WATERVILLE — The Messalonskee girls lacrosse team kicked off its playoff run by finishing a season sweep.

The Eagles, fresh off their first Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference title, beat Brunswick 14-6 on Wednesday afternoon in an Eastern Class A quarterfinal game at the Black Field at Thomas College.

It was Messalonskee’s the third win of the season over Brunswick. The Eagles beat the Draongs 16-1 on April 23 and 15-8 on May 23.

“We knew they were probably going to come out pretty fired up, to take revenge for the first two losses,” Messalonskee coach Ashley Pullen said. “It’s hard to beat a team three times, they say. I think that’s the mark of a good team, when you can persevere.”

No. 1 Messalonskee advances to play No. 4 Cony in the regional semifinals. The Rams advanced with a 12-8 win over No. 5 Portland.

The Eagles (14-0) beat the Dragons (3-10) in the same fashion they captured their KVAC crown, they used an aggresive offensive strategy — a mix of charging the net and setting up shots from behind the net — to score. Kristy Bernatchez and Allison Fischang led the Eagles, scoring four goals each.

“I was hoping we could stop (Bernatchez), but she’s sort of an unstoppable force,” Brunswick coach Stephanie Fisher said. “She’s definitely going to be the key player in most of their games, I think.”

Brunswick showed glimpses, getting an attack into the Eagles’ zone. Eliza Brooks led the Dragons with four goals.

“Our strategy was basically to kill as much time as possible and make smart shots,” Fisher said. “Their goalie stepped it up today compared to other games that we’ve seen them in. Today she was stopping most of our low shots.”

Pullen said the Dragons were a better team than they saw earlier in the season.

“This was a different Brunswick team than the last two times we saw them,” Pullen said. “They were much crisper, they looked much better and they wanted it more. Sometimes when a team wants it, anything can happen, but we didn’t let that happen today.”

Defensively, the Eagles got a strong showing from goalie Izzy Skinner, who made seven saves.

Bernatchez scored twice in the first two minutes to give Messalonskee a 2-0 lead. Brunswick answered with two goals of their own, both by Brooks, to tie the game at 2-2. The Eagles regained momentum by scoring six unanswered goals, two each by Bernatchez and Fischang, as well as goals by Mikayla Turner and Sydney Gagne, to head into halftime with an 8-2 lead.

Brunswick scored the first goal of the second half, by Libby Arford. Messalonskee responded with four more goals, one by Turner, one by Lilly DeLisle and two by Kristen Kern to up the lead to 12-3. Fischang scored the final two goals for the Eagles.

Sarah Judd and Lillian Kjellman scored the final two goals for Brunswick in the last minute of the game.

Dave Dyer — 621-5639

[email protected]

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