LISBON — The Mountain Valley High School field hockey team came into its regular season opener with rival Lisbon wanting to play more consistent after an up-and-down 2017 campaign.
Longtime Falcons coach Melissa Forbes liked what she saw Wednesday as her squad captured a solid 3-0 Mountain Valley Conference road win.
Following a season of close losses, the Falcons dominated possession and shots (15-3) Wednesday.
“It’s big for this front line to start connecting. They weren’t finishing last year. Today, we did that. I know things will even get better,” said Forbes, whose Falcons visit Boothbay on Friday.
Lisbon (0-1) fell behind early when Mountain Valley’s Rylee Sevigny chipped in a pass from Avery Sevigny with 17:10 remaining in the first half.
Lisbon goaltender Becky Budesheim made several solid saves in the opening half. She stopped Ryley Sevigny from in close, and tumbled to the ground to kick out a hard chance from Faith Riddick to keep the Greyhounds close.
“We played a lot of defense, and offensively we were fatigued,” Lisbon coach Julie Petrie said. “The first game was tough, but we will make adjustments and get better.”
There was little Budesheim was able to do late in the first half as Avery Sevigny rocketed a shot into the back of the cage with 4:14 left on the clock for a 2-0 Mountain Valley advantage. The Falcons outshot the Greyhounds, 10-1, in the first 25 minutes.
Heat is on
With temperatures and humidity high, the referees stopped play at the midway point of each half for water breaks. Forbes felt her team’s preparation helped in the tough conditions.
“With the heat, they didn’t need as many timeouts as we gave them, which surprised them,” Forbes said. “They are in pretty good shape, and they gained confidence from this win today.”
Mountain Valley put the game away right out of the gate in the second half. Riddick took a pass from Ryley Sevigny just 24 seconds into the frame and slipped a shot past Budesheim for a 3-0 edge.
“I didn’t expect this much coming into the season, and we really focused on our flats and throughs today, running to the open space. We wanted to start better. This was a good start,” Rylee Sevigny said.
From there, Lisbon began to find its footing. The Greyhounds, after being held without a penalty corner in the first half, earned three in the second. Lisbon put two shots on Mountain Valley goaltender Nora Tag, who made her best stop on a hard shot off the stick of Amelia Mooney.
Sydney Plourde, one of three returning seniors for Petrie’s team, was able to find some room in the tough Falcon defense for a shot later in the frame.
“We’re really inconsistent and still figuring things out, and we have to be more cohesive and get that second effort on the ball,” said Petrie, whose Greyhounds host Dirigo on Friday at 4 p.m. “We were flat, and we didn’t have that sense of urgency. But, we will take each game as a learning opportunity.”
Budesheim finished with 12 saves in her first varsity start, and the defense of Lisbon’s Elise Madore, Megan Libby and Timber Mattson played well, helping to hold the Falcons to just five second-half shots.
Mountain Valley finished with a 7-3 edge in penalty corners.