FARMINGTON — The Mt. Ararat field hockey team failed to score on more penalty corners than its head coach could count in a loss to Edward Little earlier this week.

In response, the Eagles spent the practice between the loss to the Red Eddies and their next game against Mt. Blue working on said corners — and when the situation arose again, it was a goal off a corner that lifted them to a major victory.

Mt. Ararat claimed a 2-1 road win over Mt. Blue on Thursday in a key Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference A North showdown. Audrey Marchildon had a pair of assists for the Eagles, including one on what would be the game-winning goal by Lydia Hiltz late in the first half.

“We had to have had 20 corners the other night, and we didn’t score on any of them,” said Mt. Ararat head coach Krista Chase. “We worked on that a little bit yesterday, relaxing on corners and getting shots off. … We couldn’t buy a goal off one the other night, but today, it won us the game.”

Mt. Ararat took an early lead, going up 1-0 in just four minutes. Phoebe FitzPatrick had the opening goal for the Eagles (6-2) on a shot that, while not particularly powerful, was perfectly placed and rolled past Cougars goaltender Gwen Lesperance into the back of the cage.

Mt. Blue (6-2), though, would answer with two minutes left in the first quarter on a goal by Lily Huntley. Finding just enough space to maneuver her way through a congested circle, the junior was able to poke the ball past Mt. Ararat’s Danika Siatras by a matter of inches to bring the score level.


Mt. Ararat’s Grace Keleher, left, and Mt. Blue’s Grace Allen compete for the ball during field hockey action Thursday in Farmington. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Although Mt. Blue controlled much of the possession in the second quarter, it was Mt. Ararat that broke through for the period’s only goal. Getting a pass from Marchildon off a corner, Hiltz put the ball past an outstretched Lesperance with 4:36 left in the half to give the visitors a 2-1 lead entering the break.

“(It was just a matter of) looking up, deciding where I needed to pass it and taking my time but also making sure I did it with power,” Marchildon said of her two-assist performance. “I just kept fighting. I knew I had to do it for my team, and my teammates were in all the right places.”

Mt. Blue began the second half by peppering the cage and forcing Siatras into a slew of saves. Although Mt. Ararat failed on a chance to double their lead midway through the third when Alex Graf missed a penalty stroke, the Cougars’ chances ultimately went by as the Eagles sealed a crucial win.

Siatras finished with six saves, five of which came in the second half. Mt. Blue’s pressure grew stronger as the Cougars became more desperate for the tying goal, but thanks to their goalie and a dogged effort from a reworked back line, the Eagles kept the home team at bay.

“We all had to step up today because our center back is home sick, so I think people just filled in the gaps so that we could adjust our defense accordingly,” Chase said. “It wasn’t the perfect game for us by any means, but we knew coming in that Mt. Blue was a great team. We showed heart.”

The win could stand to be a vital one for Mt. Ararat in a Class A North region that’s tight at the top with six teams sporting 5-3 records or better. It was a victory, Marchildon said, that might not have come without the work the Eagles put in Wednesday at practice.

“I think (the key) was definitely how we came back in practice,” Marchildon said. “It was a really positive practice; we needed that because it was important that we stayed positive after the loss. We did that, and we kept our heads up.”

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