Massabesic goalie Julia Gregoire dives to stop a shot during a high school field hockey game against Thornton Academy on Friday in Saco. The Mustangs beat the Golden Trojans 2-0 to improve to 4-0 on the season. (ED DEXTER PHOTOGRAPHY)

SACO – Each time the Massabesic High field hockey team comes away with a victory this season, the players ask head coach Michele Martin-Moore how close they are to matching last year’s win total of five. 

After Thursday’s 2-0 victory at Thornton Academy (1-2), Massabesic (4-0) won’t have to ask for too much longer. 

“It’s kind of gotten to be a joke, but at the same time I want them to keep that perspective in their head that yes, you have improved,” Martin-Moore said. “We’re tipping it in the other direction. I think that every time they win one, they’re starting to believe that.” 

Sophomore Emily Jacobs scored the game’s first goal with 3:55 left in the first half. She added her second score off of a corner 48 seconds later.  

Last year, the Mustangs came out on the short end of a handful of one-goal games, including a 5-4 loss to Cheverus in the Class A preliminary round. This season, Massabesic hasn’t let that situation come into play. Massabesic opened with a 6-1 win against Bonny Eagle, a 6-2 victory at Westbrook and a 4-2 win over Windham. 

For 26 minutes against Thornton Academy’s defensive pressure, though, Massabesic struggled to find openings. Each time the Mustangs appeared to have an advantage in the first half, Golden Trojans defenders, led by Jaigan Boudreau and Kaleigh Miller, swarmed the ball and made quick, accurate outlet passes downfield. 

“Credit TA’s defense,” Martin-Moore said. “If you don’t have the field vision past six to seven yards in front of you, you’re not seeing that the other side of the field is open. TA played incredible defense and it kind of took us out of our game a little bit.”  

Thornton Academy goalie Madison Vachon just misses a shot by Massabesic sophomore Emily Jacobs during the first half of Friday’s Class A South matchup. Jacobs scored both of the Mustangs goals within 48 seconds of each other. (ED DEXTER PHOTOGRAPHY)

Despite trailing, and ultimately falling short on the scoreboard, the Golden Trojans controlled possession for the majority of the match. Thornton outshot Massabesic 9-4, just missing several golden opportunities due to the stickwork of Mustang goalie Julia Gregoire.  

The match reminded Thornton Academy head coach Lori Smith of the season opener, a 2-1 loss to Gorham, where the offense had chances but couldn’t find the back of the net. Still, she said, holding a team with the offensive firepower of Massabesic to two scores while applying their own consistent pressure for 60 minutes is something Thornton can build on. 

“(Massabesic) is a pretty explosive team – they have super athletes,” Smith said. “ It stinks to lose, but I told my team if we keep playing like that, we’ll be successful.” 

 

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