Recap of Falcon field hockey
RUMFORD -- There were plenty of questions and positions to be filled, but the Mountain Valley field hockey team helped prove things can improve.
The Lady Falcons set out to work hard and through a series of adjustments throughout the season rose up competitively to host a Class B preliminary playoff game.
A late goal in regulation produced overtime, but the season ended when No. 9 Yarmouth scored a 3-2 win.
It concluded a long journey that had begun with just three starters returning, so that alone had provided the student-athletes with the incentive necessary to get moving.
"I felt like I had a completely new team,"said coach Melissa Forbes. ''They had to get used to playing new position, next to new people.''
The veteran top scorers were Nicole Burgess and Payton Provencher, along with center-midfielder Alexa Fryover.
Forbes' style has always been to play as a whole team with shared responsibility but, early on, teams were scoring goals on. Burgess (16 goals, 8 assists) and Fryover (3, 9) moved in for defensive corners and was a great one-two punch on offensive corners.
As the season progressed, Provencher (7 goals) was moved inside on the forward, which shifted freshman Lexy Duguay (6, 2) to left wing, with speed, aggressiveness and eye-hand coordination. Alyson Carlton (two goals) was at right wing.
The Falcons had role players, like Kayla Pingree who just kept getting better at midfield. Taylor Dickson and Nicole Couch each played MF also.
The team played better, when intense and up-tempo as they learned to settle into their roles and responsibilities as players.
The defense was solid with Venessa Swett, who was a huge asset. ''Just being a senior gave Venessa that confidence and desire to do her very best at goalie,'' said Forbes. ''She never once complained or asked to come back out onto the field. She truly gave it her all and I am very proud of what she accomplished this year as a first time goalie.''
Junior Ellie Hall made tremendous strides at sweeper. ''She will be a big player for us next year,'' said Forbes. ''I am going to have to move her up and give her much more responsibility. I do believe she is ready.''
Makenzie Gallant and Addy Gorham were fullbacks.
Burgess (career 41, 24) and Fryover earned Mountain Valley Conference first team. Provencher (career 23, 6) and Gallant were honorable mention.
“The girls exceeded my expectations,"said Forbes said, regarding the 9-4-1 season. ''But with 9 seniors graduating I get to start all over again next year. I hear there are a lot of freshmen coming up to play field hockey, yes.''