JAY — Miss an opportunity during the regular season and there is no sense in dwelling on it. Another one will come along.

Miss an opportunity during the playoffs and it’s likely you’ll have nothing but time to dwell on it.

Seventh-seeded Fryeburg Academy had a chance to seize control early in Wednesday’s Class B West field hockey quarterfinal with unbeaten Spruce Mountain and didn’t. Kayla Meserve’s goal late in the first half put the second-seeded Phoenix in the driver’s seat, which they never gave up in a 3-0 victory.

Spruce Mountain (14-0-1) moves on to the semifinals on Saturday, when it will host No. 3 Cape Elizabeth. Fryeburg ends its season at 6-8-1.

The Raiders possessed the ball for much of the first 15 minutes of action, getting off to a promising start with two penalty corners in the first five minutes. The Phoenix briefly turned the tide with three corners over the next two minutes, but Fryeburg had the better chances, missing several open shots.

“I think we dominated the first half. We had shots and never let them cross the 50, but we couldn’t get the ball in the net,” Fryeburg coach Dede Frost said. “If you can’t score when you’re dominating, then when it’s the other team’s turn, you’d better be ready. We never got the momentum back that we started with.”

Spruce Mountain shook of some early jitters and took the lead when Morgan Fournier found Meserve to the left of the cage. Meserve’s shot went between the legs of goalkeeper Jasmine Ramsay with 2:25 left in the half.

“I didn’t really do much of the work for it. I was just there to tap it in,” Meserve said. “My teammates really helped to get it up the field.”

“The first goal I think loosened us up and kind of tightened them up and the momentum shifted there,” Phoenix co-coach Jane DiPompo said.

Spruce’s trademark speed didn’t factor in as much as it did the majority of the Mountain Valley Conference champion’s regular-season games. But the Phoenix moved the ball well inside the 25 and took advantage when the Raiders’ defense got tired and started to leave some openings.

“I don’t think we capitalized on (the speed advantage) as much as we have been,” co-coach Julia Parker said. “We do have speed. We just need to get it there.”

“What we saw today in glimpses we were hoping to get more of in general,” DiPompo said.

Fryeburg’s best chance to tie it came in the seventh minute of the second half, when Mackenzie Hill had an open cage after a kick save by Phoenix goalie Kasey Richards, but Hill’s shot went just wide to the left.

Sweepers Elizabeth Chretien and Katelyn Gervais were very active and did a good job of keeping the Raiders out of the circle or limiting them to one pass when they did penetrate into scoring range.

“They’ve been doing well the last few games stepping up and making some key saves with good stick work,” DiPompo said.

Randi Duguay made it 2-0 with 18:16 left.

“I had a great pass across from either Morgan or Nicole (Hamblin), I can’t remember who, and then I was just lucky it rolled in,” Duguay said.

Patti Ryan added the capper with 7:22 to go.


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