June 18, 2018
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Undefeated Nokomis notches fifth field hockey win

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

NEWPORT, Maine — The Nokomis High School Warriors ran into a hot goalie on Tuesday afternoon but they were able to score a goal in each half to beat Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield 2-0 and remain undefeated.

Freshman forward Olivia Brown scored with 13:50 left in the first half and senior forward Lindsay Whitney added a valuable insurance goal just 4:43 into the second half as Class B Nokomis improved to 5-0.

Class C MCI fell to 2-2.

The Warriors outshot the Huskies 25-3 but sophomore goalkeeper Mikayla Carr turned in an exceptional 10-save performance to keep the game close.

Nokomis had a 17-1 edge in penalty corners.

Brown scored the game-winner shortly after coach Katie Thompson inserted her into the game.

She had scored two goals in a 4-1 win over defending state Class B champ Leavitt of Turner last Wednesday.

“She’s getting more comfortable in front of the goal and that’s nice,” said Thompson. “It’s always good to have fresh legs in the game. She had some pep in her step when everyone else was tired.”

Thompson said she was hoping Brown would provide some energy and goal scoring potential and “I was happy when she started the scoring for us.”

Brown pounced on a loose ball in the left of the circle, took a few quick strides and snapped a shot toward the far corner that glanced off Carr and rolled into the cage.

“The ball was going across the goalmouth and I took advantage of it,” said Brown. “I’ve been told to shoot for the far corner to make the goalie move (and that’s what I did).”

“I tried to stop it with my hand blocker,” said Carr.

Early in the first half, Carr had made rapid-fire saves off Whitney and Drew Graves off a penalty corner.

Late in the half, Carr was able to get her pad on a point-blank attempt by Brown off a well-orchestrated passing sequence involving Whitney and Graves.

“I tried to come out a lot and cut off the angles. I’ve worked on that a lot in practice,” said Carr.

Whitney gave the Warriors some important breathing room in the second half.

The ball pinballed to the top of the circle where Kirsten Costedio converged on it and took a quick shot.

It wound up deflecting onto the the stick of Whitney, who spun around and tucked an eight-yard shot into the far corner to Carr’s right.

“I stopped it around the penalty stroke spot and aimed for the opposite corner,” said Whitney. “I knew the goalie would be shifting over to me.”

“It was a very good shot,” said Carr. “It’s very hard to play deflected balls.”

Whitney and Thompson praised the performance turned in by Carr.

“She made a lot of good saves,” said Whitney.

“She had a great day. She was all over the place,” said Thompson whose team kept the Huskies penned in their own end for most of the game.

MCI had a couple of forays into the Nokomis circle but didn’t take their first shot at goal until there were 13 minutes remaining. Katie George’s shot sailed wide of the post to the right of Nokomis goalie Kendra Underhill.

Underhill finished with two late saves to preserve her third shutout of the season.

“I thought we played OK,” said Thompson. “We were a little flat. But I’m happy with the win.”

Whitney said the team wasn’t sharp in the first half but “we talked about it at halftime and got more pumped up and more goal-hungry in the second half.”

MCI coach Nancy Hughes said her team was “pretty flat today.

“I don’t want to take anything away from them. They’re a great team. But we’ve played better,” said Hughes.

Graves, Whitney and center midfielder Kayla Braley were among the standouts for Nokomis and Thompson felt backs Kelsey Kerstetter and Taylor Shaw were outstanding.

“Kelsey had a really good game. She cut off a lot of their cross passes in the backfield and was able to get the ball out wide. Taylor had some great lateral dribbles to enable us to switch fields,” said Thompson.

Hughes felt midfielders Cassie Miller, Heidi Duncombe and Katie Hughes played well as did Carr and forward George.

JV: Nokomis 2-1

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