PITTSFIELD — The game was within the grasp of the Maine Central Institute field hockey team.

For more than a half, the Huskies — with an early goal and strong play by junior goalkeeper Keydaliz Rivera — held a lead over undefeated Dexter. And despite a strong difference in penalty corner opportunities, MCI kept the game in its favor.

Ultimately, the Tigers managed to overcome, beating the Huskies 2-1 in overtime on Monday afternoon at the Alumni Field athletic complex.

Lexi Vafiades scored the game-winner for Dexter (4-0), finishing a cross from teammate McKenzie Clay, who scored a goal in the third quarter to tie the game 1-1.

“(Clay) crossed it to me, I just kind of reversed it in,” Vafiades said. “I shouldn’t have used my reverse stick, but I got lucky there.

“It’s good to beat (MCI) after losing to them last year.”


Rivera, who had eight saves, kept the Huskies (1-3) alive throughout. She was particularly strong in the third quarter, making a diving stop and turning away a penalty stroke by Dexter’s Kallie Stone.

“I don’t even need to coach her, she’s just amazing,” MCI head coach Teri-Jean Wilkinson said of Rivera. “She’s a beast and a huge asset. There’s not much that she does not stop.”

Dexter had 26 penalty corners, and missed opportunities frustrated the Tigers throughout the game.

MCI’s Vivian Walker, bottom, hits the ground after being struck in the head by the ball as Dexter’s Mckenzie Clay, right, joins the play during field hockey action Monday in Pittsfield. Walker stayed in the game after the incident. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“I think it’s kind of a relief just having the (ball) down there with us,” Vafiades said. “Even if we’re not getting them in, we have the ball, we’re working on it.”

“I tried to tell (the team) to play smart field hockey,” Dexter head coach Brittany McAllister said. “They were doing things right, but just make those smart plays and just keep fighting, and eventually one (shot) will go in, and it did.”

MCI jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first quarter, when Ashlee Jarvis was able to knock in a rebound shot in a scrum in front of Dexter goalkeeper Sunny Bache.

The outing was a positive step for a Huskies team in transition. MCI has just three seniors on its roster, with nine freshmen and sophomores.

“It’s a different year,” Wilkinson said. “Leadership is different, skill-wise, it’s different. They’re slowly coming together. With our five seniors that (graduated) last season, they brought a lot of power (to the field). But this isn’t a building year.”

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