AUGUSTA — Any coach will take a team playing its best at the right time of year. Holly Daigle’s Cony field hockey team is one of those teams.

The Rams turned in their best 60-minute effort of the season, just in time to knock off Mt. Blue 5-1 in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A regular-season finale Tuesday afternoon. Five different players scored for Cony, which will enter next week’s regional tournament as the No. 3 seed. Junior Julia Reny had a goal and two assists, senior Faith Leathers-Pouliot scored on a penalty stroke, and senior goalie Emily Douglas made six saves to give the Rams their signature win.

The victory was the fifth straight for Cony to close out the season, four of those coming against playoff-bound opponents.

Cony’s Julia Reny goes battles Mt. Blue’s Ashley Parlin for possession of the ball during a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A game Tuesday in Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

“We talked about this being a big game, obviously, but also about ending the regular season playing our best game,” Daigle said. “We had some great individual efforts, but I was really proud of how they put that all together and played a great team game. We need those big players to be big factors in games, and they were today.”

For Mt. Blue (11-3), it was its second loss in the last four games after a 9-1 start. The Cougars will enter the A North playoffs as the No. 2 seed.

“You practice like you play, and yesterday’s practice you could feel it,” Mt. Blue coach Jody Harmon said. “Not enough intensity in the practice, not having passes with purpose. That’s not a good way to have practice, and you practice like you play. I hope they learned a lesson here, that Cony wanted it more and they earned it.


The Rams were consistently good for the opening 20 minutes on Tuesday, and they were rewarded with the lead when Leathers-Pouliot converted a penalty stroke with 7:17 left in the first half. Mt. Blue recovered enough to tie the score through Madison Bard three minutes later, and the Cougars carried that momentum into the first few minutes of the second half.

Daigle called timeout with 22:22 remaining, and she reminded her charges of what they wanted to accomplish.

“Nothing really important was said. I think people just gathered themselves and realized what they had to do,” Leathers-Pouliot said. “It’s all about what you want. Do you want to win? If you do, you’ve got to put in that extra effort.”

The Rams scored four times in a span of 11:11, with Mallory Audette, Sophie Whitney, Sierra Prebit and Reny banging home the goals to turn a 1-1 tie into a runaway victory.

Cony’s transition game was exceptionally good, as was a defense which conceded 11 penalty corners but only six shots to the Cougars. Where the Rams really made hay, however, was in the offensive circle — where they were able to take advantage of the aggressive game of Mt. Blue goalie Brooke Bolduc (eight saves).

“We talked about reading (Bolduc),” Reny said. “She is very aggressive and likes to come out and slide tackle, and she comes out far.  She’s very good, but we had to recognize that and dish off. That’s how we got a couple of our goals.”


“In practice, we work so much on drawing the goalie, making a move around her or a pass around the goalie, and it’s like, ‘Let’s do that in a game,'” Daigle added. “Most of the goals in the second half, they came from that. She plays the ball and you’ve got to make a big move around her.”

With Cony’s defensive structure so effective, particularly through the midfield, many of Mt. Blue’s opportunities were of the single-fire variety. When the Cougars did apply some pressure and put a few chances together in succession, Douglas was there to turn them away.

Douglas made consecutive saves on Bard with the game still tied at 1-1, and she made a tremendous pad save in traffic on Molly Harmon’s drive off a penalty corner less than a minute later.

“We had several opportunities to score, and we didn’t finish it,” Jody Harmon said. “You never have that many opportunities to score and not finish it. I just hope this is out of our system. We have to move on. Playoffs is a whole new season, everything starts over, and we have to go play the way I know we can play.”


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