WINTHROP — For the first time in their careers, the senior players on the Spruce Mountain field hockey team were able to notch a win against Winthrop. 

Only playing them once this season, this game was circled on the calendar for the Phoenix, but the Ramblers made them work for it. 

Avery Bessey scored late in the fourth quarter to give Spruce Mountain a 4-3 lead and the Phoenix were able to hold off the advancing Ramblers and win by that score for a big road victory. 

“That was a huge defensive effort by the team,” Spruce Mountain coach Rachael Mastine said. “We’ve been working for it all week long and this senior class has never beat Winthrop. That was a huge motivator for us today because we only play them once this year. Madeline (Wagner) and Bella (Littler of Winthrop) were our main focuses and defense was the goal.”

Spruce Mountain (6-1) broke a 1-1 tie early in the third with back-to-back goals by Leah Burgess and Brooklyn Fournier two minutes apart to give the Phoenix a 3-1 advantage. 

“They were huge for us,” Mastine said. “That’s how it’s been for most of our season, fairly close at half. We’ve been a second-half team all year long and it stayed true today.”


After the goals, Winthrop (5-2) pushed and pushed on offense and made it difficult on Spruce Mountain goalie Mallory Clark and the defense. 

Winthrop attempted 12 penalty corners in the second half as the Ramblers fought their way back into the contest. 

Clark made four of her five saves in the second half.

Winthrop coach Sharon Coulton acknowledged Spruce Mountain’s defense gave the team troubles. 

“I think they did a very good job of layering on defense,” Coulton said. “We had a few players in new positions, so it took a bit for them to adjust. I am very happy with how our girls stepped up because there were things that were different. Credit to Spruce for their layers. When we got past one and then there was another one.”

With a two-goal deficit, Winthrop’s Lauryn Wood opened the fourth quarter with a goal within the first minute to cut the lead in half. 


Madeline Wagner tied the game with 9:23 left in the contest with a cross-net shot that went into the back-right corner. 

“I think that it took us a little bit of time but obviously we were right in it at the end,” Coulton said. “We had a loss to Dirigo but we haven’t had a game that’s been tight like this, and I think that that takes a bit of adjustment. All credit to Spruce Mountain, they have some very fast girls and are very intense.”

After two quick Winthrop penalty corners, Spruce Mountain battled back possession and Olivia Mastine brought the ball in toward the goal before passing off to Bessey while colliding with Winthrop goalie Madison Weymouth. Bessey got possession and was able to score the go-ahead goal. 

“My teammate got hurt,” Bessey said. “It was kind of not worth it, but I ended up getting the ball wide open and I ended up shooting it and it went in. It felt good.”

In the first quarter, Burgess scored a few minutes in to give the Phoenix a 1-0 lead. Winthrop’s Izzy Folsom tied the game in the second quarter with 6:31 left in the half on a shot that bounced off the goalie and in. 

The win sets up the Phoenix for even more tough games coming up. 

“It’s a huge win for us,” Mastine said. “We have three huge games — Winthrop, Dirigo and Lisbon — all back-to-back so this was huge for us. We started off with a tough loss this year against Lisbon but we’ve gotten better every week.”

“It feels great for us,” Bessey added.

Comments are no longer available on this story