PITTSFIELD — Maine Central Institute took a while to get its offense going Saturday morning. That was mainly because Maranacook gave a very poor impression of a winless team.

Maranacook’s effort was enough to make the game competitive, but not enough for the Black Bears to earn their first victory. Three different MCI players scored, and the Huskies scored a 3-1 victory at Manson Park.

“I think they’re in the same boat we are,” MCI coach Nancy Hughes said. “They’re a Class C team, playing in a really tough (Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B) league. They’re a very good team.”

MCI (3-2-0) outshot the Black Bears, 20-4, but those numbers are a little misleading. The game was about even as far as being on each half of the field, but while Maranacook passed the ball well between the 25-yard lines, the Huskies were more efficient at turning their opportunities into shots. MCI back Katie Hughes led a Huskies defense that stopped Maranacook on most of its penalty corners.

Katie George gave MCI a 1-0 halftime lead when she sent in a shot on a corner with 10:06 left in the half. Maranacook (0-5-0) tied it 4:16 into the second half, when Lindsay Webber tapped in a shot on the right post.

MCI teams in recent years have been solid but didn’t always respond well to giving up a goal. This time, the Huskies were more aggressive, and freshman Emily McAlpine, who doesn’t play varsity in every game, put in a straight-on shot for her first career goal, making it 2-1 MCI with 23:37 left.

“One of the things that I don’t think people recognize enough in field hockey is the momentum shift,” Coach Hughes said. “Especially with the self-start, when you have the ball and you’re going with it, that plays a huge role in what you end up doing. I felt as though we were a little more determined after they scored that goal to keep them out of the defensive end.”

Mariah Vining and goalie Amber Ridlon played strong defense to keep Maranacook close, but MCI got the clincher when Carolyn Newhouse knocked in a rebound with 15:50 to play. It was still Maranacook’s best showing of the season, and a nice building block for winnable games next week with Morse and Lincoln.

“By far, it’s the best game we’ve played in the regular season,” Maranacook coach Tanya Evans said. “I made some changes to the defense, made some changes to the front line. It seemed like it worked pretty good, so we’re probably going to sticking with this lineup right now.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

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