Field Hockey: Falcons batter Patriots

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NEW GLOUCESTER—The Lady Falcons climbed on top early – and remained on top for the duration – vs. the Lady Patriots on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 16. Emily Hargreaves added one for G-NG, but Natalie Anderson, Ally Randall and Hannah Groves notched two apiece for Freeport as the visitors cruised to a 7-1 W.

“Freeport has a lot of talent this year and their program is strong,” said G-NG head coach Christa Roddy. “Our team was definitely worried about this game, and that showed with how we played on Saturday. We see [Freeport] again at the end of the season and we’ll be working on focusing on our own skills rather than allowing them to control the game.”

“The goal-scoring,” said Falcons head coach Marcia Wood; “we’ve been winning, yes, but the past few games, just 1-0. With Lake Region, 1-0; Greely we only scored one; Fryeburg we only scored one. So our goal was to be more aggressive in both circles. And our passing game, we’ve been working our passing game. I think it looked really good today.”

Freeport controlled much of the attack throughout the matchup, and Anderson posted the Falcons’ first notch just over three minutes in, assisted by Alexa Koenig. G-NG quieted their guests down for a long stretch – almost half a half – after that, but Freeport weren’t dead-set on a heaping up a huge victory, and Randall added their second (assisted by Kerry Lefebvre) with 12:53 to play.

“Once they started, and the passing looked good, I was like, ‘Okay; they’ll be okay,’” Wood said of her girls. “But you never how they’re going to start a game.”

The Falcons struck again at 7:07 (Anderson from Groves) and yet again at 5:31 (Randall unassisted), thus carrying a commanding, 4-0 advantage into the break. They hashed three more in the latter half, Groves scoring twice (at 16:07 and 12:19, assisted both times by Koenig) and Camryn Pasquale scoring once (at 8:10). 

It’s to the Patriots’ credit that – despite Saturday not being their day – they refused to let the Falcons skunk them. Still, Hargreaves’s lone goal, which came with 9:05 to play, proved too little too late, and Freeport emerged triumphant.

“Freeport certainly controlled the game on Saturday,” Roddy said. “We managed to be successful when our communication was working well. We were able to provide leading and quick passes that allowed us to move up the field. We got a few shots on goal, including making a goal, which happened when we found free space in the scoring circle and made quick shots. Emily’s goal came from being at the right place, in position, to make the move toward goal when the ball came her way.”

“We’ve been working all season on switching our mindset quickly from offense to defense,” Roddy said. “The ball moved quickly from our offensive 25 to our defensive 25. Inside the defensive circle, we needed to attack the ball with possession in mind rather than trying to stop a shot on goal. We also gave up a lot of corners when girls would turn their backs to the ball or lose track of it and end up with it in their feet. Overall, our defensive strategy across the field needs some work.”

Roddy took a moment to elaborate further on Hargreaves’s contributions, as well as on those of a couple other girls. “Emily had an excellent game. She has been battling an injury this year, which limits her play time, however she is able to make the best of her time on the field, including breakaways. Madie Post also did a great job keeping our communication up as needed and controlling the offensive attacks when they came. Madelyn Cote is a strong force in our midfield and also lead some attacking opportunities.”

The result bumped Freeport to 4-0-1; the Falcons are having an excellent season in a pretty even conference: A number of teams have already shown their mettle, but also a hint of vulnerability, including York, Yarmouth and Greely. Freeport next heads into a particularly tough stretch, however. The Falcons took on Traip on Monday the 18th, winning 5-0; they next see St. Dom on the 20th, York on the 23rd and Yarmouth on the 26th.

Wood expressed satisfaction with the development her program has seen in recent years. “The seniors and the juniors are finally working together, and now the freshmen and sophomore – one sophomore – are picking it up with them. It’s been a while; most of these girls were on varsity on their freshman year. So my seniors, this is their fourth year, it’s about time things start to click. It’s a time you finally realize who’s playing where; they work really well together. It’s nice.”

Wood applauded several of her girls by name. “Mya Bradbury, with her hustle; she’s just all over the field, making stuff happen. Kerry Lefebvre played a great game…her and [Alexa] and Natalie were carrying the ball up the field so much, and they don’t necessarily get the goal in the end, but it’s like, you’re still doing something – you might not be the one finishing it, but they couldn’t have done that without you being there.”

G-NG slipped on the loss to 1-4. The Patriots’ lone win came 5-1 vs. Waynflete/MGA on Sept. 14; they’ve dropped bouts to Cape, Greely and Fryeburg. G-NG drooped in on Yarmouth on the 18th, losing 7-0. They visit Poland on the 20th and Lake Region on the 22nd.

Adam Birt can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @CurrentSportsME.

Patriot Laura Dumas and Falcon Callie Toothaker race toward the ball.

Camryn Pasquale drives for the Falcons.

Alexa Koenig smashes a ball toward the G-NG cage.