Mt. Blue’s Molly Harmon (8) and Cony’s Sierra Prebit compete during a game in Farmington on Thursday. (David Leaming/Morning Sentinel)
FARMINGTON — What looked like a perfect display of unselfishness on behalf of the Mt. Blue field hockey team was actually something much more basic.
“Some of it is a conditioning thing,” Cougar senior Ellie Pelletier said with a laugh. “We’re not completely there yet, so there’s a little bit of, ‘Oh, I can’t do it anymore. You take it.’ But we are also looking for our teammates out there.”
Whatever it was, it worked. Mt. Blue scored a pair of second-half goals to grab a season-opening 3-1 win over Cony in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A game Thursday afternoon.
Pelletier, the only senior on the Cougars’ roster, finished with a goal and an assist. Sophomore Keegan Andrews had two goals, including the game-winner early in the second half, and freshman Eva Stevens posted two assists.
“We definitely upped our intensity,” Pelletier said. “We’re starting to work as a team. We’re skillful, but we have such a great connection. We’re all ‘heart’ players.”
Tied 1-1 at halftime after Andrews opened the scoring midway through the first 30 minutes and Cony’s Kami Lambert evened things up with a penalty stroke just over two minutes later, the Cougars were confident to open the second half.
The Rams were whistled for two five-minute penalties within three minutes of one another, giving Mt. Blue the chance to put things away. Just as Cony’s Sydney Avery was running back onto the field as her penalty time expired, Andrews swatted home her second goal of the day at the left side of the cage with 18:06 remaining.
“We want to be aggressive and we want to be heads-up,” Cony coach Holly Daigle said. “But we’ve got to play smart. Taking two people off the field is big, not only in our field play but also in our mental game.”
Cony tried to press for an equalizer inside the final five minutes of regulation, but couldn’t come up with anything. Instead, the Cougars sealed the contest with Pelletier’s goal with 2:20 left to play.
“We’ve been working on the attack,” Mt. Blue coach Jody Harmon said. “That’s been something we always need to strive to get better at is attacking the ball and taking advantage of that.”
It was an odd game for Cony, which looked like the better team over the first 10 minutes of the contest. The Rams had three penalty corners and a host of good scoring opportunities inside the opening nine minutes but could not capitalize.
It made for some anxious moments for the hosts.
“While it’s hard to keep that kind of energy up for a full 60 minutes, yeah, that first half of the first half was the game we wanted to play,” Daigle said. “I think we did a lot of good things, and this is a good (Mt. Blue) team.”
“We just picked up the intensity,” Harmon said. “We came out very flat. We were more watching the game instead of playing it. We decided to start playing.”
Mt. Blue goalie Brooke Bolduc made four saves in the win, while Cony’s Abigail Jones — who subbed in during the first half after an injury to starter Emily Douglas — made two stops.
Cony’s Julia Reny and Mt. Blue’s Mackenzie Latimer go after the ball during a game in Farmington on Thursday. (David Leaming/Morning Sentinel)
Mt. Blue’s Cally Chick, center, steals the ball away from Cony players during a game in Farmington on Thursday. (David Leaming/Morning Sentinel)
Cony’s Kami Lambert and Mt. Blue’s Molly Harmon go after a flying ball during a game in Farmington on Thursday. (David Leaming/Morning Sentinel)