AUBURN — There were three sounds every time Mountain Valley ran a penalty corner in St. Dom’s defensive zone early in the second half of Monday’s MVC field hockey game.

The thump of the ball off the sender’s stick, followed by the thud against the stick of the Falcons’ recipient … echoed almost immediately by the telltale thwack of St. Dom’s senior defender Jessica Boulet knocking it away.

Boulet’s break-ups, Taylor Bergeron’s occasional saves and an insurance goal by Olivia Chase put the wraps on St. Dom’s second consecutive shutout, a 2-0 victory.

“I like flying,” Boulet said of her defensive posture. “There’s a lot of energy just being able to go out there. It doesn’t always happen where I get a stick on it, but when I do, it definitely changes the whole momentum of their play.”

Dominated in the shot and corner categories but down only 1-0 on the scoreboard, Mountain Valley (2-3) summoned a sense of urgency and earned itself five dead-ball situations in short order.

When Boulet couldn’t get to the play, Lexi Kesaris and Callie Samson did. Tori Chase and Courtney Desmarais, too.


And in perhaps the play of the game, Sarah Clark made a beautiful defensive save, keeping the ball out of the cage after Alyvia Lee’s shot eluded Bergeron with 9:55 remaining.

“I’ve played a lot of positions, but I’m usually put on defense,” Boulet said. “I’ve been there since freshman year. We all play defensively, regardless of what position we are on the field. I think it helps that everyone knows how to do that.”

Samson, one of eight freshmen on the Saints’ roster of 17, scored the first goal on a penalty corner with 12:13 remaining in the first half. Kesaris, a sophomore, assisted for St. Dom’s (2-3-1).

The Saints kicked themselves a little bit at halftime for not putting up a crooked number. They outshot the Falcons 15-0 and had 11 corners to Mountain Valley’s two.

“We’ve had plenty of shots on goal, plenty of corners in games. Now we’ve just got to finish them off,” St. Dom’s coach Brian Kay said. “We tell them all the time in practice, shoot for the low corners. They shoot at the goalie and make her look like a hero.”

Kassie Thibodeau made 14 of her 17 saves in the first half for Mountain Valley.


Even with the early second-half outburst, the Falcons couldn’t put any prolonged pressure on Bergeron, who made seven saves. Many hard hits screeched through the scoring box without another Mountain Valley player able to redirect.

“We just need to be quicker. We looked a little sluggish,” Mountain Valley coach Melissa Forbes said. “They weren’t really upset that they were losing at halftime. I think that’s the youth. I’m thinking, ‘I seem to be angrier than you folks,’ but I get it. They’re coming back next year, some of them two or three more years. I’ve got to kick that out of them. It’s called sprints.”

Chase’s unassisted goal sealed it with 17:40 to go. She found the cage after Thibodeau made two previous stops in rapid-fire succession, crashing to the ground to make the second.

“You get that second goal, it’s huge,” Kay said. “A third goal would have been even better, but a win is a win.”

Makayla Burgess was a defensive stalwart in front of Thibodeau during the Saints’ early offensive surge.

St. Dom’s was missing one of its leading offensive threats, Logan Ronan, due to a doctor’s appointment.


“The offense does a really good job,” Boulet said. “They try so hard. We all want to help them get up there, but we ask a lot of them to run the field. We’re learning how to pass up to each level.”

Boulet said that the team is “building off the enthusiasm” of its back-to-back wins at it approaches the midpoint of the regular season Friday at Winthrop. Kay concurred.

“We’ve had three or four games that have been one-goal games,” the coach said. “Hopefully second half we can regroup, get a couple of upsets and be right in the thick of it. Today was a big one.”

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