game took care of that nagging detail. Leavitt answered with a goal, made a game of it and fought ferociously, but the Hornets absorbed a 3-1 loss at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

“They came out really strong, and we were a little bit flat. We do that a lot, unfortunately,” Leavitt coach Wanda Ward-MacLean said “They played really, really well the first 10 minutes. We were back on our heels, and once we settled in it was a good game.”

No. 1 York (17-0) will meet Winslow on Saturday in the state final in Orono. The Wildcats are 52-1 since the start of the 2013 season. Leavitt won the Class B championship the year before that.

Lili Posternak, a junior who has already committed to play at Duke, broke the ice with a blast just 6:26 into the game. Ali Jones continued the onslaught on a feed from Devon Datsis with 15:14 to go.

“We try every game to start off like that. I think we did that the best this game,” Posternak said. “I don’t think we started a game like that for a long time. It’s definitely essential in a game like this. I thought we played like this was going to be the hardest game.”

And the Wildcats were right, because the sixth-seeded Hornets (11-6) weren’t nearly finished.

Leavitt adjusted to Posternak’s speed and power, thanks to dynamite defense from Chantel Eells, Alivia Bubier, Sam Harden and Alana Hartford.

“Until you see her play in person, it’s hard to judge her speed,” Ward-MacLean said. “She’s a fast kid, and her stick work is exceptional.”

Hartford made back-to-back defensive saves to set up the Hornets’ first shot on goal and initial penalty corner.

The latter led to a goal when Hartford’s bid trickled in off a York defender with 6:59 remaining in the half.

“Obviously it’s a little disappointing, but I think that motivates us even more, because we definitely want to keep that lead,” Datsis said. “That motivates us that we want to keep it inside their 25 (yard line) versus our 25.”

York succeeded, allowing no Leavitt shots on freshman goaltender Julianna Kiklis in the second half.

The Hornets weren’t without their chances. Ashley Mathieu’s hustle earned an early corner opportunity.

Kaitlyn Leclerc nearly tied it with 10 minutes left. Eeels inserted the ball into the circle with a resounding thump, and Leclerc tipped it just wide left of the cage.

Datsis closed it out less than a minute later with a blast from the right side of the circle, Alexandra Lawlor assisting. Ward-MacLean believed the goal should have been waved off.

“I thought it was way outside the circle,” the coach said.

York changed its strategy on the fly after Posternak was double-teamed on the play.

“It was supposed to go back into the middle for another pass, but I guess they had scouted our corners and put another girl on her,” Datsis said. “I decided to put something on cage just so somebody could get a rebound, and luckily I put it between the post and the goalie.”

“Straight shots are always one of our go-to plays,” Posternak added. “A lot of stuff can come from that, even if the goalie saves it. We have girls surrounding the goalie. It’s just getting it on goal. That’s the key thing.”

Leavitt sophomore goalie Hailey DeMascio stood tall with 11 saves. She stared down 21 York penalty corners.

“We definitely had a good amount of opportunities. We probably could have capitalized on a few more of them,” York coach Barb Marois said. “I think it was just important for us to establish a tone and intensity about our game. In some of our games over the course of the season we didn’t do that. Obviously it was more important than ever to do that.”

York won the regional title game for the 10th time in 12 years and collected its 11th crown overall.

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