Three days after an upset loss to Thomas College, the University of Maine at Farmington posted its biggest field hockey win of the fall, a 4-1 victory Saturday over a Husson team that was unbeaten in North Atlantic Conference play heading into the game.

“It was a huge game for our team confidence-wise, and hoping to put ourselves in good position for the playoffs,” UMF coach Cyndi Pratt said. “We certainly started the game with the energy that we needed to get off to a good start.”

The Beavers could not finish their opportunities against Thomas, but scored twice within 25 seconds to take a 2-0 lead on Husson less than 11 minutes into the game.

“In a sport where there’s not always a lot of goals scored, scoring those first couple goals makes a huge difference in the psyche of your team,” Pratt said.

Senior goalie Felisha Taylor, a Cony High School grad, got her first start of the season in that game and made three saves. Pratt said both Taylor and sophomore Curran Brierley have been playing well in practice.

“Felisha just hadn’t had the opportunity to play in a big-game situation, at the start of the game,” Pratt said. “I wanted to see how she would react. If we never tried it, I would never know for playoffs.”

Next up for the Beavers is a home game Thursday with St. Joseph’s. UMF is third in the NAC with a 4-1 record, while St. Joe’s is tied for fourth at 4-2.

“St. Joe’s, they’re always a high-energy team,” Pratt said. “These conference games will have a big effect on the playoffs and whether we play at home or on the road.”

* * *

After starting the season at 1-4, the University of Maine field hockey team has gone on a surge, and now stands at 9-5 overall and 2-0 in the America East. The Black Bears aren’t winning by big margins — six of their wins are by one goal — but they’re taking about four shots per game more than their opponents.

Local players are playing a big part in the young team’s success. Nokomis grad Marissa Shaw and Gardiner grad Becca Paradee have each started eight games. Skowhegan grad Nicole Sevey, last year’s Miss Maine Field Hockey, has started all 14 games and is tied for fourth on the team with seven points. Fellow Skowhegan grad Jessie Skillings has started 12 games.

Sevey, Shaw and Skillings are all freshmen while Paradee is a sophomore. Friday, the Black Bears take on Boston University, with former Messalonskee star Katie Bernatchez, and two days later Maine faces Northeastern, with former Nokomis standout Leah Edmondson.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

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