NEWPORT– Meaghan Lovely scored the game winning goal to lead the Nokomis Warriors field hockey team to a 2-1 victory over the Gardiner Tigers on Friday afternoon.
Gardiner controlled play early in the game.
Madeline Reny scored the only goal in the first 30 minutes. Reny put a shot past Nokomis goalie Kendra Underhill with 8:45 remaining in the first half.
“I think it took us a while to gauge the speed and intensity level of this game,”Nokomis coach Katie Thompson said. “We haven’t had that type of challenge, it is early in the season.”
Nokomis had a pep talk, and came out looking like a different team after intermission.
Mikayla Pelkey scored the Warriors first goal with 12:10 remaining in the second half.
“I realized they were ahead of us,”Pelkey said. “We had a little pep talk and we decided to get a little goal hungry, and we had a good finish.”
The Warriors and Tigers are expected to be two of the top teams in class B this season. This is the only team they will face each other during the regular season.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game. At the beginning we didn’t have as much intensity as we needed,”Thompson said. “These types of close games can go either way.. I am glad we were on the winning side today, it could go either way next time we meet. We always like to play this team, because it is good competition.”
The game looked like it could be going to overtime until Lovely put in her goal with four minutes remaining in the second half.
“After halftime we had a really good pep talk that got us really fired up,”Lovely said. “I was just goal hungry and wanted it.”
Thompson added, “After halftime they came out fired up, they had more determination in the second half.”
The Tigers had one last threat in the final minute. Underhill made a nice save to secure the victory for the Warriors.
Thompson earned her 100th career coaching victory in a 4-0 victory over Erskine on Wednesday afternoon.
“Getting 100 wins at this school is a testament to all the great athletes, I have had play. We have won because of their commitment and dedication to this team,”Thompson said. “I like to take credit for it, but it is them not me. It has been a pleasure coaching all those girls.”
Underhill finished with five saves for the Warriors. Nokomis (2-0) will travel to Leavitt next Tuesday.
Emalee Couture made six saves for the Tigers. Gardiner (1-1) will host Oceanside next Tuesday.