SOUTH PORTLAND—South Portland’s up and coming field hockey team had the misfortune of matching up with an angry and determined bunch of Marshwood Hawks in a Friday morning contest at Wainwright Farms.
Marshwood, a preseason favorite coming off a disappointing and frustrating home loss to defending state champion Scarborough in the season opener Wednesday, reminded everyone just how good they can be and showed the Red Riots that they still have some work to do to join the upper echelon of Southern Class A contenders.
The Hawks carried play throughout and finally broke through in the game’s 23rd minute, when junior Hannah Costin (remember her name) rattled the cage. Costin struck again less than two minutes later and Marshwood was up, 2-0, at halftime.
With the Hawks preventing South Portland from even managing a shot, they quickly ended the competitive phase of the contest in the second half, as Costin capped her hat trick with a penalty stroke, then set up freshman Leah Glidden for a 4-0 lead. A rebound goal from junior Alexis Tworkowski and one final Costin tally brought the curtain down on Marshwood’s decisive 6-0 triumph.
Costin finished with four goals and an assist, the Hawks outshot the Red Riots, 15-0, and both teams are now 1-1 on the young season.
“We knew (Marshwood) had something to prove today,” said South Portland coach Leslie Dyer. “We knew that they’d play a fast game and that they were good. I was hoping my team would come out with more intensity, but we just played defense. We didn’t attack. We reacted. That got to us against a solid team. We got handled.”
South Portland started trending upwards late last season when it won its last four games to make the playoffs for the first time in four years. While the Red Riots were eliminated, 4-0, by Falmouth in the Western A preliminary round, they carried that momentum into this fall where they opened with a 1-0 overtime win at Gorham Wednesday on sophomore Bonge Lako’s tally.
Marshwood has been no stranger to long playoff runs the past several years and entered 2015 highly touted, but Wednesday, the Hawks were blanked by visiting Scarborough, the defending Class A champion, 2-0.
Last fall, South Portland lost at Marshwood, 5-0.
Friday, the Red Riots sought their first victory over the Hawks since September 22, 2010 (2-0), but Marshwood made it five in a row in the series (and now have a 24-1 goals advantage in those games).
The tone was set early as the Hawks got possession and set up in South Portland’s zone.
In the game’s fourth minute, junior Mallory Nadeau had a nice look, but shot just wide of the goal.
Marshwood then got successive corners, but couldn’t get a shot on goal.
With 19:46 to play in the half, South Portland’s highlight came when junior standout Lydia Henderson saw her first action of the season. Henderson had been sidelined by mono, but will slowly work herself back into the rotation.
“(Lydia) said she could play more, but we’re going easy with her,” Dyer said. “She practiced for the first time yesterday. We’ll get her back gradually.”
After Nadeau had a shot blocked by Red Riots senior goalie Grace Chitam and senior Claudia Folger sent a rebound wide, the visitors finally broke through and got the only goal they needed.
With 7:40 left in the half, Costin got an open look and fired a shot that Chitam couldn’t stop for a 1-0 advantage.
“That goal gave us confidence,” Costin said. “We moved the ball well and I had open drives.”
On Marshwood’s fifth corner, the Hawks doubled their lead as junior Elaine Bachelder set up Costin to make it 2-0.
Chitam prevented the deficit from growing further when she made a diving save with 3:03 left, but the Hawks were very much in command at halftime.
Marshwood enjoyed a 5-0 shots advantage and a 5-0 edge in penalty corners in the first 30 minutes.
The Hawks were even more dominant in the second half.
After South Portland fended off three corners, with Chitam denying Folger on one, Marshwood pressured the goal and after Chitam fell to the ground, the ball was trapped beneath her, giving the Hawks a penalty stroke.
To no one’s surprise, Costin took it and made it, although her high shot barely got under the crossbar before rattling home for a 3-0 advantage with 25:08 to play.
“I don’t look at where I’m going (on strokes),” said Costin. “I wait a little bit after the whistle to freak out the goalie a little bit. I thought it might not make it. I was a little scared it was too high.”
With 21:37 left, someone other than Costin scored, although it looked initially like she’d scored her fourth goal. Costin sent a long shot on goal which eluded Chitam. It was tipped by Glidden first and the lead was 4-0.
The Hawks would score twice more, as Tworkowski banged home a rebound on a corner with 16:51 remaining and with 12:16 to go, Costin got her fourth goal, weaving through the defense before shooting past Chitam, and that brought the curtain down on an emphatic 6-0 victory.
“We were hoping for the win (against Scarborough),” Costin said. “We’ve never beaten them. I think we did pretty good for a first game, but we just couldn’t finish. That’s what we did today. We wanted to make a statement today.”
South Portland was outshot, 15-0. Chitam did make eight saves. Marshwood had a 10-0 advantage on corners.
Marshwood is back in action Tuesday when it hosts Portland. The Hawks are at Sanford Thursday.
“We should be there all season,” Costin said. “I really like our team. I think we can win.”
South Portland doesn’t have much time to lick its wounds, as it goes to Cheverus Tuesday and hosts Deering Thursday.
“Our season doesn’t get any easier,” Dyer said. “I hope that we learn from this. I hope we can rebound and decide this isn’t how our season will be and progress forward from here. I want them to be hungry and go for it.”
South Portland senior Maddie Hasson fights for possession during the Red Riots’ 6-0 home loss to Marshwood Friday morning.
Bruce Feeley photos.
South Portland sophomore Bonge Lako plays defense on Marshwood junior Mallory Nadeau.
South Portland junior Jessica Angelova chases down a loose ball.
South Portland senior Ciera Mullen shields the ball from Marshwood freshman Leah Glidden.
Marshwood junior Alexis Tworkowski prepares to fire a rebound past South Portland senior goalie Grace Chitam for the Hawks’ fifth goal.
South Portland senior goalie Grace Chitam dives to make a save.