Mt. Blue’s Elle Marshall (16) eyes the ball as Brunswick goalie Liberty Krauss and her teammates Caroline White (13) and Ellie Sullivan (10) look for the ball during a Class A North field hockey quarterfinal at Caldwell Field in Farmington on Thursday. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal

FARMINGTON — The Mt. Blue Cougars knew they needed to quickly put some distance between them and the pesky Brunswick Dragons in a Class A North field hockey quarterfinal.

Senior Molly Harmon did just that, scoring back-to-back goals and earning an assist along the way as second-seeded Mt. Blue eliminated seventh-seeded Brunswick (7-8) with a 3-0 victory Thursday.

“I was happy to get playing and hopefully we will make it all the way,” Harmon said. “They (Dragons) have definitely come a long way. They keep becoming more and more of a competitor every year. So every time we play them we we know we have to play our A-game.”

Harmon said Mt. Blue executed its strategy.

“We have been focusing on getting our middies up more into the circle to get more shots off to generate more attacks, and we really did that today and that came in really handy,” Harmon said.

The Cougars (12-3) move on to face No. 3 Cony Rams (11-4), which beat No. 6 Oxford Hills 3-2 on Thursday.

The Dragons and Cougars kept hounding each other on offense, but Mt. Blue finally found away to score a goal when Harmon slipped a shot by Brunswick goalie Liberty Krauss for a 1-0 lead at 16:49 in the first half.

Mt. Blue spent the next 16 minutes working feverishly to score again while warding off the Dragons’ efforts to tie the game. Harmon stepped up again and scored with seven seconds remaining in the first half, with the assist going to sophomore Eva Stevens.

Despite a two-goal cushion, Mt. Blue headed into halftime knowing Brunswick had plenty of time to rally.

Mt. Blue’s Molly Harmon (8) moves the ball down field as teammate Ella Stone (7) and Brunswick’s Kelsey Sullivan (34) watch during a Class A North field hockey quarterfinal at Caldwell Field in Farmington on Thursday. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal

“Brunswick doesn’t give in and they are just an excellent-coached team. They didn’t stop,” Mt. Blue coach Jody Harmon said. “They didn’t stop the pressure. They kept attacking.

“So I am glad we held our own and we finally did attack more than we have.  The defense helped us along and had some really good plays. We attacked the goal better than we have all season and we have to continue to do that. We’ve got to continue getting our middies in on the offense to finish it. I am really excited and I am glad we continue to play.”

The Cougars kept pressing for a third goal in the second half. With 5:35 left in the game, senior Bailey Levesque took a feed from Harmon and scored to extend Mt. Blue’s cushion to 3-0.

Mt. Blue goalie Brooke Bolduc made nine saves to earn the shutout.

“We had some chances down here,”  Brunswick coach Carrie Sullivan said. “We know Bolduc is a phenomenal goalie. We had been working trying to get it around her, but we just couldn’t. But we had our chances and I am really proud of my girls.

“The last 40 seconds and it was only 1-0 in the first half, but that second goal kind of hurt because we let up a little bit. But hats off to Mt. Blue.  They are a great team and they are going to go far, but this is the first time we made playoffs in a good eight or 10 years, so I am proud that they could play and compete.”

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