DIXFIELD — Mountain Valley’s defense made it difficult for Dirigo to generate any offense during Friday’s field hockey matchup.

The Cougars managed to get one shot in the goal, off the stick of Grace Averill, to earn a 1-0 win over the Falcons.

“We didn’t play our best field hockey; we just have to go back to fundamentals,” Dirigo coach Gretchen Curtis said. “We just have to go back to dodging, just simple dodging. We have stuff to work on.”

The Cougars (4-1) put pressure on Mountain Valley (1-4) early in the first quarter when they had five penalty corners in the first five minutes. The Falcons withstood the pressure, and goalie Brooke Brown only had to make two saves during that time frame.

“It was pretty difficult,” Averill said of getting offensive chances.

The Falcons flipped the field later in the opening quarter and got one corner but couldn’t get a shot on goal on Cougars’ goalie Keira Kelley.


Dirigo nearly scored at the end of the first when a shot got past Brown (12 saves), but Falcons freshman defender Catori Watson cleared the ball out of harm’s way before it reached the goal line.

Mountain Valley coach Jessica Sirois said Watson and fellow freshman Layla Boutte played well.

“She did a fantastic job,” Sirois said of Watson, “and I had Layla Buotte moving the ball up. A lot of them are learning and playing together with some great senior leadership.”

Dirigo broke through for the only time 52 seconds into the second period when Averill’s shot beat Brown for a 1-0 lead. Diane Cayer assisted on the goal.

Averill said she’s been putting in extra work to improve her game.

“I have been trying harder in practice,” Averill said.


Curtis said benefits of Averill’s efforts are noticeable in her play this season.

“She has stepped up tremendously this year,” Curtis said. “She has come a long way.”

The goal was the only offense the Cougars produced in the second quarter, even though they had four corners.

They had four more corners in the third quarter, all early on, but Brown only had to make two saves in the period.

Midway through the third quarter, three  Mountain Valley penalty corners only resulted in one shot attempt, which went wide of the cage.

Sirois said she moved the Falcons forwards around to help generate some offense in the second half.


“I had to work on my forwards coming back and playing more of a midfield position versus playing as up as they would like to play,” Sirois said. “Dirigo’s team had great sticks and they had great stops. We weren’t able to get through them. So, we had to work smarter and harder around them.”

Watson factored in defending three Dirigo corner attempts early in the fourth quarter when she didn’t allow the Cougar to get a shot off.

Dirigo had 19 corners in the game, while Mountain Valley had four.

Mountain Valley went on the offensive after the third Dirigo corner. The Falcons had their first scoring chance, but Kelley (one save) stopped the shot.

Dirigo created a few more chances late in the game, but Mountain Valley’s defense again cleared the opportunities.

Sirois said the Falcons gained knowledge from certain situations in Friday’s game.

“If you don’t win, you learn,” Sirois said.

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