Field hockey: Dirigo denies rival Mountain Valley again

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Mountain Valley High School’s Alyvia Lee and Leigha Carrier face off against Dirigo’s Sophia Jacques in a field hockey game in Rumford on Monday evening. Coming into the action is Mountain Valley’s Faith Riddick and Dirigo’s Grace Timberlake and Page Lueders.

RUMFORD — The intensity level of a field hockey team cannot be treated lightly and that’s exactly what transpired Monday afternoon between Dirigo and Mountain Valley, with possession taking on increased importance.

The second half began with a bang as Grace Timberlake passed across to Ashley Perreault, who scored the eventual winning goal 2:16 in as Dirigo’s defense held firm to beat rival Mountain Valley 1-0 in the oppressive heat at Hosmer Field.

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A lot was on the line in the clash between the two teams. Dirigo (6-3) and Mountain Valley (5-5) are ranked second and fourth, respectively, in Class C South Heal Points.

“Whenever Mountain Valley and us play you can expect an intense game that goes back and forth,” Dirigo coach Gretchen Curtis said, referring to Dirigo freshman Kailey Hackett scoring with seconds left in overtime to beat the Falcons 11 days ago in Dixfield. “We didn’t give in the entire game, compared to when we usually have lagged for a few minutes in most of our games.”

The Cougars came out on fire for the first few minutes in the second half and advanced the ball directly into the offensive circle. Timberlake hit a shot off Mountain Valley goalie Aylssa Akers (11 saves); however, the ball bounced out and found Timberlake’s stick. The sophomore forward alertly passed across to Perreault in front of the right post.

“My job was to get the ball in to Grace in the middle. Then when the ball came back out to Grace, then I knew that I needed to get over near the post,” said Perreault, who backhanded a low shot that skidded past Akers.

“It was a good play,” Timberlake said. “We worked hard throughout the game.”

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Mountain Valley, which had worked equally as hard and following a timeout with 8:36 left in regulation was able to regroup. The Falcons pressured the offensive zone and were awarded a penalty corner. Avery Sevigny and Faith Riddick combined to get the ball inside, but the passes went untouched across the circle. Dirigo defender Kaiya Martin charged out twice to clear the ball out of the zone. In a battle between freshmen, Cougar Page Lueders shadowed and neutralized Mountain Valley’s Rylee Sevigny.

“I thought the girls did a good job at being able to move the ball,” Mountain Valley coach Melissa Forbes said. “We were able to carry the ball more against them this time. The ball movement was to open spaces.”

The Falcons’ best opportunity came when Rylee Sevigny’s blast found the leg pad of Dirigo goalie Morgan Morrow (two saves).

Dirigo’s Sophie Jacques and Perreault were denied by Akers in the first half. The Falcons also benefited from clearings by Courtney Carrier and Arianna Viger.

Dirigo’s Sophia Jacques hits the ball during a field hockey game against Mountain Valley high School on Monday, as Mountain Valley’s Keziah Hartzell and Leigha Carrier run to catch up to the action.

Dirigo’s Sophia Jacques hits the ball during a field hockey game against Mountain Valley high School on Monday, as Mountain Valley’s Keziah Hartzell and Leigha Carrier run to catch up to the action.

Mountain Valley’s Avery Sevigny and Dirigo’s Grace Timberlake struggle to gain control of the ball during a field hockey game in Rumford on Monday evening.

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