Maine Central Institute’s Abbie Reynolds (8) passes the ball between Nokomis defenders Madeleine Roundy, left, and Madison Randett during a crossover game Wednesday in Newport. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

NEWPORT — The level of intensity surrounding a field hockey game seems to rise as the leaves turn color. With the postseason approaching, there’s more on the line as each game truly matters more than the last.

The intensity and tough play was on display Wednesday when Nokomis hosted Maine Central Institute in a crossover battle between Class B and C teams, respectively.

In the end, it was MCI that took a hard-fought 2-1 victory to extend its winning streak to seven games.

“Every game is a tune-up for the next one,” said MCI coach Nancy Hughes, whose team (11-1) has allowed just four goals over the course of the winning streak. “We have specific things we still need to work on, but we’ve been coming together here down the final stretch.”

Trinity Leavitt scored just over five minutes into the second half to break the scoreless tie before Gracie Moore padded the Huskies’ lead with a spectacular goal with just over eight minutes to go. Moore batted the ball out of midair with her stick and into the back of the cage past the outstretched stick of Warriors’ goalie Eliya Drummond (five saves).

Nokomis’ Maddi Hook (10) celebrates after scoring a goal on Maine Central Institute goalie Keydaliz Rivera during a crossover game Wednesday in Newport. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“I was just trying to be aggressive in the circle,” said Moore. “Trinity (Leavitt) made a great pass and I was just looking for the ball.”

Nokomis (9-4-1) fought back in the fourth quarter and pulled within a goal when Maddi Hook scored with just under four minutes remaining.

With no goals or perfect scoring chances coming in the first half, Hughes and her team made some adjustments in the second half.

“We moved some players around; we’re lucky to have a good amount of girls who are versatile,” she said. “When you have a player like (Gracie) Moore who can play anywhere and goes 110% at all times it makes things easier in that regard.”

The Huskies sit atop the Class C North standings with two regular season games remaining.

Nokomis, who mustered just five shots on goal, closed the regular season and will now await who it will meet in the B North playoffs.

Nokomis forward Maddi Hook (10) hits the ball into the page past Maine Central Institute defender Cali Kellem and goalie Keydaliz Rivera during a crossover game Wednesday in Newport. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“We’ve got some things we need to fix as we head to the postseason,” said Nokomis first-year head coach Shaughnessy Saucier, whose team played its fourth game in seven days. “We haven’t had much time to practice, but now we’ll have the opportunity to do so.”

Huskies’ goalie Keydaliz Rivera finished with four saves, none bigger than a pair she made in the second quarter when she robbed Hook of a goal with a diving save to her left.

“The defense was great in front of her,” said Hughes.

With two games remaining, the Huskies are hoping to grab some more momentum.

“We want to continue to improve,” said Moore. “We all have the same goal, we still have a long way to go.”

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