In Winthrop’s 3-1 field hockey loss to Lisbon on Monday, the Ramblers’ goal was scored by Corinna Coulton on a penalty stroke. That wouldn’t be so unusual, but Coulton is Winthrop’s goalie.

“She took off her hand pads, and her blocker, and her helmet,” Winthrop coach Jess Merrill said. “She still had her kickers on.”

Merrill said the idea of Coulton taking a stroke had been simmering for some time. Merrill said that when Winthrop had a stroke in an earlier game, Coulton was “a little grumpy” that she didn’t get to take the stroke.

“We really don’t have a set stroke (person),” Merrill said. “But Corinna has been quietly practicing her stroke before every game. She was practicing the other day (and) she was hitting the top corner every time.”

Coulton’s shot was true, but goalies taking strokes are so rare that some fans assumed the Ramblers got away with something.

“The girls know she’s been practicing,” Merrill said. “They’ve seen her practicing, so they weren’t surprised by it. I think it was more everyone else that was surprised. They kept asking me, ‘Is that legal?’”

Overall, Winthrop has been a little up and down, playing undefeated Oak Hill as close as anybody so far, but also losing to Hall-Dale for the Bulldogs’ only win this season (Hall-Dale has lost four other games by one goal). The Ramblers stand at 3-3-2 heading into Friday afternoon’s home game with Telstar.

“They’re starting to understand what it means to be intense and beat someone to the ball,” Merrill said. “They’re coming into their own, and starting to believe in themselves again. They’re looking like they’re having fun again.”

Merrill said Katriona Hadjuk, who would prefer to play forward, is “very strong” as a midfielder and has become a playmaker. Two other sophomores, Coulton and forward Emily Molino, have also starred this season.

• • •

While Gardiner is coming off a tough 2-1 loss to Winslow on Tuesday, the Tigers are still 6-1-1 and in first place in the Eastern B Heal points. Gardiner lost two all-state players from last season when Camden Cone graduated and Madeline Reny transferred to Cony, plus coach Moe McNally retired after 35 seasons. Yet the Tigers have remained strong under new coach Sharon Gallant.

“I’m pretty excited,” Gallant said. “I didn’t necessarily think that’s where we were going to be. I have to say I’m pretty happy. I thought we would be decent. I think we haven’t quite reached as good as we can be yet, which is even more exciting.”

Gardiner has 10 seniors on its roster, and many of them are playing key roles.

“I’m thrilled with the seniors and how they’ve stepped up,” Gallant said. “That just happened through magic fairy dust or something. I’m totally excited about that.”

• • •

When junior Leah Kruse was sidelined with appendicitis, Skowhegan was left without an experienced goalie. The current situation is so bizarre that Skowhegan’s current goalie is freshman Shynia Boston, who is moving with her family to New Jersey on Friday.

Skowhegan coach Paula Doughty said Boston had never played field hockey — in fact, she had never even seen a field hockey game — but was still interested in playing with the Indians this summer before having to back out.

“She wrote to me and said, ‘Mrs. Doughty, I can’t play this summer because I’m moving to New Jersey,’” Doughty said.

But after Kruse had to sit out, Doughty ran into Boston in the school cafeteria and explained the situation. Doughty said Boston got the OK from her mother, then joined the team for her required five practices before she could suit up for a game.

“I guess when she was a little girl, she played soccer,” Doughty said. “So I said, ‘It’s similar to soccer. You kick it with your feet.’ I feel bad that she’s moving, because she really has a talent for it. I think she’s had nerves of steel.”

Senior Emily Trial played three full games in goal for the Indians after never having played the position until a couple weeks ago. Trial started at midfield in Tuesday’s 6-0 win over Lewiston.

“She did an awesome job,” Doughty said.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo

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