Tuesday, December 10, 2013
By Greg Reid, Special to the Press Herald
YARMOUTH - "Pretty," is how forward Olivia Madore described North Yarmouth Academy's 3-0 victory over Sacopee Valley in a Western Class C field hockey quarterfinal Tuesday.
The North Yarmouth Academy field hockey team surrounds Olivia Madore, 1, who scored the final goal Tuesday in a 3-0 victory against Sacopee Valley in a Western Class C quarterfinal. The Sacopee goalie, who played a strong game, is Chloe Ronco.
Photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Marina Poole of North Yarmouth Academy looks for a way around the Sacopee Valley defense. NYA will meet Dirigo in the regional semifinals.
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"We call it pretty field hockey," Madore said. "A lot of pretty passing. It's nice to watch."
"Pretty" works on a few levels. As in the Panthers were pretty fast. And pretty overwhelming, outshooting the Hawks 18-1 and holding a 7-1 edge in penalty corners.
The second-seeded Panthers (13-2) will be home Saturday in the quarterfinals against sixth-ranked Dirigo, which upset third-seeded Waynflete, 3-0.
Seventh-ranked Sacopee Valley ended a rebuilding year at 2-12-1.
"It's just so much faster here than on our field," said Sacopee Valley senior Julia Vacchiano. "We're not in condition to run on this."
The Panthers surely were in condition to run. And send long passes through the midfield that found their way onto the sticks of suddenly-there forwards. They were just as solid defensively, holding the Hawks to one shot on goalie Elizabeth Coughlin, and that came with a minute left.
"The game is faster on the turf, and we have the speed and skill to take advantage of it," said NYA Coach Tracy Quimby. "The girls love playing here."
Not that Tuesday's result came as a surprise to the Hawks, who lost to the Panthers 2-1 in the regional final a year ago.
Coach Teresa Barnes pointed out the Panthers prevailed 4-0 here on Sept. 18, but were held to 1-0 on the rougher, natural grass in South Hiram.
To prepare for the smoother surface at NYA, Barnes had her girls practice on the school track and also in the parking lot. " 'Redneck turf,' we like to call it."
Unfortunately for the Hawks, it made no difference. With the Panthers dominating early, Rose put the Panthers ahead 1-0 about 12 minutes in, lifting a feed from Lillie Reder past freshman goalie Chloe Ronco (15 saves.)
"You could see their speed on that turf," Barnes said. "We had a hard time with their passing and with tackling the ball."
That difficulty prompted Barnes to call a timeout with 16:59 left in the first half.
"I never call a timeout that early," Barnes said, "but I just had to get the girls together and say, 'You have a job to do. And it needs to get done.' "
The Hawks responded, particularly sweeper Rebecca Richard, who had the difficult task of keeping the likes of Olivia Madore, Marina Poole and Juliana Tardiff away from Ronco.
But the Panthers were swarming, the result of clever give-and-goes, and one-time passing that converged in the circle.
Ronco was brilliant at times, making three consecutive saves from close range with 15 minutes left in the first half.
Rose struck again with 1:28 left in the half, one-timing a pass from Tardiff in for a 2-0 lead.
"We have the same mentality from grass to tuft," Rose said. "But we're more patient, we spread out and we play more skillfully."
Rose almost made it 3-0 early in the second half, when she collected the ball at midfield and headed to goal. She beat two defenders to go one-on-one with Ronco, who made a pad save.
Madore converted a pass from Rose at 20:55 of the second half to put the game away.
"We lost nine seniors from the team that made the Western Maine final a year ago," said senior forward Paige Shortsleeves. "It's been so strange to go from a team that was older to one that's younger. It was nice watching everyone grow from where they started to where they ended up."
Correction: This story was revised at 9:47 a.m., Oct. 17, 2012, to correctly identify the coach of Sacopee Valley. It is Teresa Barnes.
click image to enlarge
Kayla Rose of North Yarmouth Academy finds enough room to push the field hockey ball up the field Tuesday while defended by Alexa Valente of Sacopee Valley during NYA’s 3-0 victory in a Western Class A quarterfinal.