October 8, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FIELD HOCKEY: Impressive effort for Messalonskee

By Matt DiFilippo mdifilippo@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

FAIRFIELD -- By their own admission, the Messalonskee players were surprised at how good Lawrence was when the teams player an overtime game last week.

click image to enlarge

ALL-OUT EFFORT: Lawrence’s Lilla Tilton-Flood, left, battles for the ball with Messalonskee’s Nathalie St. Pierre during the Eagles’ 4-0 win Tuesday at Lawrence High School in Fairfield.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

In the rematch seven days later, the Eagles showed how good they are.

Messalonskee scored twice in the first seven minutes, and didn't let up until the game was out of reach. The Eagles took a 4-0 victory in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A field hockey action Tuesday afternoon.

"I think we realized last game that we are beatable," said Messalonskee senior back Mikayla Turner. "This game, we really stepped it up and said, 'We're going to prove that we're good."

Messalonskee defeated Lawrence 3-2 in overtime last Tuesday, but the Bulldogs (8-4) outplayed Messalonskee in the second half of that game and fought back from a 2-0 deficit.

"This game, I think, we knew what to expect from Lawrence," Messalonskee coach Katie McLaughlin said. "We knew how intense they were going to be all game long. We were able to match their intensity better this time around. We (also) worked on a lot of little things the last week or so."

Once again, Messalonskee (11-1-0) took an early 2-0 lead. Emily Hogan fired in a rebound just 3:22 into the game. Three minutes later, the Eagles got a penalty corner, and after two tough saves by Lawrence goalie Emily Tozier, Turner whacked one in from the top of the circle to make it 2-0.

Lawrence called timeout at that point, and just 6:22 into the game, the Eagles had a 7-1 advantage in shots. Still, with nearly 64 minutes remaining in the game, the Messalonskee players could be forgiven for thinking back to their 2-0 lead that disappeared the last time they saw the Bulldogs.

"It was definitely in the back of our minds," McLaughlin said. "Everybody knew, even though it was 2-0, we could not let the intensity down like we did last game."

Lawrence picked up its pace after the timeout, and had a chance to turn the momentum when Messalonskee missed on a penalty stroke with 12:35 to go in the half. But that momentum was gone when Kassi Michaud scored for Messalonskee with just 1:15 left in the half.

Although Messalonskee had both a goal by Brooke Quirion and a penalty stroke in the second half, the Bulldogs had more chances over the final 30 minutes. Lawrence had five penalty corners after the break, while the Eagles had done.

But Messalonskee played tighter defense in the circle, and the Bulldogs couldn't quite cash in their opportunities. On one play with the score still 3-0, Lawrence had a penalty corner. Messalonskee's Riley Field, showing less than full regard for all of her body parts, swooped in and stole the ball as a Lawrence player was loading up to fire a long-range shot.

"I'm really happy with the second half," Lawrence coach Lisa Larrabee said. "I know I keep repeating myself by saying we're young, with 21 players that are freshmen and sophomores (in the program), but that's where experience shows. We had more miscommunications on defense this game than any this year."

Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243



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