The best way to find out what a team is made of is to play the toughest opponents and the Belfast field hockey team got a taste of a high-quality foe in the Gardiner Tigers to kick off the regular season.

The Tigers are the reigning state Class B champions, while the Lions consistently have been, for decades, one of the top teams in the same class, and both talented high school squads should be back near the top of the pack this season.

After the Lions scored the opening goal in the first half, the Tigers scored two unanswered goals as the visitors topped Belfast 2-1 on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 5 in a season-opening clash on the artificial turf at Point Lookout.

Watch video and see more photos below.

The Lions and Tigers were knotted 1-1 at halftime.

Chelsea Gaiero scored for Belfast, while Kayci Faulkingham and Mallory Tibbetts recorded assists.

Jas Clary scored both goals for the Tigers, with Dewey Clary and Haley Brann notching assists.

Belfast held a 25-10 advantage in shots and 13-5 advantage in penalty corners. The Lions Brooke Richards made six saves in the cage, while Cassidy Collins stopped 16 shots in goal for the Tigers.

Most of the first half was scoreless, but Gaiero broke the goose egg to put the hosts up with just over nine minutes to play before halftime.

Three minutes later, Jas Clary tied the score, where the game stood well into the second half.

With less than nine minutes to play in the contest, the Tigers secured a penalty corner, and Maggie Bell launched a shot into the air toward the goal, but it was knocked down by Maggie Farnham.

Farnham attempted a shot, but it was stopped by the Belfast defense and cleared to the left where Brann gained control.

Brann fired the shot back in to the goal, where it was then redirected by Jas Clary into the back of the net.

The Lions went on attack mode late, with multiple penalty corners and shots, but Collins was solid for the Tigers in the cage and stopped everything that came her way.

Last year, Belfast lost to Lawrence of Fairfield 2-1 to start the season and won the rest of their regular-season games except a 1-0 loss to Gardiner in the finale. The Lions then fell to Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield in the Class B North playoffs.