Plenty was on the line for both squads in Rockland Thursday afternoon as Oceanside hosted Belfast in a key late-season Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B high school field hockey showdown.

The Mariners continue to cling to the ninth and final playoff spot in Eastern Class B, while the Lions are unbeaten and third in the Maine Principals’ Association Heal Points and hope to challenge for league and regional supremacy in the coming weeks.

While the Mariners (7-6) played strong against one of the top teams in the state Thursday, it was the Lions (9-0-3) who roared to a 4-0 victory and stayed unbeaten on the season.

Maddy Cummings had a goal and an assist in Thursday’s win, while Kristi Osgood, Lexi Nelligan and Katrina Lapham also scored and Ally James added an assist for the victorious, visiting Lions.

Sierra Wood and Julia Ward split time in the cage for the Lions, combining to make three saves. Ciara Smalley made 12 saves in the cage for the Mariners. Belfast held a 12-2 edge in shots over Oceanside and an 11-0 advantage in penalty corners.

Cummings got the Lions on the board with 13:43 remaining in the first half, while Osgood brought in a pass from James and beat the Mariner keeper with 26 seconds remaining in the first 30 minutes.

In the second half, Nelligan found the back of the cage on a nifty pass from Cummings, while Lapham converted an unassisted goal with 4:10 remaining to round out the scoring.

The Mariners will face Camden Hills, which lost to Mount View of Thorndike 4-0 Thursday and was ranked 10th in the latest standings, in their final regular season-ending game on Saturday, Oct. 8 in Rockport, with a spot in the postseason likely on the line.

In Eastern Class B, Belfast (9-0-3, 95.1531 points) is second, while Oceanside (7-6, 34.1837 points) is ninth. Nokomis of Newport (10-0-1, 95.5995 points) is first in the 14-team region. The Warriors, the defending state Class B champs, are only less than a point (0.4464) ahead of the Lions. If Belfast wins its final two games, including one against point-worth Mount View, it is likely it will finish first in the region.

The top nine teams qualify for the playoffs. At this point, Oceanside is about four points ahead of Camden Hills for the final playoff spot. So, a win by either squad Oct. 8 probably will thrust the victor into the playoffs and keep the other on the outside looking in.

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