Lisbon’s Loreesa Potvin and Spruce Mountain’s Madelyn Castonguay battle for control of the ball while trying to keep it in bounds during Monday’s game in Lisbon. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LISBON — There were many times that Spruce Mountain’s two-goal lead was in jeopardy of coming apart in the second half of a Mountain Valley Conference field hockey game.

Junior Mariyah Fournier’s back-to-back, second-quarter goals only served to stir up Lisbon, which pelted the Phoenix net with shot after shot in a highly contested second half. But the Phoenix made sure their precious, one-goal advantage remained intact for a 2-1 victory over the raging Greyhounds on a clear and crisp Monday morning.

Haley Tuplin scored with 8:26 remaining in the fourth quarter for the Greyhounds.

The Phoenix (4-5-2) pressed hard in the first quarter, but couldn’t find that open net. The Greyhounds (4-6-1) came up short, too.

But Fournier started turning up at the right time, scoring two unassisted goals just 1:02 apart in that fruitful second quarter.

“Our team has been working a lot on communicating and making better passes,” Fournier said. “So, with that, we just started talking more so it was easier to (get the) ball up fast and be able to make the goals.”

Fournier said she wasn’t concerned that Spruce’s two-goal lead would not survive the rest of the game.

“I believe that we all had the spirit of just keeping the (ball) out of the goal and pushing it up so we would win because we had a couple of losses and that kind of brought our motivation down, so this win will really bring us up for the rest of the week that we have for our season,” Fournier said.

“She has a great team behind her,” Spruce Mountain coach Katie Trask said of Fournier. “She goes and plays all out. She gives it everything. She is all over the place. She is an animal.”

Lisbon goalie Maria Levesque deflects the ball from the goal with her feet as Lisbon’s Capella Russo and Spruce Mountain’s Aubrey Kachnovich chase the ball toward her during Monday’s game in Lisbon. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Fournier’s two-goal bounty stood the test of the Greyhounds’ domination, especially in the third quarter when Lisbon spent nearly three minutes in front of Spruce’s beleaguered net.

But the Phoenix’s defense and goalie Jayden Achorn just wouldn’t budge, making 17 saves on Lisbon’s 22 shots. Achorn’s counterpart, Lisbon goalie Maria Levesque, made five saves on Spruce’s seven shots on net.

Trask was confident that Spruce’s two-goal cushion would hold even though the Greyhounds came on strong in the second half.

“I did, yeah, at the beginning, but I will tell you what, Lisbon doesn’t give up — as we saw especially in that fourth quarter. I was impressed,” Trask said. “They were exactly what we needed to play today. We needed their competition.

“I have been just really impressed with the play the girls had. They really needed this win. We had a little rough patch at the beginning of the season.”

Lisbon coach Julie Petrie would have liked to see the Greyhounds’ second-half tenacity in the first half.

Lisbon’s Haley Tuplin draws back for a solid hit to drive the ball past Spruce Mountain’s Mary Hamblin during Monday’s game in Lisbon. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

“We did not own it in the first half,” she said. “We talked. We didn’t like how we played in the first half and our goal was not to let them score in the second and to play with more energy and intensity. Spruce played really well. They have a solid, hard-hitting team and they out-hustled us and I feel like that won the game.”

“We had a really nice battle the last time we played them. We knew we could play with them,” Petrie added. “You know, being down 2-0 stinks at the half, but it is so within reach of being able to make it a game. So, we just did what we could to bump up the intensity and we knew we needed to score, (but) we ran out of time.”

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