AUGUSTA — The Gardiner/Hall-Dale girls lacrosse team wanted to prove it had learned its lesson. The Tigers were leading Cony by a goal at halftime Thursday afternoon — one day after leading Camden Hills by three at the break, in a game they eventually lost.

This time, Gardiner wanted to show it had learned its lesson.

“The big halftime talk was really focused on ‘Do not come out flat,’ ” senior Anna Chadwick said. “Get excited, want this win, and put it all together.”

Cony’s Sarah Cook-Wheeler defends a shot by Gardiner senior Madelin Walker during a Class B game Thursday in Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

The Tigers did just that, turning that one-goal lead into a 10-6 victory over the Rams at Cony High School. Both teams are now at .500 in Class B North; Gardiner, which got three goals from Chadwick and two apiece from Madisyn Smith and Brooke Andre, improved to 2-2, while Cony fell to 3-3.

“It was super important, especially coming off of the loss yesterday, to come into the second half so strong,” coach Jessica Prince said. “I told them when we came into the huddle, the very first thing, ‘Get out there, find the back of the net, and just keep that momentum going for us.’ That’s what we did, and it was fantastic.”

Cony, which got four goals from Kami Lambert and 14 saves from Sarah Cook-Wheeler, kept pace with Gardiner throughout the first half, but lost the battle for possession in the second.

“Heart and hustle,” coach Gretchen Livingston answered when asked what made the difference between the two periods. “They had it today, and we did not. I’m not going to say our team did not work hard, but we did not work well together today.”

Cony took a 4-3 lead with 6:03 left in the first half on Sierra Clark’s first of two goals, but Gardiner got back-to-back goals from Andre at 5:42 and 1:15, respectively, to regain the lead before the intermission. The Tigers kept up the push in the second half, as goals by Smith at 24:32 and 18:08 were sandwiched around another Clark goal and put Gardiner ahead 7-5.

“It was really big for us. … The last game we had, it was kind of rough,” senior Madelin Walker said. “This game, we were like ‘We need to come back, we need to be the team that we are and we just need to play our game.’ ”

Gardiner kept building the lead. Chadwick slung in a shot with 11:52 left, Emma Bourget scored with 4:44 to go and Scarlett Raymond-Ayer — a former Ram — made it 10-5 with 3:58 to play.

“We really brought it together to emphasize what we needed to do on offense, which was just relax with the ball and really take our time,” Chadwick said. “We capitalized on cutting down on their transitions and denying those passes, which really helped.”

Six players — including Walker — scored for Gardiner, and both coach and players were pleased with the spacing of the scoring.

“We just know how to work off each other,” Walker said. “There’s no one star player that we’re going to surround our team around. … We don’t care who scores.”

“We absolutely focus on playing seven people on attack and getting everybody involved,” said Prince, whose team got five saves from Skye Cotnoir. “Finding cutters, hitting them with good feeds. We want everybody involved.”

Cony senior defender Samantha Perry, right, and sophomore teammate Abbie Fielding converge on Gardiner/Hall-Dale senior Anna Chadwick during a Class B game Thursday in Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Lambert’s fourth goal with 2:47 to play rounded out the scoring. Lambert also scored the first goal of the game, and then another off a free position after goals by Walker and Chadwick to tie the game at 2. Chadwick’s next goal made it 3-2 Gardiner with 11:41 to go, and Lambert and Clark had goals to wrestle the lead back for Cony at 4-3.

“First half, maybe (possession) was more 50/50,” Livingston said. “But (in the) second half, definitely, we can’t score if they have the ball on their sticks, and we didn’t get it back from them.”

Livingston said the team would get to work learning from the loss.

“They stopped us in those few chances that we did get offensively. They shut us down,” she said. “We use film a lot, so we’ll watch that. Sometimes it takes you seeing yourself standing or not putting forth the effort on film for you to go ‘Oh, look at that.’ “

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