DIXFIELD — Freshman Kailey Hackett scored two goals, including the eventual game-winner midway through the second half, as Dirigo rallied to beat Oak Hill 4-2 in Mountain Valley Conference field hockey at sunny Harlow Park on Thursday.
There was a lot on the line in the early season clash between the two teams, however, the Cougars were able to pull together and break in to the win column. Dirigo (1-2) was hoping for a spark following losses to Spruce Mountain and Winthrop.
“In the second half we played with more intensity,” Dirigo coach Gretchen Curtis said. “We had been outplayed in the first half by Oak Hill. But we stepped up. The front line worked hard, and it is mostly freshmen.”
The Cougars came out on fire for the first few minutes in the second half and regained the momentum. Sophia Jacques hit a high shot off the left post. The onslaught put the Raiders defense back on their heels.
Hackett advanced the ball into the circle, and when a defender got a stick on the ball, Hackett fought through it. Then she one-timed a shot and the ball bounced off Raiders defender Angela Strout just inside the left post.
“I dribbled in and knew that I needed to (concentrate) on what I was doing,” Hackett said. “I needed to get by the defender and then keep control of the ball. Then I was able to (square up) and shoot.”
Dirigo maintained the pressure. Jacques scored on a backhand less than two minutes later. The two-goal cushion stood up.
Oak Hill (2-2) had jumped out to a 2-0 lead as Maegan Sheehy scored twice in a span of 1:53. Oak Hill fired three rapid shots at Dirigo goalie Morgan Morrow (13 saves). Sheehy drilled the rebound past Morrow’s right leg pad, with 15:15 left on the clock. The Raiders marched right back in the zone and Sheehy converted on a pass by Desirae Dumais.
“Getting out to a fast start was definitely good,”Oak Hill coach Betsy Gilbert said. “It allowed the girls to gain some confidence and settle down. In the second half we were simply out-hustled. It was a good field hockey game and the better team won today.”
Dirigo wasn’t intimated and scored two goals to tie the score. Jacques passed over to Hackett who was unmarked on the left side. Freshman Morgan Taylor scored on a scramble in front of the goal with 6:31 left in the first half.
Each team received plenty of contributions by players rotating back to clear the zone: Oak Hill’s midfielders Zoe Buteau, Adelle Surette and Breanna St. Hallaire; Dirigo’s Alexa Varnum and sisters Ashley and Alexa Perreault.
Oak Hill goalie MacKenzie Thibeault made eight saves.