SOUTH BERWICK – The defending Western Class A field hockey champions from Marshwood High appeared well on their way to a satisfying season-opening win.

Then Sanford tied Friday’s game with two second-half goals in three minutes.

“I had chills the whole time because I was scared,” said Marshwood junior forward Ashley Hickey.

Scared or not, Hickey put the game on ice, turning a pass from Emily Osborne into a breakaway goal with 5:26 to play. The Hawks added goals from Ashley Tice and Osborne for a 5-2 win.

“We lost three very good seniors from last year’s team but this game shows that we can keep it going and stay as strong as we were last year,” Hickey said.

Hickey helped create Marshwood’s second goal, scored by Karissa Boesch to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead with 15:55 remaining. That tandem, along with sophomore center midfielder Lindsey Poirier (goal), Osborne, and Hailey Moulton (assist) created numerous rushes up the field.

Sanford countered the second goal by producing a dominant eight-minute stretch, led by the play of four-year varsity forward and 2011 All-State selection Caroline L’Heureux, with solid support from Tallyn Brown and junior midfielder Emily Salls.

“They started to back each other up and have more confidence in each other instead of trying to do it all by themselves,” Sanford Coach Diana Walker said.

L’Heureux scored with 12:39 to play on a pass from Janelle Cannon. Sanford kept up the pressure and Lauren Sawyer drove home a shot off an assist by Brown with 9:34 to play.

Sanford continued to besiege Marshwood goalkeeper Cassidy Dixon (6 saves) and the Hawk defense. Dixon made four saves in less than three minutes, with one shot by L’Heureux glancing off her pads and then the post.

“We had all kinds of chances. We had multiple corners,” Walker said. “We just haven’t got our strength going in the right direction yet.”

In 30 years as Sanford’s coach, Walker has seen what often happens when such extended all-out pressure goes unrewarded.

“It automatically goes the opposite direction because frustration sets in,” Walker said.

It was just that sort of play that freed Hickey for the game-winning goal, as she got behind the defense and went in on net opposed only by Sanford goalie Taylor Zuk. An initial bid caught a piece of Zuk’s pads but went behind the goalie. Hickey was able to get past Zuk and buried the open cage shot.

“Ashley Hickey was obviously the catalyst. She showed everyone, ‘Look, I’m not going to settle. This is not happening,”‘ Marshwood Coach Lisa Truesdale said.

Before Sanford scored its first goal, Truesdale’s on-field exhortations made it clear she knew her team had relaxed with its 2-0 lead.

“It was a good lesson. If they become complacent and they don’t stay on top of things and just try to stay on a 2-0 lead, nothing good will come of it,” Truesdale said.

“What I’m glad is that they saw that they can come back and overcome. I believe that from every game in the regular season there is a lesson. Hopefully from this they see that they didn’t give up and they didn’t fall apart as a team.”

Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at:

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