NEWPORT — You can’t call it a slow start for the Winslow High School field hockey team. The Black Raiders controlled play in the Nokomis zone right from the start of Thursday’s opening game. But as the first half wore on and the attack wasn’t resulting in goals, the Black Raiders were getting frustrated.

“When we got in the circle, we were doing everything we were supposed to,” Winslow junior Bodhi Littlefield said. “Nothing was going in for us, at first.”

Littlefield scored with 32 seconds left in the first half, and that opened everything for the Black Raiders, who cruised to a 4-0 win.

Nokomis’ Lauren Burke races to the ball past Winslow’s Savannah Joler on Thursday in Newport. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

“They were getting frustrated at well. (Littlefield’s goal) was a turn for them. We know we can get it in, so let’s pick it up from here,” Winslow coach Mary Beth Bourgoin said.

The Black Raiders had two strong scoring chances earlier in the first half. Approximately 10 minutes into the game, Silver Clukey broke in from midfield, running down the left side unopposed, but Nokomis goalie Ashly Nyman was there for the pad save. With two minutes left, Nyman (16 saves) made another save on a Clukey shot from the front of the net.

“Great defense. They had their sticks down and they were ready for us. I was not surprised by that,” Bourgoin said. “(Nyman) was on her game. She was making saves, they were blocking shots, and not letting us get through.”

Littlefield’s ice breaker was a blast from the middle of the circle and, coming just before the half, swung all the momentum to Winslow.

“I had (a Nokomis defender) on the back of me, and I spun around. I just went off my back foot, saw the back of the net, and swung at it,” Littlefield said.

Taylor Rodriguez scored three and a half minutes into the second half to give Winslow a 2-0 lead, tapping the ball into an open cage. A Clukey goal at 15:13 made it 3-0, and Littlefield scored again, this time on a penalty corner with an assist from Mariah Morrison, with 12:51 to play.

“I think it was a great opener. We’re hungry and we’re motivated,” Littlefield said.

Bourgoin said she was pleased with the way a retooled Winslow defense played. Goalie Leah Pelotte made five saves for the shutout. Morrison and Willa Dolley are returners to the Black Raiders defense, although in new spots.

“The work they’ve done in the preseason is paying off. They’re their hardest critics, and I was pleased with what they did,” Bourgoin said.

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