Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School goalie Gabby Wright practices with her team last week in Paris. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Oxford Hills goalie Gabby Wright is ready to build off her standout, shut-down sophomore campaign.

Wright helped the Vikings to an 11-6 record and a berth in a Class A North regional final. Each of those 11 wins were shutouts by Wright, and she only allowed 11 goals the entire season.

She was named team MVP for her efforts.

“I am very confident; we lost to Skowhegan (2-1) in the regionals this past season,” Wright said. “This year, I know I am coming back better, and (my teammates) really worked hard in the offseason.”

Wright said she focused on her conditioning and agility in the offseason, during which she played for Coastal Field Hockey in South Portland.

She said that her goal is to earn another playoff matchup with Skowhegan. Not just because of last year’s loss, but because she grew up in Skowhegan and went through its youth program before moving to the Oxford Hills area prior to the start of her freshman year.


Skowhegan won 16 of the past 20 Class A state championships. Vikings coach Cindy Goddard said that working her way up through that program benefited Wright, and now it’s benefitting Oxford Hills.

“I am sure in (Skowhegan coach) Paula Doughty’s feeder program, it gave (Gabby) a good base to start with,” Goddard said. “With all of (Gabby’s) playing in different elite leagues only has fostered her even more.”

Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School goalie Gabby Wright, left, gets back to practice after taking a water break with Charlotte McGreevy, right, during last week in Paris. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Wright is a trained goalie, which is something Goddard, who’s in her 35th season coaching the Vikings, has rarely had. She usually has to recruit from the softball team, which she also coaches, at Oxford Hills.

Goddard said she sees similarities between the mentality of a No. 1 pitcher in softball and a goalie in field hockey.

“You are in control, you don’t want the ball go in; and on the mound, you want to strike people out,” Goddard said. “You have a lot of control: A pitcher can control a game, a goalie might not touch the ball a lot, but they can control a lot. When you have a good one, like we do in Gabby, there’s a lot of faith that we have a good goalie, just like if you have a good pitcher.”

Goalies can control the game by being dialed in on the field ahead and a vocal guide for the defense.


“She’s always the one, if I am out of position, she automatically tells me, ‘Hey, you need to be off my right, or you need to be off my left,” sweeper Zaya Vollmar said. “It’s good for me to know that I have her back, and she has my back.”

Vollmer said she hasn’t played with a goaltender who communicates as much as Wright.

Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School goalie Gabby Wright, left, gives Charlotte McGreevy a high-five during practice last week in Paris. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Wright is also an extra set of eyes for her teammates moving the ball out of the defensive zone.

“Personally, when I have the ball, I kind of get a little freaked out because it’s so much pressure on you,” Vollmar said. “When she says, ‘You have (space) out wide or you have someone in the flat,’ it’s good reassurance. It’s good to know I have someone there to pass to when I might not know that I have someone to pass to — and she’s telling me.”

Wright said that she thinks one of the reasons her teammates can trust her because she takes accountability when a ball beats her.

“I am able to talk to them and communicate in a way they can understand,” Wright said. “If I have the shot, I will take (it) and will take full responsibility if it goes in. That’s my fault; I will own that and (my teammates) are able to listen to me and trust me.”


Wright said the move to Oxford Hills helped reinvigorate her passion for field hockey.

Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School goalie Gabby Wright makes a save during practice last week in Paris. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

“Growing up there, in the field hockey environment, it’s very stressful, and honestly, towards the end of it, I was losing the love for the game,” Wright said. “It helped me skills-wise (learning in Skowhegan), but moving here was probably the best thing ever because these girls are a different group of girls. The love they had for me coming in was unmatchable, and I actually love playing field hockey now. I enjoy the game, and that’s what actually matters to me. I may be good at what I do, but I much rather enjoy the game while being good at it.”

Wright said the team’s bond was strong in 2021, and her hope is that it will grow even more this season.

“Growing bigger friendships with these girls — so they can trust me and I can learn to trust them to my fullest capabilities,” Wright said. “So, I can perform to my best.”

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