OAKLAND — A three-goal third quarter was all it took for No. 2 Messalonskee to roll to an emphatic 6-1 victory over Mt. Blue in a Class A North field hockey semifinal Tuesday night at Veterans Field.

The Eagles got a pair of goals from Alexa Caccamo and another from Hannah Phair to break a tie game at halftime and stake the Eagles (12-4) out to a 4-1 lead through 45 minutes. By the time Sophia Ventimiglia and Abby Stevens added insurance goals in the fourth quarter, Messalonskee had long since punched its ticket to its first regional final appearance since 2017.

In a scheduling twist the Eagles, the only team to beat reigning state champion and top-seeded Skowhegan this season, will host the River Hawks in Thursday’s A North title tilt.

“In my high school career, I’ve never been to the regional final,” Messalonskee captain Stevens said. “It’s super cool. We know what we’re facing. We know it’s going to be a huge game, but I think we’re prepared.”

After a scoreless first quarter, Messalonskee opened the scoring through Payton Alexander with 9:18 remaining in the second, one of three goals the Eagles generated off penalty corners.

No. 6 Mt. Blue, an upset winner over No. 3 Mt. Ararat in a quarterfinal last week, answered less than three minutes later off the stick of Bree Griffin in transition to send the game into the break knotted at 1-1.


The Cougars (10-6) carried the momentum into the start of the third quarter, too, with a couple of good looks early in the period.

But once Messalonskee got going, it was a train Mt. Blue could not stop. Caccamo handed the hosts the lead they would not relinquish at 9:36, pouncing on the rebound of a Stevens’ shot at the goal mouth.

The knockout blow was Ventimiglia’s strike with 10.6 seconds left in third quarter.

“To me it looked like confidence (from Messalonskee),” Mt. Blue coach Julie Lajoie said. “We did not stick to our game plan after it was a two-goal differential. That was a changing point for us. … I feel like they saw the goals accumulating, and the momentum shifted. We were more on our heels.”

Messalonskee coach Katie Brann, who said her squad has been a second-half team all season, was impressed with the Eagles’ resolve.

“We hit our stride in the second half, the way we have all season,” Brann said. “I just told the girls (at halftime) to focus on the next 30 minutes, don’t focus on what could be coming Thursday — just play your best hockey now. That was the best half I’ve seen them play.”

Stevens was a big part of that play, stirring the proverbial drink in the middle of the field all evening long. She finished with a goal and two assists, and her play indirectly set two other Messalonskee goal-scoring plays in motion.

“We just really wanted it,” Stevens said. “We had that drive, we were ready to win. We were so ready. I knew if we scored the (second) goal to get ahead, we’d be there.”

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