ORONO — Since their tried-and-true plays weren’t netting any scores, the North Yarmouth Academy girls decided to reach into their bag of tricks on Halloween eve.
As a result, the Panthers were treated to a 2-1 Class C state field hockey championship victory over Foxcroft Academy that lasted through regulation, two overtime periods, and halfway through a set of penalty corners before it was decided on a crisp, chilly Saturday afternoon at the University of Maine.
“We’ve never done the play Megan scored off in a game,” said Kylie Dalbec, who set fellow junior Megan Fortier up for the game-winning goal on a pass from the left side. “We do it in practice, but we knew we had to change something up because Foxcroft knew some of our plays, so we went with that.”
“That” was M-O, a play the Panthers practice a couple times a day, but never use.
The win gave the 17-1 Panthers their second state title in three years. A young Ponies team wound up the season with an 11-6-1 record.
That the game even lasted into penalty corners was a surprise for most onlookers as the Panthers dominated the first half with a 5-0 shots advantage. Foxcroft reversed the momentum in the second half by increasing its defensive intensity and constantly harassing NYA’s better stickhandlers.
The Panthers’ Mariah Farrell made two saves on three shots to notch a shutout during regulation.
Foxcroft goalkeeper Cassie Curtis saved nine of 13 shots.
The Panthers scored first on their second penalty corner when Dalbec slapped a deflected miss on a shot by Katie Millett into the left corner of the net. The Ponies knotted it up when Tia Tondreau scored on a shot to the left corner that trickled off and over Farrell’s glove and/or pads. The shot came off a pass from Jennifer Seavey and deflection/rebound by Gabrielle Henderson.
Fortier followed with NYA’s second goal and Foxcroft didn’t score on its attempt, giving NYA the win.