Sports

Warrior girls take down visiting Owls in dramatic double overtime

Fort Kent’s Amanda Thibeault (5) looks on as her shot is turned way by Madawaska keeper Cassidy Beaulieu with defenders Ashley Williams (3), Emily Voucher (1) and Keri Hebert (13), in pursuit Wednesday in Fort Kent. (Don Eno | SJVT/FhF)

FORT KENT, Maine — A clash of local rivals proved as exciting as billed, Wednesday evening, when the Fort Kent Warrior girls hosted the Madawaska Owls, with each team eyeing playoff positioning.

In the end, Alisha Guimond’s goal off a corner kick in the second overtime period gave the Warriors the win, 2-1.

“It was a real uplift. We needed it.” Fort Kent senior and team captain, Allie Daigle, said following the victory. The Warriors were coming off of a 5-1 loss to the Houlton Shires.

Madawaska’s Jenna Dugal, 10, battles with Fort Kent’s Alisha Guimond for a ball in the air during Wednesday’s game in Fort Kent. (Don Eno | SJVT/FhF)

“It’s awesome to be part of a rivalry that’s been going on this long,” Daigle added.

Although the two schools play in different MPA classes, Fort Kent in Class C and Madawaska in Class D, the two St. John Valley schools have long had rivalries in various sports. Home games at each school regularly draw enthusiastic crowds from both towns, separated by less than 30 miles.

Having both girls’ teams ranked in the top 10 and playoff-bound only added to the  excitement, Wednesday.

“But, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. These teams have a great history of good games,” Owl head coach Tom Gerard said prior to the start of Wednesday’s match. “Records don’t mean anything when it comes to Madawaska and Fort Kent.”

Madawaska’s Hannah Nadeau, left, pushes the ball upfield with Fort Kent’s Lexi Lovley in pursuit during a match in Fort Kent Wednesday. (Don Eno | SJVT/FhF)

With the loss, the Owls dropped a place, down to 3rd, in the Class D North standings.

Fort Kent’s head coach Robby Nadeau, whose Warriors were in the middle of the playoff pack heading into the game, tried to balance rivalry fever with the bigger playoff picture.

“This is big game for both teams,” Nadeau said before the game. “Seedings are important this time of year.”

Nadeau knew his players would need to step up their game to have a chance against the Owls, who had knocked off undefeated Houlton just two nights prior.

“They (Madawaska) seem to be fast to the ball all the time,” he said before the game. “We will need to match that intensity.”

That intensity was somewhat lacking in the first half, though, as Madawaska players pressed hard and had the ball in the Fort Kent end of the field for much of the time. The Owls took a 1-0 lead into halftime, thanks to a Jenna Dugal goal off a corner kick.

Fort Kent keeper Lyndsay Ouellette prepares for a corner kick during Wednesday’s home game against Madawaska. (Don Eno | SJVT/FhF)

But the Warriors had the Owls on their heels much of the second half, getting to the ball quicker and creating chances inside the box. Cassidy Lovely’s penalty kick late in regulation forced the overtime.

Neither team scored in the first five-minute overtime, setting up Guimond’s winning goal just a couple of minutes into the second OT.

“It was  a tough game on a hostile field,” Gerard said, following the game. “We’re in the playoffs. Maybe losing (this game) will have its benefits.”

Lyndsay Ouellette had seven saves on nine shots for Fort Kent, while Madawaska keeper Cassidy Beaulieu had six stops on eight shots.

Madawaska (9-3) next travels to Katahdin Middle/High School on Friday. The Warriors (7-5) close out their regular season home games with a match against the Ashland Hornets, also Friday.

Madawaska’s Brianne Thibault, left, chases a pass down the line against Fort Kent’s Simone Martin during Wednesday’s game in Fort Kent. (Don Eno | SJVT/FhF)

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