When Central of Corinth takes the field Saturday at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium for the Class C state field hockey game, Kara Voisine will be guarding the cage as the starting goalie for the Red Devils.
But the defending Class C state champions know they wouldn’t have returned to the state final without Sami Morin, who had never played goalie before but filled in the entire regular season – except the second half of the Devils’ final regular-season game – while Voisine was dealing with a painful lower-body problem.
Morin allowed just seven goals in her 14 starts and was named to a Penobscot Valley Conference second-team all-star.
“We’ve got a great defense, but she faced some tough shots and she really came up big,” said Central coach Diane Rollins, who will lead the 12-3-2 Red Devils into a matchup with 16-0 Western Maine champ St. Dominic Saturday at 10 a.m.
Voisine has started all three of Central’s playoff games but she’s still bothered by the injury, which stems from an offset pelvic bone that affects the muscles in her lower back and groin.
“It was very painful. I’m not gonna lie, it still is,” she said. “But I love field hockey. It was horrible, being on the bench. I hated it.”
With Voisine out, the Devils had to find a replacement.
Rollins said it was assistant and goalies coach Durice Washburn, who is also the Central softball coach, who recommended Morin because of her experience as a backup catcher.
Voisine worked with Washburn to help Morin learn the position quickly.
“We helped her out with technique, having confidence in herself,” Voisine said. “She was great.”
Morin, however, wasn’t as sure of herself – especially when she found out Voisine’s would be out of action for a while.
“I was scared,” Morin admitted. “At first I wasn’t doing so well, but then I started to buckle down. I thought, I have to do this for the team.”
Devils prepping for turf
Rather than celebrating a state championship repeat – or reflecting on the season with a runner-up title – the Central field hockey team spent Monday afternoon practicing.
That’s because the state field hockey games scheduled for Saturday were postponed last week when the weather forecast called for rain and high winds.
The Red Devils will use the week to work on strategies for playing on Fitzpatrick Stadium’s artificial turf surface. To that end, they plan to scrimmage Eastern Maine Class B champ Belfast Thursday at Hampden Academy’s multipurpose turf field.
This week Central coach Diane Rollins will work with the team on turf’s quirks, especially how the surface affects penalty corners.
“You just have to work on your angles a little more,” she said. “Other than that, we’ll work on some corners. It’s not the first shot on turf, it’s the rebound on turf. So we’ll work more on keeping the sticks down. On grass you bring them up for the bounce. The turf doesn’t really bounce.”
Central scored the game-tying goal in last year’s 2-1 overtime win over Telstar of Bethel at Fitzpatrick Stadium during a penalty corner.
The Red Devils have good team speed, which is conducive to playing on turf.
“They love it,” Rollins said. “Our speed will really help us.”
WA girls soccer improving
Washington Academy has had a girls soccer program for just six years, but the Raiders of East Machias have made big strides.
WA landed in its first Eastern Maine Class C final last week, and even though George Stevens of Blue Hill earned a 1-0 win the Raiders feel as if they’ve taken a big step by making it to the regional for the first time.
“We worked really hard all year for this,” junior midfielder Joslyn Corey said after the game against GSA.
The team wound up in the game against GSA by upsetting No. 1 Fort Kent, a traditional Aroostook County power, in the semifinals. Fort Kent knocked out WA in the quarterfinals last year.
“I don’t know about you,” Corey said to junior forward Kayla Wood, “but [the win over Fort Kent] was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”
Corey and Wood attributed part of WA’s growth to the arrival of coach Justin Walston three years ago.
Walston, a 1991 Machias graduate who was a senior when the Bulldogs won the 1990 Class D state title, spent four years in the Navy before attending and playing soccer for Husson College in Bangor. He had coached at the junior high level.
“We work on a lot of fundamentals,” Wood said. “We work on running, physical fitness, just working together as a team.”
Another boost to both the boys and girls program this fall was the installation of lights at the school field. The University of Maine-Machias field is the only other soccer facility with lights in Washington County, athletic director Blaine Steeves said.
Broken nose doesn’t slow Brokaw
George Stevens senior midfielder Winslow Brokaw admitted she wasn’t at full strength for the game against Washington Academy, but Brokaw has a good excuse. She was playing with a broken nose.
Brokaw suffered the injury during last week’s Eastern Maine Class C semifinal against Madawaska, hitting heads with a teammate about two minutes into the game. Her eyes started to water and by halftime she had a headache and her nose was swollen.
She stayed in the game anyway and recorded an assist. Later Brokaw found out her nose was broken.
Brokaw admitted to being in pain and feeling a bit limited against Washington Academy, especially when she wore a bandage. She started both halves of the EM title game with a bandage on her face but took it off early in each half.
“It hurts,” she said. “I kind of felt tentative and I didn’t like that. I couldn’t really see and [the bandage] was in my way.”
Brokaw, who was still a bit black-and-blue around her eyes Friday, has no plans to sit out Saturday’s Class C state championship game against North Yarmouth Academy.
Jessica Bloch can be reached at 990-8193, 1-800-310-8600 or email@example.com.