Strong second half gives Tigers crown
By Jessica Bloch, Of the NEWS Staff - DEXTER - The tears would eventually come, but Margaret Veazie couldn't let herself cry until she was ready.There was a moment during halftime of Saturday morning's Class C state field hockey championship. But Veazie, coaching in the final game of her seven-year stint with the Tigers, reigned in her emotions.
She couldn't do so after the awards ceremony, however. Margaret Veazie cried with her players. She cried with the parents of her players. She cried while she talked to her father on a cell phone, relaying news of a 5-1 victory over Western Maine champ St. Dominic and the program's fourth straight state title.
Margaret Veazie wasn't the only one crying. Many of the Tigers had red-rimmed eyes as they milled about and gathered their equipment - including sticks painted gold - after the game at the Gorham High field.
It was the fifth overall state crown for the 18-0 Tigers, all since 1998. The win was also their 62nd in a row, which extends the state record for consecutive wins.
If Dexter is to continue its streak, it'll have to be without Veazie, who is also the mother of Brittany Veazie, one of four senior starters. Brittany will likely play in college next year, and her mother wants to watch her (and older sister Kristy, who plays for UMaine-Farmington).
"I'm gonna miss her a lot," sophomore Vanessa Hartford said of the coach, who also leads youth field hockey camps in Dexter. "She's been a big part of my life. It's going to be hard."
Margaret Veazie, a fiery coach on the sidelines, had one final way to motivate the Tigers, who were tied 1-1 with the Saints of Lewiston (17-1) at halftime.
"I almost cried, because I asked them if this was the way they wanted it to end, losing or tying or having to go to overtime," she said, a bit teary after the phone conversation with her father. "They said no and I said, I don't either. I left it up to them and they took over."
Brittany Veazie, a starting midfielder, went to play on the front line after halftime. St. Dominic pressed early in the second half, but 41/2 minutes into the period Veazie worked the ball down the field and passed it to the middle, where Nikki Chapman put in a shot past St. Dominic goalie Ilissa Vallee for a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers piled on the offense from there. Hartford chipped in a shot with about 18 minutes left in the game for the insurance goal, and Meagan Fogarty put in two goals, her 41st and 42nd of the season (thus extending her state record for goals in a season).
"We controlled the ball, and Meagan and Brittany play well together," Margaret Veazie said.
"We really worked hard," Hartford said. "The offense really picked it up. We hadn't been cutting to the ball and we weren't being aggressive. We just kind of sat back."
In the first half Brittany Veazie and Sarah Wyman combined on a bang-bang play to give Dexter a lead with 17 minutes left, but sophomore Elisha Dorso and the Saints came back 11 minutes later to tie it when she drove in a long shot off a penalty corner. Dorso's sister Erica, who led St. Dominic with 39 goals this season, recorded the assist.
"They're a fast team and they tired us out a bit, but I think that made us realize we had to pick it up a bit," Dexter senior midfielder Keriann Patterson said.
The Tigers had a challenge in marking the Dorso sisters, a speedy duo who combined for 57 goals this fall.
"We knew they were going to be fast and aggressive on their front line," Brittany Veazie said. "We knew whoever was marking [the Dorso sisters] had to know where they were at all times."
Dexter didn't have one player designated for either girl, but relied on a defense anchored by starters Sam Pomelow, Brandi Alton and Courtney St. Germain and goalie Cindy Koscielny.
"Whenever we got the ball someone was right on us," senior Erica Dorso said. "Anyone who was there was right on me. They pass a lot across the field and use both sides of the field. We needed to do that, but we never did."
Koscielny finished with two saves on four shots, while Vallee had nine saves on 19 shots.
The Tigers had 15 penalty corners. The Saints had six.
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