BIDDEFORD — Although the high school field hockey playoffs don’t start for another week, Biddeford High Coach Caitlin Albert had a message for her players before Friday night’s game with Westbrook: “Play this like a playoff game.”

And they sure did.

Top-ranked Biddeford remained undefeated as Abby Allen and Paige Laverriere each scored off penalty corners in a 2-0 victory over the second-ranked Blazes at Waterhouse Field. This was a rematch of last year’s regional championship game, won by Westbrook 2-0. Biddeford is 12-0-1 in Class A South and Westbrook dropped to 11-1-1.

“Because of last year and the regionals, they kind of became a rival ever since that day,” said Biddeford senior midfielder Hailey Allen, who assisted on both goals. “We’ve kind of focused on this game ever since the beginning of the season but took it one game at a time as well.”

Abby Allen, right, celebrates scoring the first goal in Friday’s game with Megan Mourmouras, left, and Paige Laverriere. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

The Tigers played an exceptional defensive game, limiting Westbrook to three shots by playing aggressively in the midfield area. It was their goal not to let Westbrook get any chances in the circle – or as Albert calls it, “the danger zone” – and for the most part they succeeded.

The one time there was a breakdown – on a Westbrook corner midway through the first half – goalie Taylor Wildes made a magnificent save. Morgan LeBeau inserted the ball from the left of the cage to Avery Tucker at the top of the circle. Her drive was deflected to LeBeau uncovered on the left but Wildes dived and knocked the shot away with her stick.

Westbrook’s Alexis Witham tries to get the ball past Biddeford’s Harmonie Coolbroth. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

“I’ve been working on that,” said Wildes. “It was pretty scary.”

“Some days you get the touches, some days you don’t,” said Westbrook Coach Theresa Hendrix. “Their goalie is top-notch.”

That save, said Albert, “changed things. It changed things on the bench, it changed things on the field. It gave us more confidence.”

Westbrook’s Kim Goddard is a pretty good goalie too. She had three early saves and kept the Tigers at bay.

But with 9:57 left in the first half, the Tigers broke through on a penalty corner. Laverriere inserted the ball from the left to Abby Allen, who passed to Hailey Allen on the right. Hailey Allen drew the defense to her and then passed back to Abby Allen, who fired a low shot back into the far corner.

Biddeford’s Jillian McSorley, left, and Brooklyn Goff try to get the ball from Westbrook’s Abigail Symbol. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Midway through the second half, Biddeford struck again on another corner. This time Laverriere inserted it from the left to Hailey Allen at the top of the circle. As the defense rushed her, she passed back to Laverriere on the left and her shot found its way inside the post for a 2-0 lead. After that, Biddeford’s defense clamped down even harder.

“The last two practices we’ve been focusing on recovering (defensively) a lot because that was one of our weaknesses,” said Laverriere. “I think we fixed it.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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