WATERVILLE — When Messalonskee beat Skowhegan earlier this season, it was a shocker – the first time the Indians had lost since 2009.

When the Eagles beat Skowhegan in the rematch, it was something even greater – a tribute to all the girls who make up the Messalonskee field hockey team.

Less than 48 hours after the death of Messalonskee girls’ soccer player Cassidy Charette, the Eagles gave a stellar performance in a 4-2 victory Monday morning at Thomas College.

“That is the best game we’ve ever played as a team,” Messalonskee Coach Katie McLaughlin said. “I, hands down, could not be prouder of these girls. We spent all day Sunday as a team together – holding each other, crying, really trying to figure out how we’re going to move forward, especially with the last two weeks at school and all our circumstances.

“The girls had every excuse in the world today to not play well. And they came together and worked as one whole unit, better than I’ve ever seen a team do.”

Charette was killed in a hayride accident Saturday night in Mechanic Falls, less than two weeks after another Messalonskee student committed suicide.

Messalonskee also was without star forward Emily Hogan, who was among the students injured on the hayride.

“We just wanted to play our hearts (out), because we know Cassidy would have got one more soccer game, and she would have just given it her all,” said Messalonskee senior Brooke Quirion, who scored the winning goal and also had an assist.

“Emily’s always in our thoughts. We knew how bad she wanted to be on the field, but she just couldn’t. So we just wanted to play our best for her and Cass.”

The Messalonskee players wore headbands with No. 11 – Charette’s soccer number.

The Eagles (12-2) took a 1-0 lead when Quirion set up Ally Leighton just 3:28 into the game. Skowhegan (12-2) tied the score at 6:53, as Rylie Blanchet blasted one in from the top of the circle on a penalty corner.

Messalonskee had a few other corners in the first half, but Skowhegan back Tori Mullin broke up two of them. The Indians earned a corner in the final seconds, and Lauren LeBlanc sent the ball into the goal to give Skowhegan a 2-1 lead at the half.

“During halftime, we knew that we were playing just as well,” Quirion said. “We just knew that we had to get going on our corners and just do our best.”

Messalonskee struck at the start of the second half, with Nathalie St. Pierre converting a pass from Ally Corbett at 2:42. Skowhegan earned three corners in the next five minutes, but Messalonskee freshman Haley Lowell kept disrupting the corners from her flyer position. The Indians had one chance, by Renee Wright, that sailed just wide left, but Messalonskee did not allow another corner or scoring opportunity over the final 20 minutes.

The Eagles took the lead for good with 18:03 left when they converted a corner. Riley Field received the insertion pass at the top of the circle and slid a pass to Lowell, who drilled it toward the right post, where Quirion was there to chip it in.

Messalonskee added another goal when Lydia Dexter knocked one in to make 4-2 with 10:46 remaining.

“I thought, Messalonskee, this was the best game I’ve ever seen them play,” Skowhegan Coach Paula Doughty said. “We’ve got to get on some turf and practice, that’s for sure. But you know, it just wasn’t our day. When days like this happen, you just put it behind you, and you start again.

“You’ve got to give Messalonskee credit. After going through what they’ve gone through, to come out and play like that today was something really special.”


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