PITTSFIELD — When her team scored its third goal Thursday afternoon, MCI field hockey coach Nancy Hughes punctuated the moment by yelling “Yes” twice while clenching her fists. This wasn’t just a meaningless mid-season game for the Huskies.

MCI, which was coming off a loss to Gardiner on Tuesday night at Thomas College, scored twice in the first 10 minutes and went on to post a 3-1 victory over Erskine at Manson Park.

“We talked about really bringing the intensity at the beginning of the game,” Hughes said. “We had a great warm-up when we played under the lights Tuesday night. So I challenged them to bring that same intensity to the grass field in the middle of the day. They were a little flat in warm-ups, but we talked about it, right before the game, how important getting that good start and scoring first was. They really took that to heart.”

Freshman forward Addi Williams scored two goals for the Huskies, who improved to 3-3. MCI was in 11th place in the Eastern C Heal points standings at the start of the day, but was up to sixth by late Thursday evening.

Erskine dropped to 3-2-1. The Eagles won only four games last season, but between a tie with defending state champion Nokomis and a 3-0 victory over Mt. View, Erskine has become a team you can get a big win against.

“We really talked about it’s Erskine, and when you look at what they’ve accomplished this year, that’s a point-worthy team,” Hughes said. “We have to win some of those games, so we’re not just knocking on the door at the end of the season. We want to be a position where we’re getting a home playoff game, or things like that.”

Manson Park has a fast and bumpy surface, and the Huskies possibly had an advantage by being more familiar with the field.

“I think our kids had a pretty rough time with that,” Erskine coach Skip Chadbourne said. “A lot of kids were missing balls. We talked about it at the beginning, but you’ve just got to play every field.”

MCI led 1-0 just 2:42 into the game when Kali Doiron scored out of a big cluster in the circle off a pass from Alison Hughes. With 20:53 still to play in the half, the Huskies made it 2-0 when Williams converted on a breakaway.

“I didn’t realize I was just 1-on-1 at the end,” Williams said. “But it ended up going in so I was really happy and excited. It just worked out perfectly.”

In the second half, Erskine had a good chance to get within a goal on a penalty corner, but MCI goalie Mikayla Carr denied Madison Michaud from close range. The Huskies went up 3-0 with 14:39 left in the game when Katie George sent a pass to Williams, who flipped in the shot for her second goal. MCI had been averaging 1.6 goals per game this season, while Erskine had allowed only one goal all season.

“I think the key was them really thinking about their positioning,” Coach Hughes said. “They want to score, they’re hungry to score, and sometimes they creep in on somebody else’s position, instead of staying wide and making that space for the ball to come to them. So we really talked about spreading the field and using our passes to move the ball up the field.”

Michaud scored with 3:46 remaining on a rebound. Erskine is still in 5th place in a very strong Eastern B.

“I think the kids played well,” Chadbourne said. “They put it in the net, and we didn’t. That’s about it.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo

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