WATERVILLE — The third time was the charm for the Cony girls lacrosse team.

The Rams, the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Class A playoffs, upset No. 1 seed Messalonskee 13-10 in the semifinal round Saturday at the Black Field at Thomas College.

Cony (11-3) lost to Messalonskee (13-1) twice during the regular season. The Eagles won 10-9 on March 25 and 11-4 on May 14.

“We just knew we could make it happen today,” Cony coach Gretchen Livingston said. “We got a little inspiration from my friend, Linda Levesque at Morse. They were No. 4 (seed), beat No. 5 (Camden Hills) and then went on to beat Gardiner, who was No. 1 (on Friday). I said ‘If they can do it, why can’t we ladies?’ and they just believed and they knew.”

Cony will play No. 2 seed Cheverus on Wednesday for the regional title.

There were two keys for the Rams on Saturday. Offensivel, Cony was able to use passing and ball control to both kill the clock and keep the ball away from an aggressive Messalonskee offense.

Defensively the Rams were able to limit the offensive output of Kristy Bernatchez, Messalonskee’s top player who will attend the University of North Carolina on a full scholarship to play field hockey. In her final game, Bernatchez, along with teammate Sydney Gagne, led the Eagles with three goals.

“We knew (Cony) was a strong team,” Messalonskee coach Ashley Pullen said. “I think we weren’t able to capitalize on some early opportunities to kind of get some momentum. It seemed like every single bounce went their way. At the beginning, I think they wanted it more, beating us in the draw and getting the ground balls, and it just became clear it was not our day today.”

Josie Lee led the Rams with five goals, while Emily Quirion and Bayleigh Logan each scored three.

“We just went out there and we were ready, and we just took it to them,” Quirion said.

Lee scored two goals for Cony to take a 3-1 lead with 17 minutes left in the half. Messalonskee responded with a goal over a minute later by Allison Fischang to bring the score to 3-2. The Rams then scored three unanswered goals — by Lee, Quirion and Logan — to lenghten the lead to 6-2.

The Eagles fought back, scoring three unanswered goals before the end of the half. Turner added her second goal of the game with six minutes remaining, and Bernatchez scored her first two goals of the game with five mintues remaining.

The lead wouldn’t stand for long. Gagne scored the first goal of the second half on a free position shot, tying the game 6-6. Cony punched right back with three unanswered goals, by Logan, Quirion and Lee, to take a 9-6 lead. The Eagles were never able to recover.

“We knew we had to come out with a lot of intensity,” Lee said. “And I think we just really wanted it this time. We didn’t want to lose to Messalonskee, the No. 1 team. We just came out and racked some goals up.”

Rams goalie Izzy Eames made 13 saves.

Dave Dyer — 621-5639
[email protected]

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