Dover-Foxcroft- The intensity steps up a notch when the Dexter Tigers and Foxcroft Ponies get together.
Monday afternoon was no different.
Sophomore Julia Annis scored the game winning goal with 4:35 remaining to lead the Ponies to a 2-1 high school field hockey victory over the Tigers.
“I just brought it down as fast as I could. I was not expecting to score,”Annis said. “I was going to pass it across than I realized I could score.”.
Slowing down Libby Kain was a focus for Ponies coach Stephanie Smith. Kain came into the game with nine goals and 10 assists in the first four games.
“We intended defensively to mark up on Libby (Kain). She is usually their top scorer. We wanted to keep pressure on their offensive circle on her,” Smith said. “I think we did that very well. We controlled her quite well.”
The teams came into the game with a combined 7-0 record. The Tigers had outscored their opponents 24-1. The Ponies did not allow a goal in their first three victories.
“Outstanding team effort. The girls were working very hard. They were very intense,” Smith said. “We knew the only way we were going to beat Dexter is if we were intense, we tried to maintain possession of the ball and we worked together as a team.”
Gabi Henderson gave the Ponies a 1-0 lead when she scored an unassisted goal with 13:57 remaining in the first half.
The Tigers came out strong to start the second half. Sophomore Peyton Watson scored six minutes into the half to tie the score at one.It was the first goal allowed this season by the Ponies and freshman goalie Avery Carroll.
The score remained the same until Annis put in her goal late in the second half.
“We tried to come out stronger (in the second half) than we did the first half. Just was not our lucky day,” Tigers coach Kylie Damon said. “Dover is a great team. They hustled to the ball. They had great skills. I think it was a evenly matched game. I think my girls worked just as hard as they did.”
Kaitlyn Paquin and Kolby Kain combined for five saves for the Tigers.
“We have two freshmen goalies. Kaitlyn (Paquin) played the first half. Kolby (Kain) played the second half and made some great saves,” Damon said. “They are both very talented freshmen. I see them going a long ways in the future.”
Plenty of field hockey will be played before these two teams meet again. The Tigers and Ponies rivalry will be renewed on October 6th, when they are scheduled to meet at Dexter.
“A lot of rivalry between us. Makes the intensity high,” Annis said.
Damon added, “They (Foxcroft) are a great team. It is a great match-up.
Smith and Damon took over coaching duties around the same time. Damon was introduced as coach of the Tigers on August 23rd.
Smith is filling in for Gene Philpot who is taken a leave of absence. Philpot has earned over 350 wins in her 35-plus year coaching career.
“I knew it would be a solid foundation,” Smith said. “These girls are really intelligent. Eager to learn and are very easy to coach.”
Carroll finished with three saves for the Ponies. Foxcroft (4-0) will next play on Tuesday, September 11th when they host Piscataquis community high school.
Dexter (4-1) will next play on Friday, September 14th when they host Central.