LISBON — Dirigo field hockey coach Gretchen Curtis didn’t know what to expect in the team’s season-opener against Lisbon.

The Cougars continued where they left off last year, when they reached the Class C North final, by defeating the Greyhounds 2-0 on Wednesday.

After having a bye last week, the Dirigo players were ready to get on the field for the first time in the regular season.

“We were pretty excited,” junior Grace Averill said.

Lisbon (1-1) is replacing nine players from the 2022 team that went to the Class C South final. Coach Julie Petrie said Tuesday’s game was a good test for the young Greyhounds.

“I think that was a good gauge against a good team; we are really young and still learning,” Petrie said. “We didn’t have as many shots as we would like.”


The teams struggled to get the ball in the circle early in the game, and most of the play in the first quarter occurred between the 25-yard lines. Dirigo (1-0) only had one shot on goal in the first 15 minutes, while Lisbon had one corner.

Curtis said her message to the Cougars between the first and second quarters was to settle down.

“We talked about playing smarter, not harder,” Curtis said. “They were making it harder for themselves by chasing the ball. They know how to play.”

Dirigo scored on its first opportunity in the second quarter when sophomore Lana Waite’s perfect pass found junior Grace Averill. Averill ran into the circle and her shot beat Lisbon goalie Sophia Cote 3:31 into the period.

Averill was acting on instinct and said she doesn’t remember much of the goal.

“I don’t really know; I just hit it and it went in,” Averill said.


Curtis said Dirigo did a good job separating from the Greyhounds to score the goal.

“It was good passing, and they were working a lot, getting in front of (Lisbon),” Curtis said. “It’s just fundamentals.”

Averill’s goal was one of two shots for Dirigo in the second quarter.

The Cougars peppered Cote in the third quarter with five shots, but the sophomore turned aside each one.

“She’s the vocal leader, even as a sophomore,” Petrie said of Cote. “She didn’t really want to play goalie at the start, but she has taken on that role — she has done a good job.”

Cote made eight saves in the game.


The Greyhounds made an offensive push in the final quarter. Roughly seven minutes in, they appeared to score, but the shot took place outside the circle, which negated the goal. Their fans celebrated, but Petrie said the players knew it wasn’t a goal.

“Our parents got a little excited,” Petrie said. “We drill that all the time, of touching it in the circle, and (the team) knew. We know we can get the ball down there; we just need to get touches on it in the circle.”

The Greyhounds kept the ball on the offensive side of the field until about three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but as was the case throughout the game, didn’t any shots on Cougars goalie Keira Kelley.

Junior Alyssa Ellis added the insurance goal with 10 seconds left after a mad scramble in the circle.

“She’s working really hard,” Curtis said of Ellis.

Waite recorded her second assist on Ellis’ goal.

Curtis expects an even tougher matchup when the teams meet again later in the season.

“Next time we see them, they are going to be a completely different team,” Curtis said. “(Petrie) always finds a way to make the adjustments, and she does a great job.”

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