WATERVILLE — The lament by Mt. View field hockey coach Gloria Hewett Saturday evening was the same as many other coaches who have gone up against Belfast over the last few years.

“I just wish,” Hewett said, “they didn’t have such a great goalie.”

Belfast’s Julia Ward is finally a senior, but her imminent graduation didn’t do the Mustangs any good on this day. Ward made nine saves in the second half, including one on a penalty stroke, as the top-ranked Lions took a 1-0 victory in an Eastern B semifinal at Thomas College.

The Lions (13-1-2) move on to face No. 3 Foxcroft in the Eastern B final Tuesday in Hampden at a time to be determined. Mt. View finishes at 11-4-1.

Belfast was in command for most of the first half, and created several scrums in front of the cage. With less than two minutes to go in the half, Belfast’s Courtney Drinkwater advanced the ball past two Mt. View defenders and into the circle. That eventually created two penalty corners, and on the second, Katrina Lapham scored a deflating goal with no time left on the clock.

“The first three minutes after a goal is a prime time to score back,” Hewett said. “Statistically, when you have one of the greatest chances to score is right after they score, because you’re really pumped. So we lost that.”

Still, the fifth-seeded Mustangs charged back and out-shot Belfast 10-4 in the second half. With 13:53 to play, Mt. View got a shot around Ward that was headed for the tying goal before hitting the foot of Belfast’s Britt Littlefield on the goal line. The Mustangs were awarded a penalty stroke, but Ward reached to her right and batted away Brittany Masessa’s low line drive.

Mt. View had an equally strong chance on a penalty corner nearly six minutes later. Ward stopped the initial shot, but Anna Tsomides was left uncovered on the left post and the ball bounced onto her stick. Tsomides tried to quickly push the ball through Ward’s legs, but Ward blocked the shot with her pads.

Ward made the big stops to lead Belfast to the state title last fall, and has now helped the Lions to the Eastern B title game. For the Mustangs, it was only their second loss since a 6-1 setback to Winslow on Sept. 6.

“It was a good season, because we did start out kind of hard,” Hewett said. “We (lose) seven starters, but I think we’ll come back pretty strong.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

 

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