OAKLAND — Nathalie St. Pierre came charging down the right side deep in the circle and spotted some daylight by the far corner of the Lawrence cage.
The Messalonskee sophomore forward fired a quick shot on net and then waited to pounce on the rebound — only there wasn’t one.
“I looked up and the ball was in,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
St. Pierre scored an unassisted goal with 1 minute, 35 seconds left in overtime to give the Messalonskee field hockey team a thrilling 3-2 victory over rival Lawrence in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A game Tuesday.
The goal came after Lawrence (8-2-0) dominated the second half and rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime.
Sophomore midfielder Emily Hogan scored two goals for Messalonskee (9-1-0), which held a decisive 9-1 edge in penalty corners.
Lauren Watson, a sophomore forward/midfielder, scored both goals for Lawrence.
“What a game,” Messalonskee coach Katie McLaughlin said. “This was a real eye-opener for us. This showed us that anything can happen. We knew going into this that this would be a hard game.”
Added Watson: “We wanted it really bad. We wanted to finish it. I feel like we outplayed them but they got the last shot in.”
The Eagles threatened to make it one-sided from the start, as Logan scored two goals in the opening 13 minutes.
She gave Messalonskee a 1-0 lead when she ripped a shot off a corner that redirected off a Lawrence defender and past goalie Emily Tozier just 4:29 into the game.
“When the ball came out, I knew I had to shoot it as hard as I could,” she said.
Tozier made it 2-0 about eight minutes later when she again scored off a corner in a near mirror image of her first one.
“We thought we had some good security,” St. Pierre said. “We were feeling pretty good at that point.”
But the Bulldogs didn’t quit.
Watson cut the deficit in half when she dribbled down the right side and beat Messalonskee goalie Abby Roberts with a low shot to the near side with 13:20 left in the half.
“I tried to go right through the goalie’s legs,” Watson said.
The goal revived the Bulldogs, who carried the play for much of the second half.
“With Lawrence, the minute you let down they take full advantage,” McLaughlin said. “We lost some of our focus and energy.”
Watson pulled Lawrence even when she scored on a mini-breakaway with 19:20 left in regulation. Watson was able to beat two defenders and came in alone on Roberts before burying a shot inside the far post.
“We dominated in the second half,” Lawrence coach Lisa Larrabee said. “We had our chances late but couldn’t finish. Going into overtime, we had a lot of energy. We were excited.”
However, Messalonskee senior back Mikayla Turner shut down the Lawrence attack in overtime before St. Pierre converted the game-winner.
“The game was a wake-up call for us,” St. Pierre said. “It was a big game. I’m just glad we were able to pull it through.”
Both goalies came up with big saves to keep it a close game throughout. Tozier finished with 13 saves while Roberts had eight.
The two teams will meet again Tuesday in Fairfield.
“This was a very exciting game for the fans,” Larrabee said. “Both teams played hard. It will be good to play them again.”
Bill Stewart — 621-5640