DIXFIELD — When the Dirigo High School field hockey team defeated Lisbon, 6-0, in an early season Mountain Valley Conference matchup, Cougars coach Gretchen Curtis knew if there was a second meeting, her good friend Julie Petrie’s Greyhounds were likely going to be better.

Curtis was on point. She watched her third-seeded squad fight through 60 minutes of regulation and two 7-on-7 overtime periods to earn a 2-1 Class C South quarterfinal win over the sixth-seeded Greyhounds (5-9-1) on Tuesday.

The winning goal came as the clock read “zero.” Dirigo earned a late penalty corner and maintained possession in front of the Lisbon cage. Goaltender Becky Budesheim made two sensational toe saves, but helplessly watched as Alexa Perreault slipped in Dirigo’s third chance off a scramble, sending the Cougars to Saturday’s semifinal at No. 2 Spruce Mountain.

“I was thinking that if it doesn’t go in that this might be the last time we get to play together this year,” Perrault said after celebrating with her teammates. “I was shocked that it went in, and it won the game.”

“I am still shaking,” Curtis said after her Cougars improved to 10-5. “It is one of those things where they need to play it until the whistle. They played it through.”

Petrie showed emotion after the loss, proud of her team after a rough start to the season and the hard work that followed.


“It was a good battle. We wanted a good game, and I was hoping my girls showed up. They did. I am so proud of them,” Petrie said. “I am tearing up thinking of where we have come from. We had to be 11 on the field, and we really worked together. It was progression and believing in what we were doing, win or lose.”

Dirigo dominated possession throughout the contest, outshooting Lisbon, 22-4. But, Lisbon hung in, riding 17 saves from Budesheim.

“We’ve known that they would be better. I was surprised that they shut down our top two scorers,” Curtis said.

Late goal

Just nine minutes into the game, Petrie called a timeout. She spoke loudly to her team after a flat start, with Dirigo taking the first three shots and earning a pair of corners.

“We were playing flat, and I didn’t want them to get a jump on us. Playing us, it is going to be tight. We needed some fire,” Petrie said.


Lisbon pushed back, but Dirigo kept the pressure on and earned a 1-0 halftime lead. With 31.5 seconds remaining in the half, Page Lueders sent a shot toward the Lisbon cage, and Alyvia Perrault managed to redirect the ball into the right corner of Budesheim’s cage.

Lisbon, though, refused to back down. Season-long standout Mallory Fairbanks began hammering long passes, looking for a good bounce to set up a scoring chance. The strategy worked when Fairbanks bounced a pass to teammate Sydney Plourde, who gained control and scored on a breakaway past Dirigo netminder Allie Dyke (three saves) for a 1-1 deadlock.

“Mallory’s drives are extremely powerful and hard to defend, and a lot of the time they slip by the first, and even the second, line,”Plourde said . “It got past them, and I had to just dodge the goalie.”

Over the final 20 minutes of regulation, both teams had chances to jump ahead. Three times, Dirigo shots rang off the post, while Lisbon’s Jessie Schlotterbeck and Peyton Gosselin just missed on point-blank scoring opportunities.

The game slipped into overtime, with the field wide open as the teams played 7-on-7. Lisbon’s best chance came on a shot by Schlotterbeck, but Dyke made the save. At the other end, Sophia Jacques and Grace Timberlake looked to end it, but came up empty.

Both coaches worked players in during the grueling overtimes.


“We don’t have a lot of kids, just 13 deep, so you have to put the puzzle together and hope your fitness is at that playoff level,” Petrie said.

“You balance your number one player, who is fatigued, and ask yourself, ‘Is she better than who you might throw in there?’ It worked out for us today,” Curtis said.

Gosselin earned a Lisbon corner in the second overtime, but Dirigo defenseman Alexa Varnum cleared the ball out of danger.

With 10 seconds remaining, Dirigo earned one last corner opportunity and potted the game-winner.

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