WATERVILLE — Down a goal to Lewiston with three minutes to go in overtime, the Messalonskee High School girls lacrosse team didn’t panic. The Eagles had been in the same situation exactly a week earlier and pulled out a one-goal win at Cheverus.

“It was kind of familiar territory for us,” Messalonskee coach Ashley Pullen said.

On Tuesday at Thomas College, Messalonskee pulled out another close win over another strong opponent. Nathalie St. Pierre scored a pair of goals down the stretch in overtime, and the Eagles scored a 10-9 win over the Blue Devils to remain undefeated at 6-0.

“I feel like we just really wanted it, and we know how to work together. I think that helped make us pull it through,” St. Pierre said. “Our teamwork, not getting down on ourselves when we were down in the last few minutes.”

Added Pullen: “We did a better job taking control of the draws in the second half, so that was big for us. We were patient on attack. We didn’t try to force anything… Their defense was incredible. Their defense played very, very well. I’m proud of the patience and the creativity my girls had against, hands down, the best defense we’ve seen.”

St. Pierre’s game-winning goal was an unfortunate fluke ending to what was an exciting game. After gaining control of the ball, Lewiston (5-2) goalie Paige Fontaine accidentally dropped the ball into her own net, giving the Eagles the lead with 51.7 seconds left. Because she was the last Messalonskee player to touch the ball, St. Pierre was awarded the goal.

“They made a play at the end, we didn’t. It’s just one of those things,” Lewiston coach Skip Capone said. “They’re a good team. I think we’re pretty good. It was a hell of a lacrosse game. That’s what it’s all about. It was a blast to be here. How can I be upset?”

Lewiston took a 9-8 lead with 1:28 left in the first three-minute overtime when Kristina Blais scored on a fast break. With 2:36 left in the game, St. Pierre tied it on a free position shot, beating Fontaine with a low shot.

“Getting free position shots are definitely, they’re kind of scary, actually. It’s just you and the goalie, and you try not to hint where you’re going to put it. It’s almost like a 50/50 chance at that point,” St. Pierre said.

Throughout the game, Messalonskee played patient offense against Lewiston’s strong defense. The Eagles were content to pass the ball around the perimeter, rather than force a tough shot. The problem for Messalonskee was, while they were patient, when the Blue Devils gained control of the ball, they were off to the races.

Most of Lewiston’s offense came in transition, as the Blue Devils used their speed to gain an advantage, getting it off the draw or out of their own zone quickly. That style led to Lewiston’s first goal, when Blais snuck behind the Messalonskee defense and scored just eight seconds into the game. That up-tempo attack helped the Blue Devils keep the game close.

“We’ve done a pretty good job getting the ball down the field pretty quick. We have some girls who can run. We felt we had some matchups with some of their girls back on defense, and we were able to hit it four or five times,” Capone said.

When Julia MacKenzie scored to give Messalonskee a 5-3 lead in the first minute of the second half, Lewiston answered with a Blais goal 31 seconds later. When Lauren Pickett’s goal with 13:32 left in the second half gave the Eagles a 6-5 lead, Lewiston tied it 11 seconds later on another Blais goal.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a game be that close when the time of possession differential is as big as it is. The fact that we possessed the ball as much as we did, and we controlled as much of the game as we did… I was disappointed it was as close as it was, not that Lewiston isn’t a great team. If you look at the time of possession, we allowed way too many fast break goals,” Pullen said.

Hailey Lebel scored for Lewiston with 12:42 left in the second half, giving the Blue Devils their first lead since early in the game, 7-6. With 10:00 to play in regulation, Allyssa Turner scored for Messalonskee to tie the game, with an assist from Lydia Dexter. With 6:58 to play, Dexter gave the Eagles the lead with an assist from India Languet. The Blue Devils tied the game 48 seconds later on an Emily Brochu goal.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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