JAY — Wednesday’s field hockey matchup between Dirigo and Spruce Mountain had a feel of a playoff contest.

In a defensive contest, the Cougars outlasted the Phoenix 1-0 in a matchup of Class C North teams.

Dirigo entered the contest looking forward to the battle with Spruce Mountain.

“Our schedule has been a rough schedule because we had weaker teams then really hard teams and we have been on a stretch of weaker teams,” Dirigo coach Gretchen Curtis said. “It’s been a yo-yo of (a schedule).”

Dirigo has two games remaining on its regular-season schedule. The Cougars play Mountain Valley on Thursday and Telstar next Wednesday. Spruce Mountain finishes its regular season next Wednesday against Boothbay.

The win moved Dirigo (9-3) up to the No. 1 seed in Class C North, as of Wednesday night, and Spruce Mountain (10-3) is currently the No. 4 seed. The playoffs begin Oct. 21-22 with the preliminary round.


“(Dirigo) has become a rival; we always know it’s going to be a tough competition between the two (teams),” Spruce Mountain coach Racheal Mastine said.

Spruce Mountain won the first game on Sept. 23, 2-1 in double overtime.

Dirigo’s Jayce Brophy broke the 0-0 deadlock with 9:44 remaining in the fourth quarter for the game’s only goal. The goal came off a penalty corner — Dirigo’s third of the period.

Brophy scored off a rebound.

“There’s a lot of anticipation and pressure when no one has scored all game,” Brophy said. “It’s the last (quarter) of the game and someone is going to win.”

Brophy has become a vocal leader for the Cougars this season, along with working on her skill set.


“If she wants to do a new dodge, she will research it and do it,” Curtis said. “She has really stepped out of her comfort zone and been more vocal this year and is a leader that way on the field. She is a great role model and an awesome kid.”

The Phoenix made a push with two straight corners after Brophy’s goal but couldn’t find the back of the cage. Mary Hamblin also had a shot go wide.

After a quiet first quarter, the play picked up in the second quarter. Spruce Mountain’s Olivia Mastine ran to the ball in the circle and collided with Dirigo goalie Alivia Ellis, who came out to challenge with 10:27 remaining. Ellis was slow to get up but stayed in the game.

“I saw her coming in and I knew I had to stop (the shot); I did whatever I needed to,” Ellis said. “I did take a charge.”

After Ellis collected her breath, she had to make her first two saves of the game to keep the contest scoreless.

The Cougars had chances off of four straight corners with 3:30 remaining in the second quarter. Phoenix goalie Mallory Clark (five saves) made a couple of saves. Spruce Mountain’s defense also cleared the ball out of danger.


Ryleigh Castonguay put two shots on Ellis (eight saves) in the final two minutes of the second quarter.

“I saw (them) coming and did what I need to (stop the shots),” Ellis said.

Spruce Mountain appeared to score at the end of the second quarter but the shot came outside of the circle.

“It was on a great drive into the circle by Aubrey Kachnovich and nobody (in the circle) got a stick on (the ball),” Racheal Mastine said. “We practice it; they just didn’t get a stick on it.”

The Phoenix controlled the play in the third quarter and the best chance came in the final seconds when they drew a penalty corner. Confusion on what to do with no time remaining led to another opportunity going by the wayside.

“That’s a situational thing we need to be aware of on the field,” Racheal Mastine said. “With no time left, the play doesn’t stop until the ball is out (of the circle). Everybody needs to be in (the circle) and push for it.”

Dirigo was awarded 11 penalty corners in the game, while Spruce Mountain was awarded eight.

“We work on those a lot and Spruce Mountain has great defense, too; they don’t make it easy to score,” Curtis said.

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