Emily Castonguay of Spruce Mountain squeaks a shot through the legs of Boothbay goalkeeper Emily Amaral for a second half goal with 1:22 left in the game on Friday.
JAY — Given the upheaval Spruce Mountain’s field hockey faced over the course of about 48 hours since the resignation of its coach, the Phoenix had every reason to give up after falling behind Boothbay, 3-0, in Friday’s homecoming game.
Instead, the Phoenix nearly battled all the way back and threw a scare into the powerful Seahawks, scoring twice in less than nine minutes in the second half before ultimately running out of time and dropping a 3-2 loss.
Sydney Meader notched a hat trick for Boothbay (7-1). Brooke Buote and Emily Castonguay scored for Spruce Mountain (4-3).
The Phoenix were playing their first game since the resignation of coach Tanya Evans on Wednesday. Her predecessors, long-time co-coaches Jane DiPompo and Julia Parker, have stepped in to fill the void.
“They’re a fun group. And they want to play,” Parker said of the team she and DiPompo have inherited.
Phoenix goalie Sydney Shaffer made a spectacular diving save to her right on the game’s first penalty corner. But Meader found the back of the cage a short time later, 12:52 into the game, with her first goal.
Meader, who has verbally committed to play field hockey for the University of Maine, made it 2-0 with 5:20 remaining in the first half.
“She’s a student of the game and she’s passionate about her play. She continually wants to improve, and so that makes her a fun player to coach,” Boothbay coach Donna Jordan said.
“They’ve come a long way from a few years back when we played them,” DiPompo said of Boothbay.
Meader fired in her third goal from the top of the circle. It deflected off a Spruce Mountain defender’s stick and flew high over Shaffer’s right shoulder with 22:57 left.
“We were able to play the ball on our right a little more,” Jordan said. “Chloe Arsenault is a strong player, too, and when Chloe and Syd can get the ball together and work it, typically, we’re going to be able to get in our top end.”
“We wanted to try to slow (Meader) down, keep her contained,” Parker said. “We wanted to try to put the pressure on the rest of their players.”
The Phoenix started putting the pressure on the Seahawks when Brooke Buote converted a pass from Adria Plourde with 14:13 remaining to make it 2-1.
“Lexi Beardsley and Morgan Dalton, you could see them taking control out there,” DiPompo said. “They’re the leading seniors and you can see that. They both play together a lot and they were making it happen.”
Boothbay was able to hold off the Phoenix until Emily Castonguay cut the deficit to 3-2 with 1:22 remaining.
“Emily is a tough player out there. She doesn’t stop,” DiPompo said. “She’s very tenacious.”
“I thought our midfielders and defenders protected their areas very well and marked well inside the circle and took away some shots that I think these guys typically get,” Jordan said.
Boothbay goalkeeper Emily Amaral blocks a shot by Megan Fowler of Spruce Mountain during the second half in Jay on Friday.