OAKLAND — The Messalonskee field hockey team has dominated Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference opponents this season with a combination of power and finesse.

That aggressiveness and skill caught up to Cony in the second half Thursday as the Eagles scored three times in an eight-minute span to post a 3-0 victory over the Rams and remain unbeaten.

Messalonskee is 13-0 with its regular-season finale scheduled at rival Skowhegan next Tuesday. Cony, which entered the game in third place behind those two teams in the Class A North standings, fell to 9-4

Sophomore Haley Lowell sandwiched a pair of goals around one from Nathalie St. Pierre as the Eagles stormed the Cony end of the field after a scoreless first half. Freshman Autumn Littlefield assisted on all three goals.

“They were down in our end in the beginning and we were just like we’re not going to let that happen,” Lowell said. “Then we just picked up the intensity and started playing like we can.”

Lowell put the Eagles on the board just 1:40 into the half with a hard blast from the right side that zoomed past Cony goalie Jackie Carlton (seven saves).

“They get big hits off quick,” Cony coach Holly Daigle said. “They’re hard shots. Even when you’re pressuring them they get them off quickly.”

Messalonskee coach Katie McLaughlin saw a few too many long, hard drives in the first half and asked her team to concentrate on a shorter passing game in the second half. But both strategies have served the Eagles well this season.

“In practice we do a lot of drills coming down the field and sending a hard cross ball across the center of the circle and our forwards do a really nice job of getting a touch on that,” Eagles midfielder Riley Field said. ” The big hit is part of our game along with the passing game. We kind of mix them both in.”

The Rams were at their best in the first 10 minutes of the game. Messalonskee goalie Hannah Pinney was only called upon for one save but it was a good one off the stick of junior Delaney Keithley from 15 feet. Later in the half, Eagles back Kirsten Pelletier saved a sure goal with a defensive stop in front of an open cage. Cony’s Kami Lambert did the same at the other end of the field after Carlton had been drawn out of position. The back and forth play ended in the first half as the Eagles held the Rams without a shot for the final 30 minutes.

“I was really impressed with the play in the first half,” Daigle said. “(In the second half) we weren’t pressuring the ball. We were anticipating picked off passes but not getting in the face of the girl who had the ball.”

The Eagles were awarded 14 penalty corners to four for the Rams and two of them led to goals, St. Pierre’s did not as she tipped in a pass from Littlefield that took a weird hop along the way.

Lowell made it 3-0 with just under nine minutes gone in the half following a penalty corner that didn’t quite go as planned.

“We kind of had to improvise,” Lowell said.

The Eagles have allowed just one goal this season while scoring 70. They handed Skowhegan its only loss early in the year and the return match at Skowhegan is never far from their minds.

“Skowhegan is always in the back of our minds, but we try to take it one game at a time,” Field said. I think it will be a really good game. Both teams have improved some since we played them.”

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