CORINTH, Maine — When last the Central field hockey team met Foxcroft Academy, the Ponies scored five goals and stampeded over the young Central squad.
Wednesday afternoon, the Red Devils gave the Ponies all they could handle, taking them to overtime before Sabrina Sharrow scored to give FA a 1-0 victory.
Sharrow took a pass from Kelsey Boss on the left side of the circle and slapped the ball into the left side of the goal 2 minutes, 10 seconds into the first overtime period.
“Our right wing [Mariah Arno] usually brings it down and she passed it across,” Sharrow recalled. “Kelsey got her stick on it and passed it across to me, and I put it in.”
“At first I wasn’t sure if we were going to win a game, but we’re seeing some offense now and some girls have really improved their games,” said Central coach Diane Rollins. “Up there, I don’t know if we even had two shots the whole game.”
This time around, the 5-7 Devils not only improved that total, they also outshot the Ponies 14-11.
It still wasn’t enough to keep Ponies goal-keeper Cassie Curtis, who made 10 saves, from her ninth shutout of the season.
“They’re better, but I think a lot of it has to do with the field,” Curtis said. “Our field is so much slower, it’s harder to drive it. It comes up a lot quicker on this field.”
The 10-2 Ponies enjoyed a pronounced advantage in penalty corners with a total of eight to Central’s four, but Central’s defensive strategy foiled several prime scoring chances.
“We just try to circle back, support each other and double team their ballhandlers,” Curtis said.
The Ponies made another adjustment midway through the game.
“We wanted to work on passing more and not just playing with the ball,” Sharrow said. “We knew they were going to drive it up with hard drives and just run after it. We like to control the ball more, but this field is so fast we have to change up what we normally do.”
Senior goalie Brittany Cote finished the game with eight saves.
After taking a lead over unbeaten perennial field hockey power Dexter before losing 2-1 and taking the Ponies to overtime, Rollins has reason for optimism despite the team’s losing record.
“Even with the loss, when you come out of overtime with a 1-0 loss against a well-coached team, you have to still feel pretty good about yourself,” she said. “I only have one senior who plays in the field, so it’s a pretty young team.
“We have as many as four or five freshmen out there at a time and freshmen make mistakes, but they’re getting better with every game we play.”