FAIRFIELD — During the regular season, Lawrence stayed competitive with its defense. On Tuesday, in the Eastern A quarterfinals, the Bulldogs won with it.

Sixth-ranked Edward Little had a lot of chances, but the third-seeded Bulldogs turned them all away and scored two late goals to pull out a 2-0 victory and a spot in Saturday’s semifinals.

Lawrence (10-4-1) will face No. 2 Messalonskee in the semifinals Saturday and will need to come out strong again. The Bulldogs did that against EL, but an excellent first 10 minutes was followed by five bad minutes, during which the Eddies got four penalty corners.

“I thought we had three good looks at open net in the first half that we missed on,” Edward Little coach Greg Perkins said. “If we scored one, two of those, I think it’s a different game. But that’s woulda, coulda, shoulda, right? They were tough. They’re an excellent team.”

The Bulldogs had a few players under the weather, but the defense, led by goalie Emily Lambert and backs Miranda Costigan, Abby King and Samantha Spaulding, made sure EL (8-6-1) didn’t get that first goal.

“We would have probably dropped our heads,” Costigan said. “But since we scored first, we picked it up right after that.”

The game-winning goal came on a penalty corner with 17:03 left in the second half. Lawrence’s Danielle Armour lifted a shot that was batted down by EL goalie Amanda Williams. Regan LaPorte got the ball on the right side and crossed it ahead to left wing Julia Lawrence for the tap-in.

“I wasn’t playing my normal position,” Lawrence said. “I usually play center forward. I haven’t played wing all season.”

“This is a very physical game, and they have big sticks and big bodies,” Lawrence coach Lisa Larrabee said. “She wasn’t able to get around them, so I stuck her on the wing, where she’d have more real estate.”

In the final two minutes, EL abandoned its defense-first philosophy for a better chance at the tying goal. Instead, Armour broke free and scored the clincher with 21 seconds to go.

Lawrence ended up with a 10-5 advantage in shots. Perhaps most telling, the Eddies had nine penalty corners, but those resulted in only three shots on goal.

“My kids have a favorite saying,” Larrabee said. “Offense sells the tickets, but defense wins the games. And defense won the game today for us.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

 


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