It would have been understandable had the Mt. Blue field hockey team suffered a letdown after a demoralizing 6-0 loss to Skowhegan three weeks ago. Instead, the Cougars buckled down and rattled off four straight wins, including a 2-1 decision against Messalonskee.

A year ago it was Mt. Blue that went unbeaten in the regular season, knocking off Skowhegan and Messalonskee in the process. If some were wondering if the Cougars had taken a step back this season, coach Jody Harmon wasn’t amongst them.

“When I went over the whole game, it was pretty even,” Harmon said. “They were perfect goals. (We said) you can let this take you down or you can learn from it.”

The Cougars applied their lessons by beating Messalonskee on its home field.

“We did it last year,” Harmon said of defeating the Eagles. “Everything lined up and everyone did their roles.”

Roles have changed of late after the Cougars became healthier and Harmon tweaked the lineup. She began by moving sophomore Maddie Bard from center mid to center back.

“It was really a game-changer,” Harmon said.

Adjustments were also made on defense as Samantha Ellis and Rebecca Harmon are playing offensive and defensive midfield, respectively. Those three players, along with Molly Harmon and goalie Erika McArthur, have played consistently this season. The Cougars are in third place in the Class A North tournament standings behind Skowhegan and Messalonskee.

“I definitely feel we’re on that level,” Harmon said. “If we continue playing with that heart, positive things can happen.”

• • •

Cony may have turned its season around with a 2-0 win against previously unbeaten Gardiner in last week’s Drive Out Cancer game in Augusta.

“I feel like that game against Gardiner was our best team effort,” Cony coach Holly Daigle said. “There are factors in the Drive Our Cancer game that can’t be replicated.”

The cause is an emotional one to begin with. Many family members of the players have been affected by the disease and several were honored before the game. All proceeds went to the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care, which in eight previous years had received more than $73,000 from the games.

Another factor, of course, is the natural rivalry. They haven’t played regular season games of late with Cony in Class A and Gardiner in Class B, but the squads met this year with the implementation of crossover games. The Tigers even lost a couple of their better Class B opponents to the new schedule and the lack of competition showed against the Rams. Gardiner coach Sharon Gallant said that goalie Avery Backus faced more shots (14) against the Rams than she had seen all season combined.

For Cony’s part, it drew strong games from wings Julia Reny and Sophie Whitney, along with midfielder Kami Lambert.

“They’re great carrying the ball in the field,” Daigle said of Whitney and Reny “And (Kami’s) such a dynamic player.”

Jessica Lee has returned to goal after missing most of the season with an illness, and goalie Jacqui Carlton has moved into the field.

“She’s quick and has good instincts,” Daigle said of Lee. “And she’s a good communicator.”

Daigle also praised her backfield of Anna Reny, Mackenzie Lewis, Olivia Varney and Alexis Couverette.

The Rams were 5-6-1 heading into a game against Brunswick on Tuesday. They finish the regular season Thursday against Camden Hills.

“The (Gardiner) win helped us in Heal points,” Daigle said. “We can’t have lapses, hopefully building off the energy and intensity (of the win).”

• • •

Winthrop and Boothbay have been at or near the top of the Class C North standings all season. Both have one loss, on the other team’s home field, and they’ll meet in a rubber match Friday night for the Mountain Valley Conference championship. Game time is 7 p.m. at Thomas College in Waterville.

The game will have no effect on the final standings but remains an important one nonetheless.

“It’s a big deal for us,” Winthrop coach Jess Merrill said. “We want to be tops in our conference.”

Merrill’s Ramblers won 2-0 in the first game, concentrating on shutting down Seahawks star Sydney Meader.

“We played a lot of defense in the second game (a 1-0 loss).”

The Ramblers also played the second game without forward Bri Feeney, who broke her foot a couple of weeks ago. Merrill has used three of four different players to fill Feeney’s position

Merrill says playing on the turf at Thomas will be to her team’s advantage. They have a speedy scorer in Kinli DiBiase, who has 15 goals and 11 assists and their players are familiar with turf.

“I’m excited to see them on turf because we’re more of a turf team” Merrill said. “We played on turf all summer.”

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