WINSLOW — As undefeated Winslow hosted fellow unbeaten Gardiner, the hosts had some valuable experience. Winslow-Gardiner was likely to go down to the final minutes, and Winslow was coming off two double overtime games in the last seven days.

“I think in years past, it’s always been a place where we’ve struggled,” Winslow field hockey coach Mary Beth Bourgoin said. “But I think those two overtime games last week and those close games have really taught them to fight back, to dig deep. It’s the gut check, and I think they’re doing a really good job with that.”

Winslow-Gardiner didn’t go into overtime, but that was only because Winslow freshman Natalie Greene scored with 1:43 remaining in the second half to lift the Black Raiders to a 2-1 victory Tuesday afternoon.

Winslow improved to 7-0-1 with the win, while Gardiner fell to 6-1-1.

Greene’s goal came on a penalty corner. After Winslow’s initial charge, Brooke Haskell fed a pass to Greene, who quickly turned and sent it in the cage.

“It was really shocking,” Greene said. “I didn’t even know it was coming, but I had my stick out.”

Gardiner had two shots and two penalty corners in the final 1:02, but Winslow goalie Delaney Wood denied Gardiner’s Lilly Chepke, and Sarah Morgan’s deflection went just wide right.

The flurry in action was the opposite of the game’s opening minutes, when both teams anxiously reacted instead of playing aggressively. Neither team had a shot in the first seven minutes.

“We knew it was a big game,” Greene said. “I, myself, was nervous, and all the upperclassmen were, too. But keeping the positivity was basically how we got through the game, and we came out strong.”

“We knew they were pretty good, so we were, I think, a little hesitant — much more than I thought we would be,” Gardiner coach Sharon Gallant said. “I think then we picked it up for a bit. It was definitely a game of swings. But I don’t think they played badly overall. I think we missed some opportunities, and I think we gave up way too many opportunities for them.”

Finally, Winslow’s Mackenzie Winslow carried the ball into the circle, but Gardiner’s Abby Dyer made a nice play to get it out and start a fast break. At the other end, Nickyia Lovely drilled home a quick turnaround shot to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead with 22:14 to go in the half.

Winslow tied the score on a quick-developing play, as Jessica Greeley dribbled the ball into the circle and suddenly fired home a goal with 6:22 to go in the half. The Black Raiders ended the half with three consecutive corners, then carried that momentum into the second half. After a Gardiner penalty corner less than two minutes in, Winslow had the next seven corners and kept the ball in Gardiner’s defensive end for minutes at a time.

“We always talk about doing 60 full minutes,” Bourgoin said. “The first thing I said to them (at halftime), I said, ‘Well, you gave me five minutes, and then 15 went away, and then 10 towards the end, so I’ve got to have the next 30. You’ve got to think 30 full minutes, and you’ve got to do it together and support each other.’ So we just keep talking about team and the other thing we talk about is when you’re in it, have fun doing it. If you’re having fun, you play well.”

Morgan and Maddy Beaulieu each broke up corners for Gardiner, and the game looked like it was bound for overtime until Greene’s goal. Winslow finished the day with advantages of 14-9 in shots and 13-7 in corners.

“As I said them, it’s not a bad thing,” Gallant said. “We wanted to go outside. We didn’t get outside as much today as we wanted to. We didn’t execute our corners as well as we wanted to, so those are a couple things to work on. I think there’s always a chance of things that you can work on. The season is practice. When you get to playoffs, then it’s a different story.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

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Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo