SKOWHEGAN — There doesn’t appear to be anything intimidating about Skowhegan freshman Lexi Michonski, until she gets a ball on her field hockey stick.

Then, it’s watch out.

There’s no quit in the 4-foot-11 forward and Friday she made the most of her home debut with a second-half goal in an important 1-0 victory over rival Messalonskee.

Michonski has been watching her older sisters, Makaela and Brooke, score at prolific rates for the Indians — Makaela is the school’s career goal leader — and couldn’t wait to get her chance to play for the Indians.

“I was nervous but I knew we had it,” Michonski said. “We work well as a team together.”

Michonski scored just over 10 minutes into the second half when she jammed home a ball near the left post after Eagles goalie Hannah Pinney (11 saves) sprawled trying to make a save. Sophomore Mariah Dunbar was credited with the assist.

Both teams are expected to contend for the Class A state championship. Last year, Messalonskee (1-1) beat Skowhegan (2-0) handily twice during the regular season, but it was the Indians who won the big one — the regional title game.

Friday, it was the Indians who controlled the action for most of the game, out-shooting the Eagles 14-3 with a 9-2 advantage in penalty corners.

“We’re an overall better team (than last year),” senior captain Haley Thebarge said. “We play way better than we ever have. There’s a lot more chemistry than there was last year.”

The Indians, who carry 11 freshmen and sophomores, played 20 of their 22 players despite the close score.

“I was pleased with our kids,” Skowhegan coach Paula Doughty said. “We had a lot of freshmen in there today and I was really, really pleased with the intensity.”

The Indians dominated the opening 15 minutes, getting five penalty corners and several shots on goal but Pinney and the Eagles were up to the challenge.

“Hannah Pinney played out of her mind,” Messalonskee coach Katie McLaughlin said. “Our defense was wonderful. Our offense struggled a little today.”

Pinney took away two sure goals on rocket shots from sophomores Elizabeth York and Maliea Kelso, one in each half.

Junior Leah Savage, Skowhegan’s first-year goalie, wasn’t tested often but was equal to the task when she needed to be. She came way out of her cage to stop Autumn Littlefield on a partial breakaway at the 22-minute mark of the second half, and she stymied sophomore Megan Quirion on a shot right in front with 25 seconds left to play.

The Indians swarmed the field with the fervor of a playoff win following the final horn.

“They’re our rivals,” Thebarge said. “They’re our biggest contenders and this is a game we need to win.”

The Eagles are still without senior midfielder Ally Corbett, an all-state selection who is recovering from a broken foot. Corbett, who will play for Division I St. Joseph’s of Philadelphia next fall, is expected back within a week or two.

“That will make a huge difference,” McLaughlin said.

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