WATERVILLE – The Skowhegan field hockey team left nothing to chance on the path to another regional final appearance.

With the help of five different goal scorers, the No. 1 River Hawks rolled to a 5-0 win over No. 5 Edward Little on Tuesday night at Bernatchez Field on the campus of Thomas College. With the win, Skowhegan (15-1) moves on to the Class A North final on Thursday for the opportunity to play for its 22nd consecutive regional title.

“It’s awesome, it’s always our first goal to get to the regional championship game,” said Skowhegan forward and captain Layla Conway. “It’s really awesome to see how far we’ve come and grown as a team. It’s really exciting.”

“Since June, (our mindset) has been ‘one game at a time,’ we can’t look forward to any other games,” said Skowhegan midfielder and captain Laney LeBlanc. “During this week, we knew we just had to focus on Edward Little, to come together as a team, work as a passing unit.”

Edward Little, playing its first game after an emotional week in the aftermath of the Lewiston mass shootings, finished 9-7.

“I am incredibly proud,” Edward Little head coach Kim Joler said. “We had a long week. They did such an amazing job. They came together as a team. We had a fantastic practice yesterday. They pulled through, and this is a family.


Skowhegan’s Layla Conway dribbles around Edward Little defenders during a Class A North field hockey semifinal game Tuesday at Thomas College in Waterville. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

“It meant a lot (to be together),” Joler added. “Just to be together and be able to talk about some emotions. We’ve been working hard together for many years. We knew this (game) would be tough. But it’s the playoffs, and it’s OK. This team was just exceptional, to the very last second of every game.”

Up 2-0 at halftime, the River Hawks sealed their victory with second half goals from Conway, Ellie Quinn and Lucia Siren to put away the Red Eddies. LeBlanc and Sydalia Savage each tallied goals in the first half for Skowhegan.

Skowhegan’s heavy offensive pressure served as its defense. The River Hawks had an 8-1 advantage in penalty corners, and Edward Little was never able to get a shot on goal.

“Our goal every game is a shutout,” LeBlanc said. “We know every time we get into an offensive groove, we still need to have the best defense in the state. We try every day. We talk as a defensive unit, and (remind each other) that defense is going to win us a championship. We’re an offensive team, definitely, but our defense works as a unit to keep the ball outside the 25.”

LeBlanc tallied the first goal for Skowhegan, successfully completing a penalty stroke in the first quarter for a 1-0 lead. Savage made the score 2-0 in favor of the River Hawks in the second quarter, tipping the ball in the cage in the middle of a scrum. Conway and Quinn doubled Skowhegan’s total with goals in the third quarter, before Siren finished out the scoring with a goal in the fourth.

Edward Little senior goalkeeper Kasey Smith played a tremendous game, making 13 saves under a heavy attack from the Skowhegan offense.

“She brings her A-game every time she plays Skowhegan,” Joler said. “She worked hard and I’m super proud of her.”

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