SKOWHEGAN — Like many of her counterparts in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference, Skowhegan’s Maliea Kelso doesn’t really play like a freshman.

She’s played club field hockey with several of her older teammates and felt pretty comfortable this fall moving into the varsity lineup.

That comfort level showed Tuesday as Kelso scored four goals, including two breakaways, and added three assists as the Indians blitzed Cony 9-1.

“I knew most of them,” Kelso said of her teammates.”My mom coached them when I was little so I went to most of their practices, too.”

Both teams played shorthanded; Cony (3-3) was without goalie Jessica Lee, back Julia Nicol and forward Haley Ward while the Indians (5-1) were missing senior captain Brooke Michonski, last season’s scoring leader.

Considering Cony lost 1-0 to unbeaten Messalonskee and Skowhegan 3-0, this one figured to be a much closer game. And for the first half it was.


The Rams dominated the first eight minutes of play, prompting Skowhegan coach Paula Doughty to call timeout.

“She kind of just told us to step up our game and do what we can do and not let them do what they want,” senior midfielder Lauren Leblanc said.

The Indians got on the board with 14 minutes, 41 seconds left in the half when senior Cassidy Clement guided home a pass from Kelso following a penalty corner. The goal gave the Indians some momentum, and with 3:19 left in the half Kelso scored to make t 2-0.

“She’s done a lot in the offseason,” Leblanc said of Kelso. “She’s very skilled.”

The Rams got a fine defensive save from senior Lindsay Watts, who slid into the middle to stop a hard shot after goalie Jackie Carlton was pulled out of position, just three minutes into the second half. But seconds later, Julia Steeves scored to make it 3-0.

The Rams briefly crept back into it when freshman Kami Lambert tipped in a pass from Delaney Keithley to make it 4-1, but then the proverbial roof fell in as Steeves scored followed by a clean breakaway from Kelso.

“They beat us on their long balls on fastbreaks,” Cony coach Holly Daigle. “We kind of looked at it like we’re down a few goals, at this point whether we lose by three of four let’s just put some in. They beat us with their speed.”

Kelso added a second breakaway to make it 7-1 before scoring her fourth goal of the game and seventh of the season to make it 8-1. Steeves capped the scoring for the Indians, finishing her day with a hat trick.

Goalie Leah Kruse finished with seven saves on 10 Cony shots while Carlton had eight saves on 18 Skowhegan shots.

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