Saturday, December 7, 2013
By EARL SWINSON Special to the Press Herald
TOPSHAM - Caitlin LaFountain scored all four goals and Carly Raymond added three assists as fourth-seeded Mt. Ararat shut out fifth-ranked Lewiston 4-0 in an Eastern Class A field hockey quarterfinal Wednesday.
It was the first playoff victory for Mt. Ararat since 1980, and there have been more many lean years in the interim.
As LaFountain, whose mother, Kelly, coaches the Eagles, said, "I've been watching the team since I was little, and it was great to win this for all those teams as well as for ourselves."
Caitlin LaFountain certainly did her part, but she had plenty of help as the Eagles (11-4) racked up a 17-2 advantage in shots in winning the rubber match of the season series against the Blue Devils (9-6).
"Yes, Caitlin scored the goals, but it was a great team effort," said Coach LaFountain. "The kids worked so hard to get to this point, as all teams do, and everyone did their jobs. They put it all together. I'm at a loss for words but this was really awesome."
Raymond and LaFountain combined for the first goal at 25:19 of the first half when Raymond collected the ball in the right corner and crossed to LaFountain, who one-timed a hard knee-high shot into the net from 15 yards.
The two duplicated their efforts three minutes later, this time Raymond carrying the ball from midfield and into the corner before crossing for another one-timer.
"She did a great job of keeping her eyes on the ball," said Raymond.
"They were nice hard crosses," said LaFountain. "And their goalie (Ravon Palmer) is outstanding and very aggressive. If you stop the ball, she'll come out and make the save."
Mt. Ararat pressed in the opening minute of the second half when Lizzie O'Neal hit a post before Palmer robbed both Charlotte Crosby and O'Neal in close.
Halfway through the period, O'Neal sent a long free hit up to Raymond in the right side of the crease, and Raymond again found LaFountain for a third one-timer. Palmer had no chance.
Taylor Pare, the Mt. Ararat keeper, stopped Jenessa Talarico twice at the right post 20 minutes in.
LaFountain closed out the scoring in the final minute off an assist from Crosby.
'This is my first year here," said Lewiston Coach Randy Richardson, "but this is a remarkable group of girls. They're very dedicated to the sport and to each other.
"Ravon is in a class to herself, but my other three captains (Sadie Poulin, Kelsey Dumond and Allison Osgood) are (Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference) all-stars and can keep playing at the next level."
"We've had some tough years," said Osgood, "but Coach knew how to pull our talents together."