LEWISTON — The Mt. Blue field hockey program is accustomed to being a contender for the Class A North title.

The Cougars are trying to get back to that level this season after missing the postseason in 2022.

They want it. Bad.

“We really want to win this year,” sophomore Kali Judkins said. “We have a good team this year and we have a good bond.”

So it was frustrating when the Cougars controlled the ball for most of Thursday’s opening quarter and fired several shots on goal but didn’t have any goals to show for it.

After Lewiston ended the scoreless stalemate late in the third quarter, Mt. Blue responded, and Judkins scored two fourth-quarter goals to lift the Cougars to a 2-1 victory over the Blue Devils.


Mt. Blue, which was 4-10 last year, improves to 3-0. Lewiston (3-1) made the Cougars toil to earn a victory in a battle of unbeaten A North teams.

“They were hard for us to match up against,” first-year Mt. Blue coach Julie Lajoie said. “I thought that they exploited any weaknesses that we had, and we really had to struggle to stay in our game — and we got away from that a little bit — so I think that was good to see.

“We had to have that kind of pressure … and I think that was a really good challenge for us.”

The ball was on Mt. Blue’s offensive end for the majority of the first quarter. The Cougars worked the ball close and fired seven shots on Blue Devils goalie Sarah Mack. Each time, Mack turned away their attempts.

“Our goalie had a heck of a game. I think she did awesome,” Lewiston coach Jenessa Talarico said.

The Blue Devils struggled to generate offense in the first period but played the second more evenly, sending two shots at Cougars freshman goalie Gwen Lesperance while Mt. Blue added only one more shot to its total.


Both defenses were solid in the third quarter. The Blue Devils’ speed, particularly that of Alyssa Tremblay and Lauren Cote, led to some near breakaways, but Mt. Blue was able to stymie those before they became dangerous scoring opportunities. Lewiston’s Savannah Connor-Schade had the best scoring chance when she got the ball in front of the net, but Lesperance handled it.

“We had a couple of fast breaks, too, where we just didn’t connect and put the ball in the net. If we connect on that, it could have been a whole different game,” Talarico said. “So I think we both had good opportunities, they just took a little better advantage of theirs.”

The Blue Devils finally broke the scoreless tie in the final minute of the third when Jasmine Connor-Schade redirected a pass from Gabriella Thomas for a 1-0 Lewiston lead.

“We scored on a corner, which we’ve been working on them a lot this week, and I think we finally executed on that,” Talarico said. “So I thought that was good.”

Jasmine Connor-Schade’s second goal of the season was the first allowed by Mt. Blue in 2023 and the first time the Cougars have trailed this season. Their first two games were shutouts of Bangor, 6-0, and Poland, 4-0.

Spurred in part by the deficit, Mt. Blue’s offense went into an attack mode that was similar to how it opened the game.


Judkins’ first goal, off a pass from Lily Huntley, who has a team-high three assists this season, evened the score at 1-1 with 10:43 minutes remaining.

The ball shifted sides throughout the fourth quarter. With about four minutes left, Judkins took possession of the ball from about 10 feet out in the middle of the field. She turned and fired a shot that got past Mack and gave the Cougars a 2-1 lead.

Lajoie said that Judkins, who now has four goals this season, was especially determined to find a way to win Thursday.

“I think she wanted it so bad, she was going to will it to happen,” Lajoie said. “She’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen and I’ve ever coached. I just feel that she felt disappointed in herself that we kind of weren’t putting the ball in the cage.

“… I think she kind of put the team on her back and was going for it.”

In a huddle during a timeout soon after its second goal, Mt. Blue was visibly relieved and excited, but one player shouted a reminder: “The game ain’t over yet!”


The Cougars’ defense held off Lewiston for the final four minutes to overcome their first challenge and earn their most important win of the season.

“For us, it’s very big,” Lajoie said.

Mack finished with 12 saves, and her effort was acknowledged by the Cougars after the game.

“Their goalie, I thought she was really good. She was very strong,” Lajoie said. “We know how to work on a goalie, you’ve got to pass, and we just weren’t connecting passes, we were trying to pummel the goalie, and it just wasn’t working because she was on it, and she was always on her angle.”

Lesperance also was strong in goal, stopping five shots.

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story