WINSLOW — It’s tough to say if the Winslow field hockey team’s 2-1 victory against Lawrence on Thursday marks a turning point in its season, given the competitive nature and parity in Class B North.

But it’s safe to say, it was the biggest victory to date for the Black Raiders.

“It’s probably one of the best teams we’ve played,” said senior Ciera Poulin, who scored the game-winning goal with just over eight minutes left in the game. “We’ve definitely come together more as a team and are using each other. Our passing and communication has improved a lot since the beginning of the season. All of the younger girls are picking up really quick.”

Lawrence (6-2-0) was somewhat of a surprise team in Class A last season, finishing at 14-3 and reaching the regional final.

With seven returning starters from that team, the Bulldogs are considered one of the favorites this fall, especially after dropping down a class.

“We didn’t lose a lot of seniors last year, but we lost key positions,” Lawrence coach Shawna Robinson said. “We found our way a little bit but then something like today (happens). They have to remember it’s only September.”

Winslow (5-2-1) moved up a class this fall after winning the Class C state championship last season. Graduation took an even greater toll on the Black Raiders, making them underdogs coming into Thursday’s game. Things didn’t play out that way, though.

Perhaps energized by homecoming week or just playing a tough opponent, Winslow started out strong and scored midway through the first half when Poulin crossed a ball to Jessica Greeley following a penalty corner and the senior midfielder buried a hard shot into the back of the cage. Ten minutes later, the Bulldogs answered when Lexi Chamberlain’s shot kicked off the pads of Delaney Wood.

The Bulldogs picked up their play in the second half after getting beaten the ball on too many occasions in the first. Both teams had good scoring chances, but it wasn’t until the 8:20 mark that someone scored.

“Jess Greeley hit a cross ball in and I think the goalie kicked it back out,” Poulin said. “And I just saw the other post was wide open and I took the shot.”

The game featured two of the top goalies in Class B in Wood and Lawrence senior Emily Tozier. Neither disappointed. Tozier finished with 11 saves while Wood made 12, including a three-shot flurry when the Bulldogs turned up the heat with three minutes left to play. Wood ended up on her back as she tussled with Lawrence’s Lauren Watson just in front of the goal.

“I had the ball on my kicker and she had the ball on her stick,” Wood said. “And I think it the heat of the moment we just collided. It was a little hectic, a little scary.”

Things get no easier for either team. Lawrence plays unbeaten Gardiner on turf at Thomas College on Saturday morning, then the Black Raiders host Gardiner on Tuesday.

“We knew that this was a big game and define where we want to go,” Winslow coach Mary Beth Bourgoin said.

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