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Cougar stickers shut out St. Doms
DIXFIELD -- When the Dirigo field hockey team has put forth performances worthy of its potential, they can deliver a strong message.
Junior Rylee L'Italien and Brittany LaPointe scored goals late in each half as Dirigo held back St. Dominics 2-0.
The Lady Cougars took full advantage of the smooth playing surface at Harlow Park.
The two teams are both in the lower half of the MVC, but the matchup was anticipated to be very competitive. “Today, we did the little things,” said Dirigo coach Gretchen Errington. “Like passing the ball (with a purpose) and getting behind the players on defense, which we hadn't been doing and it cost us.''
Dirigo had controlled the play and was awarded four penalty corners and Ellie Wainwright sent some blistering crossing passes, but none connected. When the opportunity materialized again, Wainwright's pass was stopped by L'Italien, who sent a forehand shot past Saints' goalie Amanda Cortllino (eight saves) into the far corner of the cage with 8:17 left in first half.
The one-goal lead stood up because the Cougar defense, led by fullbacks Megan Brann and Brittney Ellis, aided by tri-captain Lexi Noyes, held firm. They stayed busy clearing the circle and Dirigo goalie Amanda Dolloff made five kick saves.
''As you know, goals are so important,'' said Saints coach Brian Kay, who utilized both time outs. ''We kept driving the ball down the field and had chances, but they have a good fullback (Brann) over there.''
Saints forward Callie Greco had rushes, but was stoned by Brann and Noyes.
Dirigo’s forwards and midfielders -- Brittany LaPointe, Kelsey Wilson and Emma Lueders pressured the offensive circle. Wainwright, L'Italien and Kate Bonney kept advancing the ball.
"We stayed in positions," said Errington, while pointing out several positives in the Cougars performance. “There was some positive communication and the girls went after the ball.”
The Saints had a penalty corner, but couldn't get a shot away and Dirigo quickly advanced the ball. LaPointe scored on a Lueders pass with 2:17 left to play. LaPointe also banged the cage as time expired, however, the referee, who was flanked by timer Joanne Weston, waved it off.
Dirigo outshot the Saints 12 to 3 and 11 to 3 in penalty corners.