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Lisbon stickers edge Dirigo
DIXFIELD -- It was a tale of two halves for Dirigo in a Mountain Valley Conference field hockey game.
Brittany LaPointe scored on a Grace Hebert assist with 4:01 left to play, but it was too late.
A pair of goals by Hanna Jordan sparked Lisbon with a 3-2 win against Dirigo at sunny Harlow Park. This was a key match up between two playoff bound teams who are jockeying for position. Dirigo (5-6-1) was coming off a 1-1 tie (Ellen Wainwright goal) against Winthrop and had moved up to a tie for third in Heal Points. No. 1 Lisbon (9-2-1) is defending Class C state champions.
''This team is expected to play hard for the whole game,'' said Lisbon coach Julie Wescott.
The Lisbon forward line started strong and benefitted from the support of the midfield. The constant pressure forced the Cougar defense on their heels and led to the first goal by Molly Nicholson, who redirected a shot by Dirigo goalie Amanda Dolloff (14 saves), into the right corner of the cage.
Dirigo was unable to match the intense Greyhounds.
Jordan drilled home a pass by Bailey Cutler with 13:21 left in first half. ''In the first half, we didn''t play that well,'' said Dirigo coach Gretchen Errington. “They were not going to the ball, so I called a timeout and told them to go back to playing a fundamentally sound game. They didn't keep their sticks on the ground and Lisbon was hitting the ball long and we wasn't stopping any of them.''
Moments later, Jordan scored again to give Lisbon a 3-0 lead.
''Dirigo had finally jumpstarted its offense and scored in the final minute of the first half. Ellen Wainwright advanced the ball in the circle and Lisbon sweeper Mariah Breton tried clearing the circle. Britney Ellis intercepted it and drilled the ball across to the left side toward teammates Emma Leuders and Kelsey Wilson. It was Wilson who got her stick on the ball and flicked it past Lisbon goalie Stevie Charest (four saves) on the short side.
"I was pleased with how the girls picked it up in the second half,"said Errington. ''We were playing the No. 1 team and no one expected anything from us. We replaced a couple upperclassmen with underclassmen because no one isn't replaceable. The move worked because they played well when they went back in.''