York ousts Raiders 2-0 in field hockey quarterfinals

DEFENDERS ON THE MOVE — Part of Fryeburg Academy's success this fall has been the play of a veteran defensive unit including Mary Shea (left) and Shelby Hesselin seen here in a prelim game against Greely. (Rivet Photo)

DEFENDERS ON THE MOVE — Part of Fryeburg Academy's success this fall has been the play of a veteran defensive unit including Mary Shea (left) and Shelby Hesselin seen here in a prelim game against Greely. (Rivet Photo)

By Wayne E. Rivet
Staff Writer
YORK — If you can’t beat Number 1, at least prove to them you belong.
Fryeburg Academy may have finished the regular season as the eighth seed in Class B West, but the Raiders gave the undefeated Wildcats all they could handle Saturday.
Fryeburg was up to the challenge, battling the team-to-beat the Cats to a scoreless game at the halftime break.
“It was exciting. Both teams had opportunities to score but to no avail,” Raider Coach Dede Frost said.
With just under 10 minutes remaining in the game, York was awarded a corner and the Wildcats cashed in. The score remained 1-0 until the 50-second mark, and York netted a clincher to pull out a 2-0 victory in the Class B quarterfinal. The Cats (15-0) were set to play fifth-seed Cape Elizabeth in the semis as the Capers beat fourth-seed Kennebunk 2-1 in OT.
“The game was well-played by both sides and certainly the fans got their money’s worth. I was very proud of the girls. It’s why playoffs are so exciting. I wanted them to look at this game as an opportunity to show themselves that they belonged in the Top 8, and that anything can happen,” Coach Frost said. “It’s a chance to play like it’s your last game — because it just might be. I told them to play because they loved the game and not to worry about anything else. Only one team can move forward. It’s always hard in playoffs because nobody wants the season to end.”
This Raider edition (7-7-1) was a veteran one with 10 seniors on the roster — eight of them starters. Captains were seniors Sydney Andreoli, Mackenzie Hill, Shelby Hesslein and Allison Watson.
“I couldn’t have asked for better leadership. They organized events, communicated with the team on my behalf and were great role models for their teammates — both on and off the field,” Coach Frost said. “Mackenzie and Sydney were my two wings and controlled the outside alleys of the field. They both started and usually played the whole game, so I have a senior captain holding down each side of the front line.”
Other seniors included: Thu Pham, Allison Watson, Mary Shea, Ali Upton, Allyson Kruger, Shelby Hesslein, Haylie Bartlett and goalie Jasmine Ramsay.
“So as you can see, there will be plenty of spots to fill in next year’s lineup,” Coach Frost said. “Obviously, some of these positions, such as goalie, are more difficult to fill, especially in a year like next year with so many other newcomers expected. The underclassmen have watched their senior leaders play together on the field. It’s really special when at the last home game of the year, I can field almost a whole team with my seniors without changing my lineup!”
Coach Frost added, “It’s hard to watch them go though. Having a big group like this, I’ll watch my whole team walk down the aisle to receive diplomas in May. It’s bittersweet. They all have such great attitudes. They don’t complain or argue. They enjoy each other’s company and make my job as a coach easier.”
While the Raiders fell short in their game at York, they received word that they are big winners on a more important front. The Raiders were voted to receive the Class B Western Maine Sportsmanship Award, which will be presented at the state game on Saturday at Thomas College in Waterville.
“Obviously the girls all wish they could be on the field playing in the States, but there is a great deal more to athletics than wins and losses,” Coach Frost said. “I tell them that all the time. We talk about respect and control, attitude and sportsmanship. They know I have high expectations of them and I expect that they will respectfully represent themselves and their team at all times. It’s easy to be a good sport when things are going your way. The real test of character is when the chips are down. I hope they will take these lessons off the field with them. I’m proud of the athletes they have become, and this year, they won’t just have to take my word for it.”
On Saturday, the Raiders will be recognized for it on field hockey’s biggest stage.

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