Portland field hockey blanked by powerhouse Marshwood

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Marshwood senior Taylor Gilbert sends a shot past Portland junior goalie Maddie Pettengill for the fifth goal in the Hawks’ 9-0 win Wednesday afternoon.

Chris Lambert photos.

More photos below.

PORTLAND—Portland’s field hockey team got an opportunity to witness excellence up close and personal Wednesday afternoon at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

And while the Bulldogs suffered a lopsided loss to a Marshwood squad which might just play on the final Saturday of October, they hoped that the lessons they learned will pay dividends down the road.

The Hawks raced to a 2-0 lead less than six minutes in, as senior standout Hannah Costin scored on a penalty corner and sophomore Melanie Dube rattled the cage as well.

By halftime, Marshwood extended its lead to five, as senior Elaine Bachelder scored on a corner, sophomore Leah Glidden scored her first goal and Costin set up senior Taylor Gilbert in transition.

The Hawks nearly lived up to the ancient field hockey mantra that “every corner’s a goal,” as Costin and Glidden scored on corners early in the second half and after sophomore Celine Lawrence scored unassisted with 22 minutes to go, Glidden completed her hat trick with one more penalty corner goal as Marshwood went on to a decisive 9-0 victory.

Six different Hawks rattled the cage as they improved to 3-0, dropping Portland to 1-2 in the process.

“The girls fought to the end,” said Bulldogs coach Beth Arsenault. “There will be teams who school us and we need to take the lessons away from it.”

Tough draw

Portland missed the playoffs a year ago with a 4-10 record, but started the 2016 campaign with a 3-0 home win over Noble. Saturday, the Bulldogs fell, 6-0, at Biddeford.

Marshwood, a Class A South quarterfinalist in 2015, has been very impressive in the early going, opening with a 4-1 victory at perennial powerhouse Scarborough, then blanking visiting South Portland, 3-0.

The teams have played some memorable games in recent years, none bigger than the 2011 Western A Final, which Marshwood won, 4-1.

Last season, the host Hawks beat the Bulldogs, 1-0.

Wednesday, Portland hoped to beat Marshwood for the first time since the end of the 2014 season, but the Hawks stayed red hot, handing the Bulldogs their most lopsided decision since a 12-0 home setback to Scarborough Sept. 4, 2009.

A little over three minutes in, Marshwood earned its first penalty corner and executed it perfectly, as Bachelder inserted the ball up top to Costin, who stopped it, then ripped a blast that Portland junior Maddie Pettengill had no chance to deny and the Hawks were ahead to stay with 26:37 remaining in the first half.

With 24:34 to go, Glidden set up Dube to make it 2-0, but for the next 10-plus minutes, the Bulldogs went toe-to-toe with Marshwood and even had a couple chances to get on the board.

With 17:05 left in the half, senior Morgan Boyle fired a shot which went just wide and less than a minute later, sophomore Jaidyn Appel sent a shot on goal which Hawks senior goalie Shannon Giblin kicked aside.

Then, Marshwood returned to its dominant ways.

With 10:31 to go before halftime, Costin set up Bachelder for a goal on a corner.

With 8:28 left, Glidden finished a pass from Gilbert for a 4-0 lead.

The Hawks weren’t done, as with 1:51 showing, in transition, Costin, instead of driving for the goal herself and likely being able to finish, set up Gilbert and the score was 5-0.

“We like to spread the scoring around,” said Marshwood coach Lisa Truesdale. “Hannah’s really unselfish. That’s what we like to see.”

“(Marshwood’s) that good,” Arsenault said. “It’s tough to match up against their firepower. Honestly, some of their goals were just pretty. Most of their goals weren’t a defensive breakdown. They made plays in the middle of the field.”

Marshwood almost scored once more before the half, but with 35 seconds to go, a shot from Lawrence got past Pettengill only to be swept away by junior defender Mikayla Fortin.

In the first half, the Hawks had a 14-2 shots advantage and scored on two of their four corners. Only nine Pettengill saves prevented the score from being worse.

Little changed in the second half, other than Marshwood not getting credit for a clear goal 32 seconds in, as Lawrence’s shot hit the cage just inside the far post but wasn’t counted.

It only took the Hawks 32 more seconds to officially make it 6-0, as on a corner, Bachelder set up Costin for a second time.

Goal number seven came with 25:44 to play, as Bachelder fed Glidden.

With 22:02 left, Lawrence finished unassisted for an 8-0 lead.

The hosts had one final scoring chance with 3:13 remaining, but a shot from sophomore Bridget Maloney on a corner was saved by Giblin.

With 1:53 to play, Marshwood scored one final time on a corner, as Glidden capped her hat trick, bringing the curtain down on the Hawks’ 9-0 triumph.

“We work hard,” said Truesdale. “The girls are really jelling and working well together. I’ve always believed in team-mindedness and it’s nice to see it this year.”

Glidden’s three goals and one assist led the way, but she had plenty of company, as Costin scored twice (and had a pair of assists) and Bachelder (three assists), Dube, Gilbert (one assist) and Lawrence also rattled the cage. 

Marshwood finished with a 21-5 shots advantage, got five saves from Giblin and scored on five of its seven corners.

“We knew they have a young goalie and they were working on their defense.” Truesdale said. “I thought their goalie did some great things, but corners on turf are fun to do. The girls were able to capitalize.”

Portland got a dozen saves from Pettengill and earned four corners, but came up empty.

“I’m really encouraged by Maddie,” said Arsenault. “We lost an all-state goalie (Gianna Gaudet) and what we’re seeing by watching Maddie play is that (Gianna) is a pretty good coach too. Each game Maddie’s learning more.”

Portland got a chance to see what a potential champion looks like and Arsenault hopes her charges took notes.

“We’re learning that in high school field hockey, you can’t wait for the ball to come to you and you have to fight through no matter what,” Arsenault said. “I don’t have a ton of subs, but in a game like this, I’m going to put people in and let them get experience. I was encouraged by some of the girls who normally don’t get a lot of time and how well they did today. I didn’t have one returning defensive starter on the field and I had another player who first picked up a stick in July. They’re doing a great job learning on the job in an intimidating atmosphere and if it makes us stronger, it will be worth it.”

Moving forward

Marshwood looks to make it four in a row Friday when Sanford pays a visit. Tuesday brings a showdown at Massabesic.

“You never can take anything for granted in field hockey,” said Truesdale. “Hopefully we continue to stay focused. We won’t look too far ahead.” 

Portland hopes to get back on track Saturday at Massabesic. The Bulldogs return home Tuesday to battle rival Deering.

“Hopefully better days are ahead,” Arsenault said. “We sort of knew we had a nice opening game, then we had Biddeford, Marshwood and Massabesic, a tough stretch. We’re young and inexperienced, so for us, it’s about surviving that stretch with some semblance of confidence left.” 

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Portland senior Taylor Sargent launches a shot as Marshwood senior Hannah Costin looks on.

Portland senior Jenniluyn Nguyen battles Marshwood senior Elaine Bachelder for the ball.

Portland junior Sydney Gilbert tries to steal the ball from Marshwood sophomore Morgan Hasty.

Portland senior Morgan Boyle launches a shot on goal.

Portland sophomore Bridget Maloney and Marshwood senior Mallory Nadeau chase after a loose ball.

Portland junior Emma Scholz and Marshwood sophomore Leah Glidden battle for possession.

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.