High school field hockey

Belfast continues strong play, pulls away from Camden Hills

Lions shoot for top spot in region as Windjammers cling to postseason hopes
By Ken Waltz | Oct 06, 2017
Photo by: Ken Waltz Camden Hills' Lexi Tinch, left, and Belfast's Cassie Jackson vie for the ball during an Oct. 5 high school field hockey game in Rockport. The visiting Lions beat the Windjammers 3-0.

Rockport — Belfast and Camden Hills have their sights set on regional high school field hockey playoff berths, and, late in the regular season, the Lions continue to push for the top position in Class B North, while the Windjammers fight for one of the final spots in Class A North.

The Lions and Windjammers looked to aid their postseason causes — and grab valuable tournament Heal Points, in the process — on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 5 when the longtime opponents battled in a somewhat competitive — at least early — stick affair.

However, as Belfast has done all fall, it eventually dominated en route to a 3-0 victory.

Belfast led 1-0 at halftime and it appeared the hosts Windjammers had an outside chance, but the visitors added two insurance goals in the final 30 minutes for the win.

Click for photos from the varsity game.

Click for photos from the jayvee game.

Watch video below.

Kayci Faulkingham knocked two balls — one in each half — into the cage, and Lindsay Bruns one, while Alia Wallace and Maya Cunningham added assists for the Lions.

The Lions finished with 40 shot attempts on goal, some of which were wide or blocked, and 17 penalty corners, a reflection of their tremendous skill and incredible teamwork — and the overwhelming pressure they routinely apply to opponents.

Brooke Richards made three saves in goal.

Camden Hills finished with three shots on goal and one penalty corner. Goalie Jenna Stearns, who stands 6 feet 1 inch, made 21 saves in the cage.

With 23:58 left in the first half, Faulkingham gave the visitors a 1-0 lead with a goal, off Wallace's assist.

That is how it stood until Bruns, off an assist from Cunningham, made it 2-0 with 22:08 left in the second half.

Faulkingham completed the scoring with an unassisted goal with 6:32 remaining in the game.

Thursday's game included Lion coach Jan Holmes-Jackson, who previously was the longtime coach for the Windjammers and, at one point, coached current Camden Hills coach Lindsey Clement during high school.

This season, Belfast has outscored opponents 53-5, with seven shutouts. The Lions' lone loss came against the No. 1 Black Raiders 1-0.

Clement said she "knew this would be one of our most challenging games," adding that the Lions were Camden Hills' lone Class B crossover game.

"Belfast's game is fast and their offensive players are able to shoot without any hesitation; aside from playing Messalonskee, we haven't been faced with such a quick and skilled offense this season."

Clement said the game, overall, saw skilled play by both teams. "Possession of the ball during the first half was evenly split, but the difference was their offense was shooting and ours was not. At the half the score was 1-0, and I think both teams were a bit surprised. I think Belfast had underestimated us a bit, and we were surprised at how well our team was at shutting down their scoring opportunities."

The Windjammer mentor said Capri Buck and Megan Gordon were "instrumental in tackling the ball from Belfast, and starting our own transitions. Both have an incredible field sense and are able to read an opponent and anticipate the plays.

"Sophia Campbell had a stellar game as our left defender. The Belfast offense continually put pressure on in the second half and Sophia was able to shut down a lot of their play in the circle. Lulu Lydon, Suzannah Gray and Ashlee McIntosh all played an incredibly tough defensive game. Ashlee and Suzannah have been doing great these past few games with intercepting some crosses to the stroke line, a position on the field where most goals get scored. Lulu was pulled back to midfield since we needed some strength and speed back in the circle; she broke up many of Belfast's offensive plays in the circle and was able to start the transition down the field."

The coach said Stearns was kept plenty busy by Belfast. "She has really stepped up this season with being aggressive, particularly in one-versus-one situations, and yesterday was no exception. Jenna did a great job at handling not just a lot of activity, but an array of shots; she faced hard shots and pushes, high shots and low shots, one-versus-ones and scrambles on the line, and lots rebound shots. Jenna showed us some top level saves, and it showed with an 88 percent save rate. Despite all of our defenders' hard work, it really was Jenna's efforts in goal that kept the score low."

In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Class B North, Belfast (11-1, 99.0816 points) is second, while Winslow (12-0, 130.1020 points) is first in the 15-team region. The top 10 teams qualify for the playoffs.

In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Class A North, Camden Hills (4-6-1, 32.9592 points) is eighth, while Skowhegan (11-1, 114.3878 points) is first in the 12-team region. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.

Belfast at Camden Hills field hockey
Camden Hills hosts Belfast on Oct. 5 in high school field hockey in Rockport. (Video by: Ken Waltz and Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Belfast's Hannah Sanderson, left, Kayci Faulkingham, right, along with Camden Hills' Suzannah Gray, middle, and Jenna Stearns. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Suzannah Gray, front, and Jenna Stearns. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
As jayvee players warm up behind her, Belfast's Kayci Faulkingham, middle, looks to take a penalty corner. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Megan Gordon. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Amy Gaiero. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Alia Wallace, left, Kelsey Mehuren, right, along with Camden Hills' Ashlee McIntosh. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Lexi Tinch, left, and Belfast's Cassie Jackson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Lexi Tinch. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Lexi Tinch. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Mackenzie Banks. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Lindsay Bruns, left, and Camden Hills' Lulu Lydon. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Suzannah Gray (28), Mackenzie Power (11) and Jenna Stearns (98), along with Belfast's Kayci Faulkingham (14) and Lindsay Bruns. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
From left, Camden Hills' Capri Buck, left, Sophie Campbell, Jenna Stearns and Halsey Yattaw. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Kayci Faulkingham, left, and Lindsay Bruns. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Mackenzie Power. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Kelsey Mehuren. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Brooke Richards. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Sabrina Wood (15) and Brooke Richards (00), along with Camden Hills' Greta Bishop. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Maya Cunningham, left, and Amy Gaiero. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Lexi Tinch, left, and Belfast's Cassie Jackson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Megan Gordon. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Megan Gordon, front, and Belfast's Kayci Faulkingham. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Suzannah Gray, right, and Belfast's Hannah Sanderson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Sabrina Wood. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Sabrina Wood. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Ashlee McIntosh, left, and Belfast's Alia Wallace. On the bench is Windjammer coach Lindsey Clement. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Megan Gordon, left, and Belfast's Alia Wallace. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Megan Gordon, left, and Belfast's Alia Wallace. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
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