AUGUSTA — Especially this early in the season, field hockey’s 7-on-7 overtime format can be a real test of endurance. Players run for 60 minutes then have to run even harder with the game on the line.

So as Tuesday afternoon’s game between Mt. Blue and Cony went to a second overtime, Mt. Blue senior Victoria Newbill had the same thought as everyone else on the field: No way I’m running this much for a tie.

Late in the second overtime, Newbill did something about it. She took a pass from Jenna Bullen and rattled one off the back of the cage to give the Cougars a 2-1 victory.

“I just saw it coming, and I knew that the time was going down and we really couldn’t afford to have a tie,” Newbill said.

Cony (3-2) looked brilliant in the first half, as a Rams offense led by Arika Brochu, Cari Hopkins, Delaney Keithley, and Madeline Reny put constant pressure on the Cougars. That paid off just 2:02 into the game on a perfectly executed penalty corner play that went Brochu-to-Keithley-to-Hopkins for the goal.

Mt. Blue came out much stronger in the second half, but Brochu broke up two penalty corners in a span of less than two minutes. About a minute later, Brochu appeared to get her stick caught with the stick of a Mt. Blue player. Brochu spun and fell hard, and came up holding the back of her head. While she remained in the game at that point, she later came out and did not play at the end of regulation or in either overtime period.

“She hit her head pretty good and was having some pain, had a headache,” Cony coach Holly Daigle said. “(We) need to play it safe.”

Mt. Blue (3-3) kept up its offensive attack with Brochu on the sidelines. The Cougars still trailed 1-0 with 10 minutes left, but then reeled off four straight corners in less than four minutes. Abby Wallace sent home the last one to tie the score at 1-1 with 5:39 to go. Overall, Mt. Blue outshot the Rams 10-0 and had a 10-2 edge in corners in the second half.

“Our mindset wasn’t together (the first half),” Newbill said. “We weren’t playing as a team. We were kind of sluggish. It was like, ‘We need to step it up. We need to encourage each other.’ From there, I don’t know, our intensity, everything was picked up. It was great.”

The first overtime was breathtaking to watch, as the teams went end to end trading scoring chances. Mt. Blue sophomore goalie Whitney Levesque made one big play by coming out to ward off Reny on a breakaway.

With players on both teams feeling the effects of all that running, the second overtime was at a little slower pace. Finally, Bullen sent a straight-on pass outside the circle to Newbill, who fired it home with 1:16 left.

“I waited for it to come, and I just powered up and got it in,” Newbill said.

“We just, I think, ran out of gas at the end,” Daigle said. “We gave all we had. We’re not real deep with the injuries. But overall, I was happy with a lot of things that we did. We moved the ball well. It’s a tough one.”

While both of Cony losses have been by one goal to solid opponents, Mt. Blue has rebounded nicely from a season-opening 4-1 loss to Lawrence. The Cougars have won three of their last four, and the only loss was to undefeated Messalonskee in overtime.

“That (Lawrence) game is so far behind us, it’s not even funny,” Mt. Blue coach Jody Harmon said. “It was actually really good, because it woke us up, that we can’t just go out there and think that we’re going to play just by being there. Now we’re playing with intensity, and going after the ball, and hustling, and communicating, and all the stuff we’ve been working on.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo

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