St. Dominic’s Julieanne Cook attempts to get the ball past Oak Hill’s Julia Lane during Saturday afternoon’s field hockey game at Oak Hill High School. Oak Hill’s Mikaya Culp watches the play from the center. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

WALES — St. Dom’s build an early lead and carried it to a 3-2 win over Oak Hill in a Class C semifinal contest Saturday.

It was a quick start for the No. 3 seeded St. Dom’s as they built an early lead as they defeated the No. 2 seeded Oak Hill Raiders 3-2 in a Class C South semifinal contest.

The third-seeded Saints scored two goals in the game’s opening 10 minutes, both off penalty corners, to grab an early 2-0 advantage.

Oak Hill’s Sophie Childs and St. Dominic’s Isabella Pelletier reach for the ball during Saturday afternoon’s field hockey game at Oak Hill High School. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“That was 10 minutes straight up of St. Dom’s field hockey,” St. Dom’s coach Abigail Bowe said. “We came out strong, and that’s one of the things that was one of our focus points today, to get them to start strong, and we completely did it today.”

Skye Rogers opened the scoring as by tipping in Anna Cote’s shot to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. Mia-Angelina Leslie stretched the lead to 2-0 after Cote again sent the initial shot into the circle for her second assist.

“It was off corners, so I knew if I hit in, they are very good at tipping, I knew one of them would get there,” Cote said.

The start rattled the second-seeded Raiders.

“I wish we could have the first 10 minutes of the game back,” Oak Hill coach Betsy Gilbert said. “That was the difference in the game. It’s a big game, we are a young team, the girls were really nervous, a lot of anxiety of anticipation. It just got in their heads; they didn’t have time to settle in to start playing their game first.”

The Raiders got their feet under them in the final five minutes of the first half, and they were able to flip the field to start putting pressure on the Saints’ defense and goalkeeper Simone Long. Long, though, kept the game 2-0 with several key stops in the final minutes.

Oak Hill’s Angela Strout and St. Dominic’s Pilar Hewey address the ball during Saturday afternoon’s field hockey game at Oak Hill High School. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Gilbert said that if her team could have scored at the end of half, it might have carried momentum into the second half, which might have led to a different outcome.

The eight-minute halftime break re-energized the Saints and they started the second half as the did the first, by striking quickly.

Again, Cote was looking for a teammate to tip in her shot. No one did, but her hard-hit shot found the back of the cage for an 8-0 lead.

Oak Hill dug deep and about 90 seconds later Adelle Surette blasted a shot home off a penalty corner. With under 10 minutes remaining, Surette struck again off another corner.

“Today, she was double-, triple-teamed most of the day, but she was able to work through the traffic to get the (ball) up front,” Gilbert said. “When it mattered, we got out corners, those are the two goals we scored (on), she was able to send that rocket in from the top (of the circle). I am very proud of her and all she brings to her team.”

The Raiders battled to the end. They marched down the field in the final 30 seconds but couldn’t get a clean shot off towards the cage or draw a foul that would have allowed them one more opportunity to tie the game.

Oak Hill’s Angela Strout and St. Dominic’s Skye Rogers charge the ball during Saturday afternoon’s field hockey game at Oak Hill High School. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The Saints credited Autumn Gonzales as one of the unsung heroes of the game. The defender moved to sweeper to provide support to Long, particularly on Oak Hill’s penalty corners, of which the Raiders had six in the second half.

“We adjusted to have a high-forward to having a sweeper,” Bowie said. “We have been working on that for a couple weeks just to give us a little more confidence (on defense). Not saying our defense isn’t any good, but we needed a little more confidence back there. It definitely showed today.”

The Saints will play top-seeded Winthrop on Wednesday in the Class C South regional final, which is scheduled to be played at Sanford High School.

Oak Hill’s Sophie Childs and St. Dominic’s Lorelei Bonney chase the ball down the field during Saturday afternoon’s field hockey game at Oak Hill High School. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Oak Hill’s Sophie Childs and St. Dominic’s Isabella Pelletier attack the ball during Saturday afternoon’s field hockey game at Oak Hill High School. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo


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