Winthrop’s Maddie Perkins, right, and Maranacooks’s Shylah Woodford compete for the ball during a Class C South quarterfinal field hockey game Oct. 27 at Thomas College in Waterville. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Maddie Perkins sums up her senior season in one word: exciting.

The Winthrop standout helped the Ramblers win the Class C state championship — she scored the game-winning goal with about a minute left in the title game — and finish with a perfect 18-0-0 record. She scored 33 goals, a school record, and recorded 22 assists. She was named Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year and chosen for the Maine Field Hockey Association All-State team.

Perkins also has been selected as the Sun Journal All-Region Field Hockey Player of the Year.

“I am super proud of our team and what we accomplished,” Perkins said. “Not a lot of teams go undefeated through the whole year and win states; that’s definitely exciting.”

Along with the new single-season goals record, Perkins set new school marks for most career goals (81), most career hat tricks (10) and most career assists (41), Fourteen of her 81 career goals came in the playoffs, which also is a school record.

Perkins didn’t realize how close she was to surpassing the school’s all-time goals mark until midway through the season. She was glad to break the record when she did, on Oct. 6 against Boothbay, so that the attention could completely turn to the Ramblers’ team goals.

“I wanted to (break) it before playoffs, so our team can work on passing and getting to the goal together as a team,” Perkins said. “I think it was nice to have that (weight) off of my shoulders before the playoffs.

Coach Sharon Coulton said that more important to the Ramblers’ success than Perkins’ offensive output was her leadership of the young team they had in 2021.

“She’s was the most experience on the team and was a starter on a state championship team as a freshman,” said Coulton, who became Winthrop’s head coach again in 2021, nine years after stepping down and serving as an assistant. “We only had two other seniors on the team, one who has been with (since she was) as a freshman and one who has been with (since she was) a sophomore. I think her experience has been pretty critical, especially when we got to the postseason.”

Winthrop claimed the state championship in 2018, when Perkins was a freshman, then lost to Foxcroft in the 2019 Class C final. There was no postseason in the shortened 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic (the Ramblers played less games than most teams last year, which makes Perkins’ all-time school records even more impressive).

Getting back to the state championship was always on Perkins’ mind.

“We definitely knew if we were able to go far in the playoffs, get to the (regional semifinals) or regional final, we didn’t want to lose, because we wanted to make it back to the state game and prove that’s where we belonged,” Perkins said.

Perkins played a bigger role in winning the second state championship than she did the first. Along with her leadership, she also became more of an all-around player.

“I think my defense has gotten a lot better … I was more of a high-forward when I was a freshman, and I moved back to a halfback,” Perkins said. “So, I think my defensive skills have gotten better since my freshman year. Also, my shooting skills, my strong hits to the goal from the top of the circle, so my teammates can tip. My freshman year, I was more of a tipper.”

Of Perkins’ defense, Coulton said she played a crucial role in the Ramblers’ strategy for defending a penalty corner. Perkins was one of the three flyers who run from inside the goal cage to the top of the circle to try to stop the offensive team from getting off a shot.

Other than winning a second state championship and breaking school records, Perkins said the thing she will remember about this season are the road trips with her teammates.

“I think the team and everything we accomplished together, but our chemistry, the bus rides to our playoff games,” Perkins said. “Our moms decorated our bus, and we brought a karaoke machine, and that was definitely very fun. This year was one of my favorite years. Our team worked so well, and we had such great chemistry on and off the field.”

Perkins said the transition from former coach Jessica Merrill to Coulton was smooth, since Coulton was the team’s assistant coach and junior varsity coach. Coulton said that being the head coach allowed her to spend more time around Perkins.

“When she started as a freshman, yes, I was on the sideline, but we had a little larger team (back then), and as an assistant coach, I was working primarily with the junior varsity players. So, I didn’t have interactions with some of the varsity players,” Coulton said. “That has been another plus this season was getting to know Maddie better.”

Perkins is looking to play field hockey in college. She hasn’t decided on a school yet, but she said the recruiting process is going well.

“It was difficult to start (the process), but when you start talking to coaches, it’s super easy, and they are super nice,” Perkins said. “All the coaches that I have talked to have been super nice.”

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: