Field hockey: Falcons swoop in on Patriots early in 8-2 win

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STANDISH — Freeport found the back of the cage on its first three shots within a two-minute span in the first half to roll to an 8-2 victory over Gray-New Gloucester at St. Joseph’s College in Western Maine field hockey play on Wednesday.

The Falcons received goals from six different players as they improved to 4-1 on the season. The Patriots fell to 2-4 with the loss.

Freeport controlled the ball immediately off the opening whistle. The Falcons used short passes, keeping the ball on their side of the field when Alexa Koenig took a Hannah Groves pass and scored the game’s first goal at 24:44.

“That’s what we’ve been talking about. When we look back at the game, we want to know who controlled the game,” Freeport coach Marcia Wood said. “You want to see us control the game instead of this ping-pong type of game, this back-and-forth thing.”

The Falcons controlled the play just as the coach envisioned.

Thirty seconds later, Natalie Anderson scored when she beat G-NG keeper Mackenzie Baston for the score. A little over a minute later, Anderson struck again off Groves’ second helper of the game. This time, the senior used a little move to beat the goal for the score.

“We knew right from the start we wanted to press, press, press,” Wood said. “We’ve been working on our reaction time, our quickness, our speed and our hustle, urgency stuff. Because our stick skills and passing are there.”

Freeport made it 4-0 when sophomore Aynslie Decker took a penalty corner, knocking it to Rianna Tomm, before passing back to Decker for the score.

Gray-New Gloucester reached the scoring column with nine minutes left in the half when junior Madelyn Cote scored for the Patriots.

“She plays year-round and is dedicated to field hockey,” G-NG coach Christa Roddy said. “When she puts her full effort in, you see it and it stands out. It’s phenomenal to have that. We put her in the middle and use her as much as we can.”

Kerry Lefebvre capped off the first-half scoring with goal off an assist from Autumn Golding.

Freeport had eight shots on goal, while G-NG put two on net in the opening half.

Anderson completed the hat trick less than four minutes into the second half. Lefebvre put a loose ball in front of the cage and Anderson picked it up and knocked it home for the score.

“That’s her knack, she is very good up front,” Wood said. “Just this past year she has improved tremendously, especially her ball control. She is one that will throw herself at the net.”

“It’s my favorite thing to do,” Anderson said of her knack for finding the loose balls.

She is also pleased with how she and her teammates are finding their rhythm on offense and that passing the ball opens up so much more.

“It is one of the things we’ve been working on,” Anderson said of the passes. “I’ve been really impressed with how well we kept our composure this game and stuck to the game plan. That pass is crucial, if we just shoot it, it could go anywhere, can’t panic.”

Panic they did not as the Falcons received goals from Groves and Golding to conclude their scoring.

The Patriots did not go down quietly. While fighting until the final whistle, G-NG received its final goal from Jessica MacDonald late in the contest.

“They’re working really hard this season and they’ve come a long way,” Roddy said after meeting with her team. “We have a fairly new group with new dynamics, so they’re still figuring out how to work together. This game they learned a lot on how to work together and what works and what doesn’t.”

Freeport’s Katelyn Rouleau and Amy Ulrickson tended net and combined for four saves. Baston ended with five stops for the Patriots.

Gray-New Gloucester’s Trizzie Ha, center, knocks the ball past Freepor’s Alexa Koenig, right, while Tiffany Ha, left, looks on during a high school field hockey match at St. Joseph’s College on Wednesday.Gray-New Gloucester’s Madelyn Cote races for the ball in front of Freeport’s Reilly Lefebvre in WMC field hockey action on Wednesday.

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