“I gave every girl a personal goal that they needed to accomplish that second half,” Messalonskee coach Katie McLaughlin said.

With their adjustments in mind, the Eagles rattled off a pair of goals 1:32 apart in the first seven minutes of the second half and added another later in the frame to pull away from Oxford Hills for a 5-0 victory.

“We’ve been talking a lot this week about being disciplined in how we play,” McLaughlin said. “They did a great job making the adjustments we needed to make.”

The Eagles (5-0) remained one of two unbeaten teams in Class A North with the win alongside Edward Little, and own a convincing 3-0 victory over perennial power Skowhegan among their early-season triumphs.

“It’s been great to have tough, great games to start the season,” McLaughlin said. “That really makes you work on certain skills and tells you where you are. Obviously a goal for every team is always to beat those top teams, aka Skowhegan. And these girls have really stayed focused and just worked out the little things. It’s been a fun start.”

And, the Eagles have done it while spreading the ball around. Saturday, four different Eagles rattled the cage, with Ally Corbett the lone player with a pair of markers.

“”We definitely work on being a full unit and working as a team all the time,” McLaughlin said.

The Vikings (3-2), who recovered with three consecutive victories after a tough season-opening loss against Edward Little, played the Eagles tightly in the first half, holding the speedy front line to six shots while earning three penalty corner’s to Messalonksee’s two. But Oxford Hills tired as the game wore on.

“As we get deeper into our pool of players, we tire out a bit,” Oxford Hills coach Cindy Goddard said. “The comfort level drops, too, against a good team like Messalonskee.”

Oxford Hills never registered a shot on the cage in the second half.

“We try to tell our girls, let the ball do the work, pass instead of carry when you can,” Oxford Hills assistant coach Hayly Holman said. “I think this should have highlighted it for them.”

Messalonskee, meanwhile, peppered keeper Anna Huff with 10 shots in the second, and 16 overall. Huff finished with 11 saves, two of which in the second half were saves on aerial shots, and one with the blade of her stick as she dove from left to right.

Despite early pressure from Oxford Hills, Messalonskee struck first just 4:49 into the game when Nathalie St. Pierre finished a quick rush up the right side.

The Vikings nearly equalized with 16 minutes to play in the first when Courtney Tourgen wheeled and fired from the right side of the circle on a slick feed across, but her offering skittered just wide of the right post.

Saige Knight then doubles the Eagles’ lead at the 10:05 mark on a tough angle as Huff stumbled after a misstep.

The second half was all Messalonskee. Corbett, a catalyst all game for the Eagles on the left wing, finished a penalty corner try with a sweeping shot for a 3-0 advantage, and Emily Hogan added another on a rocket from five yards out that hit Huff’s pads before ricocheting into the cage.

Corbett added her second with 11:53 to play to cap the scoring.


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