GUILFORD – Hattie Agnew and Kaitlin Smith have had a nice connection on the field this season, and that showed up again in Wednesday’s Eastern Maine Class C field hockey quarterfinal.
Smith scored twice off Agnew assists, while Agnew assisted on a third goal and scored one of her own as the No. 4 Piscataquis of Guilford field hockey team held off No. 5 Winthrop 4-2 at the high school field.
“Kaitlin’s always right there with me,” senior Agnew said of her sophomore mate on the front line. “We’re always together. It’s a bond I feel lucky to have my senior year.”
Another plus for her senior season? It’s the first time in at least four years Piscataquis, one of the top Eastern Maine Class C teams, has advanced to the semifinals.
Coach Trisha Moulton’s Pirates win sets up a Saturday semifinal meeting with No. 1 Stearns of Millinocket at 11 a.m.
The Minutemen went 1-0-1 against Piscataquis this season.
“We need to do the same thing we’ve done, with Hattie taking it up the right side of the field and everyone else hustling back,” Smith said of Saturday’s matchup.
An Agnew pass set up Smith for Wednesday’s first goal in the first half, although Winthrop responded around two minutes later when Brianna Tupper scored.
With the score tied 1-1 at halftime, Agnew again crossed the ball inside to Smith, who took a shot from about eight yards out for a 2-1 lead with 15 minutes, 37 seconds left.
“I ran down the field with Hattie, she crossed it in and I hit it,” Smith said. “It was great.”
The Ramblers had trouble defending the Pirates’ front line, especially with the speedy Agnew firing crosses into the middle.
“We had several different people in there, they all saw it, we told them what they needed to do, it was just the shot came across as a rocket,” Winthrop coach Sharon Coulton said.
Agnew scored during a scramble after a penalty corner nine minutes later and with 3:44 left she crossed the ball to Kelsey Martel for the Pirates’ fourth goal.
“Our strong side is our right side,” Agnew said. “We’re taught to [take] our crosses low, and Kaitlin and Kelsey, all of our inners, are taught to [shoot] low to pull the goalie off her angle.”
Smith’s first goal came on a bang-bang series of passes, with the final pass coming from Agnew.
Kristi Zimmerman scored late for the 9-5-1 Ramblers, but it wasn’t enough for Winthrop to mount a comeback. The game ended with a Piscataquis possession.
Picataquis goalie Jessica Pratt stopped 11 of 13 shots, while Winthrop’s Sarah Gianpetro made three saves on 10 shots.
Tupper had a good chance early in the second half when she had a long fast break, but she got off a weak shot and Piscataquis goalie Jessica Pratt came out to make the save.
“That’s hard after a long carry like that,” Coulton said of Tupper’s attempt.