WATERVILLE — The way Lydia Dexter sees it, the final play of the Class A North girls lacrosse final was set up so perfectly, how could she not score on it?

“It was the most perfect pass I think I’ve ever received. I didn’t have to do much,” said Dexter, a Messalonskee co-captain. “I just saw the shot and put it in. Thank God for Kaitlyn Smith on that one.”

As the first overtime neared its finish, Dexter took Smith’s pass and fired a high shot from the left of the Windham net. With 6.5 seconds left, Dexter’s shot was true, and Messalonskee had a come-from-behind 7-6 win.

This is the third consecutive regional title for Messalonskee, (14-1) the defending state champion. The Eagles will take on Massabesic on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland in a rematch of last year’s Class A state championship game.

Second-seeded Windham finished the season at 12-3.

“I thought we had opportunities and outshot them, we just didn’t put it in there. I’m very proud of the effort. Our kids played phenomenal,” Windham coach Matt Perkins said.

Windham took the lead in the final minute of the first half and led 6-4 with 11:17 left in the second half when Kaitlyn Roberts scored. Messalonskee got a goal back with 8:42 to play when Ally Turner scored. It stayed scoreless until Turner took advantage of a free position and scored with 1:24 left to tie the game. The goal was Turner’s fourth of the game, all coming in the second half.

“In the beginning of the game, sometimes I get so worked up I just shoot it. I told myself I needed to relax and do my thing,” Turner said. “It’s really important for me to fake before I shoot. That’s what I’ve been taught. Move the goalie before you shoot it. That was the key for me to start putting goals in. I focused, and I faked and shot.”

Windham called timeout with 47.5 seconds left in regulation to set up a final scoring chance. Mya Mannette held the ball in the left corner, waiting until there was 17 seconds left to begin the attack. Windham was unable to get off a shot, however, sending the game to overtime.

Messalonskee struck first, taking a 2-0 lead on a pair of Lauren Pickett goals in the game’s first six minutes. After that, Windham was the more aggressive team for much of the game.

“We want to set the tone of the game, just like any other team. We did hit a lull,” Messalonskee coach Crystal Leavitt said. “We knew they we were going to come out hot. We’re too far into the season to see a team that doesn’t want it as much as we do. We knew it was going to be grit. Who wanted the ball? Who wanted the shot? Who wanted to pick it up and play defense?”

Holly Spencer’s goal with 10:12 left in the first half got Windham on the board, and it tied up the contest when Eliza Palow scored with 2:07 left in the half.

“The draw is a big part of the game, and we just couldn’t win the draw. They’re scrappy on the draw. When they’re winning the draw, it’s hard to get the ball and score,” Dexter said.

Alanna Joyce’s breakaway goal on a shot over the right shoulder of Messalonskee keeper Gaby Languet with 29.1 seconds left in the first half, gave Windham a 3-2 lead. Joyce scored again at 20:20 of the second half to give Windham a two-goal cushion.

“I thought we did a good job controlling the ball. Give credit to Messalonskee. They did a really good job adjusting,” Perkins said.

The teams traded goals the rest of the half, until Turner was able to knot the game late. In overtime, Dexter knew she had missed on a few scoring chances earlier in the game, shooting high and missing the net. With Smith’s pristine pass in her stick, Dexter didn’t want to waste the opportunity to win the game.

“The whole game I was kind of kicking myself, because I thought I should have a lot more goals than I did. I was definitely able to make it up there,” Dexter said.

Languet made 10 stops for Messalonskee, while Grace Sawyer had five saves for Windham.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM