WATERVILLE — The turf at Thomas College worked to the Lawrence field hockey team’s advantage against unbeaten Gardiner on Saturday morning.

But truth be told, the Bulldogs just needed this win a bit more than the Tigers did.

They got it when senior Alexis Chamberlain slapped a hard shot into the back of the goal six minutes into the second half, giving Lawrence a 1-0 win in a showdown of Class B powers.

If playing an unbeaten team wasn’t motivation enough, the Bulldogs (7-2) were coming off a 2-1 loss to Winslow.

“It was an important win and a big win,” senior goalie Emily Tozier said. “Like the last Winslow game and the Mount View game (a 3-2 loss) it wasn’t really us.”

The Bulldogs controlled most of the play in the first half as coach Shawna Robinson substituted frequently to get fresh legs into the up-and-down turf game.

“My subs played great today,” Robinson said. “I went 18 deep today.”

Lawrence’s forward line was a little quicker than Gardiner’s and it resulted in two breakaways from Hallee Parlin and one by Dominique Lewis. Adjustments by Gardiner at halftime limited the Bulldogs to one in the second half.

“We did make a defensive and a midfield adjustment at halftime,” Gardiner coach Sharon Gallant said.

There were not a lot of scoring chances by either team. Tozier finished with six saves while Kaylin Mansir made five for Gardiner (8-1). The Tigers negated some of Lawrence’s speed with solid play at midfield from Bryce Smith, Sarah Morgan and Maddy Beaulieu.

“Strong sticks for sure,” Robinson said.

The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard following a penalty corner that broke down a bit with the ball ending on Chamberlain’s stick just inside the right side of the shooting circle. She turned and fired a hard shot that bounced into the left corner of the cage.

“I just saw the pass (from Nora Buck) coming across and I was ready for it,” Chamberlain said. “I’ve practiced that a little bit but I don’t always make them so that one was really lucky for me.”

The Tigers put pressure on Tozier midway through the second half and registered their best two chances of the game, first from Nickyia Lovely and then from Kenzie Edwards, who tried to jam in the rebound.

“(The first one) went on the inner side of my leg and it almost went in,” Tozier said of the first shot. “So I guided it to the post so it wouldn’t go in.”

Edwards went to the ground in an attempt to knock home the rebound but Tozier dove to the turf to make the save.

Robinson, whose team went 14-3 in Class A last season, was pleased with her team’s resilience over the final 15 minutes.

“This I think defined us a little bit,” she said. “We can do this. They can go as far as they want to go.”

Gardiner won the regional title last season and is among four or five teams with a shot again this year. Given the parity in Class B North, Gallant wasn’t banking on going unbeaten.

“It’s one loss,” she said. “As a matter of fact I’d rather have the one loss than not have any because they get a little cocky. It was a good game.”


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