WINTHROP — The Winthrop field hockey team is back in a familiar place, the Eastern C regional championship game.

The Ramblers scored two second-half goals to earn a second straight trip the regional final with a 2-0 win over Stearns on Saturday at Winthrop High School.

Winthrop (14-1-1), which won the regional title a year ago before losing to North Yarmouth Academy in the Class C championship game, will play Tuesday against Dexter game at Hampden Academy. The Ramblers defeated Dexter 1-0 for the regional crown last year.

“When you have a championship, you want to defend it,” Winthrop coach Sharon Coulton said. “We get to do that.”

The game was scoreless in the first half, but both Winthrop clearly had momentum. The Ramblers held an 11-0 shot advantage over the Minutemen (8-8), as well as a 10-0 adavantage on penalty corners.

“It was hard for us, offensively, to get the ball down the field,” Stearns forward Emily Wark said.

The Ramblers had an abundence of scoring opportunities in the first half, but were frustrated by their inability to score a goal.

“We’d be down at their end most of the time, all of the time, really,” Winthrop forward Mary Claire Blanchard said. “We just couldn’t get one in.”

Winthrop’s persistence finally paid off seven minutes into the second half, when Blanchard took a Lauren Kaizer pass and knocked it into the goal for a 1-0 lead.

“(Kaizer) waited until the goalie was right on her, and then she passed it off to me and then I could just tap it in,” Blanchard said.

With the exception of two shots in the second half, the Ramblers were able to keep the ball in Stearns territory for the rest of the half. Rachel Ingram added an insurance goal for Winthrop with 10 minutes left in the contest, slipping a shot past Stearns goalie Whitney Guy for the 2-0 score.

“I knew we were going to (score),” Ingram said. “It was just really frustrating (earlier in the contest) because we couldn’t get one in.”

Guy was extremely busy in net and finished with 12 saves.

“I’m very proud of our goalie,” Stearns midfielder Taylor Pelke said. “She played a wonderful game.”

The Ramblers finished with a 19-1 edge in penalty corners and a 19-2 advantage in shot.

In the regional final, the Ramblers will play on the artificial turf at Hampden Academey. Coulton think that should fit the Ramblers’ game better than the natural grass and wet conditions they played on Saturday.

“We have some kids with some excellent stick skills, and that should translate even better when we get to play on turf,” Coulton said. “We’ve done a few changes from last year that we hope can generate more offense, because last year’s game, we played a lot of defense, but it’s not very relaxing.”

Dave Dyer — 621-5639

[email protected]

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