WATERVILLE — Despite a difference in records, there’s not much separating the Winslow and Gardiner field hockey teams. At least there wasn’t Tuesday on the slippery turf at Thomas College.

Gardiner recovered from a sluggish first half and scored the game’s only goal on Hailee Lovely’s aerial shot five minutes into the second half.

The Tigers (10-0-0) remain in first place in the Class B North standings while Winslow falls to 4-5-1.

The Black Raiders beat Gardiner twice last year, including in the regional final, so no one was taking them lightly.

“They’re very good,” Lovely said. “We thought about it when we got here. We said we can’t let them beat us again.”

The game was played primarily between the penalty circles. Gardiner finished with three shots on goal and five penalty corners while Winslow had five shots and eight corners.

“I’ve never beaten them,” said Gardiner coach Sharon Gallant, now in her third season as head coach.

Coming off recent key victories over Maine Central Institute, Leavitt and Lawrence, the Tigers were on their heels in the first half.

“We’ve had two or three tough games in a row,” Gallant said. “Sometimes in one of those stretches, it’s hard to come out all the time and be (sharp).”

Lovely scored her 10th goal of the season on a penalty corner with teammate Sarah Morgan putting the ball in play.

“Coach just said if you can just aerial over them,” Lovely said. “It was surprising but it was good.”

Lovely took her shot from the right of Winslow goalie Hope Winkin (two saves) and lifted the ball over her at the left corner of the cage.

“I thought it was a pretty good first half both ways,” Winslow coach Mary Beth Bourgoin said. “But definitely in the second half they upped their game with their passing and their cutting on.”

Both teams drew strong defensive performances, Winslow from Natalie Greene and Weslee Littlefield and Gardiner from sweeper Kalee Michaud and midfielder Morgan.

“She played very well,” Gallant said of Morgan. “She played smart, kind of what I talked about at halftime. Think hockey. We did some things that were just foolish.”


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