Brunswick’s Hailie Lord, let, and Messalonskee’s Payton Alexander both go for a ball during a field hockey game Thursday in Brunswick. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

BRUNSWICK — The art of home-field advantage plays a role for the Brunswick field hockey team.

As one of the last few Class A schools to host games on a grass field as opposed to turf, teams seem to have a difficult time adjusting to the taller playing surface.

That didn’t matter for Messalonskee on Thursday, as the Eagles scored early and rode the brilliance of Skye Sadler (10 saves) in the cage, to a 1-0 victory, which handed Brunswick its first loss of the season.

“We have some excellent defenders back there,” said Messalonskee head coach Katie Brann following the game. “When you put that together Skye (Sadler), we knew we were going to have to rely on them a lot to keep us up.”

Messalonskee’s Abigail Stevens, left, plays defense on Brunswick’s Kiki Dinsmore during a field hockey game Thursday in Brunswick. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Alyson Violette scored the games’ lone goal, coming on a scrum in front of the net that Violette put home with just under 90 seconds to go in the first quarter. Violette’s goal proved to be all the Eagles would need to take home a win.

“That was a complete team effort, we should be really proud of how we played,” said Violette. “We were pushing really hard today (Thursday), that’s what made the outcome what it was today.”

Away from the confines of their friendly home turf, the Eagles dealt with rough grass, a surface they hadn’t played on in quite some time.

“It’s definitely a huge difference, we got a good taste of that during the pregame,” said Violette. “You have to be able to play on any type of surface, we were prepared for something like this.”

The Dragons fell to 3-1-1 following Thursday’s loss. Head coach Carrie Sullivan feels as though her team played well, but missed opportunities on offense.

“I think we played well, we held possession in our end for a majority of the game,” Sullivan said. “We just couldn’t get past that goalie and missed some opportunities. There are plenty of things we can take away from this.”

Coming into Thursday, both teams sat towards the top of the Class A North standings.

Brunswick’s Ellie Sullivan, left, tries to pass past Messalonskee’s Payton Alexander during a field hockey game Thursday in Brunswick. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“Oh yeah, we knew this was going to be a grind it out type of game,” Sullivan said. “We hadn’t seen them since 2019 so we weren’t quite sure what to expect.”

Added Brann: “We knew it was going to be a battle. They played scrappy and fast and we knew that we had to match that intensity.”

Despite the loss, Sullivan and her team learned a lot about themselves.

“We learned that we can compete with this team and we learned some of the things we can get better at,” Sullivan said. “We have to look at the bigger picture and regroup, they’ve gotten to the point where they can compete against some really good teams (like Messalonskee) and they know that.”

The Dragons’ best opportunity to score came in the fourth quarter, when a hard Kelsey Sullivan shot was turned aside by Sadler before a rebound shot went wide. Despite three corner penalties awarded in the final minute, Brunswick was unable to get a shot into the back of the cage.

“This is a huge momentum boost for us,” added Brann. “Now we just have to manage our energy with another game to wrap the week up.”

The Eagles are now 5-1, riding a five-game win streak.

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