SKOWHEGAN — It was the news every field hockey contender in Class A has been hoping to hear since 2009: Some tangible evidence that on the right day, Skowhegan is beatable.

In one of the wildest games in recent memory, Emily Hogan scored three goals and Nathalie St. Pierre sent one in just a minute, 40 seconds into the second overtime as Messalonskee earned a 5-4 victory Tuesday afternoon.

“In the past, we always thought of this as this huge, big game, and we were always really frazzled by it,” Hogan said. “I think this time, we came in more thinking, ‘It’s just another game. We have to come at it and go hard every second of every minute of the game.’ So we kind of just went all out.”

Skowhegan had won its last 78 games. The last loss of any kind for the Indians came in the 2009 state championship game against Scarborough. Skowhegan’s last regular season loss was Oct. 7, 2008, also against Messalonskee.

There was plenty of drama before the game. Skowhegan starting goalie Leah Kruse was sidelined with appendicitis and is expected to be out at least two weeks. Another goalie is academically ineligible, so Skowhegan coach Paula Doughty turned to senior Emily Trial, a midfielder who had never even tried on goalie pads before Monday’s practice.

“We had no idea until maybe halfway through Paula told me,” Messalonskee coach Katie McLaughlin said. “I didn’t mention it to anybody anyway. We don’t need more distractions.”

The game was also scheduled to be played at Thomas College. Less than 90 minutes before game time, it was moved to Skowhegan because the Indians didn’t have a bus to take them.

Skowhegan still dominated the opening minutes, and led 1-0 just 2:42 into the game when Renee Wright gathered a rebound and fed Brooke Michonski for the score. Hogan retaliated with two goals in a span of 44 seconds before Wright slashed home a rebound to make it 2-2 at halftime.

“I’ve never been so proud of my kids,” Doughty said. “They went out there today knowing that we didn’t really have a goalie. They played their hearts out, and they played double overtime. I don’t know how much more I could ask for. (Messalonskee’s) a wonderful team. A lot of teams, if they lost their goalie, they would have folded.”

Less than two minutes into the second half, Riley Field gave a pass to Hogan, who sent home a rocket to make it 3-2, Messalonskee. Back came Skowhegan again, this time with Wright feeding Julia Steeves for a nice chip shot with 18:31 left.

“Our mentality was every time they tied it, we were starting the game all over, so we had to work harder than them, dig deeper, and really play smart,” McLaughlin said.

Haley Carter kept the score tied with a defensive save for Skowhegan, but with 5:39 to go, after a long flurry in front of the cage, two Messalonskee sophomores hooked up for a goal, as Saige Knight set up Ally Corbett to give the Eagles the lead again at 4-3.

Skowhegan tied the game with 3:42 to go when Lauren LeBlanc drilled one home off a penalty corner pass from Wright. The Indians had three more corners in regulation, but Messalonskee stopped each one.

“We played a nice, short passing game, and they really worked as a whole unit,” McLaughlin said. “I don’t think it was any one person that won it. They kept running strong that whole time. They never gave up on anything.”

After Messalonskee withstood three Skowhegan shots and two penalty corners in the first overtime, the Eagles got their chance. Early in the second overtime, Trial played a long drive off her pads. St. Pierre had hustled in, and she controlled the ball and fired in a high shot just inside the right post for the win.

“I saw it coming down,” St. Pierre said. “I knew that it was coming to me, and this was probably my one chance, and I had to get either now or never. I knew that lifted was probably my best way to get it in. I knew I had to get it quick. There wasn’t much time to think. I just let it go.”

St. Pierre sprinted back toward the middle of the field, screaming and with her arms raised as high as they could go. The Skowhegan players quietly left the field a little later. It’s a scene that hadn’t happened in almost five years.

“To me, it’s a relief,” Doughty said. “I didn’t even know it existed until some guy called me in the middle of the night last year. It’s wonderful. I think it’s a credit to Skowhegan field hockey to go five years without losing a game. We knew it had to come to an end. I just think we played incredible today.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.