FREEPORT — Freeport received goals from four different players, tallying three second-half goals to pull away for a 5-0 victory over Greely in Western Maine Conference field hockey action Wednesday.

Freeport’s Hannah Groves, right, slides in front of Greely’s Megan Beaulieu during the first half of Wednesay’s WMC field hockey tilt in Freeport. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

The game at Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field was the season opener for both teams.

“It was huge to come out and open the season with this type of game,” Freeport coach Marcia Wood said. “These girls have been ready since day one of the preseason. Our stick work is beautiful, our passing is beautiful, and we need to be aggressive, that’s stuff I can’t teach them in practice, and I think they did that today.”

Both teams played a lot of action in the middle of field to start the game before Freeport began putting the pressure on the Greely defense.

After a Wood timeout with a little under 12 minutes remaining in the half, the Falcons nearly put the first goal on the board when Amelia Farrin took a shot on goal, but Greely’s Meghan Abel got a stick on it and was able to knock it away. Freeport forced a pair of penalty corners but came up empty on the attacks.

The game remained scoreless until Farrin received a pass from Hannah Groves in front of the cage and knocked it past Rangers keeper Savanna Harvey for the score with 2:16 left in the half.

Greely came close to tying the contest less than a minute later but was denied when Isabella Hendry’s shot was blocked by defensive back Rachel Harmon.

The Falcons added another goal with less than 10 seconds left as Autumn Golding scored off a Kyla Havey helper for a 2-0 lead.

Freeport finished the half with five shots on goal with seven penalty corners. Falcons goalie Piper Sherbert turned away the one shot she faced in the opening half.

‘Coach, we can score’

Freeport’s Aynslie Decker carries the ball down the sideline while she looks to pass to the center of the field as Greely’s Isabella Hendry defends on Wednesday at Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field in Freeport. The Falcons defeatd the Rangers, 5-0. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

Freeport came out in the second half with confidence and energy that translated into offensive prowess.

Despite not being able to push across a goal in the first 10 minutes of the half, the Falcons put a lot of pressure on Harvey and the Rangers defense. Harvey faced shot after shot in the chaos, being pressured by Groves, Aynslie Decker and Farrin, constantly moving in net, keeping the Falcons off the board.

“A few of the girls know her from Maine Stix so we knew that she moves well and that she was going to be tough,” Wood said.

“She is one of the hardest working athletes we have. She is very athletic and has so much passion for the game and it feeds off of her with her saves,” Greely coach Chelsea Morley said of her goalie, who finished with 14 saves.

But at 19:10, Freeport’s Havey scored an unassisted goal after carrying the ball into the circle and sneaking it past Harvey for the score.

“We were able to maintain possession and work the ball in,” Decker said as the junior forward/mid was just one of many Falcons creating havoc in front of the cage. “We had to come out and try to aim for the corners and keep the goalie moving.”

Minutes later, Freeport scored again, this time a goal from Ally Randall as she picked up a rebound off a Golding shot to put the Falcons ahead, 4-0.

Coach Wood has been cautious this preseason about the offense after losing some dynamic players from a year ago.

“They all have been reading the previews that I’ve given to the newspapers and they’re like ‘she doesn’t think we’re going to score that many,’” said the coach. “I said we may not score five or six goals like last year, so after the game I told them that they made me eat my words.”

“She said that we may not score a lot and that it will come down to our passing game,” Falcons defender Harmon said. “But I think that fueled us to be like ‘no coach, we can score’ and we did.”

Farrin capped the scoring with her second goal of the game with two minutes remaining after she picked up a loose ball and stuck it inside the net.

Meanwhile, Harmon and the rest of the Falcons defense that included solid play from Meredith Fuller, Rianna Tomm and Alex Ranaletti kept Greely from managing only one second half shot while preserving the shutout.

“We definitely work together and understand communication is a great part of our success,” Harmon said. “We communicate a lot and we’re able to slide around and fill in gaps.”

Freeport defender Rianna Tomm, right, takes the ball away from a Greely player during Wednesday’s 5-0 victory for the Falcons at Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field in Freeport. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

“Rach is our rock as she is the solid one back there as a communicator,” Wood said. “She has been improving and now has the stick skills. She does a great job backing up, she’s a solid player.”

Freeport hosts Poland on Saturday at 11 a.m. The Falcons rallied to defeat the Knights (3-2) in last season’s B South quarterfinal match.

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