Field Hockey: Paige Davis unloads blast to propel Lakers over Raiders in OT

CELEBRATING — Lake Region junior Paige Davis (left) and sophomore Delaney Meserve celebrate Davis firing home the winning goal in the first 30 seconds of overtime against Fryeburg Academy last Thursday. (Photo by Dena Dunn)

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Through 60 minutes, neither the Lakers or Raiders were able to mount a serious goal-scoring chance.

It took Paige Davis just 30 seconds to finally break the field hockey stalemate.

Off a feed by Hailey Parsons, which found an opening in the FA defense, Davis moved the ball inside the left side of the circle and drilled a drive past FA netminder Bridget Fahey for the game winner in last Thursday’s season opener for both schools.

“Our OT was as planned. We didn’t start with possession, so I told the girls, first we need to win possession, then get the ball to Delaney (Meserve) or Paige — they both have great speed,” Laker Coach Pauline Webb said. “I felt confident if we got the ball to these two we could outrun Fryeburg and have a 2v1 or 1v1. Paige finished it beautifully for us. I was thrilled for the girls!”

Fryeburg Academy Coach Dede Frost felt the two clubs were evenly matched, and provided fans with an exciting opening day.

“It was a crowd pleaser and evenly played by both teams. I was pleased that our defense did not allow the ball to penetrate in to our circle or allow many scoring opportunities,” Coach Frost said. “These two teams were so evenly matched that it was just a matter of time before one team was able to put the ball in the net. It was a great game!”

The ball stayed between the 25-yard lines for most of the afternoon. Each team had a few penalty corner opportunities (LR 7, FA 5), but neither was able to apply pressure on net as the defenses were quick to move the ball out of the scoring zone.

“I thought the girls played okay for our opener; it’s always more of a mental game when we play against rivals.” Coach Webb said. “We also had to make adjustments the day before the game due to one of our starting forwards —sophomore Kaitlyn Plummer — injuring her knee; that threw us off a bit, but I was pleased that we worked through it and younger players stepped up to fill the position.”

Coach Webb substituted more than she normally likes to, trying to give players rest and trying to find the right combinations.

“I felt as though we possessed the ball more than Fryeburg did. It’s true we had difficulty getting the ball in the circle. I think once I solidify player positions, we will flow better and players will have more confidence in their position,” she added. “Getting players in ‘game condition’ and not having to sub so much will also help.”

Coach Frost also faces reworking her front line, which graduated a couple big scorers.

“There was not a whole lot of offensive action for either team to capitalize on. Each team took turns controlling the momentum of the game,” she said.

JV: The teams played two 15-minute halves, 7v7. Madison Hofacker of Lake Region scored the lone goal.

Up next: The Lakers travel to Bowdoin College on Friday to play Freeport at 5 p.m. The Falcons’ new athletic complex is not ready for play yet. LR then travels to York on Tuesday, Sept. 12 for a 4 p.m. game.

Meanwhile, the Raiders travel to Yarmouth Friday for a 6 p.m. contest, and then go to Gray-New Gloucester on Tuesday for a 3:30 p.m. game.

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