NEWPORT —After 35 penalty corners, and scoring chance after chance lost, the Nokomis Regional High School field hockey team finally made sure an opportunity didn’t slip away.
It came with 3 minutes, 12 seconds left in the second overtime, when senior Taylor Shaw carried the ball into the Camden Hills zone, scoring with a quick shot to the right of Windjammers’ keeper Desi Dodd. Shaw’s shot was one of the few times the Warriors beat Dodd, and it gave Nokomis a 2-1 win in the Eastern B quarterfinals.
Top-seeded Nokomis, now 15-0, will host No. 5 Belfast (8-7) in a semifinal game Saturday. No. 8 Camden Hills ends the season 5-10-0.
The goal was just the second of the season for Shaw, who also scored in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship.
“We knew the quarters are always really hard. (Camden Hills) had nothing to lose,” Shaw said. “I was tired. I was exhausted. I didn’t want to go into penalty corners. I was looking just to push (the shot).”
“Their goalie just played outstanding today,” Nokomis coach Katie Thompson said.
Dodd, who missed the Windjammer’s regular season game against Nokomis, made 13 saves, a number of those coming on the Warriors’ penalty corner opportunities. Twenty of Nokomis’ 35 penalty corners came in the first half.
“I heard from a lot of coaches this season that our defense was one the best they’ve seen, and today kind of proved it,” Camden Hills coach Lindsey Clement said.
The Windajmmers took a 1-0 lead with 13:58 left in the second half, when Willow Grinnell took a pass from Emily Daggett and broke in a slipped a shot past Kendra Underhill (three saves). Thompson called a timeout before play resumed, and reminded her team it had come back from one-goal deficits often in the regular season.
“We’ve been here before. We knew we can do it,” Thompson said.
Drew Graves scored the equalizer with 9:01 to play in regulation, on a rebound of her own shot.
“We knew we needed to score. We didn’t want our season to end,” Graves said. “I sent it right back in as (Dodd) was kicking, and it went between her legs.”
Nokomis had a goal waved off late in the first half, when a shot from outside the circle hit a Camden Hills stick.
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242