Monday, December 9, 2013
By Steve Craig firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTH BERWICK -- It's different for the Marshwood High field hockey team this year. It isn't the lovable underdog anymore. Now it's the reigning Western Class A champion.
"Last year there were a bunch of upsets so we know we have to come back even harder. I mean, everybody's on our back. We have a big target," forward Ashley Tice said.
Given a second crack at the winning goal, Tice hit her target with 9:35 to play Tuesday and the third-seeded Hawks held off sixth-ranked Sanford the rest of the way to win their Western Class A quarterfinal, 2-1.
Tice was on the right post to knock in a cross-goal feed from Emily Osborne, completing a multipass sequence. On a very similar chance a few minutes earlier, Tice misfired.
"The first time it got lifted and I tried to pop it in but I guess my stick wasn't angled enough and it just went straight across the goal," Tice said. "The goalie was in the same spot. I had that open cage. I just didn't want to go into overtime at all. It's stressful and very overwhelming."
"(Tice) could taste it. I think that's what kept her hungry. 'This one is not going wide. This one is getting on my stick, no matter what,' " Marshwood Coach Lisa Truesdale said.
Marshwood (13-2) advances to Saturday's semifinal at No. 2 Cheverus. In the regular season, Cheverus beat Marshwood in South Berwick 2-0 despite Marshwood having twice as many shots (12-6) and a 15-1 edge in penalty corners.
Marshwood took a 1-0 lead when Osborne poked home Ashley Hickey's pass to the post with 4:01 to play in the first half. Hickey set the play in motion with a strong rush through the midfield, then recovered the ball after her own shot was blocked by a defender.
The best chance for Sanford (10-5-1) in the first half came off a quick-set pass by Caroline L'Heureux that Janelle Cannon sent just wide.
Marshwood center midfielder Lindsey Poirier was a game-long difference maker because she consistently did three things: step in front and control Sanford drives and passes; use her stick skills to dribble past at least the first defender; and drive the ball considerable distances to the left and right sides of the field.
"She was very into the game. She was very focused, very determined," Tice said.
Sanford tied it 1:20 into the second half when L'Heureux, the Spartans' returning All-State player, took advantage of a Marshwood mistake deep in its circle to get her stick on an uncovered ball and push it past goalie Cassidy Smith (2 saves)
"I thought that might spark the team because a lot of times all it took was one goal for us to get going, but unfortunately it wasn't quite enough," Sanford Coach Diana Walker said.
Rather than panic, Marshwood re-established itself as the team more likely to move forward.
"I think (Marshwood) had a little more speed and their hits were a little harder than ours, and it was just that little edge that they needed," Walker said.
Marshwood defenders Suzannah Blass, Erica Connors, senior captain Kaitlin Carr and Junyoung Shin were able to hold Sanford to one shot after L'Heureux's goal. Shin was particularly noticeable with her persistent ability to stick with L'Heureux.
"We played very focused and calm, which I was glad to see, because I think they were under so much pressure," Truesdale said.
"Going in, I was very interested to see how they would play and obviously I was very pleased."
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at: