AUBURN — With the season winding down, the Edward Little field hockey team had a a playoff-like matchup on the docket against Skowhegan.

The Indians, fourth in the most recent Heal Point standings, showed why they are a perennial powerhouse Tuesday, using a strong first half to topple the firth-ranked Red Eddies 6-0 at Sherwood Heights.

Maliea Kelso paced Skowhegan with a a hat trick while Julia Steeves had a goal and two assists.

“At the beginning of the season, we had a lot of scoring issues,” Skowhegan coach Paula Doughty said. “We have a lot of young kids, at the end of that game, I had seven freshmen on the field. So, we have a lot of young kids, but we worked through them and we are making progress.”

The Indians (8-1-1) offense didn’t get going until they started earning penalty corners. On their second penalty corner Julia Steeves found Kelso for her first goal 5:35 into the contest The duo struck again off a penalty corner 11 minutes later for the 2-0 lead.

Kelso uses a tip Doughty shares with all of her players.

“(Paula) Doughty is always like, ‘Lay in your bed at night, picture yourself receiving the ball and shooting over 1,000 times,'” Kelso said. “It really works and taking a cleansing breath before you shoot.”

Skowhegan had 11 penalty corner in the game while EL (5-4-1) only had two.

Kelso completed the natural hat trick with 3:03 remaining in the first half to give Skowhegan the 3-0 lead. The assists went to Brooklyn Hubbard and Elizabeth York.

“They are a solid team, they are always a solid team,” EL coach Greg Perkins said. “Once they got a score or two, they were really confident and you could see it. We kind of regrouped at halftime and I thought we gave them more a respectable game in the second half. That was my goal. I said, ‘You can’t let them intimidate you, you’ve got to keep playing your game and see what happens.'”

Steeves capped off the scoring in the first half with 1:40 left to play. Kaeley Bowman had the assist.

The 10-minute break did the Red Eddies some good — they came out better defensively, and ultimately forced Doughty to call a timeout.

“I think it’s hard going into halftime with a good score,” Doughty said. “These are high school kids, they think this game is over. EL has nice athletes, they have a lot of kids that get to the goal quick, they stop the ball and shot the ball. I called the timeout to remind them, we still have a half an hour to play.”

Mariah Dunbar stretched the lead to 5-0 right before the 10-minute mark of the second half. Alexis Michonski was credited with the assist. Freshman Bhreagh Kennedy put the sixth and final goal in for Skowhegan with 5:57 remaining in the contest.

“They did a much better job of cutting to balls than we did,” Perkins said. “They intercepted our passes and we weren’t very sufficient of cutting them off. They cut us off very well.”

Leah Savage only needed to make three saves for the shutout. Delaney Morneau made seven saves for EL in the first half, while Emmy Lashua also made seven saves in the second half.

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