DIXFIELD — Dirigo senior Kailey Hackett was eager to score in the opening seconds of Thursday’s field hockey game.

In the waning seconds, with the ball on her stick, she was determined to make sure classmate Taylor Bryant did as well.

Hackett scored a hat trick and assisted on three other goals, but the Cougars’ 8-0 win over Telstar at Harlow Park was all about the team, especially with it being the home opener as well as senior night.

“This was probably the best game I could have asked for,” Hackett said. “The team came together — I mean, we haven’t really had many consecutive practices in a row, and for not having that we played really well, and we came together as a team. I’m lucky enough to have this team for my senior year, and I’m really happy that it’s this team, for sure.”

Hackett slinked through the Rebels (0-2) defense in the first minute of the game but her shot slid just wide. She eventually found the back of the goal three minutes later off an assist from Bryant.

“I mean, I haven’t played in a year, we haven’t had a (home) game in a year, so it’s kind of that itch that I was ready, I’m ready to play,” Hackett said.

Hackett fed junior Alyvia Perreault for a goal two minutes later, then scored another goal of her own with four minutes left in the first quarter to make it 3-0.

Dirigo’s Kailey Hackett, right, dribbles past Telstar’s Brooklyn Kimball during the first half of Thursday night’s game in Dixfield. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Telstar’s best chance to fight back on the scoreboard came with 1:30 left in the opening period on the game’s first corner, but Addie Charette’s shot was stopped by Dirigo (1-1) senior goalie Allie Dyke. A subsequent corner ended with Brooklyn Kimball’s redirect going wide.

“Tonight, I mean, (my players’) stops were a lot better tonight. They were moving the ball better tonight. Communicating with each other,” Telstar coach Gail Wight said. “I mean, to me, the score — I know that Dirigo scored the goals, but it doesn’t quite reflect the play that went on midfield and other stuff.”

Dirigo senior Page Lueders scored the lone goal of the second quarter, with fellow senior Alexa Perreault providing the assist. Lueders returned the favor, setting up Perreault for the first goal of the second half to make the Cougars’ lead 5-0.

Hackett assisted on senior Lizzie White’s goal about five minutes into the third, then finished her hat trick five minutes later.

Hackett said she wasn’t trying for the hat trick after scoring the first two goals, but saw an opportunity for it late in the third. Dirigo coach Gretchen Curtis said she moved Hackett around to different positions to help spread out the scoring.

“She takes it well,” Curtis said. “(I’ll say) ‘Kailey, go back at fullback.’ (She’ll say) ‘OK, whatever, whatever you want, whatever you need.'”

“I mean, I’m not a defensive player, by any means,” Hackett said, “but I was able to go back there (in the second quarter) and let the rest of my teammates who aren’t usually on the line get up there and get a chance.”

Bryant was the lone Dirigo senior field player to not score with time winding down in the fourth quarter. Curtis said there was no plan to get all the seniors to score, but Bryant’s teammates wanted her to get in on the action.

“I really was just trying to send the ball up there to give her that chance because she should get that chance, just like everyone else had, and I’m glad that she was able to get it in the back of the cage before the time ran out,” Hackett said. “I think we all knew that there was little time, but that’s why it was so emotional. I mean, we knew — had a goal and we were able to accomplish it.”

Bryant’s goal came with 17.9 seconds left in the game.

“She works really hard — really hard — and so we just wanted it for her, to just be able to say she scored in her senior game,” Curtis said.

Dyke didn’t get to score, but she did prevent the Rebels from scoring, making two saves to secure the shutout.

“It’s not like she can dribble up the field and score, so for her to get a shutout tonight, I’m sure that feels good for her, too,” Hackett said.

Telstar junior goalie Julia Head made nine saves manning the Rebels’ net, with just one day of practice before getting the start in place of normal starter E.B. Hoff, who Wight said was out after having her wisdom teeth removed.

“(Julia) made some really nice moves. She’s a midfielder, but she made some really nice saves and moves,” Wight said. “And the girls were doing the best they could to get in there and cause some interference in the circle. But she made some beautiful saves, she really did. She had some nice kicks. You know, distance. That makes a huge difference.”

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