Mariners too tough for Lions in regular-season finaleMidcoast squads poised to meet again in regional quarterfinals
Rockland — It was the final game of the regular season, but it was not the final meeting of the year between the Oceanside and Belfast high school field hockey teams, who battled on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
The Mariners played with tremendous intensity throughout the 60-minute game and beat the Lions not only to loose balls, but in points scored as well as the hosts blanked the two-time defending Eastern Class B titlists 4-0 Tuesday.
The Mariners went into Tuesday's game as the projected fourth seed in Eastern Class B, while the Lions were fifth, meaning the two Midcoast squads will meet again in a regional quarterfinal playoff next week.
That postseason encounter will be on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 3 p.m. in Rockland.
In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Oceanside (10-4, 81.8367 points) is fourth, while Belfast (7-7, 42.2959 points) is fifth. Nokomis of Newport (14-0, 156.3265 points) is first in the 11-team region. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.
On Tuesday, Bekah Freeman tallied two goals for the winners, while Makalya Von Blarcom and Mary Allen added goals. Isabella Garver notched three assists and Alexx Chase and Alexis Mazurek had one.
Zoe Billington made six saves in the cage for the Mariners, while Madison Littlefield finished with 16 saves in goal for the Lions. Oceanside outshot Belfast 20-6 and held a 4-3 edge in penalty corners.
Oceanside led 1-0 at halftime.
“We knew we wanted to come out and play strong in this game, knowing that likely we're going to play them in the quarterfinals too,” said Oceanside coach Joanna Hall. “We just wanted to play as well as we could.”
And they did.
“It was a good team effort,” Hall said. “All of our players were moving in and out and contributing.”
“We had moments out there when we connected well and moments when we certainly did not,” said Belfast coach Jan Holmes-Jackson. “We were kind of flat. They were beating us to the ball. They were sprinting and we weren't.
“We will have to turn around and figure out how to play them because we're going to be coming back here next week.”
The Mariners took a 1-0 lead with 20:21 left in the first half when Mazurek fired a bullet on the cage from outside the circle, a ball that was tipped into the cage by Freeman past Littlefield.
The hosts dominated possession for much of the game as they beat Belfast to many loose balls and bottled up the Lion offense in the Mariner defensive end.
Von Blarcom made it 2-0 after she popped a ball into the cage after Littlefield made a diving attempt at the ball and came up empty, which allowed the Mariner sophomore to double Oceanside's lead with 21:06 remaining in regulation.
Freeman added a second goal with 12:13 left when Garver popped the ball past Littlefield down on the endline to Freeman. A Belfast player went to make a defensive save behind Littlefield, but to no avail as the ball crossed the line, to put the game out of reach for the visiting Lions.
Allen added a fourth goal for Oceanside with 4:43 left to round out the scoring.
“In the second half we kind of turned it up a notch and we were beating them to some of the balls out there,” said Hall. “I thought we played well together as a team, especially against a team like Belfast. They're a great program so it feels good to come away with a win.”
Both teams have had significant injuries dealt to top-tier players this season, though the Mariners have had more time to weather the storm.
Oceanside lost junior Jackie Thorbjornson, who had 12 assists and two goals through seven games, midseason, but the Mariners went 4-3 over their final seven games and are in prime position to host a playoff game.
The Lions, however, lost senior scoring stalwart Maddy Cummings, during the team's 1-0 defeat to Nokomis of Newport on Oct. 10, to a rotator cuff injury. The injury sidelined Cummings for Tuesday's game and she will not be available for the rest of the season for Belfast, coach Holmes-Jackson said.
“We're missing her presence out there for sure,” said Holmes-Jackson. “But the rest of them are going to have to figure it out, step it up and figure out what we want.”
Associate Sports Director
594-4401, ext. 116
Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. He has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School.
Mark is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, fantasy sports, the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and iced coffee.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn and sons Beckett and Austin.
Recent Stories by Mark Haskell
Dec 04, 2013
Dec 03, 2013
Nov 25, 2013
Nov 04, 2013
Oct 30, 2013