OAKLAND — If Wednesday’s game was a preview of what the Messalonskee field hockey team can do in the playoffs, the rest of the Class A North field is in danger.

The No. 2 Eagles cruised to a 7-0 quarterfinal victory over No. 7 Hampden Academy, led offensively by junior Autumn Littlefield, who had a hat trick. Megan Quirion added two goals for Messalonskee (13-2-0).

The win sets up a rematch against No. 3 Mt. Blue in the semifinals, which is scheduled for Friday. The Cougars (12-3-0) split the regular season series, with Messalonskee picking up a 3-1 win in the season opener Aug. 31 before Mt. Blue retaliated with a 2-1 win Oct. 3.

It’s the second consecutive season the Eagles knocked the Broncos (4-10-1) from the quarterfinals. Messalonskee beat Hampden 9-0 in last year’s game.

All of the Eagles’ strengths were on display against the Broncos.

“Definitely working together, passing, communication and our quickness,” Messalonskee head coach Katie McLaughlin said. “We like to move.”

The Eagles’ strategy was pretty simple Wednesday: Dominate possession and take advantage of scoring opportunities. Messalonskee jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first half, with goals by Littlefield, Quirion and Rylee Poulin. The Eagles had a 12-2 shot advantage in the half, with a 7-1 advantage on penalty corners.

“I think the really important thing that we focus on is making sure that we stay intense the whole time,” Littlefield said. “Make sure we continue to control the level of play in the game, make sure we don’t get too caught up in who we’re playing and just play the same way and play our game the whole time.”

Messalonskee ramped up the intensity and was even more dominant in the second half, once again outshooting Hampden (22-0). The Eagles benefited from the outburst, tallying four more goals. Littlefield had two, with Quirion and Haley Lowell each adding a goal for the final 7-0 score. Ally Turner and Chloe Tilley provided assists.

“This group in particular works really well together,” McLaughlin said. “Our leadership from our seniors and captains have been unbelievable, couldn’t ask for better. That really helps bring us to another level. It’s exciting.”

“We have a solid group, we’re very athletic,” Littlefield said. “Even if field hockey is not (the player’s) main sport, they’re very competitive and that will to win, I think, helps us a lot.”

The score could have been higher if not for the superb play of Hampden goalkeeper Isabella Gould, who finished with 20 saves.

With the win, the Eagles have a 2-0 record in the season series against the Broncos. Messalonskee beat Hampden 8-0 back on Sept. 21.

Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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