GARDINER — There was no time left on the clock. There didn’t need to be.

The Maine Central Institute field hockey team still had a chance. And that’s all the Huskies needed.

Gracie Moore scored on a penalty stroke at the end of regulation, then tallied the game-winner with 1:40 left in overtime as the Huskies defeated Gardiner, 2-1, in a rematch of last year’s Class B North semifinal.

“We just came together as a team,” Moore said. “We were like ‘OK, we’re going to do this.’ ”

Moore is a sophomore, one of seven on a young Huskies team that coach Nancy Hughes said has needed to get acclimated to the varsity pace quickly. Games like Thursday’s, during which MCI had been completely bottled up until the last few minutes, certainly help.

“It’s huge,” Hughes said. “One of the things I’m most proud about when I coach teams is they don’t give up. They play hard until the very end, and of course, what’s a better example of that than tying a game with no time left on the clock?’ ”


Gardiner, which got a goal from Maddie Farnham but also had to play shorthanded during the winning goal after Farnham was called for a roughness penalty, is a young team itself after winning last year’s Class B championship, and coach Sharon Gallant stressed that the Tigers still have room to grow this season. And plenty of time to make that jump.

“My whole backfield, all of my defense, my goalie, they’re all new,” she said. “Overall, I’m not horribly unhappy. We made some mistakes, they capitalized on some of our mistakes, and that’s just good hockey.”

Some of those mistakes, Gallant said, allowed MCI to spend the last three-and-a-half minutes in the Tigers’ end, a push that culminated in Moore’s goal with no time remaining. That led to overtime, where the Tigers threatened early before Farnham was issued a green card for roughness with just under two minutes left in the period, forcing Gardiner to defend a corner called only seconds later shorthanded.

The Huskies took advantage. The ball was inserted by Ella Louder and soon found Moore, who made a move around a defender, saw open space, and fired the ball home.

“We’d been doing (that corner) the whole game. We figured out if we pulled, we’d avoid the defense and get it to the goal,” Moore said. “With a clean insert from Ella, I was able to get around the defense and shoot it into the corner.”

Farnham said she was just trying to make a play when the call occurred.


“You’re just going for it. I was just trying to get to the ball,” she said. “Just ended up looking at the wrong angle, I guess. It happens.”

Gallant didn’t put the blame for the loss on the final play.

“I said to them, there were a lot of mistakes made,” she said. “There were lots of pieces along the way that we need to do a little better at as we go along in the season.”

The Tigers were up only 1-0, but rolling toward the win when the Huskies mounted a final attack in the closing minutes. MCI was awarded its fifth corner with no time remaining in regulation but kept threatening the Tigers cage, causing two more corners to be called as Gardiner was unable to clear the ball.

On the third, Moore had a shot that was knocked down by the body of a Gardiner field player, leading to a penalty stroke. A miss would mean the end of the game, but Moore calmly fired a shot that found space just between goalie Kassidy Collins (four saves) and the left post.

“I just relaxed,” Moore said. “I knew my team was behind me no matter what, and did what needed to be done.”


Hughes, whose team trailed in corners 14-3 with four minutes to play in regulation, was impressed with how her team fought back.

“It’s a good win for us, for our young kids, just for our mentality,” she said. “A lot of teams are going to fold under pressure. We kind of looked at it as a challenge.”

Gardiner took the 1-0 lead off a corner with 13:11 to go in the first half. Maggie Bell got the ball at the top of the circle and smacked a hard shot that Farnham was able to redirect past Huskies goalie Dawn Moss (11 saves).

“We spend most of the end of our practices just doing corners, over and over and over again,” Farnham said. “It’s usually the same placement, so I was just expecting it.”

The lead was only a second away from being able to stand on its own.

“It’s game three,” Gallant said. “We’ll be fine.”

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