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Field hockey: 10 teams to watch in southern Maine

Scarborough Coach Kerry Mariello speaks to her players at halftime during a game versus Cheverus last fall. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

1. Scarborough: With 11 seniors on the roster, the Red Storm loom as one of the top contenders in Class A South. Coach Kerry Mariello said this group has come together quickly and is strong throughout all areas of the field. Seniors Lily Finley (midfield), Kayleigh York (defender) and Erin Bresnahan (midfield) and junior Stella Grondin (midfield) should be the team leaders. This will be a strong defensive team.

2. Gorham: It’s been 15 years since the Rams advanced to the Class A state championship game. That could change this year. Coach Rebecca-Manson Rioux returns nine seniors and a lot of talented underclassmen from a team that went 9-1 in last fall’s COVID-abbreviated season. Seniors Alyvia Caruso (wing/midfield) and Sydney Connolly (attack) and sophomores Hannah Bickford (center midfield) and Brooke Farquhar (attack) will be among the team leaders.

3. Biddeford: The Tigers have won the last two Class A South regional championships and should contend again, with nine seniors who were on the 2018 Class A state championship team. “I think that’s important,” said Coach Caitlin Tremberth. Midfielders Jill McSorley and Khianna Jackson and forwards Cece Keller and Jayme Walton return. Key newcomers include sophomore defender Michaela Ouellette and freshmen midfielders Ayla Lagasse and Eliza Doyon.

4. Cheverus: The Stags may have lost some of their top players to out-of-state prep schools, but they remain one of the best teams in the region. Coach Theresa Hendrix still has a strong core of returning players from a team that went 7-1 last fall. Senior Nora Slattery will lead the defense and senior Elle Picard (a transfer from Lisbon) will stabilize the midfield. The offense will be led by junior Taylor Tory, sophomore Lily Johnson and freshman Lucy Johnson.

5. York: Barb Marois is back coaching the Wildcats and, although they didn’t play at all last year, they should contend for another Class B South title. York has some experience returning with key players: senior forward Lexi Brent, senior defender Sage Works, junior forward Abby Dickson (who led York with 12 goals in 2019), senior midfielder Elly Bourgoin, junior midfielder Abigail Armlin, junior back Kristen MacAuley and junior midfielder Hadley Cucco.

6. Brunswick: In 2019, the Dragons qualified for the Class A North playoffs and lost in the quarterfinals. If they can get some scoring from their younger players, they might go a little farther this year. Brunswick’s defense is going to be extremely strong, led by seniors Brianna Campbell and Caroline White and junior Elly Burnham. Sisters Kelsey Sullivan and Ellie Sullivan will help up front, but they need some young players to step up as well.

7. Kennebunk: Keep an eye on these Rams. They have a good core returning from last fall’s COVID-abbreviated season (four games), led by senior center midfielder Sam McGrath, who is one of the top players in the region and will be everywhere for Coach Kayla Billings. Junior forward Ruby Sliwkowski is an adept goalscorer, using her speed and hard shot, while junior midfielder Lizzy Hayes can be a force at both ends of the field.

8. Camden Hills: The Windjammers weren’t allowed to play other schools last fall because of the pandemic, instead concentrating on field hockey skills and coming together as a team. That should lead to a very good season this year. Camden Hills has outstanding players in senior midfielder Charlotte Hood and junior forward Claudine Webber. And they’re surrounded by well-rounded players at every position.

9. Windham: The Eagles look to gain some valuable experience from last fall, when they went 9-1. They return a talented, experienced group that has talent at every level on the field. Seniors Sara Hare, Ellie Wilson and Ellie Miller will be among the offensive leaders. Junior Ella Wilcox will lead a young defense in front of goalie Kelsey Gerry.

10. Morse: The Shipbuilders are another team that used the shortened 2020 season to develop skills and cohesiveness. They have more depth than in the past and could be force in the playoffs. Morse is led by senior midfielder Lily Clifford, senior defender Kennedy St. Pierre (the flyer on defensive corners), junior forward Dylan Barr and junior defender Sophie Barber.