Tuesday’s high school field hockey regular-season finale between Belfast and Mount View was significant on many levels. Not only were the Lions unbeaten heading into the contest, but also a home playoff game was up for grabs for the host Mustangs.

That, and of course, bragging rights between the two rival Waldo County schools.

While the Lions had not lost a game all season, Mount View, perhaps overlooked, had not lost a game since Sept. 6, stumbling out of the gate at 1-2 with early-season losses to Nokomis of Newport and Winslow and going 9-0-1 over its final 10 games.

When the dust finally settled in Thorndike, it was the Mustangs who scored the lone goal of the game in the second half and used superior defense and strong senior leadership to propel the hosts to an emotional 1-0 win over the Lions.

Brittany Masessa’s goal and Anna Piotti’s goal-saving play, along with many other factors, led to the Mustangs’ win.

While the final Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B have not been made official, though all teams have played a full 14-game schedule, Belfast (10-1-3, 113.7755 points) is third and Mount View (11-2-1, 111.9898 points) is fourth. Nokomis (13-0-1, 148.5332 points) is first in the 14-team region.

Thus, it appears No. 3 Belfast will host No. 6 Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft, while No. 4 Mount View will host No. 5 Winslow in Eastern Class B quarterfinal games, to be played Tuesday, Oct. 18 or Wednesday, Oct. 19. Belfast does not play Foxcroft Academy during the regular season, while Mount View lost to Winslow 4-3 in the teams lone meeting.

Despite Tuesday’s loss, the Lions will participate in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship game on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. at Colby College. Belfast will face Nokomis for the league’s top prize. The Lions and Warriors tied 1-1 in the teams regular-season meeting.

On Tuesday, Belfast held an 11-9 edge in shots, while Mount View finished with an 8-3 advantage in penalty corners.

Abbie Charrier made two saves in goal for Mount View, while Piotti added a sensational player save. Sierra Wood and Julia Ward combined to make five saves for Belfast.

“It was a phenomenal win,” said Mount View coach Gloria Hewett. “They’ve been coming on stronger and stronger after the first couple games of the season and I’m just so proud of them.”

Hewett said this year’s squad, while different then last year’s team that was ranked first in Eastern Class B, shared the league title and advanced to the regional finals, the one thing they both have in common is a desire to succeed.

“They don’t give up,” she said. “They don’t let down after a goal and they play 100 percent for the whole game.”

“At the beginning [Mount View] came out tough,” said Belfast coach Allen Holmes. “They had us on our heels with I think four penalty corners in the first 10 minutes, but we withstood that, we calmed down and we were passing pretty well [after that].”

Both teams went scoreless through the entire first half and went back and forth through the first 10 minutes of the second half before the hosts found a hole in the Belfast defense, accounting for the game’s lone tally.

Masessa received the ball roughly 15 yards from the cage, turned and fired a rocket through a sea of Mustang and Lion players — and glove side past Belfast keeper Ward — to put the hosts up by one goal. The goal came at the 28:17-mark.

Lion coach Holmes promptly called his first of three timeouts in the second half to try and set up an offensive set. The Lions nearly had a goal out of the timeout as the they drew Mustang goalie Charrier out of the cage and looked to be on the doorstep of scoring as the ball got behind the keeper and in front of the cage.

“We tried a long ball situation with Lexi [Nelligan] and Maddy [Cummings] up and we try to get the ball to them with a cherry-picker kind of thing,” Holmes said. “We did that for about five minutes and we were somewhat successful, but they had some really good stops.”

The most important stop came from Piotti, who made perhaps the play of the year for Mount View on defense. The senior back made a full-extension, diving stick save in front of the cage to knock the ball back into play and prevent the Lions from scoring the equalizer.

“I know I was supposed to take the girl on post and I was on her and then I watched the ball get past Abbie [Charrier] and I had the sudden thought that it was about to go in,” said Piotti. “That scared me so I just decided that diving was the way to stop it.”

“That hurt us,” said Holmes. “We’d just called timeout, set something up and had everyone on the same page. That would have been huge. We’d probably still be playing.”

“Abbie had the first [Belfast] shot [attempt], she kicked it, then it came back at her and she kicked it a second time and it wasn’t a very strong kick the second time,” said Hewett. “So the shot went past her and Anna was playing post on the opposite side and she just kind of flew across the cage and just dove and hit it out with her stick.”

The play set the tone for the rest of the afternoon, as the Lions could not penetrate the Mustang defense, which did not falter in its most impressive game of the season.

Moments after Piotti’s save the Mustangs nearly had their second goal of the half when a shot from Delainey Kein popped straight off the left post and back into the field of play in what would have been a pivotal insurance goal for the hosts.

How talented are Waldo County’s two high school field hockey teams. In 14 regular-season games, Belfast outscored foes 37-5, including recording seven shutouts, and was shut out twice. Meanwhile, Mount View outscored foes 48-7, with 10 shutouts and was shut out twice.

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.