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Cougar field hockey preview
DIXFIELD -- It requires some hard work and a positive attitude to get ahead. The Dirigo field hockey team utilized these traits and turned things in the right direction. Now, it’s just a matter of being willing to take advantage of the situation.
The wins increased last fall and the program qualified for a Western Class C quarterfinal playoff game.
There is plenty of experience with the senior letter winners who have been playing beside each other for years. They include Brittany LaPointe, Brooke Holmquist, Kelsey Wilson, Rylee Litalien, Amanda Dolloff, Grace Hebert, Meagan Brann and Britney Ellis.
"Team hopes to take one game at a time and play every game like it is our last,” said coach Gretchen Errington. "We have a lot of seniors and that has been their motto -- play each game like it is your last."
In the season opener, the Cougars held a statistical advantage in shots taken 14-8 and penalty corners against Telstar, but lost 1-0 on a second half goal. Sophomore goalie Amanda Dolloff made six saves.
There are not many spots to fill because Kate Bonney and Lexi Noyes were the only starters who graduated.
“Practice hard and play hard in the game,” Errington has said. “At the varsity level, the girls that show up to practice and work hard to develop their skills will play in the game.”
Several promising newcomers will hopefully be able to step in and contribute. A trio of seniors in Caitlin Gallant, Katrina Riggs, Haley Jamison; Juniors Ellen Wainwight, Kelsey Hutchins; Sophomore Emma Lueders and freshman Olivia Noyes.
The creation of the feeder system at the middle school a few years ago has helped provide the younger players with an opportunity to grasp the fundamentals and is benefiting the high school team.
The transition will begin on defense, which needs to clear the zone and the midfielders must gain ball control.
Dirigo will be out to make noise in the Mountain Valley Conference, however, it won't be easy because of the competition. Every game will present a new challenge, so the Cougars can not afford to take anything for granted.