Mariners again blanked by Warriors in playoff clashOceanside caps impressive overall campaign
Newport — The Oceanside field hockey team returned to the scene of the crime, of sorts, from one year ago as the No. 7 Mariners looked to knock off No. 2 Nokomis in an Eastern Class B quarterfinal playoff for the second straight year.
The Mariners proved to be a much improved team this season, but the Warriors, regional finalists for the past three seasons and state champions in 2010, proved to be too much for the upstart visitors again this fall.
Nokomis scored once in the first half and twice more in the second — all off penalty corners — and surged to the semifinals with a 3-0 win in Newport.
Oceanside's season ended at 8-5-2. Last year, the then top-seeded Warriors ousted the then eighth-ranked Mariners 6-0 in the quarterfinals at Newport.
The Warriors (12-2-1) will host No. 3 Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft (13-2) in the semifinals on Saturday, Oct. 20.
On Wednesday, Taylor Lovely and Kelsey Kerstetter each had a goal and an assist in the win for the Warriors, while Lindsay Whitney also scored for the hosts.
"I thought my defense worked hard today," said Oceanside coach Joanna Hall. "Casey Carroll and Amanda Hoppe have been outstanding all year long and they certainly had a busy day here today."
Zoe Billington made nine saves in goal for Oceanside, while Kendra Underhill made seven saves in the cage for Nokomis. The Warriors outshot the Mariners 10-6 and led 12-5 in penalty corners.
Hall said the Warriors are exceptionally good on penalty corners, though they caught the Mariners out of position on two of the three scores.
"We knew what they were going to do on penalty corners," she said. "We practiced our defense against it all week. But all it takes is one little breakdown and it all falls apart."
Hall said that the Warriors did a good job of shutting down the Mariner midfield, anchored by Hannah Plourde and Molly Mellor, as the visitors could not get much of an offensive attack going.
However, Oceanside did not quit, even when Nokomis called timeout with 3:57 remaining in regulation.
"They always play the full 60 minutes," said Hall of the Mariners. "They don't quit. Leavitt scored two goals in 1:15 to go on to beat us [during the regular season] so they know anything is possible. They were trying to score right up until the end."
Oceanside will lose a wealth of seniors, led by Plourde, Carroll, Emma Davis, Phoebe Ferraiolo and Mellor, among others.
"They've been the heart of the team," Hall said. "They're nice, smart, athletic young girls and I'm very proud of them. They've set the bar high for all the other girls that are going to follow them."
Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at email@example.com.