There’s a new Veazie in town, but it appears that very little has changed.
After assisting her legendary mother, Margaret, Kristy Veazie has taken over the Dexter High School field hockey coaching job from her mom this season.
And the success has continued.
Dexter, which has outscored its opponents 47-5, sits atop the Eastern Maine Class C field hockey Heal point standings courtesy of its 11-1 record.
The Tigers’ only loss came to Class B John Bapst of Bangor 3-0 on the artificial turf at the University of Maine in Orono on Wednesday. Dexter dealt the Crusaders their only loss, 4-0 in Dexter last month.
“Things are pretty much the same,” said Dexter senior back Hillary Mower. “We do pretty much the same stuff. But we’ve been running a little more this year because we weren’t in as good a shape (as we could have been) last year.”
“She’s just like her mother,” said junior forward Sarah Eastman. “She has been with us (as an assistant). She just moved up (to head coach) this year.”
That would certainly be a plus because her mother’s Dexter teams won six state championships and seven regional titles between 1998 and 2010. Her last state title came in 2009.
Kristy Veazie, 27, starred at Dexter before moving on to the University of Maine-Farmington. She said being in charge has been “so different.”
“There are times I think I liked it when mom was doing all the stuff (I have to do now),” Kristy said with a grin.
“It’s been good. It’s been a good learning experience for all of us,” said Veazie.
The Tigers have had some extra motivation this season.
They were upset by Foxcroft Academy 1-0 in overtime in the Eastern Maine Class C title game a year ago on a controversial goal. A penalty stroke was awarded to Foxcroft when Dexter had an extra player on the field. There was a mixup and one player came on during a player switch but no one came off.
FA was in the process of being awarded a penalty corner and it was decided to bump it up to a penalty stroke, which was converted.
After the season, that scenario was reviewed and a penalty stroke wouldn’t be awarded in that case now unless the referees felt the offending coach purposely put an extra player on the field to gain an advantage.
Dexter had beaten Foxcroft Academy twice during the regular season.
“That game last year made us more determined to try to go undefeated and win the states,” said Dexter junior forward Darci Perkins. “We worked really hard this summer (getting ready for the season).”
“We want to be better than last year’s team. I’m real proud of this team,” said senior goalkeeper Maicee Gustin.
The team has also been motivated by the loss of recreation league field hockey coach Amy Lake; her daughter Monica, a 12-year-old field hockey player; and son Coty, 13. They were shot and killed by Amy’s estranged husband, Steven, who also killed himself.
“We have shirts that say, ‘We’re going all the way for you, Monica’,” pointed out Mower.
Kristy Veazie said her team’s defensive prowess hasn’t come as a surprise.
“I knew my defense would be good. Although we lost a lot of players off last year’s team, a lot of my subs were in the backfield,” said Veazie.
Mower anchors the back line with sweeper Jamika Cookson. Gabby Adam and Whitney Mower have also been strong and Holly Libby has been valuable off the bench.
“Our defense is mostly seniors and we’ve worked real hard to keep the ball out of our goal,” said Hillary Mower.
Gustin, an aggressive goalie who loves to come off her line and challenge shooters, has been phenomenal, according to Veazie.
Foxcroft senior back Rachel Cody concurred.
“She’s wonderful. She comes right out at you,” said Cody.
Veazie was concerned about goal production.
“During our preseason, we were lucky to score one goal,” said Veazie. “But we scored eight goals in our opener (8-0) against Old Town and that helped boost our confidence.”
“We’ve stepped it up a lot since the preseason,” said Hillary Mower.
Junior right wing Jordyn Bell is the leading goal scorer with 13 and junior forward Sarah Eastman has 12. Junior midfielder Libby Kain has dished out a team-high 12 assists.
“They set up each other well,” said Veazie.