GARDINER — Morse High School senior Sadia Crosby spun away from one defender, bounced off a second and eluded a third before scoring the most important goal in her school’s history Friday afternoon.

It gave the Shipbuilders a 9-8 triple overtime win over top-seeded Gardiner in the semifinals of the Eastern Maine Class B lacrosse tournament.

“It was basically all adrenaline,” Crosby said of her goal. “I don’t even remember it. I definitely thought about passing, but when it’s sudden death like that, you’ve just got to do it.”

Fourth-seeded Morse (9-5), which had never advanced past the quarterfinals, meets the winner of today’s game between Yarmouth and Freeport in the regional final Wednesday. After finishing with just one win a year ago, Gardiner concludes its season at 10-4.

Crosby’s goal capped a Morse comeback that coincided with the loss of Gardiner star Ally Day, who left the game with less than a minute left after receiving a second yellow card for a dangerous follow-through on a shot on goal.

“She’s the focal point of our offense,” Gardiner coach Andy Haskell said. “When we lost her it kind of gave them some momentum.”

The Tigers led 7-5 when Day left, but the Shipbuilders tied the game on two quick goals by freshman Maddy Olsen, the first on a free position shot 15 feet in front of Gardiner goalie Maddie Cutler with 44 seconds left. Olsen took the ensuing faceoff and broke in for another score to tie the game at 7 with 37 seconds left.

“We’re two thirds freshmen and sophomores,” Morse coach Linda Levesque said.

With the Tigers a player down after Day’s ejection, the teams played two three-minute overtime periods before going to sudden death. Sophomore Sophie Sreden gave the Shipbuilders their first lead of the game with a solo effort with 1:24 left in the first OT. Gardiner’s Emma Hickey tied the game 26 seconds later when he shot bounced off Morse goalie Cat Sener (10 saves) and trickled into the goal.

The Tigers controlled the first half and built a 5-1 lead with Day and Julie Krause each scoring twice. Day, who attracted a crowd of defenders each time she touched the ball, finished with three goals.

“Everything runs through her and Brooke Davis,” Levesque said. “We didn’t do anything different with our defense other than try not to even let her get the ball.”

The Shipbuilders carried play most of the second half. They drew to within 6-5 on four straight goals from sophomore Ruth Nadeau. It might have been more if not for Cutler, who recorded 10 of her 15 saves in the second half and overtime.

“She was outstanding,” Haskell said. “The defense played fantastic. We let up one goal in the first half and we had a few breakdowns in the second half.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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