TURNER — Leavitt and Spruce Mountain see each other a lot when the field hockey playoffs roll around.

Wednesday marked the teams’ third consecutive playoff season during which the rivals met, this time in the Class B South quarterfinals.

This year, it’s the Hornets who are moving on with a 3-0 victory at home.

The Hornets won last year, 1-0, in the regional semifinal round, while Spruce Mountain won in the regional semis in 2014, 2-0.

Leavitt (11-4) won the only regular season matchup between the clubs, 2-1, on Oct. 6.

“I think we were all a little nervous,” Leavitt senior Allie Belaire said. “There’s been a little tradition, whoever wins the regular season loses in the playoffs. We finally broke that tradition.”

It was a slow start for the Hornets while the Phoenix controlled play early. The visitors had the game’s first real scoring threat after back-to-back penalty corners midway through the first half. They couldn’t capitalize on the chances.

“We just needed to put it in the cage,” Spruce Mountain coach Tanya Evans said. “We were close a couple of times, but their goalie was right there. What are you going to do?”

Leavitt coach Wanda Ward-MacLean wasn’t pleased on how her team started.

“We played really sluggish in the first half,” Ward-MacLean said. “We played better in the second half, not great, but better. (Spruce Mountain) is a good team.”

The Hornets thought they grabbed an early 1-0 lead when a shot was sent in, but a player kicked the ball into the net with about 9:15 remaining in the half. They built off that chance, though, and Kaitlyn Leclerc put home a legal goal with 6:10 left in the opening half off a penalty corner.

“You score that goal, the kids can just relax a little bit,” Ward-MacLean said. “It does, it changes, it does change how you play.”

Leavitt carried the momentum into the second half, dominating the time of possession for the first 15 minutes.

Spruce started to tilt the field back in its favor and had a golden opportunity, but Hornets goalie Hailey DeMascio came up big. She stopped the initial shot, but left her net open for a rebound opportunity. Spruce Mountain got a stick on the ball, but the shot went wide.

“As I told them before, you can’t go through her, you have to go around her and up over her,” Evans said. “It’s things to work on for next year.”

Belaire turned good defense into good offense as the Hornets made their way back down the field. Belaire was the last Leavitt player to touch the ball before it deflected off a Phoenix player on its way into the cage for the 2-0 lead with 11:48 left in the game.

“We had some opportunities, but we weren’t converting or the ball was kept going wide,” Ward-MacLean said. “We weren’t getting there and tipping them in. (Belaire) put that one one goal and it went in. That last one was a real pretty goal.”

Spruce Mountain (9-6) took a timeout, but it was Belaire and Leavitt who regrouped. Ward-MacLean was looking for that key third goal during the timeout. Right after the timeout, Leavitt went back into the offensive zone and Belaire blasted a shot into the goal 41 seconds after her first goal.

“I was like, in my mind, I have to do it for my coach and I got to do it for me because I am a senior,” Belaire said.

Evans liked the effort the Phoenix showed down 3-0 to make a late charge.

“They were down, but they had the drive and the determination to put it in the cage,” Evans said. “As you saw we had that corner in the last (minute), but we were unable to convert it.”

Leavitt will now face No. 1 York in the regional semifinal round at a time to be determined.

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