WATERVILLE — The No. 8 Camden Hills field hockey team knew what awaited them in the Class A North quarterfinals on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

No. 1 Skowhegan, for all intents and purposes, arguably is the most impressive Maine high school sports dynasty. This year, the River Hawks are the top seed, undefeated and, historically, have appeared in the last 19 state Class A championship games, with 16 titles.

And while the Windjammers came up on the short end of a 5-0 defeat against the River Hawks on Thomas College’s turf field, Camden Hills coach Lindsey Clement called her team’s effort “their best performance of the year.”

“Keeping a consistent intensity has been a challenge for us this year, which we expected given that only four of our players have played varsity previously,” she said. “The team rallied [against Skowhegan], and their grit and hustle never wavered.”

Laney Leblanc caged two goals to key Skowhegan, while Norrie Tibbets, Ellie Quinn and Layla Conway added one.

Skowhegan led 2-0 at halftime.

With the victory, Skowhegan (17-1) advances in the playoffs, where it beat No. 5 Messalonskee of Oakland 4-1 and No. Oxford Hills of South Paris 2-1, before it lost to Cheverus of Portland 4-1 in the state final.

Camden Hills, which defeated No. 9 Hampden Academy 2-1 in overtime in a prelim playoff on Oct. 22, saw its season conclude at 7-8-1.

The Windjammers did not play other schools in 2020 due to the pandemic, so getting through an entire season proved rewarding.

On Wednesday, Skowhegan held a 9-8 edge in shots and 10-3 advantage in penalty corners.

Clement said possession was evenly split as Skowhegan focused on driving the ball up the field, while “our girls relied on clean passing and teamwork and that gave us some great opportunities on the turf.”

But, the experienced River Hawks, ultimately, capitalized on their opportunities more often than not against the younger Windjammers.

The veteran coach said Addie Kelly “was key in our offensive pressure today as she continued to find ways around Skowhegan’s defenders,” but, ultimately “Skowhegan’s defense was quick in their attempts to shut us down.”

Ilanna Lam and Anna Jordan also performed well offensively, while “Charlotte Hood and Gail Curtis were the backbone of our defense.”

The team also will miss its three seniors — Anna Jordan, Hood and Curtis — as the trio “have significantly impacted the team with their skills and their leadership.”

“They set the tone for the season instilling a strong work ethic, positive culture, and focused on accomplishing goals together,” the coach said. “They grew as a team and are stronger from their lessons learned this season. Their future looks promising and I’m excited see what they can accomplish next season.”