More in Sports
Cougar stickers clinch playoff berth
DIXFIELD -- Kelsey Wilson scored 31 seconds into overtime as the Dirigo field hockey team survived a test 1-0 win against Telstar in the regular season finale at Harlow Park.
Neither team could afford to take the other lightly and with good reason as each had an opportunity to qualify for a lower Western Maine Class C playoff berth. In fact the Rebels needed a win or else. The Cougars clinched their first playoff berth in a decade.
“This could go either way,” said Telstar coach Gail Wight prior to the start of the second half, with the score deadlocked, 0-0.
In the extra eight-minute session, it was fullback Brittney Ellis who intercepted the ball beyond midfield, dribbled left and drilled a shot down the sideline. Emma Lueders stopped the ball and crossed over.
"Emma crossed a pass over and I was able to swing my stick," said Wilson, who shot it by Telstar defender Carlee Beaston and goalie Hali Barter (12 saves). "I was just hoping it would go in."
On numerous occasions, Telstar tried advancing balls, but Cougars defenders Ellis, Megan Brann and Lexi Noyes would stop them.
This allowed Ellie Wainwright and Grace Hebert to nail long hits. Dirigo goalie Amanda Dolloff made four saves to reserve the shutout.
“The team played well,'' said Wilson, who pointed out several positives in the Cougars' performance. “Our defense kept their sticks down to stop balls, while the offense continued to do a good job passing the ball.”
Dirigo’s forward line had several chances with Brittany LaPointe, Kate Bonney and Lueders in the offensive circle, but was unable to finish it off.
“This team has come a long way," said Dirigo coach Gretchen Errington on the Cougars, who were in a foul mood after having lost 2-1 in overtime at Mountain Valley three days earlier. “They are capable of winning if they are all on the same page. As for the playoffs , we are happy to be there. It has been quite awhile.”
Dirigo honored their seniors -- Noyes, Bonney, Ryanne Dailey, Makayla Emery, Stormi Henderson, Misty Steward and the late Dani Ranger, who passed away in an automobile accident last fall and was named an honorary captain.