Tuesday, December 10, 2013
By STEVE CRAIG Staff Writer
FALMOUTH - There wasn't any rain and thanks to two second-half goals, no last-second drama.
Hayley Winslow of Falmouth sends the ball up the field while defended by Sarah Gooch of Greely during Falmouth’s 3-0 victory Wednesday night.
John Patriquin/Staff Photographer
The Falmouth High field hockey team rolled out a dynamic transition offense spearheaded by its veteran midfield and opened the season Wednesday night with a 3-0 Western Maine Conference victory over Greely.
Last year in the teams' first meeting -- also on the artificial turf at Falmouth -- the Yachtsmen needed a Mikey Richards goal with three seconds left in a driving rain to win, 4-3.
"Last year was really stressful," said Falmouth midfielder Leika Scott. "We came out really strong and working hard and kept our composure. The beginning of the first half was a little nerve-wracking."
Both teams had forays into the offensive zone but no true chances, in large part due to the defensive efforts of Greely left back Emily Domingo and Falmouth sweeper Katie Cooleen.
This time Richards didn't wait as long to come through. After several thwarted attempts by Falmouth to cross the ball into the penalty circle, Scott was able to get a drive across the face of Greely starting keeper Leah Dixon (3 saves) and Richards was in position at the left post, deflecting in the season's first goal with 3:50 left in the first half.
"She's one of the hardest workers on our team in terms of working to get herself in the right position with her feet and her stick, and she can come up with some big goals for us," Falmouth Coach Robin Haley said.
Scott and midfield partners Sarah Sparks and Hayley Winslow took over early in the second half, repeatedly turning possession into quick opportunities up the field, with Jill Rothweiler often as the target.
Scott made it 2-0 with 22:12 left to play on a hard shot from the right side of the top circle. Winslow set her up with a pass from the left side.
Scott's shot zipped through the Greely defense and into the goal before Michelle Gray (3 saves), who replaced Dixon at the half, could recover.
Falmouth kept the pressure up and Winslow banged in a loose ball off a penalty corner with 16 minutes to play.
"Our midfield, this is our third year all playing together," Scott said. "The transition game is something we've really been working on in the preseason; getting the ball from the midfield into a scoring opportunity. It's a key part of our game."
With 14 returning seniors, Greely Coach Kristina Lane Prescott said before the game her team was well prepared to start its season. Over the final minutes, the Rangers showed they could be dangerous, creating several good opportunities.
"It's not what I was looking for but it's a starting point," Lane Prescott said. "I think the inexperience we have on turf and their experience on turf was very evident tonight. When you're playing a team like this that has so much skill and experience on turf, every little mistake shows."
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at: