ORONO, Maine — Margaret Veazie began her third stint as the Dexter High School field hockey coach with an impressive win by her team Wednesday night.
Veazie, who is the co-coach with Nicci Burton, saw her team receive late first-half goals 1:16 apart from junior center forward Peyton Watson and sophomore right wing Katie Batron en route to a 2-0 victory over John Bapst of Bangor at the University of Maine’s artificial turf field.
It was a mutual season opener.
Dexter outshot John Bapst 18-2 and the score could have been more lopsided if it wasn’t for the goaltending of Crusaders junior Karen Noble. She finished with eight saves and forced several other Tiger shots to go wide as the result of her positional play and aggressiveness.
“[Noble] was phenomenal,” said Veazie, who led Dexter to seven Eastern Maine championships and six state titles during her two previous stints between 1998 and 2010.
She was pleased with her youthful Tigers, who had eight sophomores and freshmen in their starting lineup.
“They’re young but they’re athletic. They’re a good group and they like to play on [artificial] turf,” said Veazie.”They’re good on turf because they’re good field hockey players.”
“Dexter did a great job controlling the ball and a great job moving the ball,” said John Bapst coach Gina Schuck. “We played much better in the second half. But I’d like to see our team have to defend less and transition from defense to offense a little better.”
Dexter dominated the game from the opening whistle, spending the first 10:54 in the John Bapst half of the field.
The Tigers finally broke through with 8:55 left in the half off a penalty corner.
Batron sent the corner to Watson at the top of the circle and Watson pushed the ball around a Bapst defender before drilling a low shot into the corner to the right of Noble.
“I usually try to dodge the first line of defense so I have more room to be able to score,” said Watson. “Usually when I don’t see any feet around me, I just hit it or pass it to a teammate.”
“I was off my angle. I dove but I was too close to the other post when I dove,” said Noble.
“It felt good to finally put the ball in the goal,” said Watson, whose Tigers outshot John Bapst 9-0 in the first half.
Just 1:16 later, Justice Mower won the ball in the midfield and made a precise pass down the right wing to Batron, who had broken free.
“I saw (Batron) open,” said Mower.
Batron took the ball into the circle and slipped a pass across the goalmouth that deflected into the goal off a Crusader.
Just 2:24 later, Batron took an errant John Bapst clearing attempt in the nose.
She received some cuts and was attended to before walking off the field where she continued to be treated. She was eventually taken to a local hospital by her mother.
The dynamic Watson turned in a terrific performance.
She made several long runs and used her exceptional stick skills to dribble around Crusaders.
She was a constant threat and Noble was forced to make six saves off Watson in the second half.
Watson said her team’s speed was a factor.
“We have quick girls and it works out for us on turf,” said Watson.
John Bapst had its best chance off a penalty corner early in the second half when Courtney Prue’s powerful, low shot just missed the far post.
In addition to Watson, Veazie felt Mower had an outstanding game in the midfield.
Kolby Kain didn’t have to make any saves in the first half and Kaitlyn Paquin made one in the second half.
Schuck said Prue and center back Rachel Graves turned in solid performances for her Crusaders as did Noble.