OAKLAND — Cony goalkeeper Katrina Duncan made just two saves in the second half but the second one, which came with just 35 seconds left in the game, was big.

Duncan’s stop helped Cony earn an exciting 11-10 win over Messalonskee on Thursday afternoon in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A girls lacrosse game.

Cony was whistled for a foul with 35 seconds remaining, leaving Messalonskee’s Sara Grenier with a free shot from 15 yards. Grenier moved in on goal, faked high and fired a low shot to the right that Duncan stopped at the last second to preserve the win.

“She (Grenier) has a powerful shot,” Duncan said. “I anticipated that was where she was going because she made that same move earlier in the game and scored.”

It was a tight battle from the outset, featuring a patient possession attack by Messalonskee (1-2) and a fast-breaking quick transition game by Cony (2-0). The largest lead in the game was two goals: Messalonskee holding a 6-4 lead in the first half, and Cony an 11-9 lead late in the game.

“We did a lot of things well but the little mistakes by us added up,” Messalonskee coach Ashley Pullen said. “This was a really good game between two very good teams.”

Messalonskee won the battle for ground balls, 30-16, helping the Eagles control the tempo, while Cony countered quickly up the middle.

Mia Diplock and Chelsea Begin paced the Cony attack, scoring three goals each, while Grenier and Sydney Gagne had three each for Messalonskee.

In a game that featured eight ties, Cony managed to take the lead for good with 6:21 left when Hayley Quirion scored on a move across the middle for a 10-9 lead. Bayleigh Logan gave the Rams a two-goal lead two minutes later, scoring on a feed from Diplock.

“Our girls did a good job controlling play late in the game,” Cony coach Gretchen Livingston said. “Winning here is always nice and it should gives us a little momentum.”

Gagne cut the margin to 11-10 with 2:51 remaining scoring from five yards out but the Eagles were unable to score the tying goal.

Duncan finished with nine saves on 25 Messalonskee shots, while Messalonskee goalkeeper Izzy Skinner made 11 saves on 24 Cony shots.

Trailing 4-3 in the first half, the Eagles used their passing and cutting game to score three straight goals and take a 6-4 lead. Kristen Kern bounced one past Duncan, Mara Balboni scored from close range and Gagne capped the rally firing a shot in from the right side with 6:02 left in the half.

Cony scored a pair of goals in less than a minute to tie the game at 6 when Josie Lee and Begin went solo to the net. Gagne, however, countered for the Eagles after taking a long pass from Grenier to give Messalonskee a 7-6 lead at halftime.


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