WATERVILLE — Midway through the second half on Saturday, after Lydia Dexter had scored her second goal, Skowhegan Area High School field hockey coach Paula Doughty pulled Dexter aside and told her that she’d wished she could have had her play for the Indians.

Facing a rivalry as fierce as any in Class A North, Dexter’s Messalonskee and Doughty’s Skowhegan rarely co-exist comfortably on a field hockey field. At Thomas College’s Bernatchez Field, Dexter’s two goals held up as the North beat the South, 2-0, in the McNally Senior All-Star Field Hockey Game.

For one afternoon in the summer, in the final high school swan song for every player participating, the Indians and Eagles were a perfect pairing.

“At first, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, Paula Doughty is coaching my team,'” said Dexter, who is headed to the University of Maine in Orono to continue her career. “Then she just walks up and takes her role, and it’s easy to listen to her. You know with her background, she has experience and she knows what she’s talking about. I really enjoyed playing for her today.”

Doughty won her 500th came as a coach last season, making her the only field hockey coach in state history to hit the milestone.

Ally Corbett, Dexter’s teammate at Messalonskee, was named the Faith Littlefield MVP for the North squad. Corbett acknowledged that the Skowhegan-Messalonskee rivalry remains intense, even if it takes a hiatus on occasion.

“There’s a rivalry, obviously, in high school,” Corbett said. “When we’re on the same team, when we have our club team, we’re buddies. This was no different.”

For her part, Skowhegan’s Haley Thebarge said she certainly didn’t feel the rivalry extend to Saturday’s game, which served as a fundraiser for Camp Sunshine in Casco, a retreat for families of children with life-threatening illnesses. The game featured 54 recently graduated high school seniors.

Off-season travel teams have also helped to subdue the existing rivalry between the Eagles and Indians, with the Maine Majestix and Black Bear Elite programs giving players from rival schools plenty of opportunity to get used to playing alongside one another. Of course, the Indians have also won 16 straight regional championships (and 14 state titles in that span), including last fall’s when they upset second-seeded Messalonskee en route to the Class A championship game.

“It’s a rivalry during the season. In the off-season, it’s fine,” said Thebarge, who will play at Franklin Pierce College in the fall. “It’s so much fun playing with all of them. I’ve played with them through Majestix, through BBE, so I knew all of the girls on my team.”

Dexter scored the only goal of the first half on a penalty stroke, adding her second with under 17 minutes remaining in regulation off a restart deep in the South end.

The win was nice, but Dexter made sure to enjoy the experience no matter the result.

“It’s a little bittersweet, never coming out with that state championship I wanted, but this was a fun, nice thing to do for a great charity on a beautiful day,” Dexter said. “It’s a great day for hockey.”

Corbett certainly earned her MVP nod — dominating the center of the field, both defensively and in transition. She’s going to play at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and her impact on the Maine high school game was felt throughout her varsity career.

“I absolutely love Ally,” Dexter said of her teammate. “The best thing I love about Ally is that she’s the best player on the field and you would never know it. She’s very unselfish with the ball and very humble. I’m going to incredibly miss playing with Ally Corbett.”

“High school field hockey’s been awesome,” Corbett said. “Meeting so many new people and making so many awesome, life-long friends. To have a great tournament like this that brings all the girls together with all the All-State girls, it’s a lot of fun.”

Thornton Academy’s Grace Decker was named the South MVP.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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