AUBURN — Given Friday’s uncertain weather forecast, St. Dominic Academy field hockey coach Brian Kay wanted his girls score early and often in the Saints’ Class C South semifinal against recent nemesis Traip Academy.

The team obliged, scoring five first-half goals en route to a 6-0 victory over the Rangers.

Hannah Trottier-Braun had a hat trick and Kylie Leavitt had a pair of goals for the second-seeded Saints (13-2-1).

“The kids kept pounding (Traip goalie Nicole Roberts) and putting the ball in the net,” Kay said. “Great passing, great shots, it was a total team effort in the first half. I told them before, that’s the way to do it, put them away early. I told them before (the game), weather-wise, you never know if you are up after the first half the game can get called. But the weather held out and we were lucky with that.”

The game was a total 180-degree turn from the teams’ regular season games. The No. 3-seeded Rangers (12-3-1) won the first meeting, 3-1, on Sept. 12 in Kittery. The Saints got revenge nearly a month later on their home field, in a 2-1 victory on Oct. 8.

“I don’t think we expected it at all,” Trottier-Braun said of putting five goals up in one half. “Coming into it, we had to put all our effort to play like a team. I think we were spot on today. Coming into it, I think everybody was a little nervous because it always been close with our teams, with our playoff loss last year. But we all came together to bring out the win.”

Traip defeated St. Dom’s in the quarterfinal round a year ago, as well, 3-2.

Both teams tried to gain momentum in the first ten minutes of the game. Caroline Johnson, who scored the first goal for St. Dom’s against Sacopee Valley on Tuesday in the quarterfinals, did the same on Friday when she picked up a loose ball and was able to put it in as Traip defenders swatted at her with 19:46 to play in the opening half.

Trottier-Braun scored three-and-a-half minutes later when she was double-teamed just past midfield. The ball deflected off a Traip defender into the air toward the cage. Trottier-Braun turned on the afterburners, beat the defenders and had an one-on-one with the goalie. She faked the goalie out for a 2-0 lead.

“I work on that a lot when I am up close with goaltender, faking her out and shooting,” Trottier-Braun said. “It’s gotten to the point where it’s a go-to move, instead of taking a hard shot as soon as I get into the circle. I knew there was a pretty good chance that I would get it in there.”

Nearly four minutes later, Kylie Leavitt scored off a penalty corner from just inside the circle. Trottier-Braun set the goal up.

Kay has been telling Leavitt to shoot more.

“All year my coach has been saying get it inside that circle so it counts because I’ve always missed wide,” Leavitt said. “I capitalized, it was the one time it went in all year.”

Trottier-Braun scored again with 9:19 remaining on an assist from Paige Cote, capping off the hat trick with 12 seconds remaining in the half.

The first 10 minutes of the second half were even again, with Traip controlling the majority of the play, but it was St. Dom’s that grabbed the momentum when Leavitt added her second.

Traip coach Amy Cook liked how her team started the second half.

“In the first ten minutes of the second half, we played a different game than the first half,” Cook said. “They came out a lot stronger, a lot more composed. We kept ourselves together. They worked hard, we knew it was going to be a fight to comeback. They were ready to work for it.”

The game limped along in the final 20 minutes, as both teams let out some frustration. The teams received two unsportsmanlike conduct yellow cards each. Amelia Sullivan and Sierra O’Brien received cards for Traip, while Taylor Banks and Trottier-Braun were carded for St. Dom’s. Three of the four were of the 10-minute variety, while O’Brien received five minutes.

“The intensity was high, it’s the playoffs, a rivalry game, but all in all, it could have been worse,” Kay said.

Kay said it’s been a while since he’s seen that many unsportsmanlike cards handed out.

Cook acknowledged neither team was without fault.

“We needed to keep our sticks down and we needed to stay composed,” Cook said. “There was a lot of back and forth banter that didn’t need to happen. It was a pretty messy game, but we needed to keep our composure and play on.”

The Saints will face the winner of Monday afternoon’s Lisbon-Oak Hill game on Wednesday in the Class C South regional final at Massabesic High School.

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