AUGUSTA — In the early stages of Wednesday’s Class A North quarterfinal with Oxford Hills, Cony seemed to be able to put the ball wherever it wanted in its offensive end — everywhere but where it really needed to go.

Freshman Kami Lambert finally broke through a little over 14 minutes into the contest, starting a deluge of four goals before the end of the half as the Rams pulled away.

Lambert scored twice to lift No. 3 Cony to a 4-0 win over No. 6 Oxford Hills. The Rams (11-4) will face No. 2 Skowhegan (13-2) in the semifinals on Saturday at a time and place to be determined.

Lindsay Watts and Haley Ward also scored for the Rams, who out-shot the Vikings 15-2 and enjoyed a 17-2 advantage in penalty corners.

“We had to act like this was our last game, because, in the end, it could have been. So we just had to push ourselves,” Lambert said.

As the shots and penalty corner stats would indicate, the Rams — who beat the Vikings 6-2 on Sept. 17 — dominated possession pretty much from the start. They didn’t allow a shot by the Vikings (6-7-2) until a little over eight minutes remained in the game.

“We have really good players for defense, like Julia Nicol, Olivia Varney and Savanna Poulin,” Lambert said.

“This season, I think we have really proved that we have been a great first-half team,” Cony coach Holly Daigle said. “We did so many great things offensively, (but) we just didn’t put the ball in the cage second half. That can’t be the case on Saturday against Skowhegan. We have to capitalize on our scoring opportunities.”

Lambert was finally able to get the ball past Vikings goalie Anna Huff (11 saves) by following her own shot with 16:31 left in the first half.

The midfielder’s persistence paid off again with 5:47 to go in the half. After Huff went into a split to kick away her initial shot, Lambert quickly collected the rebound and beat the still-prone goalie for a 2-0 lead.

“She plays field hockey year-round. She lives and breathes it, so she’s been ready to take on this role,” Daigle said of Lambert. “She’s young, but she has that same mentality as the veteran players.”

One of those veterans, Watts, made it 3-0 with a goal with 1:11 left. Ward scored just 25 seconds later to send the Rams into the intermission with a four-goal cushion.

“We never felt comfortable,” Daigle said. “We said we’ve got to be up four to feel comfortable, but (Oxford Hills) played like they knew they could still be in it. It was disappointing when we couldn’t execute on corners. We’ve really been dedicating a lot of time to that.”

The Rams didn’t add to their lead despite seven corners in the second half but continued to control the ball and, aside from a couple of Viking rushes, kept it in their offensive end for the bulk of the second half.

Cony will be making its first semifinal appearance since 2011, when it lost to eventual Class A state champ Skowhegan, 5-2.

Of more relevance is the fact that the Indians won the only regular-season meeting between the KVAC rivals, 9-1, on Sept. 15 in Skowhegan.

“We are the only team that can say we are the underdogs,” Lambert said. “Skowhegan’s a really good team, but they’re definitely beatable. As long as we have our head in the game, I think we can pull it off.”

“We’ve come so far. The chemistry has been great,” Daigle added. “We’ve improved so much, as every team has. But we’ve still got work to do.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.