Mount View’s Alexa Coffin, left, and Gardiner’s Lani Porter square off during a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game Wednesday in Thorndike. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson

THORNDIKE — It wasn’t the most dominant win, but the Gardiner field hockey team ended the regular season Wednesday afternoon on a high note and the right frame of mind on the path to defending its Class B championship.

The Tigers fought cold and windy conditions to edge Mount View 1-0 in a crossover game. Gardiner ends the regular season with a 10-4-0 record and as of Wednesday night, held the No. 6 spot in the Class B North standings, putting the Tigers on a path that may avoid No. 1 Winslow (12-2) until a possible showdown in the regional final. The positioning could work in Gardiner’s favor, as it is a younger, less experienced group than the team that finished last season with a 17-1 record.

“I think we’re right where we want to be,” Gardiner head coach Sharon Gallant said. “I think we might surprise a couple of people. Every game we’ve lost, we’ve lost by just a goal. And every one of them, we had a chance to win. We missed a couple of penalty strokes, that kind of stuff. The only team that truly, really beat us was Winslow, and they’re phenomenal this year. I’m not totally unhappy where we are (in the standings).”

Mount View’s Alexa Coffin, left, and Gardiner’s Leah Pushard get after a loose ball during a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game Wednesday in Thorndike. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson

The Tigers had the shot advantage (7-1) and penalty corner advantage (4-0) in the first half. But missed opportunities and strong defensive play by the Mustangs (6-8-0) hurt Gardiner, and the teams entered halftime tied 0-0.

The Tigers never panicked, and just two minutes into the second half, Gardiner took advantage of a penalty corner, as Haley Brann tipped in a rebound into the net for the 1-0 score. Lindsey Bell was credited with an assist on the play.

“During practice yesterday, all we did was individual work,” Brann said. “Me and another post just (worked on) tipping, for 20 minutes straight. I just saw the ball (in front of the net), and tipped it in.”

“They did a lot of things very well,” Gallant said. “I thought we changed the field better in the second half… (Mount View) was on the ball and we seemed kind of stuck (in one area on the field) for a little bit. Once we were able to change the field a little bit, we were able to transition better to offense and defense. That was a big change.”

Mount View fought hard for opportunities for the rest of the half — including two penalty corners — but was never able to get a clean shot at the Gardiner net. The Mustangs entered the game No. 8 in the Class C North standings — the final spot for the playoffs — and may stay there if Stearns/Schenck falls to No. 7 Orono on Thursday afternoon. Mount View had a tough schedule that involved several Class B crossover games, which included contenders like Belfast, Lawrence and Winslow.

“I’m really happy (with the effort), very happy,” Mount View head coach Gloria Hewett said. “It’s our senior game, and we played really well. We got stronger throughout the season. I have a really small team with not a lot of subs…I’m really pleased, it was a really great game. We haven’t played Gardiner for a few years, they haven’t been in our rotation.”

Senior goalkeeper Thurston Illingsworth was the standout for Mount View, making 12 saves.

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