WATERVILLE — The celebrations hadn’t relented when the Maine Central Institute field hockey team trotted back to the sideline after tying its Class C North semifinal game with Boothbay. Coach Nancy Hughes had called a timeout after the goal, and the Huskies were jubilant as they gathered around their leader.

The smiles quickly faded. Hughes was angry, and she let them know it. The offense was making mistakes. The defense was passive. They were better than this, Hughes hammered home to her players.

“I had to basically send a wake-up message,” she said.

Message received. MCI looked every bit the region’s top seed after the chewing out, scoring four straight goals to come away with a 6-2 victory over the fifth-seeded Seahawks that sent it back to the North final after last year’s title run.

Vivian Duncombe and Addi Williams both scored a pair of goals for the Huskies (14-2-0), who erased a 2-1 deficit to remain undefeated against Class C competition.

“When we’re working together, no one can stop us,” Williams said. “Our passes are on, our shots are on. … Having won last year, it actually lets us know that we can do it again.”

A return trip was on shaky ground after a first half in which Boothbay (9-6-1) took it to the top seed. Williams struck first on a breakaway off an assist from Deangeliz Urena with 16:18 left in the first half, but the Seahawks, who had five of the game’s first eight corners, answered with goals from Sydney Meader and Riley Sullivan with four minutes left in the first half and 28:19 left in the game, respectively, to take the lead.

Williams evened it up with 17:38 to play when she knocked in the rebound of her own shot. Then came the speech.

“They can get complacent,” Hughes said. “And that’s not who they are as players. They’re too skilled, they’re too fast, they’re too good on the turf to just play with another team.”

Hughes’ tone and point resonated among the players.

“It really brought out the best in us,” Duncombe said. “It really got us pumped up to what we had to do.”

“As bad as it sounds, we really needed that,” Williams said. “We got our butts in gear.”

And right away. MCI dominated, claiming all eight corners, and the Huskies excelled up close to cash in on those chances. Allison Hughes was in position to knock in a rebound of Williams’ shot off a corner with 14:43 to play, and Duncombe rattled home a loose ball off another corner with 9:16 to go, making it 4-2.

“We definitely work on corners a lot during practices, and we definitely thrive off our corners,” Duncombe said. “Everything on the field, we work really hard on.”

The scoring deluge continued. Madisyn Hartley wove through the defense and by the goalie for a shot that Duncombe redirected in with 7:02 left, and Alexis Tardy scored off a rebound with 5:34 left.

“I think we put (Hughes) in awe,” Williams said. “I don’t think she thought we were going to score four more after that.”

On the other sideline, Boothbay coach Donna Jordan could only tip her cap.

“I was very pleased with the way we came out,” she said. “I thought, first half, we were there, we were playing well, we were holding them. And then we just ran out of steam.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM


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