MCI field hockey player recovering from surgery leads team to Class C state finals

Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield freshman field hockey coach Terri-Jean Wilkinson didn’t expect senior winger Trinity Leavitt to play until mid-season.

“She had quite invasive knee surgery at the start of the summer,” said the head coach and former MCI player. “But she made some amazing gains and she came back for our very first game.”

Wilkinson said Leavitt was still weak and couldn’t run well, so she placed her in midfield rather than on the flank.

“But she got stronger and stronger, so I was finally able to put her back into her familiar role on the wing,” Wilkinson said. “She still doesn’t have the speed she had before, but she has amazing stick skills and is doing great things.”

Those “big things” include scoring the game-winning goals in all three MCI Class C playoff games to earn the Huskies a rematch with Winthrop in Saturday’s state championship game. Winthrop beat MCI 3-2 a year ago.

They will kick off all three state championship games at Messalonskee High School in Oakland at 11 a.m. MCI is 13-3-1 while Winthrop is 15-2.

The Class B game between Lawrence of Fairfield, 17-0, and 13-3-1 Freeport will follow at 1 p.m. and another rematch will take place in Game A at 3 p.m. and Cheverus. of Portland, will compete.

Cheverus won last year’s state final 4-1 and will look to make Skowhegan the first time since 1999 and 2000 consecutive years without a state title.

Sanford won state titles in 1999 and 2000. Skowhegan has won 16 of the last 20.

Cheverus outscored its 17 opponents 148-5.

Leavitt scored in second overtime to beat Mt. View of Thorndike 2-1 in the quarter-finals and secured a 1-0 semi-final win over Dexter-Central in the semi-final before scoring the opening goal in a 2-0 victory. over Dixfield’s Dirigo in the C North final.

She and forward Ella Bernier were the offensive difference for the Huskies.

“Ella and Trinity have been playing together for 10 years. They read well,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson said the moment she replaced head coach Nancy Hughes, she knew her team had the potential to make the playoffs.

“We had talented players. We had to make them fit together and connect on different levels. They were really good at motivating each other,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson knows his team will have a full hand with Winthrop.

“It’s an incredible team. I’m glad we can play against them,” Wilkinson said.

Winthrop beat Lisbon 1-0 in the C South final on Brooke Belz’s goal in double overtime.

Lawrence has never played in a state championship game and Freeport last played in 2000 when they lost to Dexter in the Class C Final 2-1.

Lawrence has 11 seniors and edged Belfast 4-3 in the B North final.

Freeport knocked out York in penalty corners in the South Final.

Samantha Thebarge’s fourth-quarter equalizer and Layla Conway’s extra-time goal rallied Skowhegan past Paris’ south Oxford Hills in the A North final.

Cheverus shut out Windham 6-0 in the southern final.

Catherine J. Martinez