Friday, December 13, 2013
By STEVE CRAIG Staff Writer
WATERBORO - Goalkeeper Libby DesRuisseaux has heard others call her Cheverus High field hockey team "a second-half team."
Elyse Caiazzo, left, of Cheverus high-fives teammate Meredith Willard after scoring the second goal of the first half Thursday, helping the Stags reach 6-0 with a 3-1 victory against previously undefeated Massabesic.
Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer
Emily Rodrigue of Cheverus looks for the ball to settle before unleashing a shot Thursday while defended by Abigail Staples of Massabesic. Cheverus won, 3-1.
Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer
The undefeated and top-ranked Stags showed Thursday they could play in both halves -- in different ways -- and handed Massabesic its first loss, 3-1 in a Southern Maine Activities Association game.
"Everyone is like, Cheverus is a second-half team and we score the majority of our goals in the second half," DesRuisseaux said. "We're trying to prove people wrong that we aren't a second-half team, that we can do it in both halves."
Cheverus is 6-0 with games against fellow unbeatens Marshwood and Scarborough looming. Massabesic, which entered the game ranked fourth in the Heal point standings, is 4-1.
Cheverus clicked for three goals in the first half: Emily Rodrigue got the opener 3:24 into the game, and Elyse Caiazzo and Alexandra Logan scored less than a minute apart two-thirds of the way through the half. Center midfielder Staci Swallow assisted on two goals. Reserve Meredith Willard made a nice play to collect the ball at the feet of Massabesic goalie Abby Greenleaf and then drive it on goal, where Caiazzo deflected it in.
For most of the season, Rodrigue and Swallow have carried the offense.
"That's exactly what we've focused on the last practices, to have other people step up," Cheverus Coach Amy McMullin said. "We've been trying to figure out why they haven't been able to score and seeing them score today, I'm very proud of that."
Massabesic was without two injured players and had a third serving an academic suspension, leaving the Mustangs with only two substitutes. On a warm afternoon, Cheverus used a steady stream of substitutes to keep everyone fresh.
"At the end of the first half you could see them calling for subs, just as we were, but we had so many more bodies to put in," McMullin said.
In the second half it was DesRuisseaux taking center stage with nine saves (13 for the game). It was the first time this season she'd been so sternly tested.
"This was the first game where I got that type of serious action, and it was good because I like playing and I like getting some shots and this was a good game for everyone," DesRuisseaux said. "This was our first challenge and I think we did well."
Jackie Guillemette scored her 12th goal of the season for Massabesic with three minutes remaining after being freed on a breakaway by Alex Staples.
Cheverus backup keeper Cindy Clark had entered the game a few minutes earlier.
"It's nice that we had that type of pressure," McMullin said.
"We love coming into games like this where anybody can win on any day. We've been looking forward to this game for awhile."
Cheverus came close to padding its lead in the first five minutes of the second half but Greenleaf (10 saves), a first-year keeper, twice denied hard drives by Swallow with quick kick saves.
An end-to-end rush by Guillemette seemed to spark the Mustangs. A forward, Guillemette dropped deep into the defensive zone, stole the ball and motored up the left sideline to earn a penalty corner.
Over the next 20 minutes, Massabesic held a 10-2 shot advantage and racked up nine penalty corners.
"It speaks volumes about the heart in that team," Massabesic Coach Michelle Martin-Moore said. "To be down 3-0 and come back.
"We won the second half. There's no quit in this team. They learned from their mistakes, and you could tell from the first half to the second half."
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at: