TURNER – How much time do you get to celebrate ending another field hockey rival’s 54-game winning streak? Oh, about 48 hours.

Two days after knocking off three-time defending Class B champion Belfast on its home turf, Leavitt Area High School experienced how the other half lives in Thursday’s home opener.

Maranacook scored twice in the final 90 seconds of the first half, and it held up for a mildly surprising 2-1 victory. Don’t call it a shocking upset, though. It will probably be business as usual in this year’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference.

“Naturally, there’s always a little bit of a letdown after a game like that, but they knew Maranacook was going to be a good team,” said Leavitt coach Wanda Ward-MacLean. “We don’t have many easy games.”

Courtney Erskine scored the game-winning goal against Belfast and put Leavitt (2-1) on top 1-0 only 8:35 into its encore. Megan Miller assisted on the goal.

But it was Maranacook (2-1) that owned the offensive momentum before and after Erskine’s strike.

“We talked a lot about how they beat Belfast, a team that won all those games in a row,” said Maranacook junior Kacie Laferriere. “I think we were maybe a little intimidated, but we came to win.”

Ally Kennedy knotted the score off a penalty corner with 1:28 to go in the half, and Siera Boucher redirected a centering pass from Hayley Pierce for the go-ahead tally with 20 seconds remaining.

“We had a timeout before that, and we talked about how important it was to go into the half with a goal in the cage,” said Maranacook coach Julie Schmidt. “I think they found some momentum, hit Leavitt when they were a little bit down and put another one in. It was a bonus.”

Despite four penalty-corner opportunities and a smattering of long hits into the offensive zone, Leavitt landed only two legitimate shots on goal in the second half.

And so it was Maranacook, this time, celebrating the eye-opening road triumph. While the Black Bears took it on the chin through most of Leavitt’s early years in the KVAC, they’ve now beaten the Hornets twice in the last three seasons.

“It’s extremely important for us,” said Maranacook senior Brittany Rose. “Actually, we’ve had quite a few years where this has been a pretty tough rival, so it’s nice to get a victory. Last year was a very intense game and they beat us. They’re just a very good team we have wanted to try to beat.”

Leavitt reached the Western Class B championship game last October and welcomes back many of its offensive stars along with two experienced goalkeepers, Kristen Capen and Kelsey Riordan. They combined for 11 saves Thursday.

As for Eastern B, where most of the KVAC teams reside, no team other than Belfast or Winslow has captured the crown since 1996. Taming the Lions on Tuesday is a feat that will pay the Hornets dividends in both confidence and Heal Points as autumn progresses.

For now, however, both that result and Maranacook’s triumph in the follow-up, trap game tell a cautionary tale about the league this year.

“We’re hoping there are a lot of teams that are really tough,” said Rose. “It only makes us stronger.”

“It’s wide open. I think it’s anybody’s shot to win the title this year,” Ward-MacLean said. “With Belfast being down a little bit, there’s probably five or six teams that could win it.”


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