WATERVILLE — Lewiston High School’s girls lacrosse team nearly had everything it needed Wednesday afternoon at Thomas College. It had a ferocious defense anchored by a standout goaltending effort behind it. It had a midfield that bottled up transitions and forced one turnover after another. It had balanced scoring spread out across four different attacking options.

The one thing the Blue Devils didn’t have was Ally Turner.

The Messalonskee midfielder turned in her third seven-goal effort of the season, leading the Eagles’ second-half surge in a 10-5 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A victory at Smith Field. Turner, a junior already committed to playing at NCAA Division I Wagner College, added a pair of assists to her offensive onslaught, while senior midfielder Lydia Dexter added three goals of her own as the reigning Class A state champion Eagles improved to 6-0.

“Ally Turner is a great player, on and off the field. She’s great to have as an asset,” Messalonskee coach Crystal Leavitt said. “She is probably the lead person in our attack. She put in some balls today, but the ball wouldn’t have gotten there without the whole team.”

There were anxious moments throughout for Messalonskee, not the least of which came when Lewiston (5-2) took the lead for a fourth time at 5-4 on sophomore Christine Chasse’s second goal of the game — just 1:25 into the second half.

From there, though, Messalonskee started to find the form that had eluded it for most of the opening 25 minutes — a first half marked by missed opportunities, poor passing and too many turnovers. The Eagles started stringing together passes, most notably through the midfield, to start to finally find their rhythm.

Dexter tied the game at 5-5 with her second goal off a direct restart with 16:26 to play, and then Turner struck for three straight goals in a span of 3:49 to send the Eagles soaring toward the win.

“We weren’t being very smart with our transition and our attack,” Lewiston coach Brant Remington said. “We were forcing it too much, not being patient and we had too many turnovers. I felt that was the difference. Before that, nothing else had really changed.”

Turner said that, after a rough and tumble game against Brunswick on Monday, it took some time for her and her teammates to hit their stride.

“It’s been a long week,” Turner said. “We really worked hard and pulled through to win. We just couldn’t catch our passes or make good passes (in the first half). We weren’t connecting, and we didn’t have that chemistry, but in the second half we came together.”

Lewiston played on the front foot from the opening draw, scoring twice in the first 6:09 of the contest to open an early lead before Messalonskee even attempted its first shot on goal. But Turner kicked her game up a notch in response, scoring twice in an 11-second span to tie the game just 30 seconds after the visitors had opened up the early 2-0 lead.

The Blue Devils would get goals from both Shaima Naji and Erin Lachance before the half was through to go back in front, while freshman goalie CeCe Racine made five of her seven saves in the first half alone to hold the Eagles at bay. But Turner struck for her third of the half and then set up Dexter for a man-up goal with 1:11 left until halftime to tie things up at 4-4.

Messalonskee emerged as a different team after the break.

“It was a lot of small things,” Dexter said. “I think we realized in the second half that we had to push through or we were going to lose the game.

“Every year we play Lewiston, they’re always tough. They had a great zone defense that I was a little surprised by. Definitely, we had to adjust.”

Adjust they did, scoring the final six goals of the game en route to the win. Turner and Dexter added goals in the final two minutes of regulation with the wind already out of the Lewiston sails.

“We knew Lewiston was going to be tough competition,” Leavitt said. “I’m just proud of the girls — some teams, they get really down on themselves when they start turning the ball over, they start pointing fingers and playing the blame game. We didn’t do that. We did a good job getting it back together and picking our heads up.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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