SOUTH PARIS – There’s nothing like a come-from-behind victory to begin the stretch run for the playoffs.

Tuesday night, the Oxford Hills Vikings displayed the poise expected of a senior-laden squad by scoring a pair of goals in the final eight minutes to upend Edward Little 2-1 in a KVAC field hockey match.

Despite dominating play throughout, the Vikings (9-2-1) were continually thwarted by the defense of the Red Eddies (4-8).

With less than 10 minutes remaining, Oxford Hills coach Cindy Goddard called for a timeout.

The Vikings were all over the Red Eddies and had outshot their counterparts by an 11-0 margin in the second half up to that point, but weren’t able to finish.

“It was just to give (our girls) a breather,” said Goddard. “We really needed to execute.”

Goddard also moved Tia Pratt up from her midfielder’s position.

“We had to get some offense,” said Goddard.

The move of Pratt proved to be instant offense as the Vikings scored on their next two shots.

Pratt tied the game less than two minutes after Goddard’s timeout when she stick-handled her way through four defenders before pulling up from 12 yards out to blast the shot past EL keeper Jo Jo Hughes (nine saves).

“Once we got tied, we didn’t have that sense of urgency,” said Goddard.

Pratt also picked up the assist on Katie Martin’s game-winner with 1:26 left in regulation. She sent a hard shot down the middle from the top of the circle that Martin got a stick on and push it past Hughes.

“Tia had an amazing assist,” said Martin. “It was just a reverse stick. I knew if I could just flick it, the ball was going to go in. We worked so hard coming back. We just kept pushing. It feels really good.”

EL back-liners Josey Lahey, Daisy Grondin, Kim Lawrence and Elise Perkins continually frustrated the Vikings. On every Vikings corner, one of those four defenders was quickly racing out to break up a shot attempt, and often clearing the ball down the field. In fact, the Red Eddies goal came off a transition after a Vikings corner late in the first half.

Grondin broke up a pass by Allison Reid and sent the ball down the right side. Breanna Wing collected the ball and carried it deep into the corner to the left of the Viking cage. Wing then sent a crossing pass into the circle that was touched ahead by Allie Forgues and buried into the goal by Hannah Jacobs.

The Red Eddies could only muster two shots on goal and none after Jacobs’ score, but their gritty defense kept them in the lead until they finally ran out of gas.

“I was very proud of them,” said Edward Little coach Greg Perkins. “We got tired, no question. We just missed balls. (Pratt) wouldn’t have been able to do what she did, but we were too tired. We were reaching and not moving our feet.”


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