AUBURN — Halfway through Monday’s second half, St. Dominic Academy field hockey coach Brian Kay took a break from hollering instructions to admire what he was seeing from Dirigo High School.

“I can’t believe this team hadn’t won a game yet,” Kay marveled to nobody in particular.

The Cougars shed that indignity in a big way, storming past the Saints, 4-0, in a Mountain Valley Conference and Western Class C contest.

While there’s no easy answer to Kay’s implied question, the schedule was a good place to start.

Dirigo (1-4) already has faced 2012 state finalists Lisbon and Winthrop, losing to the runner-up Ramblers in overtime.

“We had two of the best in the state,” Dirigo senior Kelsey Wilson said. “We kept up well with them, though.”

The Cougars’ performance in one-goal losses to Oak Hill and Telstar was less encouraging. But perhaps that frustration boiled over Monday, with the Saints — separated two days from their own breakthrough victory over Telstar — standing in the way.

Brooke Holmquist, Ellie Wainwright and Brittany LaPointe scored first-half goals for Dirigo.

Wilson assisted Wainwright’s goal and delivered her own off a rebound early in the second half. Holmquist added two assists for the Cougars.

“It’s frustrating seeing them being able to play to the caliber of Winthrop and Lisbon and then seeing them not show it on the other teams,” Dirigo coach Gretchen Errington said. “They came out today and they had their mind made up, I guess, that they were going to do it.”

Holmquist put Dirigo on the board just shy of the five-minute mark in the first half, cashing in a free hit from right to left.

Set up by Wilson and Holmquist, Wainwright crashed the cage to make it 2-0 with 11 minutes to play.

“It was teamwork, definitely,” Wilson said. “Our passing was amazing. We were working really well together. Our talking was good.”

The onslaught continued with 5:29 to go. Emma Lueders advanced the ball into the circle, leading to a mid-range shot by Holmquist. LaPointe deflected it past St. Dom’s goaltender Taylor Bergeron.

Bergeron made three saves in quick succession late in the half to prevent further damage. At the other end, St. Dom’s failed to convert any of four first-half penalty corners and 11 overall.

“It’s hard when you come off a win Saturday, homecoming, the hype’s there, and then you come back Monday and think it’s going to fall that way again,” Kay said. “They’ve got to realize it doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to keep working. Our conference is the toughest in the state. There are no easy games.”

Nobody knows that better than Dirigo, which received 12 saves from Amanda Dolloff and stellar defensive play from Meagan Brann and Grace Hebert.

The Cougars claimed six wins a year ago, including their first regional playoff victory in several years.

“They were passing and talking. They weren’t clumping,” Errington said. “There are still some things we didn’t do that we would like to see, but I think it saved them that they were passing to each other and staying spread more.”

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